Monday, May 19, 2008

Caramel Apple Oat Bars and Revelations

This weekend was hotter than hell. Triple digits in August I'm OK with. Triple digits in May... umm not so much. I tried not to turn on the oven too much this weekend but you know I had to experiment a little. I baked a batch of Caramel Apple Oat Bars. My Blueberry Oat Bars from the other day were so good I decided to mess around and make another version.

OMG! Yum!

My house smelled like a trip to Julian.

Shelly's Caramel Apple Oat Bars

1/4 cup Raw Almonds, ground
1/2 cup Steel Cut Oatmeal
1/4 cup Soy Flour (7 g. of protein per 1/4 cup)
2 scoops of Vanilla Protein Powder
1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
3 Tablespoon Sugar Free Torani Syrup (I used SF Caramel)
2 Tablespoons Almond Butter
1 Egg, beaten
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1/4 teaspoon Baking Soda
dash of Salt
1/3 cup Nuts, chopped (I used Pecans & Walnuts)
1/3 cup Dried Fruit (I used Raisins and Unsweetened Dried Cranberries)
1/4 cup No Sugar Added Apple Butter
2 Tablespoons Sugar Free Caramel Sauce (I used Smucker's)

Preheat oven to 350. In a mini food processor whiz almonds, 1/4 cup of the oats, soy flour, 1 scoop of the protein powder, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt till fine. *Add Torani syrup and whiz again. In a separate dish beat egg, vanilla and almond butter together. Combine both. Add additional scoop of protein, the other 1/4 cup of oats, nuts, and fruit* (*note I used a few more raisins than the blueberry bars to make up for no chocolate.) Spread 3/4 of the oatmeal batter into a parchment paper lined Pyrex dish (8x7).

Spread apple butter over oat base. Drizzle caramel over apple butter and swirl with a spoon. Drop plops of the remaining oatmeal batter on top of apple butter and caramel filling. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Allow to cool. I put them in the fridge. I think they taste best cold and are easier to cut into bars.

Let's see what stuff do I have to share...

A friend online was going through some stuff and I wrote a response to him that helped me put some things I've been feeling into perspective. Thought I'd share:

I'm asking a lot of those questions too. I hope it helps to know you aren't the only one.

Sometimes I feel like I'm living someone else's life. It's like I'm borrowing this skinny chick costume and I keep anxiously looking at the clock because at midnight I'm going to turn back into me.

Sometimes I feel sad/pissed/disappointed because not everything was "fixed" when I lost the weight.

Sometimes I walk into a room confident and feeling like I can take on the world and other days I'm looking around the room to see if I'm the fattest again.

The emotional part of this journey is the hardest by far... changing the way I eat, exercising, the lifestyle changes were the easy part (for me at least) it's the "head stuff" that is hard.

I guess it will take time to connect to these new "people" we have become and then maybe the lost/alone feelings will subside.

I do know this. I think/angsty dwell/worry about the future too much and I'm missing a lot of moments because of that. It's time to enjoy the little things and hopefully soon our minds will catch up to the body.

So on to one of the moments I've decided to try and concentrate on...

Last night was fun my Mum and I had a Mini Cheese Tasting Party. A yummy little spread made up of all weight loss surgery friendly snacks:

Cubes of several different cheeses - Bel Paese, San Andreas, Jalapeno Jack, Muenster, Parmesan Reggiano
Kalamata and Sicilian Olives
Pesto Peanuts and Macadamias
White Cheddar Crunchy Cheese
Cucumber (these work great instead of crackers for the spreadable cheeses)

and a glass of wine sitting under my electric stars.

Drinking post-op is interesting. Word of warning. We get drunk fast. I mean super fast... like 2 sips fast. So be safe. I rarely drink probably once a month if that because it's always hard for me to justify the empty calories but you know the cheese tasting party just screamed for some vino.

Highlights of the weekend:

* Our little party above. Lots of laughs.

* I've received a ton of great comments and emails re: my perfect man blog that have renewed my faith that he exists and will one day cross my path. In fact he might have already who knows?

* I ran into my secretary (administrative assistant to be politically correct... whatever) from my last job who hasn't seen me in forever and she was as my Mum would say, "gobsmacked." Love it.


Listening to: Oasis "Stop crying your heart out"


Tailynn said...


No what I’m thinking, sauté or grill an apple and substitute for the raisins. Do you know off hand if Trader Joe’s has sugar free apple butter? I need to make a run there this weekend maybe I could grab some then.

Michelle said...

Hey tailynn, I'm not seen it there. I found a random jar of SF Apple Butter at Home Goods (or it might have been TJ Maxx) and then I've been ordering every since.

Hmmm sub ideas... maybe apple sauce and just thicken it up like I did the blueberries with a little corn starch and SF Torani or try it unthickened if it's not too watery a sauce it should work out fine ;)

Michelle said...

Oh another sub for the raisins... dried apple or dehydrated apple. Trader Joe's has that.

Anything you add just watch that water content.

cschoen said...

Michelle, do you always grind your almonds? Have you ever tried using almond flour?

Michelle said...

I mostly grind my own. I buy raw almonds at Trader Joe's and whiz them in my little Black & Decker Mini Food Processor. I should say I measure the amounts before I grind them.

I have recently been buying Almond Meal at Trader Joe's and breading chicken and fish with it. It's basically the same thing I'm making but more expensive and slightly lighter in texture (more floury. Is that a word? LOL)