Today he is 66 years old (but you’d NEVER be able to tell – maybe because he drinks my Simple Green Smoothie every day).
So, in honor of his 66th year on this planet, I created these AMAZING, HEALTHY Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake Bars.
Since he lives in Arizona, he hasn’t actually tried them yet… but don’t worry, I ate them all in his honor.
I talked all about how much I love my dad in his birthday post last year, but let me just reiterate the main points:
1. My dad is an amazing person.
2. He is selfless. He is compassionate. He is HILARIOUS. He is the best listener – you know, someone who ACTUALLY listens to what you’re saying instead of thinking of the next thing to say.
3. He seems to know everything. It’s kind of crazy – he has an answer to every question I ever ask him.
4. He is HONEST and will never tell you what you want to hear just because you want to hear it if he doesn’t believe it.
I love you SOOOOO much, Dad! More than words can ever express! I’m crying now… great.
Ok, getting it together to finish this post.
Some other pretty big news going on in my life right now – I successfully defended my dissertation meaning…
I FINALLY FINISHED MY PHD!!!! But it’s not “official” until I attend graduation on May 19th. BUT. I finished. I am SO EXCITED.
So in addition to celebrating with these delicious cookie cake bars, I’m also enjoying my FAVORITE rosé from Whole Foods Market 365.
Anywho, I teamed up with Whole Foods Market 365 in Cedar Park to bring you this DELICIOUS recipe.
Let me tell you a little bit about them, what they’re up to, and how they’re different!
Whole Foods Market 365 focuses on bringing budget-friendly, high-quality products to their shoppers and they have a specially-designed layout to make shopping easy and stress-free!
Y'all know me - I'm all about being healthy on a budget, so this is my kind of store!
Since I now have much more free time after finishing my graduate work, I had so much fun strolling around the store and stocked up on some staples. The store is just so pretty!!!
Ok, back to the recipe!
You can find most of the ingredients used in this recipe at Whole Foods Market 365 in Cedar Park, but if you want to use the Lakanto Monk Fruit Sweetener that I used in this recipe, you'll have to get that online here. BUT it's also easy to substitute with granulated stevia or granulated sugar (if you aren't looking for a sugar-free option), which are both available in the baking aisle at this Whole Foods Market 365 location. Same goes for Lily's sugar-free chocolate chips - you can get those here, but you can find regular vegan chocolate chips at Whole Foods Market 365. Lastly, oat fiber is only available online (but it's optional in this recipe!).
Cost per serving: $0.52
Calories per serving: 84
Equipment you'll need: high-speed blender
1 cup gluten-free rolled oats (or quick oats)
2 Tbsp oat fiber (or 2 extra Tbsp oats)
8 Tbsp powdered peanut butter OR peanut flour OR 4 Tbsp peanut butter*
1 medium yellow squash, sliced (or cut into chunks if your blender can handle it)
1/2 cup water (more if needed to facilitate blending)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup Lakanto Monk Fruit Sweetener, granulated (use coupon code ANNIE for 20% off!)**
1/4 tsp salt
1.5 tsp baking powder
1 tsp xanthan gum
4 Tbsp Lily's Sugar-Free Chocolate Chips (or other vegan chocolate chips)
*Or other granulated sweetener of choice equivalent to 1 cup sugar
**If you use peanut butter instead of powdered peanut butter, start with 1/4 cup water and add more if needed to facilitate blending
1. Preheat oven to 350F, spray 8x8 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray, and set aside.
2. Add oats to high-speed blender, and process until flour-like consistency is reached.
3. Add in remaining ingredients (except chocolate chips), and blend until smooth.
4. Stir in chocolate chips.
5. Pour batter into prepared baking dish, and bake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean (I stopped at 30 minutes, and they were kind of gooey inside which I loooove).
6. Let cool, and ENJOY!