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Coconana Bars

Posted Jan 28 2013 3:47pm

Motivation Monday: ”When something bad happens, you have three choices. You can either let it define you, let it destroy you, or let it strengthen you.”

Indulgent ooey gooey chewy coconut banana bars with a secret ingredient!
TOFU!!!!

Coconana Bars
Coconana Bars

If you aren’t a fan of tofu (or think it’s scary!) this is a great starter recipe for you. You cannot even taste it, yet it contributes to the gooey texture of the bars with a dabble of protein. Tofu is so incredibly versatile that it goes way beyond the traditional stir-fry. I have used tofu in pudding and smoothie recipes, and yesterday I decided to take it to the next level. Enter baking experiment.

Coconana Bars

It took me about 3 tries to get this recipe to the right texture. I had never baked with tofu or Splenda Brown Sugar before, so it was a day of trial and error.The first round turned out like a rubber ball. No joke, it probably bounced. After the first catastrophe I aimed for more tofu and less flour, which resulted in a sloppy mess that slightly resembled dog food. Before I knew it I had baked through two episodes of Real Housewives of Atlanta, Sex & The City the movie, and Shahs of Sunset. Alas Coconana Bars were born!

Here they are in all their glory.Coconana Bars
Coconana Bars

100% dairy free, 100% oil free, 100% vegan, 100% DELIGHTFUL

Now let’s talk Splenda. I know, I know, some of you may be thinking… Splenda? Is she kidding? Is that healthy? Well here it is folks: I felt adventurous and wanted to make a guilt free dessert without all of the fat and sugar that usually comes along with it! Everyone has their own opinion on artificial sweeteners, but once in a while I don’t mind living on the edge and using Splenda. It’s also a great alternative for others who are trying to watch their sugar intake for medical or weight loss reasons. Of course stevia is still my main squeeze when it comes to daily use! I hope that someone comes out with a Stevia Brown Sugar Blend, that would be fannnntastic.

Coconana Bars
Makes 6 bars

1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 banana – mashed
1/4 cup sweetened shredded coconut
1/4 cup silken tofu – blended
4 Tbsp Splenda Brown Sugar Blend  (or 1/2 cup brown sugar)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp rum extract
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder

Optional Toppings
1/2 Tbsp powdered sugar
1/8 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Blend the tofu in a blender until smooth. Transfer mashed tofu into a mixing bowl. Mash the banana and combine with tofu. Next, add the vanilla extract, rum extract, and coconut to the tofu banana mixture. Stir until well mixed. In a separate bowl, mix the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, and salt ).Pour the tofu banana mixture into the dry ingredients and gently fold the ingredients together until well combined (be gentle, and do not over stir the batter or the bars will come out tough). Spray a 9 x 5in loaf pan with nonstick spray. Pour batter into the pan and bake for 13-14 minutes.
Note: The center should be a little gooey and soft. If overcooked, they can have a tough rubbery texture. There is no harm in undercooking the bars since there are no eggs!

If you’re feeling fancy, mix powdered sugar and cinnamon together and sprinkle over the bars right after they come out of the oven. Cut and serve for a healthy dessert.

If you are interested in baking with Splenda Brown Sugar Blend, here are their conversions to make baking a cinch:

BROWN SUGAR:
USE THIS MUCH SPLENDA®BROWN SUGAR:
1/4 cup
1/8 cup (2 tablespoons or 6 teaspoons)
1/3 cup
2 Tbsp + 2 tsp (or 8 teaspoons)
1/2 cup
1/4 cup (or 4 Tbsp or 12 tsp)
2/3 cup
1/3 cup (or 5 Tbsp + 1 tsp, or 16 tsp)
3/4 cup
6 Tbsp (or 18 tsp)
1 cup
1/2 cup 

Question: What do you think about artificial sweeteners? Do you use them on occasion? Do you steer clear?

I’m off to have an ultrasound of my thyroid. Wahhhh! Think happy thoughts, think happy thoughts! xo

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