A dear friend of mine in grad school always insisted that people need comfort food during a move to help ease the craziness. And she said, neither one of us knowing she was echoing Dr. McDougall, that comfort food meant starch. Potato salad. Potato chips. Pasta. Oatmeal cookies. Tortillas. Burritos. Bread. Pretzels. You get the idea.
Now that I eat whole starch as a matter of course, I guess I’m pretty much always eating “moving food.” But of course I’m not always disrupting my everyday life with a big move. During this crazy life changing move of mine, I’ve taken to a low fat, sugar free, starch based dessert that reminds me of the inside of a Nestle’s Crunch candy bar. Or if I make it with my version of Living Oatmeal, it’s kind of like the inside of a 3 Musketeers bar. And if I add the optional orange zest there is the slightest suggestion of the inside of a Cadbury Chocolate Orange Creme Egg.
It doesn’t look very pretty. It’s just a little bowl of glop. If you wanted to fancy it up you could roll it into balls or flatten into little discs and refrigerate them. Or make them into these little heavenly bites:
But for a quick and comforting treat, I like the glop approach, alongside a cup of rooibus tea spiked with a little vanilla extract.
So here it is folks: a comforting fat free vegan starch based sugar free dessert that will bring you back to the days of eating soft filled candy bars with just a little crunch. Glop never tasted so good. And a Heavenly Bite isn’t bad either.
Crazy-Easy Low Fat Vegan Candy Bar Innards Dessert
I really don’t measure when I “make” this, but here’s what goes in it.
about 1/3-1/2 cup of a combination of gluten free oats, Living oatmeal and dehydrated buckwheat groats
a few splashes of almond milk
about 3 tablespoons of carob (or cocoa powder)–almost (but not) as much carob powder as grains
optional, but awesome, so I always add if I have it:
a healthy dash of powdered ginger, or healthy grating of fresh ginger
a pinch of orange zest
Put the oats and buckwheat groats in a small dessert bowl. Drizzle a little almond milk over them. Just a little. Dump the carob powder, ginger and orange zest (if using) on top. Work the mixture with a spoon. At first it will seem way too dry, but eventually, the carob powder darkens and a chocolaty and carob-y colored glop starts to form. If you need a few more drops of almond milk to achieve this, splash it in. When it’s all dark brown and gloppy and sticking to the spoon, taste. You are probably done if you can’t stop licking the spoon.
Take a small spoonful of glop and flatten it into a cookie about the diameter of a banana slice. Put a tiny bit of almond butter on top of it. Put a slice of banana on top of that. Put another smidge of almond butter on top. Put another little glop cookie on top of that. Place on a plate lined with wax paper and pop them in the freezer for a few hours. When they are frozen transfer to a plastic freezer bag, or your mouth. They seem very hard, but soften up enough to eat really quickly.
Notes: if you do this with carob, the sweetness of the carob is enough to achieve a sort of “dark chocolate” semi-sweet effect. If you do it with cocoa powder, and I have to imagine this, you might need a little sweetener or date or dried fruit or banana mashed in so it isn’t too bitter. Let me know what works if you go the chocolate route.
Lots of people say that the best things in life are free. I think that’s true. But I also believe the best things in life happen when I allow myself to be kind of crazy. I had both of those in one package the other morning when I got the idea that I could transport the rest of my garden starts, a hose, some leaf mulch and a chair in an old shopping cart left over from the Co-op’s stuff at the yard sale the couple of miles to my new house. Wearing my straw hat and sunglasses and my old corduroy overalls, with Romeo patiently at my side, we rattled all the way there, battling old sidewalk made treacherous by the roots of beautiful old trees and decades of winter ice. I also got an experiential glimpse into what my friend Ashley must face in her wheelchair every day. And for good measure, we probably woke everyone up along the way. It was clear this had been a one way trip once I got there, but I didn’t know how I would get the shopping cart back to be picked up by the Salvation Army the next day. I lucked out when a friend called and suggested that when she and her husband came to town, they’d pick me up, and pick the shopping cart up, put it in the back of their rig and drop us both off back at the blue house.
Deciding to try this dessert is kind of like deciding to push my belongings to my new house in a shopping cart. I had to be a little crazy. I had to entertain unlikely possibilities and to be willing to have things look a little silly and outrageous. I had to be stubborn. I had to be willing to tire myself out to see if it would work, and of course, I had to be willing to laugh at myself along the way. If you can manage any of that, you are ready to treat yourself to this visionary dessert. You’ll get to have a candy bar without the candy bar, or even the chocolate. Or a tiny ice cream sandwich without the ice cream. And perhaps, like me, you’ll be able to see how an old shopping cart, in the right light, looks almost exactly like a magic carpet.
PS: Me and Romeo in front of the new house (without the shopping cart):