As I promised yesterday, I'm continuing the Menschly look at healthier and inexpensive Super Bowl party foods today by offering you a healthy dessert alternative for the big game.
But first, let's address the elephant in the room. Specifically and to wit: you really should not try to make dessert healthy. That's because:
1. It's dessert. It's not supposed to be healthy, which means if it's healthy, it generally tastes unpleasant.
2. Dessert-in-a-box/just-add-water!/better-living-through-chemistry options tend to be so dang cheap to begin with that there's no way to make a healthy version that's even close to as cheap as a $1 box of brownie mix.
3. Removing/replacing the bad for you parts of dessert with something worth eating tends to be time consuming and labor-intensive.
However, despite these issues, I believe I have found a healthy dessert recipe that is tasty, inexpensive, and it only takes as long as you would be in the kitchen, anyway.
(Before you ask, no, this recipe does not do your taxes for you).
So, without further ado, I present to you Healthy Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal Cookies from Key Ingredients.
The best part of these cookies is that they only require four ingredients:
About $0.59 per pound, and two medium bananas would be a little less than a pound total.
- 1/3 cup natural creamy peanut butter
I was thinking that this would be the most expensive part of the recipe, since natural peanut butter is way more expensive than the stuff we all grew up eating, but I was pleasantly surprised when I did the math. I can generally find a jar of the natural stuff (which is what we keep in the pantry) for between $2.50 and $3.00 per jar. There are just under 2 cups of peanut butter per jar, so let's say 1/3 of a cup costs $0.50
- 1&1/2 cups uncooked oatmeal
A 42 ounce canister of oatmeal is about $3. That means 1.5 cups (12 ounces) costs about $0.86.
- 1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
A 12 ounce package of chocolate chips generally runs around $2.50, so a 1/3 cup of that would run about $0.55.
Cost per serving: Okay, here's where this bites you in the tuchus. This recipe only makes 15 cookies, and the blogger behind the recipe seems to think a single cookie is a serving. Clearly, she has never met me. (Also, no matter how small your Super Bowl party, if you set out a plate with only 15 cookies on it, you're going to get a reputation for stinginess).
So, let's say that a serving is four cookies, meaning there are four servings (or thereabouts) per recipe, and that you will need to double or triple your recipe in order to actually make this for company. Even increasing the serving size (and the recipe size) keeps this healthy recipe at a frugal $0.63 per serving.
Granted, it's still more expensive than a $1 box of brownie mix (plus the egg and oil you must add), but it's very likely that you have several of these ingredients on hand anyway, meaning you can whip these up if a roving Super Bowl party happens to maraud its way into your home unannounced. (Super Bowl parties are like pirates that way).
In our particular case, the Mensch family can guarantee that we always have the bananas, the oatmeal, and the peanut butter on hand, and you can easily substitute raisins for the chocolate chips if you, like me, find them to be a dangerous substance to keep in the house.
(Fun fact: J and I actually missed the infamous 2004 "wardrobe malfunction" during halftime because of brownies. We were watching the game by ourselves and I had a yen for brownies and we left during the Justin Timberlake/Janet Jackson performance in order to get a box of brownie mix. Since this was in the dark ages before Twitter, we had no idea what we had missed until we got to work the next day and felt incredibly out of the loop.)
So, if you don't want to miss the "whatever-it-is-this-year" seen round the world, this cookie is an excellent frugal and healthy new Super Bowl dessert.