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Friday, July 4, 2014

Hello Dollies- Lighter and Healthier--Dessert


Hello Dollie Recipe Makeover (photo by LivligaHome)
Every once in a while I have the urge to fix one of our "old favorites" for a holiday. Hello Dollies are a long time favorite of this family for the 4th of July. They are part of the classic picnic food we prepare. They are rich and gooey and go quite well with fireworks.

The problem is they are packed full of calories and no-so-good-for-you ingredients. This year I decided it was time to try and do a "recipe makeover" for our beloved Hello Dollies.
The goal was to make them lighter, healthier and with fewer calories but without giving up the rich and gooey taste.

Here is what I came up with-

Healthier Hello Dollies

Ingredients
1 cup rolled oats (Old Fashioned Quaker Oats), ground
⅔ cup oat bran
2 tablespoons Truvia sugar, baking blend
1 stick butter, light and unsalted
1 cup coconut
1 cup dark chocolate chips
1 cup pecans, chopped
1 can condensed milk, fat free (Eagle Brand)
Cooking Spray

Using Healthier and Lighter Ingredients for Hello Dollies (photo by LivligaHome)
Directions
1. Place oats in food processor and process until the oats become flour-like.
2. Combine ground oats, oat bran with Truvia sugar in small mixing bowl.
3. Melt butter on low heat in a small saucepan. Pour melted butter over oat mixture. Mix well.
4. Spray bottom and sides of a 7x11 inch Pyrex dish. Spread the oat mixture over the bottom of the dish.
5. Next add a layer of coconut, then the chocolate chips and top with pecans.
6. Pour the condensed milk evenly across the top of the dish, saturating the pecans.
7. Bake at 325 degrees for 25 minutes or until top is browned.
Makes 24 squares. Serving size: 1 square. Calories: 146

The oats and oat bran are so much healthier than graham crackers. By using the lighter versions of sugar, salt and condensed milk I was able to reduce the calories per bar as well. In reality, just reducing the size of the Hello Dolly bar helps with the calories which is something I have done in general. Using quality dark chocolate chips and coconut also enhances the healthiness of the dessert.

By my calculations if you make 24 bars out of the recipe, which makes a decent sized dessert, you end up with 146 calories per bar. The "old" way there would have only been 20 bars for 193 calories per bar...a reduction of 47 calories per bar. If you compare the calories for the same sized bar the calorie savings are 15 calories per serving. My philosophy is every little bit helps just so long as you don't give up quality, flavor and overall satisfaction.

The finished Hello Dollies looking yummy! (photo by LivligaHome)
These Hello Dollie bars fit the bill. They are healthier, lighter and reduced in calories while still being rich and gooey.

Wishing you a happy...healthier...and fun 4th of July!

Enjoy! And Live Vibrant!