Carob and Pumpkin Seed Bars

Serves 16 — 98 calories, 6.2 g carbohydrates, 4 g protein, 7 g fat

These bars will look like a brownie but have a different taste since this is a no-flour dessert! They are, nevertheless, delightful for those who haven’t had dessert in a while.

2 eggs, separated
½ cup apple juice concentrate
1 tsp. vanilla extract
¼ tsp. ascorbic acid (vitamin C) crystals (purchase in health food store)
3½ tbsp. carob powder, sifted NOT packed
1/8 tsp. salt
1 cup pumpkin seeds, ground into meal in food processor
¾ cup walnuts or pecans, coarsely chopped

Oil an 8×8-inch square pan. Cut a square of wax paper to fit bottom, lay it in place and oil it. Put egg whites in a separate bowl from yolks and set aside. Put yolks in a medium bowl and add salt, vanilla, and ascorbic acid crystals. Whisk a few minutes until light. Gradually add juice, then carob powder, while continuing to whisk. Using a spoon, stir in seed meal and nuts for 1 minute. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Beat egg whites with a mixer, for 1 minute on low, then 1 minute on medium, then 2 minutes on high, until stiff and shiny. Spoon one-quarter of the whites into the batter and stir until white disappears. Fold remaining whites carefully into batter with a rubber spatula, until all white is gone.

Scrape batter into prepared pan and bake for 20 minutes, or until top springs back when touched lightly. Use a knife to loosen the edges, then turn out onto a cooling rack. Peel off wax paper before continuing to cool. Cut into squares when cool.

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