Healthy Cookie Experiment

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Do you ever bake cookies and it is supposed to make 4 dozen, and then by the time the cookies actually get formed into balls and put in the oven there are only 2 dozen because you ate that much dough? What? No one can relate to me? Well, remorse inevitably follows. But not anymore, my friends! A while ago I wrote about substituting Great Northern Beans for butter in cookie recipes and wham-0! A fraction of the fat (Plus extra fiber!). I love to try stuff like that and I think I get so excited about it that my emotions take over my taste buds. My dear ol hubby has to bring me down to earth sometimes and say, “yeah, that’s pretty disgusting.” But NOT THIS TRICK. Turns out he likes it. I’ve been doing it for a while.

Tonight I put it to the test. I made 2 batches of cookies, one with butter, and one with beans. Then I had these two lovely test subjects taste the dough to see if they could tell which was which. They both passed the dough phase correctly, BUT one of them guessed the bean cookies were the REAL cookies! Imagine that! I swear they are tasty. You cannot tell a difference. All the ingredients are the same; just substitute up to 3/4 cup of butter for beans. You can’t do a full substitution because it changes the texture too much. But 3/4 is okay.

Here’s the two doughs.

REAL

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BEANS

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Before Baked: Real cookies on the right and bean cookies on the left.

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After baked: Real cookies on the right and bean cookies on the left.

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My two wonderful test subjects in action.

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Give it a try. Fight those holiday pounds by bringing some healthy cookies to your next Christmas party. :)

You can find the recipe for oatmeal chocolate chip cookies here.

 

Breakfast

I haven’t always been a huge fan of Greek yogurt, mostly because of the texture I think. However, it’s really starting to grow on me. My friend Jade mentioned to me over the weekend that she loves the greek yogurt with honey. I have always been completely skeptical of it because….well…it’s honey! It just sounds kinda gross. But I decided to give it a whirl. I bought a tub of this lovely stuff.

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With Honey.

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And then I whipped up some oatmeal, and sliced a banana.

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Then I put it all together and BLAM-O! A yummy breakfast. I had never thought of putting yogurt on my oatmeal til Jade told me how good it was. She was right! You are now looking at the newest Honey-Greek Yogurt Fan. It’s super delicious! Hopefully this puts someone over the edge. If you’ve been eyeing it, but too chicken to try, Do it! The kids loved it too.

Shaved Fennel Salad

Hey hey,

For years I have seen people on cooking shows make fennel salads and it all looks so fun and different, but I had never done it before. UNTIL NOW. I was surprised at the taste – it’s a little bit sweet, but still yummy. It definitely added a unique flavor. Kinda fun to try and I want to do it again with a different dressing.

Oh and don’t mind the photos- I went a little overboard with the feta cheese. :)

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Shaved Fennel Salad (original recipe from 101cookbooks.com)

  • 1 medium-large zucchini, sliced into paper thin coins
  • 2 small fennel bulbs, trimmed and shaved paper-thin
  • 2/3 cup loosely chopped fresh dill
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice, plus more if needed
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more if needed
  • fine grain sea salt
  • 4 or 5 generous handfuls arugula
  • Honey, if needed
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted (I used almonds)
  • 1/3 cup feta cheese, crumbled

Combine the zucchini, fennel and dill in a bowl and toss with the lemon juice, olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Set aside and marinate for 20 minutes, or up to an hour.

When you are ready to serve the salad, put the arugula in a large bowl. Scoop all of the zucchini and fennel onto the arugula, and pour most of the lemon juice dressing on top of that. Toss gently but thoroughly. Taste and adjust with more of the dressing, olive oil, lemon juice, or salt if needed. If the lemons were particularly tart, you may need to counter the pucker-factor by adding a tiny drizzle of honey into the salad at this point. Let your taste buds guide you. Serve topped with pine nuts and feta.

Serves 4 to 6.

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Crockpot Applesauce

My friend has an apple tree and she asked me to come over and pick some apples. I was thinking there might be a couple on there, but the tree was seriously drooping and there were hundreds of apples on the ground. ”I’ve given up,” she said. “Please just take as much as you can.” So I went a little overboard and now we are all pretty sick of apples! :) But I made lots of yummy things – apple crisp, apple pancakes, and tried some applesauce! I am not a huge applesauce fan, but my kids are, and really the crockpot does all the work.

Crockpot Applesauce (original recipe from skinnytaste.com)

  • 8 medium apples (Use a combination of Golden Delicious, Honey Crisp, Fuji, Gala, etc.)
  • 1 strips of lemon peel – use a vegetable peeler
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 3 inch cinnamon stick
  • 5 tsp light brown sugar (unpacked) – or agave

Peel, core, and slice the apples.

Place them in the slow cooker. Add the cinnamon stick, lemon peel and brown sugar.

Set crock pot to low and cook for 6 hours. Stir apples occasionally, apples will slowly become a delicious applesauce.

Remove cinnamon stick and use an immersion blender to blend until smooth.


Makes 3 cups.

 

I’m Back!

Happy Late Thanksgiving to all of you! I hope yours was as wonderful as ours was. We were in beautiful Oregon with my in-laws and it was sooooo relaxing. Overcast rainy days make me feel so cozy, and we did our fair share of snuggling up by the fire and falling asleep watching movies.

Here’s a pic of the fam on Thanksgiving before we all gained 10 pounds. :)

 

I guest posted over at GrainMill again today. Check it out here.

Did you know you can make cornmeal from grinding popcorn kernels? Wild!!

Back tomorrow!

Broccoli Blitz Smoothie

Do you ever get in a green smoothie rut? Smoothies are the main way I get my kiddos to eat green vegetables, especially leafy greens, but sometimes it gets a little monotonous to use the same ingredients every time. I looked up some recipes from Green Smoothie Girl and wanted to try one new smoothie a week. The first one I tried is called Broccoli Blitz. It’s from her book, “Green Smoothies Diet” book found here. I was a little hesitant because you know broccoli’s reputation with the digestive system…haha. BUT it actually turned out to be pretty tasty. Tornado sees me drinking these and then begs for mine (mostly because I think he likes the cup I have with a straw and it’s fun to drink out of). But he DRAINS it every time. This time was no different. It makes a huge batch, and I just kept the remainder in the fridge until the next day and we all divided it among ourselves. Even cool Aunt Zoe got in on the action. Everyone liked it - you can’t even really taste the broccoli. Without further adieu here is the recipe:

Broccoli Blitz Smoothie

  • 2 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup raw agave
  • 2 cups broccoli
  • spinach
  • 2 oranges
  • 2 cups pineapple
  • 2 bananas
  • 2 cups berries

Combine water, agave and broccoli and blend until smooth. I did not have agave, but you can use sugar, or a little bit of sugar. Next add spinach until it reaches the 6 cup line (about 2 cups of spinach), and blend. Then add oranges, pineapple, bananas, and berries. Blend until smooth. Enjoy!