Cooking with Kids

Guiltless Peanut Butter Cookies

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You can add the chocolate chips one at a time like this Sous Chef.

You can add the chocolate chips one at a time like this Sous Chef.

I love cookies. My kids love cookies. My husband loves cookies. My dog loves cookies. Who doesnʻt love cookies?

Cookies pose many difficulties to waist lines and diet plans. No matter how committed I am to some diet or healthy eating kick, I inevitably end up in my kitchen creaming butter and sugar, licking spoons, and subjecting myself to salmonella poisoning. I proceed to go to bed in a guilt spiral, regretting my life decisions and hoping tomorrow will be different. However these cookies have the best of both worlds- yummy cookie goodness, and so little sugar that you can almost call them healthy! (Almost. Let’s face it, it’s still a dessert.)

For the celiac and gluten-intolerant bellies, just use gluten free oats. For the natural sweetener lover, you can use maple syrup instead of sugar. For the super sugar-conscious, or if you just want plain peanut butter cookies, you can omit the chocolate chips with minimal disappointment.

This recipe rescues me from guilt spirals, and gives me a “good job mom!” feeling inside when serving these for dessert. Youʻll love indulging in these treats when you are cutting back sugar. Yet they are so good, you donʻt even feel like youʻre missing out when you just want to eat a delicious cookie!

 

Granny Grammar’s Guiltless Peanut Butter Cookies

1 cup peanut butter
½ cup brown sugar (you can substitute ½ cup maple syrup if youʻre that kind of hero)
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups oats (quick or old fashioned; gluten-free if needed)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
½ cup chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Blend peanut butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Stir in baking soda, oats, and optional chocolate chips. Scoop 1 inch balls onto cookie sheet. If you aren’t using chocolate chips, press them flat with your palm or a fork. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until golden brown.

Yield 2 Dozen

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Sweet Potato Bread

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Pumpkin bread and pumpkin scones are one of my favorite things on earth. It goes God, husband, kids, pumpkin bread. I thought I would never enjoy anything more than pumpkin bread. That is until I was out of pumpkin, and I didn’t want to go to the store, and I had a can of sweet potatoes. Then I found that there is indeed something better than pumpkin bread.

Sweet Potato bread is essentially pumpkin bread made with sweet potatoes. But there is a slight texture and taste difference that puts it over the top in yumminess. So give it a try, and if you decide that pumpkin is better, then save the leftovers for me!

Sweet Potato Bread

2 cups sweet potato puree (or pumpkin, if you prefer)
4 eggs
1 cup oil (olive, grapeseed, canola, vegetable; or coconut in combination with another oil)
2/3 cup water
2 cups white sugar
3 1/2 cups flour (I use a mix of half whole wheat, half white)
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray or oil a loaf pan. You can also use parchment paper on the bottom to ensure the bread comes out clean. Bake for appr. 60 minutes, when a toothpick comes out clean.

For muffins bake for 20 to 25 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean, or the muffin top bounces back to touch.

Goodness Granola

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I love granola. I am a sucker for yogurt and berries and granola, or granola and milk, and I will eat these at all times of day, which includes night. Want a healthy breakfast? Granola. Time for lunch! Maybe I'll just make it easy and have granola. Uh oh, I'm hungry but it's not quite time for dinner... granola. Dinner? Granola. You get the picture... of me eating granola for dessert. 

Yeah, granola is an anytime food for me. This recipe is simple, but has all the notes of honey, coconut, cinnamon and vanilla that makes granola so irresistible. Those sweet flavors also make it forgivable to hold off on some the sweetener and still enjoy treating yourself to its yummy goodness throughout the day... and night. 

This recipe is also flexible, which means you can add the nuts you prefer, and even add special things like chia seeds or flaxseeds to up your omega 3s, or chocolate chips or dried fruits like dried blueberries, raisins, chopped dates, etc. You can also omit the coconut if you have some terrible tastebud disorder that causes you to not absolutely LOVE it like I clearly do. You can even half the honey to 1/4 cup and it still tastes delicious. 

 

Goodness Granola

4 cups old fashioned rolled oats
1 cups nuts (chopped almonds, pecan halves, walnuts, macadamia nuts, etc)
1/2 cup flaked coconut (I use unsweetened)
1/2 cup coconut oil melted
1/2 cup honey or maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine oats, nuts, and coconut in a large mixing bowl. Pour in melted coconut, honey, salt, cinnamon and vanilla. Stir to combine. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the granola over the sheet. Put in the oven for 10 minutes, then pull out and gently stir. Return to over for another 5 to 10 minutes until golden brown. Serve when cool. If adding dried fruit or chocolate chips add once it has cooled.

Yield 5 cups