Monday, May 12, 2008

Health Nut

I know that I'm WAAAAY too into baking and eating baked goods, but there are some foods that are good for you that I adore as well. Mostly green stuff. Spinach, broccoli, zucchini and asparagus (the green kind, not the white stuff which is all I ever see around here and which I have no idea what to do with). I recently started using whole grain pastas. I always try to get whole grain bread. I eat lots of yogurt (Oh, you poor Americans who live in the land where "yogurt" is sugar with a little yogurt mixed in, and some corn starch or something that makes it far too jelly-y! I think I know why greek-style yogurt is all the rage!) And fresh fruits that don't make my mouth itch so much that I think I'll go crazy. There seem to be fewer and fewer of those. And I'm big into nuts and dried fruits.

But mostly, I'm into baked stuff. I bake a few times a week and we eat that stuff for dessert every night. Then, during the day, I forget about the delicious polish yogurt, the dried fruit and nuts, and the possibly non-itch inducing fruit, and head straight for the cookie jar. Well, not really, because you can't keep brownies in a cookie jar, and also, my cookie jar currently resides at my mother's house in Utah. But what I mean is that I reach for cookies or brownies or whatever it is I have most recently baked. This means that possibly 1/2 the calories I take in in a day come from junk food. No, probably not half. Please don't let it be half.

Greg recently asked me if I couldn't try making some treats that are a little more healthy now and again. It sounded like a dumb idea to me, but I love him SO much that I decided to try. One week, besides the usual chocolatey, rich treats, I made a carrot cake (with cream cheese frosting. See?! Cheese and carrots! That's what you'd give your kids for a healthy snack, and we were eating it for dessert!) Last week I came up with an even healthier treat to bake. I had made it before, long ago, and remembered it and decided to make it again. I will share the recipe with you, in case you are a health nut like me. It has oatmeal, banana, hardly any fat, and I even substituted half the chocolate chips for dried cranberries, which elevated it from a low-fat cookie to pure health food. You can go to the original recipe (it's by Nic at Baking Bites) but I'll copy it here, too.

They're not the best cookies in the world, but for what they are, they taste very good. We all liked them, and David loved them, but wished I'd used only cranberries (no chocolate). What a wierdo. This recipe is perfect if you just have one black banana and not the 25 required to make banana bread. If you let the cookies get very brown they will be cakey or dry, but take them out as soon as they start to change from white to golden and they'll be lovely. I didn't take any pictures of mine because they aren't actually physically lovely. I was referring to the texture.

Banana Oatmeal Cookies

1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp butter, very soft
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup mashed banana (1 small/medium)
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups oats
1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking sodaand salt.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and the sugars. Beat in egg and banana, followed by the vanilla extract. Gradually, on low speed or by hand, add in the flour mixture. Stir in the oats (either whole rolled oats or “quick cooking”) and chocolate chips.
Drop dough by tablespoonfuls onto prepared baking sheet.
Bake for 11-14 minutes at 350F, until set and lightly browned.
Let cookies cool for about 5 minutes on the pan before transfering them to a wire rack to cool completely.
Makes 2 dozen cookies.


Erin said...

I really wish I lived at your house and could eat something home baked every day! When I do bake, Nathan often makes a similar comment. Why do you put chocolate chips in the banana bread or this blueberry muffin is basically a cupcake. Why are you complaining? It is delicious! Maybe I should try this recipe to appease him.

jonesfamily said...

Where's your shout out to Grandma!?! I still can't replicate her banana oatmeal cookies! How are these different? Too bad I love them but all my boys pass on them.

Katherine Bouldin said...

Lisa, I LOVE to bake, too! Wherever we go in the world I take lots of brownie mix with me and then when I run out I make them from scratch. I also travel with loads of chocolate chips (why can't foreign countries import them? tell me, why?!?) I have never baked with parchment paper before and wondered if the cookie recipe you shared today really requires it for them to come out right ... please let me know.

Lisa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
gramalee said...

Your "Roly" "I'm hungry -- really I am!" cookie jar misses you. BUT for our gathering on the 4th of July I am going to make the recipe for these so-called Banana Cookies you have here and pit it against Grandma Paystrup's! There will be judging. :)

Susan said...

"Pure Health food" that has been elevated from regular baked goods status is my specialty! Sometimes it's worth it (all the extra unsweetened coconut in those blondies today!) and sometimes it's not (the long, stringy spinach I baked in brownies w/out pureeing first!) Some of my best things to do are use half whole wheat flour (all the ads say we need more whole grains!) and use applesauce or yogurt for oil in cake-y baked goods. But I've done weirder...

Lisa said...

Mom- Thank you for helping Roly through his times of lonliness. But about the cookies: Please, no pitting!! Please, no judging!! I'm only saying that these are pretty good for having almost no fat! See my reply to Anne's comment for further explanation.

Su- Oh, I'm jealous! I have yet to find whole wheat flour in Poland, but I was recently told that you can get it at health food stores. Now to find a health food store! Few and far between, they are.

Nance said...

I just wrote on my blog the other day about needing banana recipes other than bread and milkshakes (which are dairy and filled w/ fruit so therefore healthy). I also bake a lot... probably too much and very rarely healthily.

Thanks for stopping by my blog.