Whole grain Peanut Butter Oat Cookies

Here's a no-brainer cookie to try out ASAP. Naturally sweetened, full of whole grains, healthy fat and protein. Need I say more? Well, one more important thing I suppose, they're delicious! The most important point in my book. While I love eating healthy and feeling good about my food choices, if they don't taste good I'm not interested. They have to be both. Have no fear, these cookies definitely are. I love me a hearty, filling cookie. I'm also addicted to peanut butter, and go through a Costco sized package of rolled oats on my own very quickly. These two ingredients are the star of this recipe. Add a little apple, a little banana, and a little honey and you're golden. Give it a shot and tell me if you agree! 

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These cookies don't have an egg or gluten which always makes me a little nervous when waiting to see how well they will stick together. These cookies pass the test with flying colors. They are nice and sturdy, not all crumbly and delicate. The peanut butter and the sweeteners help with this. You can go ahead and add in any number of mix-ins to suit your taste preferences. Obviously chocolate will be the best choice (😊) put choose your own adventure!

 
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Whole Grain Peanut Butter Oat Cookies
From Delectably Mine
Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (128 grams) natural peanut butter
  • 1/2 medium banana (about 55-60 grams), mashed
  • 1/4 cup (70 grams) applesauce
  • 1/4 cup (80 grams) honey
  • 2 cups (160 grams) old fashioned oats
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Optional add ins: chopped nuts, dried fruit, chocolate

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

In a medium bowl, mix together the peanut butter, mashed banana, applesauce, and honey until smooth and well combined. Add the oats, chia seeds and salt and mix. When mostly combined, add and additional add-ins that you desire and continue to mix until a uniform dough forms. It will be soft and sticky. 

Using a cookie scoop, or a pair of spoons, transfer dough to cookie sheet to form 10-12 cookies. Flatten the tops of the cookies with a few wet fingers if desired (the cookies will not really spread much with baking). 

Bake shaped cookies for 20-25 minutes, until edges are just slightly firm to the touch. Remove from oven and let cool on baking sheet for a few minutes. Then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. 

Yields: 10 cookies

 

 

Orange and Almond Cake

I ran across this lovely recipe a few weeks ago and was very intrigued. I knew right away that I needed to try it soon, and I'm so glad I did. Today I'm sharing an interesting but simple recipe from Claudia Roden, a well loved food writer and cookbook author, especially known for her writings on Middle Easter food. What initially peaked my interest was the fact that this recipe calls for whole oranges, that you boil for several hours, and then puree directly into the rest of the batter, skin, pith, flesh and all! And besides this strange (at least to me) method, the rest of the recipe is simple, with few ingredients. Sugar, eggs, an almonds. That's basically it. 

The finished cake is dense but incredibly moist, full of texture and flavor. The whole orange imparts just a slight bitterness to the cake that is balanced nicely with just the right amount of sugar. The almonds add richness, as do the eggs which also help with the structure a little. The orange flavor is, not surprisingly, very pronounced (with whole oranges and all!). A small slice of this cake for breakfast, or after dinner for dessert, is refreshing and satisfying. Delicious on its own, or my favorite way with a nice spoonful of plain yogurt on the side for a creamy and smooth contrasting element (I decided to try this out on my own and thought it was amazing!). 

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I ended up halving the original recipe, and baking it into a small, 6 inch, cake. Perfect for me and a few friends. Feel free to double the quantities below and bake in a larger pan (I imagine 8 or 9 inches would be good). I highly recommend having some nice and thick plain Greek yogurt (make sure it's plain, the contrast with the sweet cake is ideal) on the side. I'm sure a little whipped cream would also be nice, but just a bit richer/heavier. 

 
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Orange and Almond Cake
Adapted from A New Book of Middle Eastern Food by Claudia Roden
Ingredients

  • 1 large orange
  • 3 eggs
  • 125 grams ground almonds
  • 125 grams sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Directions
Wash and boil the orange (unpeeled) in a little water for 1 1/2 - 2 hours, until very soft. Let cool. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Grease a 6 inch cake pan. 

Cut open the cooled orange and remove the seeds. Place orange in a food processor and process until smooth. Add the sugar and process again until well combined. Then add the eggs and process once more. Finally, add the almonds and baking powder and process until everything just comes together. 

Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake for about 1 hour. If it is still very wet, leave it in the oven for a little longer. Cool in the pan before turning out.

Oat Flour Banana Carrot Muffins

I recently stumbled over this recipe for a simple and nutritions blender muffin. I had a carrot in the fridge, and bananas turning brown on the counter so it was almost like it was meant to be! I went to work putting it all together and am glad I did. These muffins turned out delicious; light and moist, full of whole grains, healthy fats, fresh fruit and fresh veggies. How great is that? They are also made with no wheat flour, and no dairy, so if you are avoiding either of those this is another plus. They are not vegan due to the 2 eggs, but you could always try a vegan egg replacement if this is something you care about. 

I followed the original recipe other than decreasing the honey just a bit from 1/4 c to 2 tablespoons and didn't miss it at all. The bananas themselves are nice and sweet. I also had a little freezer jam hanging out that I decided to add to the center of the muffin for a little sweet surprise! You can't see it in the picture, but it's there, I promise! It's a fun addition if you have some extra jam lying around. If you use peanut butter as your nut butter it'll turn these muffins into a "PB&J muffin"! Yum!

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Oat Flour Banana Carrot Muffins
Adapted from Running with Spoons
Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups (120 grams) oats
  • 2 tablespoon (14 grams) flaxseed
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 6 tbsp (96 grams) almond or peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons (40 grams) honey
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 medium bananas (200 grams or 1 cup)
  • 1 cup (115 grams) shredded carrot, about 1 medium carrot

Directions
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and prepare a muffin pan by lining the cavities with parchment paper liners or greasing them well with oil. Set aside.

Add all the dry ingredients (oats through salt) to a high-speed blender, and process on high until the oats have broken down into the consistency of a fine flour.

Add all of the remaining ingredients except for the carrots, and process on high until the batter becomes smooth and creamy, about 30 seconds. Periodically stop and scrape down the sides of your blender, if necessary. Transfer the batter to a medium-size mixing bowl and fold in the carrots by hand.

Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups, filling each one about 3/4 of the way full.
Bake for 16 - 18 minutes, until the tops of your muffins begin to turn golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow the muffins to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely. 

Yields: 10 muffins
Approximate calorie count: 165 calories

Lavender Honey Buckwheat Cookies

Once again it's one of my favorite seasons; lavender season! I love lavender so much, the sight of the elegant little purple flowers, the fragrance that heralds early summer, and of course, the delicate floral notes that add a little extra something special to baking when lavender buds are part of the mix. Of course, you don't want to go overboard and add too much lavender which can make you feel like you're eating a mouthful of potpourri, but in just the right amount in the right thing, lavender can really make your baking a little extra special; especially when using your own home-grown or home-foraged lavender. Last year I made some fantastic lavender cupcakes. This year one of my projects was these yummy little buckwheat cookies. A perfect couple of bites of sweetness balanced with the bitterness of the buckwheat and the floral lavender, a perfect combination. 

If going gluten or wheat free is something you're into, these cookies are a great option. In case you're wondering, buckwheat is actually not wheat, they're not even related. Buckwheat is the seed of a flowering plant that is related to rhubarb and sorrel. It has an unique flavor, somewhat bitter, but in a good way. I personally have no problem with wheat in any shape or form, but I still love these cookies. They use oat and buckwheat flours, softened butter, a little sugar and an egg. And of course, lavender. Because, tis the season!!

 
 

Lavender Honey Buckwheat Cookies
Adapted from Dishing Up The Dirt
Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (60 grams) oat flour
  • 1/3 cup (2 1/2 ounces) butter, softened
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dried lavender leaves
  • 2 Tablespoons (42 grams) honey
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup (90 grams) buckwheat flour
  • pinch of kosher salt

Directions
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, set aside. 

Beat the butter and sugar together for a couple of minutes, until creamy and light. Add the lavender and honey and beat until well combined. Add the egg and mix well.

Add the oats, flour, and salt to the butter mixture. Mix until it forms a cohesive mixture. Divide the dough into 10-12 equal size balls. Place on baking sheet and press down gently with your fingers, or the bottom of a glass. (The cookies will not spread a lot when you bake them, so flattened them to the thickness you would like the finished product to be.)

Bake the cookies for 15-20 minutes. Rotate the pan halfway through baking. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Yields 12-14 small cookies, depending on how big you make them