Nutritious And Beneficial
Oatmeal is attributed to lowering cholesterol, reducing blood pressure, controlling blood glucose, weight management and warding off cancers of the stomach, colon and prostate. Oat grains are a high in protein, low in fat (healthy oils) and qualify as a complex carbohydrate. They are packed with vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber.
One Oat Is Not Like The Other
Oat groats are the most nutritious and are very chewy since only the outer hull is removed. Steel cut oats are groats cut into smaller pieces and make great oatmeal. Oat groats and steel cut oats are minimally processed and no heat is used, which is the case for most industrial foods. Rolled or old fashioned oats are steamed, rolled and flaked for easier cooking. Some of the nutrition is lost in the processing. Quick oats are precooked and instant oats are cooked and dehydrated, making them high glycemic and the least nutritious so they are not options for a real, whole food diet. To make steel cut oats quick cooking, soak them overnight.
I use steel cut oats for breakfast. I cook enough for several days and then reheat portions with a little almond milk. I have mine with flaxseed (Omegas, fiber) and hemp seed (protein, Omegas) and a little agave nectar or raw honey. I use gluten free rolled oats as a flour replacement, most recently in salmon cakes and pancakes. Oats beg to be made into granolas or sweet treats.
I came across this cookie recipe while surfing for oatmeal recipes. I had to make them immediately because the only sugar comes from the natural sweetness of the bananas and the chocolate, which can be omitted or substituted with cocoa powder unsweetened. These are not low calorie cookies but they do contain real food ingredients, all minimally processed. Applesauce can easily be substituted for the bananas.
Nikki's Healthy Cookie Recipe
Source: 101 Cookbooks.com
3 large, ripe bananas, well mashed (about 1 1/2 cups) 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1/4 cup coconut oil, barely warm - so it isn't solid (or alternately, olive oil) 2 cups rolled oats 2/3 cup almond meal 1/3 cup coconut, finely shredded & unsweetened 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt 1 teaspoon baking powder 6 - 7 ounces chocolate chips or dark chocolate bar chopped
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl combine the bananas, vanilla extract, and coconut oil. Set aside. In another bowl whisk together the oats, almond meal, shredded coconut, cinnamon, salt, and baking powder. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until combined. Fold in the chocolate chunks/chips.The dough is a bit looser than a standard cookie dough, don't worry about it. Drop dollops of the dough, each about 2 teaspoons in size, an inch apart, onto a parchment (or Silpat) lined baking sheet. Bake for 12 - 14 minutes. I baked these as long as possible without burning the bottoms and they were perfect - just shy of 15 minutes seems to be about right in my oven.I used a Starbucks coffee scoop, which made 2 dozen cookies. The cookies have a slight crunch texture outside with a moist center. The banana - chocolate combo reminds me of Entenmann's Banana loaf cakes. Let's face it...these are not Toll House chocolate chip cookies. But you are replacing animal fat, white flour, white sugar and cheap processed chocolate with for a cookie that's a whole lot better for you.
Cranberry Nut Granola
While the oven was hot, I also threw together a granola for the weekend.
2-3 cups rolled oats (I use gluten free)
8 oz 365 Cranberry & Nut trail mix
2 oz Pumpkin seeds
1 cup coconut flakes
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 lb butter
1 cup date sugar
Melt butter and date sugar together over medium low heat. D. sugar will not dissolve completely. Combine the dry ingredients. Add the butter sugar mixture and stir evenly dispersed. Bake at 350, toasting granola for about 20 min, being careful not to burn the date sugar.
Date sugar is made from ground dates so the body treats it as such. The nutrients, minerals and fiber you would find in dates are all there in the date sugar. You can omit it or substitute with 1/2 cup of agave nectar or honey.
Double or triple the batch and freeze. Granola goes from freezer to oven in a breeze.
"I mean, at the end of the day, if you can't have a Girl Scout cookie and a piece of cheese, what is life all about?" - Amanda Seyfried