Thursday, September 2, 2010

Toddler Thursday: Healthy Cookies

Two toddler posts this week!  
I made a mistake last Easter.  I told someone that I wasn't planning on putting any candy in Meghan's Easter basket, but was going to fill it with little toys, bubbles, and stickers.  She was only 18 months old, hadn't had any sugary treats yet, and I wanted to keep it that way.  Then, somehow, the person made me feel like I was depriving her.  It wasn't intentional, but just something in her voice and subtle words had me questioning myself.  So at the last minute I decided to add a little something sweet in her basket.  I ended up with these:

To say she liked them would be an understatement.  The girl has definitely inherited her mom and dad's sweet tooth.  Check out the ingredient list:  

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size: About 9 Pieces
Servings per Container: About 7
Amount Per Serving% Daily Value
          Calories from Fat25*
Total Fat3 g*
   Saturated Fat0 g*
   Trans Fat0 g*
Cholesterol0 mg*
Sodium40 mg*
Total Carb.15 g*
   Dietary Fiber <1 g*
   Sugars6 g*
Protein1 g0%
Vitamin A0%
Vitamin C0%
Vitamin B625%
Folic Acid20%
Vitamin B1220%
*Daily value not established.
Other Ingredients: Organic Wheat Flour, Organic Evaporated Cane Juice (Organic Evaporated Cane Juice, Organic Corn Starch), Organic Sunflower Oil, Organic Raisin Paste, Organic Oat Flour, Organic Evaporated Cane Juice Syrup, Organic Cinnamon, Baking Soda (Sodium Bicarbonate), Salt, Leavening (Amonium Bicarbonate), Vitamin and Mineral Blend (Thiamine Mononitrate [Vitamin B1], Riboflavin [Vitamin B2], Niacinamide [Vitamin B3], Pyridoxine Hydrochloride [Vitamin B6], Cyanocobalamin [Vitamin B12], Folic Acid, Zinc Oxide, and Reduced Iron].
Free Of
Hydrogenated oils, genetically engineered ingredients, artificial flavors, colors, preservatives and pesticides.
Not bad, right?  Well, not great, either.  I like that there are no hydrogenated oils, GMOs, artificial flavors, colors, preservatives, or pesticides.  That's all good.  What I don't like is that the #1 ingredient is wheat flour rather than whole wheat flour and the #2 ingredient is evaporated cane juice (aka sugar).  These could be much worse, but I still wanted to try to make a healthy cookie alternative for Meghan since she is, essentially, a cookie monster since I introduced these at Easter.  
Meghan had fun helping me come up with the right combination of ingredients:
She's turning into such a ham! :-)  I asked her to "say cheese" and she put her hand under her chin like a super model!  

The first batch didn't work out.  I wanted to try to use up some garbanzo flour I had, but it just didn't taste right.  Too bad, because those would have been some seriously high protein cookies!  The second batch, however, was a big success.  I had to use 1/2 whole wheat flour and 1/2 all-purpose flour to get a better texture, but with the whole wheat flour and oats, these can definitely be considered whole grain cookies.  Meghan loves these, just as much as her beloved Earth's Best cookies it seems.  Do they taste as great as old-fashioned cookies made with all white flour, butter, etc.?  No.  But these vegan, healthy cookies, made with only pure maple syrup as a sweetener, are cookies you can feel good about eating.  

Spiced Maple Oatmeal Cookies

2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon all spice
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup unsweetened apple sauce
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 cup natural peanut butter

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper (for easy clean up!). 

In a large bowl, mix all of your dry ingredients.  (Rolled oats through all spice)  In a separate bowl, mix together the wet ingredients (vanilla through peanut butter).  Pour your wet ingredients on top of the dry ingredients and mix until they are well-incorporated and you don't see any dry spots.  

Using a tablespoon, drop the cookies onto the cookie sheets.  Using the back of the spoon, press the cookies down to flatten them.  

Bake in the preheated oven for 18 minutes, turning the pans 180 degrees once in the middle of the cooking time.  

Makes 28 cookies

All right folks, we are hitting the road again for a long weekend at the lake.  I'll be back on Tuesday.  Have a great weekend!

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