OK, I’ll admit, cookie may be a stretch here. This is entirely too good for you to be a cookie. But just go with me on this one…
Imagine… It’s 7:45 a.m. and you’re going to be late for your 8 a.m. meeting if you don’t get yourself out the door in the next minute. Breakfast isn’t happening, but you can grab an apple? some nuts? maybe a Larabar? or how about a homemade even-better-for-you breakfast treat? Way better option, right?! Sure, you have to make them ahead of time, but the pay off in satisfaction, energy, and starting off on the right foot is totally worth the investment if you ask me.
It’s tough to get convenience and healthy in the same package. I find it’s a combo that in most cases is just too good to be true. But, I’ve learned that with some preparation and investment on the front end, it can be done. You just have to suck it up and spend a little time in the kitchen.
If you’re still with me after that one, hear me out… I truly believe that the healthiest food possible comes from your kitchen or the one of someone who loves you. Anywhere else, and your health and wellbeing is just too far down on the priority list. Sure there are some great food products out there. And options for gluten-free, dairy-free prepared foods are beyond what were in our wildest dreams five years ago. But gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, etc. is not the same as good for you. I’m totally guilty of letting my guard down in the presence of the allergen-free label. When shopping, please, for the love of God, keep reading those labels. And watch for sugars and refined flours. OK, I’m done.
So, I originally got this recipe from Angela Liddon over at Oh She Glows (love her blog!) then changed it up a bit – using less maple syrup and more applesauce to cut the sugar content even more (it is breakfast afterall). I think every time I’ve made these I’ve changed something… like using ghee (or butter for those that can take it) instead of coconut oil. Or trying it with buckwheat flour. Subbing the oats for quinoa flakes. Lots of options here so by all means, save a trip to the store and use what you have on hand.
The real stars here are the flax, carrots and ginger. I mean, talk about a killer way to start your morning with these three! From the flax, you get a healthy does of Omega-3s right off the bat. Omega-3s are one of those nutrients you really have to pay attention to make sure you’re getting it in your diet because our bodies don’t make it – we have to get it from food. Omega-3 (inflammation cutter) is a duo with Omega-6 (inflammation builder) and they’re constantly performing a balancing act. The ideal ratio between the two is 1:2. But in today’s world this is pretty tough to achieve. The problem is it’s so much easier to get Omega-6 (nuts, seeds, cereals, out-of-the-box snacks…) than the not quite as easy to find Omega-3 (flax, salmon, walnuts…) so we end up out of balance with way too much inflammation than our bodies really need to stay healthy. Too much inflammation leads to all sorts of problems from alleriges to Alzheimers. So, to that I say, have another cookie!
When making treats like these, I like to make a big batch and then freeze half. It saves half the time (and mess). In just about an hour, you can get countless breakfasts (and snacks) taken care of. And save yourself from shelling out $1.50+ a pop for a not-quite-as-good-for-you store bought bar. Plus when you make them yourself, you get to lick the bowl (or your fingers) when you’re done. Have fun!
Carrot Ginger Oatmeal Cookies
(recipe adapted from Oh She Glows)
1/2 cup chopped pecans
3/4 cup ground flax seed
½ cup almond meal
½ cup coconut flour
1/2 cup quinoa flakes (or gf rolled oats)
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/3 cup currants
1 cup lightly packed shredded carrots
3 tbsp coconut oil (or ghee)
¼ cup pure maple syrup (or another liquid sweetener)
1/2 cup applesauce
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tbsp grated ginger
Preheat the oven to 350. In a large bowl, combine the flax, almond meal, coconut flour, quinoa flakes, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and currants. Grate the carrots and ginger (I fed them through the grater in the food processor) and set aside. Melt the coconut oil over medium-low heat until liquid. Pour oil in a bowl and then add the applesauce, maple syrup, carrots, ginger and vanilla. Stir well to combine. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix well (the dough will be very sticky). Using a spoon and your hands scoop out dough and form into 12 cookies. Place on a greased baking sheet and bake for 14-15 minutes.
Megan Adams Brown, CHC, helps families find healthy routines that work, with no more “what’s for dinner?” stress, and a lot better food. Her family meal plans help moms take charge of their kitchen and their own health, leading to more vegetables and less junk all around. Megan also shares kid-approved, allergy-friendly recipes on her blog. To learn more click here.