Showing posts with label maple. Show all posts
Showing posts with label maple. Show all posts

Monday, August 22, 2016

Healthy Breakfast Cookies

Breakfast cookies with soaked oats and raisins, sweetened with peanut butter before baking, then topped with a maple spread frosting. Start the day off right with these gems. A whole grain cookie that is naturally gluten free, free of refined sugar and a tasty breakfast, too!

a plate with a close up of healthy gluten and refined sugar free breakfast cookies

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Each school year starts with such promise--we will have LESS clutter, lose LESS papers, be MORE organized, waste LESS food and LESS time, be MORE productive, etc etc. You know the drill. The inspiration of those blank planner pages soon fades into the daily grind of getting up and out the door with everything you need for the day Oh-and-by-the-way-mom-did-I-tell-you-I-needed-a-solid-blue-shirt, shorts, and-socks-and-this-specific-brand-of-index-tabs-by-3rd-period?

image of 'as healthy as a bowl of oatmeal' breakfast cookies

Sigh. I can't help you with that brand of index tabs [it's a thing you stick onto a piece of paper to make it into a divider. I had to look it up]. We went to 4 drugstores and office supply stores to amass sufficient quantities for the classroom stash. [Should have ordered online.] But I can help you put something nourishing into your folks' bellies to get the day off to the good start:

These breakfast cookies.

close up of a healthy breakfast cookie on a cooling rack

My working title over the summer months while I was making test batches was As Healthy As A Bowl Of Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies, because that was my goal:  a breakfast cookie that had all of the nutrition of a bowl of oatmeal but in handheld form.

My search started when I wanted to encourage my son to keep up his oatmeal habit during summer. Some people [my spouse] can start their day with a hot bowl of oatmeal year round. Not me. I like to mix things up. I figured I'd grab a Breakfast Cookie recipe and whip up a bunch one day for breakfasts throughout the week. If you've followed the blog and seen how I make muffins with LESS sugar, LESS fat, MORE fiber and MORE flavor--you can guess what happened next.

a plate of healthy breakfast cookies frosted with maple spread

I kept finding recipes for breakfast cookies that were Cookies with some oatmeal and orange juice tossed into the dough. Cookies--starting with creaming butter and sugar. Not the building blocks for breakfast in my house! Please do not misunderstand. I love cookies, and a good cookie recipe starts with creaming butter and sugar. But that's for dessert. Not for breakfast. Each has it's time and place.

an image of a plate of healthy gluten and refined sugar free breakfast cookies

I went back to the drawing board and thought about how, when I soak oats in buttermilk overnight for my muffins, the resulting mixture is pretty darn thick. I experimented with turning that into a baked handheld breakfast item. Each batch became better, but missing the essential sweetness until I hit upon frosting them. I used maple spread from my farmer's market and whoo boy did that do the trick! If you cannot find maple spread I'd suggest making your own (see Note below) or using peanut butter, apple butter, or Nutella.

a bowl of batter that will become healthy breakfast cookies
All my optional add ins (nuts, sunflower seeds, coconut) stirred in. Ready to scoop and bake.

Note: this recipe starts the night before when you combine oats and buttermilk (or kefir). You can soak them in a bowl on the counter or in a container in the refrigerator. If it's hot out I use my fridge.
Note about maple spread: I get this from my maple syrup dealer at the farmer's market. It's a refrigerated item that is pure maple syrup cooked down even more into a thick spread. Update: Here's how to make your own Maple Cream (video).

Healthy Breakfast Cookies (makes 12, we eat 2 at a time)


  • 2 cups rolled oats (old fashioned kind)
  • 1+¾ cups buttermilk (my friend used kefir with excellent results)
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 Tablespoons ground flax meal
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup peanut butter (if you need to add sugar, I'd suggest ¼ cup here)
  • ½ cup raisins or chopped dates
  • ½ cup chopped nuts (optional)
  • ¼ cup roasted salted sunflower seeds (optional)
  • ¼ to ½ cup shredded coconut (optional)
  • ¼ to ½ cup mini chocolate chips (optional)
  • maple spread (in my opinion NOT OPTIONAL, but substitute peanut butter, apple butter, or Nutella if you cannot locate maple spread--see Note above)


  1. The night before you want to bake these cookies, combine oats and buttermilk in a bowl. You can leave them out on the counter or refrigerate them. Your choice. 
  2. In the morning, add the salt, baking soda, flax meal, egg, peanut butter and raisins. Stir well, and let it sit on the counter for an hour.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and use sheets of parchment paper to line 2 cookie sheets for best results (I found that the cookies will fall apart if you merely grease a cookie sheet, but they stick together until cool when using parchment paper).
  4. Stir in the optional add ins (nuts, sunflower seeds, coconut and/or chocolate chips).
  5. Scoop large cookies, about ½ cup size, onto parchment paper-lined cookie sheets. Flatten with the bottom of a drinking glass, a spatula, or the back of your cookie scoop. These cookies don't spread out.
  6. Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes until lightly browned. Cool on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to finish.
  7. Frost with a dab of maple spread. It will dry so that the cookies can be stacked. Store these cookies on the counter for a day, in the fridge for a few days, or wrap up and freeze for a few weeks.

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Sunday, November 3, 2013

Pumpkin Cranberry Maple Kugel

This cross-cultural mash up of fresh pumpkin, cranberries, and maple syrup with noodle kugel makes a lightly sweet (without sugar) dessert--and a terrific post-holiday breakfast!

This post is part of the Thanksgivukkah Food Blogger Potluck hosted by Stefani of  You can read all about it here, and scroll down for links to many more recipes!

Pumpkin Cranberry Maple Kugel | Farm Fresh Feasts
I think it is a natural tendency, when you embark on a new endeavor, to look to those experienced in the field for guidance.
When I became a mother I looked to the women around me who were a few months/years ahead of me on the motherhood journey.  From the practical (my oldest friend took one look at the giant convertible carseat I was lugging in and out every day and loaned me her snap-in infant carrier) to the more intangible (while fretting about the lower percentile my son doggedly stayed in on his growth chart, another friend reminded me that when he gets to college, no one will remember or care where his height/weight fell on the chart at age 6 months). The help I received from those women who have gone before me made a huge difference in my life.

As my children grow into their teens, I continue to look to those ahead of me, and I'm especially interested in the interactions of mothers and their now-adult children.  I avidly observe my friends who have adult children with Spina Bifida, watching and learning the steps of the complicated dance that is supporting yet not directing another adult's life.  It is fun to see photos of a friend enjoying a day at Disney with her daughter who now works there.  It's gratifying to see another friend's daughter drop in to see her mom at work, just for a little Mom time (and not money!).

Pumpkin Cranberry Maple Kugel | Farm Fresh Feasts

Why am I going on about mothers and adult children?  It was Molly, visiting her mom during sled hockey practice recently, who gave me the idea for this recipe.  See, while I was brainstorming Hanukkah/Thanksgiving mashup ideas, all I could think of was latkes.  Over the years I've been over to my oldest friend's house many times to make--and eat--latkes, but they were the star of the meal.  While I was chatting with Molly and her mom about other Hanukkah dishes, like brisket and roast chicken, Molly suggested kugel.
I just happened to have my copy of Melt: The Art of Macaroni and Cheese (Amazon affiliate link) because I was working on this post and wouldn't you know it, there's a recipe in Melt for Sweet Potato Kugel. [Put this book on your holiday wish list, unless you're local to me, then check it out of the library or borrow my copy--I keep finding more recipes I must try, and each one I've made is well-written with delicious results.]  Obviously from the title of this post I didn't make that recipe (I used pumpkin not sweet potato, fresh cranberries not dried, maple syrup in place of sugar and changed up the spices) but since Stephanie Stiavetti and Garrett McCord have gone before me into the world of autumnal vegetable kugels I am glad to follow their guidance.

Pumpkin Cranberry Maple Kugel | Farm Fresh Feasts

Just like I follow others who have gone before me.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Pumpkin and Black Bean Pizza on Roasted Pumpkin Dough

A hearty vegetarian pizza with pumpkin, black bean, and maple topping on a roasted pumpkin dough

Pumpkin and Black Bean Pizza on Roasted Pumpkin Dough | Farm Fresh Feasts

Once you've shredded butternut squash and made pizza dough out of it, or roasted sweet potato and made pizza dough out of it, or steamed spinach and  made a pizza dough out of it, pumpkin pizza dough is not much of a stretch.
Roasted beet pizza dough?  A stretch.  A vibrantly-colored-yet-amazingly-found-in-nature stretch.  And a tasty one, to boot.  Where was I?  Right, roasted pumpkin in a pizza dough.
With this non-stretch of a pizza dough, I wanted to go a bit wild with a meatless topping.  I'd read Aimée's account of tapping her maple trees and making syrup (I love the photo of her daughter 'nursing' on the tree) so I was primed to include maple syrup in the mix.  The black beans and pumpkin flowed from there.  This is a hearty, filling, cold weather pizza that left my belly quite satisfied.  The kids proclaimed it "strange" but finished their pieces anyway.  I used too much filling in my pizza, above, and I have adjusted the amounts below accordingly.  This filling is quite tasty, and would be tasty in a rolled pizza, folded into puff pastry, or in a quesadilla as well as this pizza.

We have Friday Night Pizza Nights around here, but if you do Meatless Monday this recipe lends itself to weekend prep/weeknight cooking.  Fix the dough and topping on the weekend.  Have the kids take the dough out of the fridge when they get home from school (or tuck it with your lunch at work and take it out--put it by your house keys--an hour before you're due to leave work).  In the time it takes to preheat the oven you can stretch the dough and spread the toppings.