Healthy eating: Treat yourself to a healthy, whole-grain cookie

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We just celebrated the Fall Equinox and it’s apparent that the days are getting shorter. For many of us, our children are back in school. The rhythm of my days has shifted. I harvested the last of my Italian plums and created a glorious new recipe for Plum Chutney (which I will share in another post.) My basil was abundant so before the nights get too cold, I made a large batch of pesto, froze it in ice cube trays and have it ready for quick meals. I am still picking tomatoes, lettuce, carrots, beets, and beans from my garden and if the weather holds I hope that will continue. Fortunately there is so much to choose from at the Edmonds Saturday market–especially delicious apples and potatoes as the Fall harvest comes rolling in.

This is also the time of year when making sack lunches becomes a big deal. Five times a week. Week after week. Here’s an easy treat to add to the lunch bag or have on hand for a healthy after-school snack. Feel free to add raisins or dried cranberries; choose a different nut such as hazelnut or pecans; be bold and add dark chocolate chips. The point is that this recipe is very flexible with the “add-ins”. Use what you have in the pantry. The dough freezes well too. You can portion out the cookies first, put them in the freezer and then store the frozen dough in a freezer bag. Great if you have forgotten that you were supposed to bring cookies to school for a bake sale or for an afternoon activity.

Savor the days of fall. Make yourself a cup of tea and bask in the waning light of autumn with a deliciously healthy cookie!

Chewy Oatmeal Walnut Cookie

Ingredients:

1½ cups old-fashioned oats (not quick cooking)
¾ cup whole wheat pastry flour (you can substitute almond flour)
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ cup butter, melted
1/2 cup granulated natural cane sugar
2 tablespoons molasses
1 large egg, at room temperature
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
Instructions:

-Preheat the oven to 350F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

-Add the oats, flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon to a deep bowl. Whisk until well mixed.

-Add the butter, sugar, molasses, egg, and vanilla to a separate deep bowl.

-Whisk until well blended, about 1 minute.

-Pour in the oat mixture, and stir with a wooden spoon until combined, and there are no visible signs of flour. Stir in the walnuts (and any other add-ins).

-Cover, and chill in the fridge for 15 minutes.

-Drop 1½ tablespoonfuls of dough onto the prepared baking sheets (I use a cookie scoop for this part), leaving 2-inches between cookies so they have room to spread.

-Bake for 12 minutes, until lightly golden around the edges (the cookies are a bit dark overall because of the molasses).

-They will be very delicate, and seem underdone; don’t worry. Let the cookies cool on the pan for 15 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

— By Deborah Binder

Deborah Binder lives in Edmonds with her family. She is “dancing with N.E.D.” (no evidence of disease) after being diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2009. She is a foodie who loves to cook from scratch and share her experiments with her family and friends. She attended culinary school on the East Coast and freelances around town for local chefs. Her current interest in food is learning to eat for health and wellness, while at the same time enjoying the pleasures of the table. As Julia Child once said, “Everything in moderation including butter.” Deborah can be contacted at [email protected].

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