Thursday, December 18, 2014

Dark Chocolate Chunk Granola Cookies

Last night I went to a cookie exchange and came home with 9 dozen of different cookies.  All very yummy looking but man I know the calories that are probably in each one of them...EEK!  Although I watch what I eat, I love cookies so do indulge in my favorites every once in awhile. Sometimes it just feels so comforting for me to make a warm batch of cookies.  

There's something very homey about the process of baking and the smells it creates in your kitchen especially when it's so cold outside.  These cookies are perfect out of the oven with the melted dark chocolate chunks.  My girls had no clue there was granola or even flax seed baked in them.  I like to make more bit sized cookies and this recipe will make 2 dozen of them at 94 calories each!  

Another great option for a cookie exchange...

1 cup Gold Medal® all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup no-trans-fat vegetable oil spread
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 egg
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/4 cups granola
5 oz dark or bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
Optional: 2 tbsp Milled Flax Seed 

1. Heat oven to 375°F. 

2. Line cookie sheets with cooking parchment paper.

3. In small bowl, mix flour, baking soda and salt. 

4. In medium bowl, beat sugars, vegetable oil spread and applesauce with electric mixer or by hand until smooth. 

5. Beat in egg and vanilla. 

6. Gradually beat in flour mixture from step #4.

7. Stir in granola (breaking up any large pieces) and chocolate. 

8. Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto cookie sheets.

9. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. 

10. Cool and move to cooling racks.

11. Enjoy these soft chewy cookie alternative.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

16 Months of No Regrets

16 months ago, I made a decision to make a change in my life. I no longer felt happy with myself or the image in staring back at me in the mirror. Committing to change how I was eating and exercising scared the hell out of me... 
What if I ...failed?  
I thank God I took an uncomfortable step 16 months ago and decided living with regret was scarier then living with an unhappy me. Taking that step at the 'what could be' has literally changed my life.  Sure I've changed on the outside but man am I a lot happier with myself.  I set a goal that no one but myself could achieve and I did it- Me!  It's such a rewarding feeling to know you made the change and you were responsible for your own results.
Are you ready to make a change?   
If you'd like to join a private group for support or are interested in one on one support, contact me so we can chat.  It is possible to make a change when you have a support system in place, the right tools and someone keeping you accountable. 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Cookie Exchange- Vegan Chickpea Blondies

These have to be my new favorite.  Literally after 30 minutes of them being out of the oven, these warm blondies filled with chocolate chips were gone.  Wiped Out!  The pan was licked clean the the 4 of us before I had a chance to cut and plate them.  

My 4-year old helped me make the brownies and she questioned the chickpeas at first but then forgot we put them into the mixture after they were pureed.  The consistency of these blondies is smooth and there is no evidence of chickpeas for your your picky eaters that may shy away from texture.  These bars are not only vegan but they are gluten free too.  At 120 calories a bar, these would make a perfect cookie exchange bar.  
Cooking Spray
1 can (15 oz) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup all natural almond butter or peanut butter
1/3 cup pure maple syrup or agave nectar (you can also use honey if you're not vegan)
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup vegan or dark chocolate chips plus 2 tablespoons
sea salt, for sprinkling
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and spray 8x8 inch pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a food processor, add all ingredients except chocolate chips and process until batter is smooth. 
  3. Fold in 1/3 cup of chocolate chips.
  4. Spread batter evenly in prepared pan then sprinkle 2 tablespoons of chocolate chips on top. 
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean and edges are a tiny bit brown. The batter may look underdone, but you don't want them to dry out!
  6. Cool pan for 20 minutes on wire rack if you can wait that long!
  7. Sprinkle with sea salt then cut into squares. This recipe will make 16 blondies.
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