No-Sugar Oatmeal Cookies

One of my New Year’s resolutions was to cut down on sugar. Actually, I was trying to go 3 weeks without sugar. This  is not an easy job, with sugar and corn syrup in so many of our food products, but I was still on Christmas overload when I made this ruling for myself.

Over the holidays I promised my young friends we would “cook”  together sometime. With the emphasis on healthy eating for children, even the cookies we decided on had to have reduced sugars and grains. This is the recipe we made:

Apple and Raisin Oatmeal Cookies

1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup wheat germ
1/2 cup oatmeal
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup apple juice concentrate, thawed
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup dried apple pieces, chopped
1/2 cup nuts, chopped (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a small bowl or 4 cup measuring cup, beat egg with fork; add juice, vegetable oil, and raisins. Mix to blend. In a large bowl, add both types of flour, wheat germ, oatmeal, baking powder, cinnamon,  apple pieces, and nuts. Add liquids to dry ingredients. Mix all ingredients well.

Drop batter by teaspoon full onto nonstick cookie sheet or grease regular cookie sheets. Flatten slightly with a fork. Bake 7-9 minutes until top springs back when lightly touched. Do no brown! Cool slightly before removing from pan.

I am quite sure you will not miss the sugar taste. The apples, raisins, and nut flavors come through without an overpowering sweetness, as found in many other recipes.

I don’t use any artificial sugar substitutes in any foods, nor do I like anything “diet”. I feel these are not good for our bodies.

Hope you enjoy this recipe which satisfies the sweet tooth in a nutritional way.

To YOUR healthy goals and those of your family’s,

Lee Jackson, CFCS
Food writer and author of two apple cookbooks

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Corn Bread Baking Time

Corn bread?

Image by @jozjozjoz via Flickr

On an icy, wind-swept New Year‘s eve, what could warm your heart and stomach more than some hot crusty corn bread? The following recipe is a perfect accompaniment to the black-eyed peas we started yesterday.

Crusty Corn Bread

1 1/4 cups flour
3/4 cup white corn meal
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 egg, beaten

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease an 8 or 9-inch pan.

Children can measure flour, corn meal, sugar, baking powder and salt into a medium-sized bowl.

Make a well in the center and add milk, oil and egg. Mix just until dry ingredients are moistened, about 50 strokes.

Pour into prepared pan. Bake 20-25 minutes or until light brown. Cut into 9 slices or square. Best served warm with a dab of butter.

Yield:  9 servings

Hope you enjoy the hot bread. You can refer to this and other seasonal recipes in Amy Hout’s  childrens cookbook, Cooking Around the Country with Kids: Holiday and Seasonal Food and Fun.

I wish you a happy and prosperous New Year, filled with many blessings. See you in 2011!

Best to you,

Lee Jackson
Family Life Issues Coach

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Cookies and Snow Days Go Hand-in-Hand

We in the Midwest have had a lot of snow days recently. This is the time you want to huddle up by the fireplace with a cup of hot cider and a cookie. I know it’s the New Years and we want to cut down on sugar intake and think very seriously about healthy living. However, done in moderation, most foods are good for us. Moderation and portion size are the key words.

Here is a cookie recipe I’d like to share with you from Amy Houts new cookbook, Cooking Around the Country With Kids: USA Regional Recipes and Fun Activities. This is from the section of her cookbook highlighting Midwest ingredients and food products. Her comment about this recipe says: “Minnesota is the leading oat-growing state in the United States. Besides eating oats as a breakfast cereal, oats give baked goods a wonderful texture and taste.”

Can you identify the ingredients that come from this grain in the following recipe?

Whole-Grain Goodie Bars

1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup oil
2 eggs
2 cups quick-cooking oatmeal
3/4 cup white flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons cloves
1 cup raisins
1 cup coconut

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Children can grease a jelly roll pan, 15-by-10-by 1-inch or use a 9-by-13-by-2-inch pan.
Children can help measure sugar, oil, and eggs into a large bowl; stir with a wooden spoon until smooth. Add oatmeal, white flour, wheat flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves, raisins, and coconut. Mix well. Pour and spread into prepared pan.

Bake about 15 minutes for jelly roll pan, 15-20 minutes for 9-by-13-inch pan, just until center is set. Cool; cut into bars.

Again, portion amount is very important. They are nice and chewy and it may be difficult to eat only one, but they stay so moist they will still be very good tomorrow and the next day and the next…

Enjoy those snow days!

Lee Jackson
Books for home and family living

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Father’s Day Strawberry Shortcake

Garden Strawberry "Fragaria".

Image via Wikipedia

I want to share with you my absolute favorite strawberry shortcake recipe. This is not one of those individually wrapped bland cakes always found in the strawberry aisle of your grocery store. No, yours will be a piping hot, melt in your mouth treat, heaped with juicy, luscious strawberries.

Your Dad will want you to make this dessert again and again – until the strawberries run out…

Strawberry Shortcake

2 pints fresh strawberries

2 cups flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup shortening
1 cup milk

Wash strawberries in cold water with a dash of vinegar. Swish and drain. Children can help remove stems by using a plastic knife and cutting each in half. Add about 1/2 cup sugar over berries and let stand at room temperature about an hour.

Grease 1 – 8 x 1 1/2 inch cake pan. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

In a large bowl, measure flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Cut in shortening using two knives or a pastry blender until shortening pieces are the size of peas. Stir in milk and stir with fork until just blended. Spread batter into prepared cake pans. Dot with butter.

Bake 15 to 20 minutes, until lightly brown and crusty.

Cut into 6 or 8 pieces. Split each piece in half on serving plate. Have butter available at table so each can spread butter on hot shortcake according to individual wishes. Then pass the strawberries that have oozed some of their juice upon standing.

Enjoy, and wish your Father a Happy Day!

Lee Jackson
Books for children, families, and parenting professionals
Check out a FR ee Recipe Sampler at:

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