Wondering what to bring to that holiday party? Overloaded with goodies that make you feel guilty and stuffed to a level discomfort? There may be a fix for that.
An updated version of an old 4H oatmeal cookie recipe may do just the trick. These bit-sized goodies are a healthy, yet yummy, option amidst the cakes, pies, rum balls, and other treats that, let’s face it, don’t offer much in the way of redeeming qualities. Though these little guys are healthy, you still get a little decadence and the all-important ingredient…chocolate!
If you’re looking at the ingredients and wondering about coconut oil, you’re not alone. It has been a topic of controversy in the health world over the past three years. A recent article from MSN Health Living broke down the controversy about coconut oil by addressing the top claims. It summed up the concern about saturated fat nicely in saying, “[S]tudies increasingly indicate that a heart-healthy diet does not exclude saturated fat; rather, an appropriate balance of saturated, polyunsaturated, and monounsaturated fats is best. Only a mixed-fat diet promotes a healthful ratio of LDL to HDL—the ‘good’ cholesterol—and lowers the risk of heart disease.”
As we promote here, variety and balance are the keys to food intake and exercise. It’s the holidays, so treat yourself but get a healthy option in there once in a while to balance things out. We hope you enjoy our latest recipe. Be sure to leave comments, especially if you create your own way to improve on it! ENJOY!
Not-So-Naughty Oatmeal Cookies
- 1/3 cup virgin coconut oil
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup hot water
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1 cup white whole wheat flour
- 1 egg – (Egg was added when the butter was replaced with oil to hold the dough together. So if you revert to butter, leave out the egg—bonus, then you can eat the raw dough!
- 3 cups rolled oats
- 1/2 chocolate chips – (Don’t go to heavy on these or the cookies will be harder to put on the pan)
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 3/4 cup shredded coconut
- 1/4 cup nuts of choice – (I use either chopped walnuts, slivered almonds)
- Heat oven to 350 degrees
- Grease cookie sheet with oil (very thin coating, butter works as well as PAM spray)
- Mix first 9 ingredients (oil through egg) by hand or slow mixer
- Add remaining ingredients and stir
- Using a small cookie scoop (like an ice cream scoop) drop cookies on a cookie sheet. You can put these very close together, they won’t spread, but you don’t want them to touch. One batch fits on one sheet. They will try to break apart when uncooked, do your best. It helps to wet the fingers that touch the dough.
- Bake for 9 to 10 minutes – some may turn brown in spots, but they don’t have to turn brown to be done.
- Remove from oven and quickly take off the pan to stop the baking. Put on a cooling rack.
- Put any extra cookies you will not consume the first day in the freezer so they stay chewy when defrosted, which only takes a couple of minutes. The refrigerator tends to dry them out, even if you put them in a plastic bag or container.
For many reasons, I’m a bit of a fan of NBC’s The Biggest Loser. I don’t have a lot of time to watch TV, but I love the stories of breaking old bonds and finding success in life. So many of the contestants have been hit by difficult situations and have turned to food for help. Unfortunately, that action ended up making their lives much more difficult. On the show, it’s wonderful to see each person transform their lives into something much better. Beyond the psychological bonds, often diabetics come off insulin. Heart disease patients come off their medicine. Daily meds no longer plague their lives, and I simply love that part.
Don’t misunderstand me, there are definitely times when medicine is needed. But when that can be avoided by exercise and eating right, why wouldn’t you take advantage of that option?
In one of the seasons, a contestant was at home cooking up what she called “Tara’s Turkey Mini-Meatloaf.” When I heard the ingredients, I thought “that sounds awesome!” I’ve made this recipe for every possible situation. My teenage nephews ate it up like candy–the chipolte sauce might have had something to do with that. I brought it to several holiday parties and served it in bite-sized pieces. I’ve used it as a main dish in a larger loaf. It has great flavor, it’s easy to make, and no one seems to know that it’s also good for them too.
I’ve tweaked the original recipe a bit, and you can do the same to taste. I hope you enjoy!
Ingredients for Meatloaf:
1 small yellow onion, coarsely chopped
1 medium carrot, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 stalk of celery, coarsely chopped
2 canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
1 (20-ounce) package lean ground turkey breast
1/2 cup quick cooking oats
2 egg whites
1/4 cup fat free and sugar free ketchup
1 tablespoon chipotle pepper adobo sauce
Option: 1 tablespoon brown sugar substitute
Preheat oven to 350°F. In the food processor, combine onion, carrots, and celery. Pulse until finely chopped (Option: for a chunkier meatloaf, don’t chop as fine). Add chipotle peppers and pulse until just combined. In a large bowl, combine the ground turkey with the pepper and vegetable mixture. Add egg whites and oats and gently mix until combined.
For muffin-sized option: Place about 1/3 cup of the prepared meatloaf mixture into 9 wells of a standard-size muffin pan that has been lightly sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Bake for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, combine all of the topping ingredients in a small bowl; set aside. Remove meat loaves from oven and spoon the topping over each meatloaf. Return meatloaf to the oven and continue to bake for an additional 5-10 minutes or until meatloaf is firm and the internal temperature registers 170°F. Let meatloaf stand for 5 minutes before serving. Makes 9 mini loaves.
Option: For one meatloaf, place the entire mixture into standard meatloaf pan and cook until done.
Another option I use is a mini muffin pan. I use this option for parties and bring toothpicks to be able to grasp the smaller meatballs individually.
Nutritional Information per Serving for muffin pan size:
Protein: 16 g
Carbohydrates: 6 g
Fat: 1 g
Cholesterol: 25 mg
Sodium: 180 mg
Saturated Fat: 0
Fiber: Less than 1 gram