I don’t know one mother who doesn’t think about how to get her children to eat healthy or healthier foods. Whether it’s sneaking healthy foods into their favorites or trying to make healthy foods tastier, it seems to be every mother’s mission to get those kiddos to eat something nutritious. I, too, share that mission.
One of the ways I do that is by finding healthier ways to make baked goods. I have used coconut flour, almond flour, and combinations of those with organic white flour in order to get them to eat healthier baked goods. And, while we have made variations of oatmeal cookies, I found a recipe using oat flour at just the right time. Since we recently joined a co-op and I got a great deal on organic rolled oats, I have 25 pounds of oats to do something with. 😉
So, in case you’re on a similar mission and would like your children eat healthier cookies, you may want to try this recipe.
1 cup oat flour (I just put a cup of oatmeal in my food processor for this part)
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup sugar or honey*
1/2 cup coconut oil
pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup chocolate chips
1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Mix all wet ingredients in a large bowl and dry ingredients in a smaller bowl.
3. If you haven’t bought oat flour, just put about a cup of oatmeal into a food processor until finely ground.
4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet until thoroughly blended.
5. Fold in the chocolate chips.
6. Use a spoon to drop cookies onto a cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes.
*I used honey (even though the original recipe called for sugar). As a result, when I baked the cookies (plural), they melted into one big cookie! So, if you decide to use honey, add some extra oat flour! In the end, as you can see, the “cookie” was a big hit!
How do you make baked goods healthier for your kiddos?
Did you know that Brussels sprouts are of the most nutrient rich foods you can eat? They are full of anti-oxidants, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K as well as fiber, manganese, potassium, choline, and B vitamins. Why aren’t we all eating this incredibly good for you food? Well, some surveys show that Americans simply don’t like the smell of the Brussels sprouts. My answer to that dilemma is always simply finding the right recipe. If you can cook something to make it taste good, people will eat it (and probably not care about how it smelled while it was cooking).
So, I’ve got an easy recipe for a great for you, a yummy side dish! The recipe is based on a recipe from a restaurant called Tin Roof Bistro in California. Here’s my version of that recipe (because I only used what I had and I didn’t have everything listed on their recipe).
1 lb. Brussels sprouts
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
3 Tbsp. butter
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. chopped parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Preheat over to 350º
2. Remove the ends and any rough outer leaves from Brussels sprouts and cut them in half lengthwise.
3. Put them in a bowl and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
4. Toss Brussels sprouts in oil and then lay out on sheet pan. Roast for 20-25 minutes until caramelized.
5. When Brussels sprouts are roasted and caramelized, heat up small saute’ pan. Melt butter and add garlic. Cook for several minutes until garlic turns golden. Add lemon juice, parsley, and salt and pepper. Toss sprouts in sauce until they are thoroughly coated.
6. Then, the most important part: eat and enjoy… because, you know, it is possible to enjoy food that is good for you!
How do you like to eat your Brussels Sprouts?
I’m always looking for ways to get my family to eat healthier on a very tight budget. One of our staples around the house is some sort of healthy baked good. We go through seasons of muffins that give way to seasons of cookies around here. We have been in a cookie season of late and I’ve wanted to change things up. At the end of the year last year, as a way to cut costs, I started using organic white flour for our baked goods. It’s better than non-organic white flour but not as good as coconut flour.
I had a difficult time finding a recipe that worked for us. So, I came up with my own. We use organic ingredients, including raw honey and raw milk to ensure that it’s a good-for-you treat
Here are the very simple ingredients:
1/2 cup coconut flour
3/4 cup rolled oats
1 tsp baking soda
pinch sea salt
1/2 cup extra virgin coconut oil
1/2 organic peanut butter
2/3 cup raw honey
1/4 cup raw milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
dark chocolate chips, as desired
1. Preheat the over at 350.
2. Heat a small pan on low and add the coconut oil, peanut butter, and honey (be sure to put the honey in last so that it doesn’t burn). Remove from heat as soon as most of it is melted. Mix together and let cool.
3. Meanwhile, combine coconut flour, rolled oats, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl.
4. Add the eggs, milk, and vanilla extract to the cooled off peanut butter mixture in the pan. Then, mix in to the dry ingredients.
5. Let that sit for at least 5 minutes before adding the yummy chocolate goodness…I mean, the chocolate chips 😉
6. Use a tablespoon to drop balls of cookies onto a parchment lined cookie sheet about one inch apart. (Sometimes I place them closer than an inch apart because I don’t want to use a second cookie sheet, as you can see here.)
7. Bake for 10-13 minutes until lightly golden.
Our children love to eat out. And Mommy and Daddy love the idea of eating out. But we don’t particularly love eating out for a couple of reasons. First, it’s hard not to think about what you could be doing with the money spent. Second, even if we allot a certain amount of money to eating out on occasion, it’s rare to find a place with food we can feel good about eating. So, most of the time, we eat in and are glad we do.
One of our family favorites is pizza. And we’ve discovered that we can make it as good, if not better, using ingredients we feel good about for a lot less than we would pay for one we’d order from a restaurant. This week, my daughter asked me if we could make pizza several times. Then, when I was trying to figure out what to make for dinner one night, I thought we’d go with her suggestion. I didn’t have any shredded cheese, pepperoni, or pre-made dough. But, I did have a block of organic mozzarella cheese, organic white flour, yeast, and some chicken sausage. It was enough to make it happen.
For the crust, I used:
3 cups organic white flour
1 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. garlic powder
3-5 Tbsp. oil (I used avocado oil just because it’s what I have right now.)
1 package of yeast
For the toppings, I used what I happened to have on hand:
1 jar of organic spaghetti sauce
1 block of organic mozzarella cheese
3 all-natural chicken sausage links
1. Prepare yeast according to package instructions.
2. Combine flour, salt, and garlic powder and mix.
3. Once the yeast is ready, add oil and water so that the total liquid mixture is about 1 1/4 cup.
4. Add yeast mixture to the flour and form a ball. Knead for at least five minutes. Then, either let the ball sit in a bowl covered by a clean kitchen towel for about 30 minutes, if you are preparing one large pizza. If you are dividing the dough to make more than one, form additional balls for each crust.
5. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough. (My handsome, handy husband rolled out the dough for us!)
6. Use a fork to poke holes in the crust.
7. Add your toppings. Use what you have. I didn’t have pepperoni and didn’t want to thaw out ground beef. So, I just used the sausage we had in the refrigerator.
8. Bake pizza at 425 for about 20 minutes or until crust looks golden and cheese is bubbling.
9. Enjoy! We did!
What fast food do you replicate at home for less?
I’m always looking for healthy, kid-friendly recipes. But seems that one of my new year’s resolutions every year is to find more varied recipes for our family, especially for more kid friendly foods. Since I just got a good deal on some organic potatoes, I wanted to make something (besides the same ol’ baked French fries) with the potatoes. I found a recipe that was close enough to ensure that they’d like them but different enough to be, well, different. It’s a flavorful version of fries that is sure to please palates of all ages at your dinner table.
I had to adapt a recipe I found because of the ingredients I happen to have on hand. So, here’s what I did:
4 medium potatoes (I used Yukon Gold, but any potato will work)
1-2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
¾ tsp salt
¼ tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp paprika
1/8 tsp pepper
2-3 tbsp avocado oil (use the oil of your choice)
1. Pre-heat oven to 400° F
2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
3. Prepare your potatoes. I didn’t peel ours. But some children prefer them peeled.
4. Cut potatoes into 1 inch cubes
5. Mix your seasoning in a small bowl.
6. Toss cubed potatoes with the seasoning.
7. Spread in single layer on baking sheet.
8. Roast in oven for 35 – 40 minutes or until potatoes are crispy on outside but soft inside.
My husband and I had to work very hard not to eat them all as soon as they were out of the oven. My children ate them with ketchup but I guarantee you won’t. They are a delicious version of fries. Close enough to be familiar but different enough to feel like a treat.
What variation of kids favorites foods do you make?
Our family loves Mexican food. Because we don’t eat out much, that means that I make a lot of Mexican food at home. I make most things from scratch, but we usually just buy tortillas from the grocery store. Well, during Christmas vacation, I was perusing Pinterest and stumbled upon a homemade tortilla recipe. So, I tried it… and we loved it! It’s very simple and, even if using organic ingredients, so much cheaper than store bought tortillas.
Here’s how to make them.
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
⅓ cup coconut oil (or any other oil)
1 cup warm water
1. In a large bowl, mix all of the dry ingredients.
2. Gradually mix in the oil and water. You may want to use a mixer to make sure it is thoroughly blended. (If you use coconut oil, be sure to melt it first.)
3. Form a ball of dough. Use more flour if it’s too sticky.
4. Split the ball in half. Then, split those two in half. Keep splitting the balls in half until you get about 16 balls.
5. Flatten them out with your hands as much as possible.
6. Cover them with a clean, dry towel for about fifteen minutes.
7. Roll them out. (Sorry I don’t have a picture for this. My husband rolled them out and I forgot to take a picture!)
8. Then, heat up a pan (on medium heat). Once it’s hot, place a tortilla in the hot pan for one minute before flipping over. Then, cook the other side for about 30 seconds. You’ll notice that we didn’t necessarily worry about our tortillas being perfectly round. As a matter of fact, it was fun to have different shapes. The children played a game in which they guessed what state each tortilla resembled. 😉
9. Enjoy them the way you would any other tortillas. The only difference is that they taste better and save you a lot more money than the others do. 😉
Our family was recently invited to a “potluck” type Christmas party. And my husband suggested that since we have so many hatch peppers growing in our garden, we should make and take something featuring our peppers. Well, I put the peppers in almost every entree I make, but I don’t make anything that “features” them. So, I looked online for a recipe and found one. I wasn’t quite sure about it but it was worth a try. The only problem is that I should have tried it out for us before making it on the day of the party.
Long story short, it was not good. I needed a plan be and fast. Thankfully, a fast, easy, tried, AND tested recipe came in handy. They are healthier than most cookies but still so yummy. We use all organic ingredients, including raw honey and raw milk (from a local dairy). This is our latest go-to recipe just around the house, partly because they are tasty and healthy but mostly because they are very easy to make. They saved the day for us.
If you need an easy, tasty, and healthy back up, here it is.
3/4 cup flour
1 1/4 cup oatmeal
1/4 cup ground flax
1/2 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
1/2 cup coconut oil or butter (melted)
1/2 cup honey or maple syrup
2 Tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 – 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips, depending on your taste preference
1. Combine all the dry ingredients into a small bowl and mix.
2. Mix all wet ingredients in a large bowl (make sure you have melted the oil or butter you are using).
3. Pour the dry ingredients into the large bowl and blend.
3. Mix in the chocolate chips.
4. With a spoon, form cookies and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet.
5. Bake for 10-12 at 350.
What are your favorite go-to quick, easy, and healthy recipes?
It’s not yet Christmas and I feel like I’ve been cooking and baking almost non-stop these days. One more weekend coming up between now and Christmas will likely mean more parties, get togethers…and more cooking. In case you find yourself needing a little break, make it a thrifty one. Here are a bunch of deals you can get right now. Give yourself a break without breaking the bank. Check out the great restaurant coupons and deals below.
Spend $8.00, Receive $2.00 with Ibotta.
Click here to print a coupon good for a free dessert with the purchase of one regular sub and fountain drink. This offer is valid through 12/16.
Click here to print a coupon good for a free appetizer or kid’s meal with the purchase of one adult entree. This offer is valid though 12/31.
Click here to print a coupon good for a $5.99 adult buffet. This offer is valid through 12/14.
Romano’s Macaroni Grill
This coupon gets you $5 off your next visit. This offer is valid through 1/4.
If you join Club Cinnabon here, you’ll get a coupon good for a free Minibon cinnamon roll and free MochaLatta.
How does endless appetizers for $10 sound?
Here’s a coupon for $1.00 off a regular Grand Gobbler sandwich. This offer is valid through 12/31.
Mix and match two sandwiches for only $5.00. You don’t need a coupon for this deal.
Click here to print a coupon good for a free combo meal upgrade with any purchase.
Hardee’s has a lot of freebie and $1.00 off coupons here.
How about a free pizza? Get a free pizza with every $25.00 gift card purchase. This offer is valid through 12/31.
Anybody else already tired of being in the kitchen so much?