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Archive for February, 2011

Healthy Oatmeal Cookies

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

One of my new favorite breakfasts is a small batch of heart healthy oatmeal cookies! We’re talking the kind made with less sweetener, lower fat, and lots of good-for-you oatmeal, nuts and/or fruit. :)

The best part is how flexible this recipe is. It’s loosely based on the oatmeal raisin cookies in Simple Treats. The recipes in this baked goods treasure are all gluten-free and dairy-free and are great for vegans to bring to pot lucks and family gatherings. However, they are far from low-fat (she uses a fair amount of oil), so when I make anything from it for myself, I crank down the fat, preferring to substitute with a nut butter, and use less sweetener.

These oatmeal breakfast cookies are a lot of fun because you can pretty much do anything with them and still wind up with a hearty, satisfying meal that will take you well into the afternoon. They’re really not all that sweet — hence the breakfast cookie nomenclature — so at first you may want to use more and slowly work your way down.

oatmeal cranberry raisin

Preheat oven to 350 and prep a baking sheet with oiled tin foil or wax paper.

In a small bowl, mix the following wet ingredients until smooth:

  • 2 Tb of nut butters (your choice, feel free to mix and match)

  • 1-2 Tb of liquid sweetener (maple syrup, barley malt, jams, etc.)
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • water as needed to make creamy (2 Tb?)

In a bigger bowl for dry ingredients and mixing, combine:

  • 65 grams (3/4 cup) oatmeal (usually old-fashioned)

  • 45 grams (3/8 cup) whole wheat flour (obviously not gluten free)
  • 2 tsps baking powder (optional – also look for sodium free kind)
  • dash of nutmeg
  • liberal amount of cinnamon
  • 40-60 grams [1/4-1/3 cup] raisins, separated

Optional (if adding any of these, cut back the raisins to match)

  • 15-20 grams vegan chocolate chips

  • 20 grams frozen cranberries (chopped)
  • 30 grams frozen blueberries
  • 1 oz walnut pieces, broken up

Note: As you can tell from all the weight vs volume measurements, I use a kitchen scale. Where no approximate equivalents are indicated, check the packaging for a guideline. For example, the frozen wild blueberries I use, give 1 cup as 140 grams. However, the 32 chocolate chips the bag says should weigh 15 grams, must be referring to the minis

Pour contents of smaller bowl into the dry ingredients and combine well, making sure there are no dry spots. If you need a touch more water, you can add it here, but often it looks like it’s not going to come together and yet eventually does.

Use a Tablespoon measure to scoop out heaping balls and form into flat rounds. Makes about 10 cookies. Place on baking sheet and put in oven for 11 minutes. Turn sheet 180 degrees and cook another 9 minutes. Pull baking sheet out of the oven, leaving the cookies in place for five minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. Enjoy with a glass of non-dairy soy or hemp milk.

oatmeal raisin chocolate chip

oatmeal blueberry cookies

More variations include, using ripe, smashed bananas in the liquid ingredients and walnuts in the dry or increasing the nut butters and sweeteners and going without the added fruits. No matter how you make them, I hope you enjoy and found some inspiration for your own experiments. :)

Veggie Love: PETA’s Banned Super Bowl Ad

Sunday, February 13th, 2011

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, I bring you the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)’s infamous and ill-fated Veggie Love spot, intended to run during Super Bowl XLV (2011) on NBC.

Looks like the same one they tried to run a couple years ago, and again the network banned it, reasoning the advertisement “depicts a level of sexuality exceeding our standards.” I don’t know, doesn’t seem any worse than the bikini beer ads.

“Veggie Love”: PETA’s Banned Super Bowl Ad

At least they saved themselves the gazillion dollars it would have cost to have their 30 televised seconds. And they still got a ton of publicity from the controversy and people sharing it online.

Here’s another banned PETA commercial from Thanksgiving 2009:

What do you think of these attempts? Three cheers or three jeers?

Health Debate: The Cost of Obesity in America

Friday, February 4th, 2011

As Kevin Gianni gets ready to kick off The Great Health Debates series Super Bowl night (in which both Dr. Furhman and T.Colin Campbell are participating), I thought you might enjoy this televised debate I dug up from last year.

The issue posed was whether and how much — to what extent — government should be involved in regulating obesity health care.

One idea that got me cheering was reintroducing home economics classes into schools. It’s not so old-fashioned as it sounds. We still had them in our middle school and they taught hands-on baking and cooking. Heck, as I recall, we even made crêpes.

I’m also for menu labeling, which the one debater so derided. Hard to make informed decisions when you’re not, well, informed. ;)

What do you think? Post your comment below.

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