Caped cookie crusaders for breakfast?

jars are always superior storage

The breakfast cookie strikes again!

Sneaky breakfast nutrition packaged into one deceptively small package, complete with whole grains/fiber, potassium, and healthy fats. All it needs is a cape to achieve complete superhero status. Can’t you just imagine this little caped cookie crusader swooping in, shoving your boring (and non-nutritive)  breakfast off your plate, and (standing with fists on hips, cape blowing in the wind… wait. do cookies have hips? Whatever, indulge me) trumpeting: “I am the breakfast cookie, here to save your butt from a boring breakfast! Eaaaat meeeee, you know you want to! I’m tasty and portable, and a COOKIE. Hellooooo, who DOESN’T want to say they’ve had a cookie for breakfast?!”.

demonstrating amazing feats of super-cookieness

And then you eat it, and feel so ridiculously awesome, like you could go off and save the world. Or wear a cape and look bomb. You know, just some minor benefits of eating a proper breakfast (or a legit breakfast cookie, since as I’ve demonstrated, that clearly equates to the same thing). Besides, these cookies are one of the easiest to make: just toss all the ingredients together, stir and chuck onto the cookie sheet in roughly cookie-shaped balls. Bake. Let cool (yeah right). Eat. Done! Go don your cape.

dense cookie complexity up close and personal-like

Banana-Granola Breakfast Cookies

I adapted these ever so slightly from Fannetastic Foods, here! I’ve made them before, but I really wanted granola in this batch somewhere. They’re lightly sweet and nicely hearty, perfect for a capped crusader breakfast. Mine were 2-3″ across fully baked, and I ended up with 14 total.

  • 1 c rolled oats
  • 2/3 c whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 c unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 tbsp ground flaxseed
  • 1 tsp whole chia seeds
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 ridiculously ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/4 c plain lowfat yogurt (or whatever you have on hand)
  • 1/4 c pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 c granola of choice*

*I used 1/4 c Nature’s Path pumpkin flax granola, and 1/4 c Nature’s Path Ancient Grains + Almond granola (a winning combo, I must say)

mmm, coookies

Preheat the oven to 350, and lightly grease a cookie sheet (or two, whatever floats your boat). In a large bowl, whisk together oats, flour, coconut, flaxseed, chia, baking soda, and cinnamon. In a smaller bowl, mash up the bananas, and then add yogurt, maple syrup, and vanilla. Add wet into dry, and fold in granola as you stir them together. Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto the baking sheet. Bake for 13-14 minutes—mine were done at 13. I pulled them off the cookie sheet right away, as I didn’t want them to dry out. Let cool on  a cooling rack. I store cookies with banana in the fridge—I think it improves the consistency and I like them cold, but that’s up to you :)

Eat. Enjoy wearing your cape to work.

//

Workout. Get pumped! Eat. Love. Repeat as necessary!

semi-leaning tower of quinoa bars!

Happy first day of spring to you too, Salem. Thanks for the nice weather SNOW. What?! Like, actual snow this time too. About three inches of fluff on my car this morning… what is this?! Thankfully today was Workout Wednesday (ie the only reason I go to campus is to work out), or else I might have skipped class, hehe. (As Kira pointed out, at least I have my priorities straight. Miss a workout with Christine? NEVER! ha. But hey! Justified, as pilates/fitness instructor is my career of choice) Besides, I had to go give Christine her quinoa-banana bars. Yes. I am the kind of person who bakes treats for her fitness instructor. We have the same workout addiction after all: Must…work… out! And buy new active wear! Healthy snacks in exchange for a Pilates-Core body butt kicking? I think it’s a fair trade ;)

So now I’m nicely sore and contemplating going back out into the wet for work. And wet indeed it is now… we’re getting semi-frozen rain-ish-slush-gross now, because, well, why not? I have holes in my uggs, that’s why not. My heels got suspiciously damp when I was wearing them this morning… seriously, I had all these grand plans to take my winter-wear home over spring break to leave it, so that  I had less to take home in May. Fat chance. Watch, I’ll leave it all here and it’s be sunny and glorious the rest of April. Hmm. Maybe this is logical… maybe I should take it home?! Oh weather gods, how you love to mess with us here in Salem. I like snow, don’t get me wrong, but only when I can ski on it, pleaseandthankyou.

there's a rogue one!

Anywayyyy. Today I have bars for you! Healthy snack-type bars, like a cross between banana bread and a granola bar. They’re packed with all kinds of goodness: whole grains, peanut butter (YAY!), quinoa, flaxseed, bananaaaaas, and cardamom. Mmm. Can’t go wrong with the banana-cardamom combo, it’s fab. These bars also happen to be vegan, just for funzies! They’re perfect with a little (more) nut butter swiped on top (uh-oh, I can see the bottom of my peanut butter jar, mayday mayday!) and extra bananas :)

oh hey, up close!

Peanut Butter-Banana Quinoa Bars

Recipe only slightly adapted from here! Makes… 8 ish? I made it in a pie dish, and cut rectangles out of the center. Wedges would have been good too.

  • 2/3 c whole wheat pastry flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 c chunky peanut butter
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1/3 c cooked quinoa*
  • 1/4 c wheat germ
  • 1.5 tbsp ground flaxseed
  • 3 tbsp turbinado sugar
  • 1/4 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/3 c milk bev (soymilk for me)
  • sprinkling of dark chocolate chippies!
barsssss

*I cooked 1/3 c dry quinoa in 2/3 c water, yielding enough for the bars + dinner leftovers :)

Preheat the oven to 350, and lightly grease a dish of choice. I made mine in a 9″ pie dish, since a square 9″ seemed too big.

In a smallish bowl, whisk together flour, salt, cinnamon, cardamom, and baking powder. In a largeish bowl, mash up the banana with a fork, and then vigorously stir in peanut butter until combined. (Added bonus: bicep workout!) Add in quinoa, wheat germ, flaxseed, sugar, vinegar, and soymilk, and stir to combine. Toss flour mixture and chocolate chips into the wet ingredients, and mix together until combined. Spatula-ize the batter into your prepared pan (Yes, spatula is a verb now), and bake for just about 30 minutes. A tester should come out clean when done.

Workout, feel pumped, eat, love! Repeat as necessary.

this may or may not be how my peanut butter disappears so fast...

Asteroids do not concern me, Admiral. I want those cookies, not excuses.

Come to the Dark Side... I have cookies!

For those who don’t know… or didn’t guess… I’m a nerd! But those of you who know me I’m sure are aware of this…I can’t imagine what clued you in. Can’t be the Star Wars cookie cutters or the perpetual references to Star Trek, nahhh. Must be the large Spock standup I have at home? Ah yes. Clearly that’s it. I fully embrace my nerdness, which is why all of you like to hang out with me… I make you giggle! (And most likely I feed you)

Anyway. Yesterday I was trolling through my piles upon piles of recipes to make… and THEN I remembered that I have wanted to make animal crackers for eons. Because I LOVE animal crackers. I was totally a Barnum’s kid, until one day I ate them and realized they weren’t as good as I remembered them. At that point, I switched over to more natural cookie/crackers to get my fix. But as I was munching through my Barbara’s animal cookies last night, I suddenly was seized by the desire to make my own! Why buy them when I could make them with things I already had on hand?

And so. I had a baketastic Friday and made animal cookies. Except there was one small fly in the ointment… I don’t, in fact, own animal cookie cutters. Oops. Hmm. What to do?!

Oh but wait.

I have something oh, so, SO much better.

Do you sense a disturbance in the Force?

Yes.

I do.

Wait for it…

Disregard the mixed messages... Yes, that is a Star Trek shuttlecraft. I thought it went nicely with the nerdy theme.

I own Star Wars cookie cutters! That’s right. I warned you. Nerdspiration, right there: healthy animal cookies shaped like Star Wars characters?! It doesn’t get much better than that. Kira and I dubbed them Force Cookies. Because… you know, strong in the Force, those who eat them are! (This might perhaps be attributed to the whole grains and flax, but hey, the Force is more fun). Besides, it’s really fun to nibble off Yoda’s ears first, like I always liked to eat the legs that broke off into the bottom of the box. Oh wait. I still do. I have to fight my cat for the bits though, since he likes them too (he’s sort of like a mini-Chewbacca… always thinking with his stomach! But so am I, so who am I to judge)… The Force is strong with these cookies ;)

heeheehee.

Whole Wheat-Flax Force Cookies

If you have animal cookie shapes, that’s fab too… I just needed an excuse to use my Star Wars cookie cutters. Anything on the small side is fine! I’d like to experiment and see if I can’t make a peanut butter version to add a little protein… watch this space for further developments! These cookies are lightly sweet and perfect when you want a bit of sweet but not full on dessert. They make great snacks (especially with Biscoff spread, ahem.. what isn’t?!). I got 22 cookies. Slightly adapted from The Cilantropist, here!

  • 1.25 c whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/4 c ground flaxseed (I like Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 4 tbsp Earth Balance (or butter, your call)
  • 1/3 c sugar (I used turbinado)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Darth Vader looks like he's about to inhale a flax seed...

Combine flour, flaxseed, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a mediumish bowl and set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter and sugar until combined. Add in egg and vanilla, and continue mixing. Add in the dry ingredients, hopefully in 2 additions (keep the mixer on low). Once the flour is just incorporated, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and form into a flat disk. Stick into a plastic baggie (or wrap in plastic wrap, if you have it), and toss into the fridge to chill for about 2 hours or overnight. I left mine just about 2 hours.

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper (or wax paper, which is what I used).

the Galileo is having a bit of a fly 'round my kitchen...

Once chilled, roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface. I found that mine didn’t crack too much, and was fine with a little flour dusted on top (and on me, naturally… how is it that flour never seems to stay where I put it?!). Roll out to about 1/8 inch thick. Go nuts with your cookie cutters, rinse, repeat, until you’ve used all your dough. Since the dough is rather delicate, I found that using a pastry scraper (or other flat metal surface) to transfer the cookies to the cookie sheet was effective. Pastry scrapers are great since they have a nice sharp edge. Transfer all cookies to the prepped cookie sheet, and chill again in the fridge for half an hour.

When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350. Bake the cookies for about 7 minutes, until lightly browned and puffyish (bake them longer, if you want crunchy cookies—I took mine out at 7 and they’re a bit softer and chewier: perfect!). Let cool a few minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack.

Remember, the Force will be with you… always (as long as you eat my cookies) :)

Asteroids do not concern me, Admiral. I want those cookies and not excuses!