There have been several times that I’ve been presented with the comment that my daughter is deprived because she doesn’t eat sweets. Just because she doesn’t eat cookies out of a box, chocolate out of a bag, or Krispy Kreme doughnuts does not mean that she doesn’t eat sweets. We eat sweets together…after we make them. (Check out these truffles or these. Seriously, they’re better than anything you can buy.)
Now that she’s at the incredibly aware age of 2, she knows very well what sweets are and knows that they are an indulgence, not an everyday (or every meal) occurrence. Not that this keeps her from asking for them. She is a child after all.
So, the experiments continue. And while I search for and play with all manner of concoctions to create delicious, nutritious treats with a touch of sweetness, once in a while I happen on genius. Well, that’s what someone told me anyway and it was such a good and rather humbling line that I had to steal it.
These oatmeal raisin cookies are mighty for 2 reasons: They have the ability to convert non-oatmeal raisin eating people to full-on fanatics and they are unbelievably nutritious. Seriously, check out that ingredient list!
Let’s start with the oats. Oats are a virtual super food. Their claim to fame lies in their fiber content which is pretty much through the roof. Oats help stabilize blood sugar, reduce cholesterol, and regulate the digestive system. Oats are an adaptogen grain.¹ This means that they are great at maintaining a healthy balance in the body. It also means that oats can regulate the thyroid and relax the nervous system. They take a while to digest which keeps energy burning at an even level.
On to the seeds. Pumpkin seeds are high in protein and an important source of Omega-3 fatty acids. They are also an excellent source for minerals, iron, zinc, phosphorus and calcium. Sunflower seeds are super protein seeds (they contain more than beef) and 20% fat. They’re a fantastic source for vitamins A, D, and E and contain a trace of fluorine, (not to be confused with the synthetic and harmful version, fluoride). Flax seeds are key immunity players. Their high oil content (40%) consists of linoleic and alpha-linolenic acids and contributes to protection from cancer. But, their claim to fame is in their lignans. Lignans are a type of phytonutrient that provides anti-oxidant benefits and also act as phytoestrogens. See here for a run-down on why this little seed must be part of your and your little one’s diet.
Then there are the walnuts, the spices, the coconut! There is no end to the health benefits of this cookie. It’s been a great “dessert” so to speak, but they make a great breakfast, too. Go on now, make these cookies and convert a few non-believers already.
P.S. For a good explanation on the different types of oats out there, check this link out. Also, oats are a GF grain, but are often processed and/or packaged in facilities where wheat has been. Make sure to opt for GF oats like Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free Oats, just to be sure!
1 C organic pastured butter, softened at room temperature
1/2 C coconut sugar or maple crystals
2 free range eggs
1 t vanilla extract
1 C spelt flour*
1/4 C ground flax seed
1/4 C unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 t baking soda
1 t baking powder
1/4 t sea salt
1/2 t ground cinnamon
1/4 t ground nutmeg, (freshly ground if you have it)
3 C organic rolled oats (GF if you’re going in that direction)
1 1/4 C raisins (golden and purple)
1/4 C sunflower seeds, roughly chopped (or pulsed in a food processor for 3 seconds)
1/4 C walnuts, roughly chopped (or these can be processed into a “flour” and added with dry ingredients above)
Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C)
1. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together. Add eggs and extract and beat until smooth.
2. In another bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients up until the rolled oats (flour, flax seeds, shredded coconut, baking soda and powder, sea salt, cinnamon, nutmeg).
3. Stir dry ingredients into butter/sugar/egg mixture.
4. Slowly add the oats one cup at a time as you continue to stir. Continue till their done and then add raisins and sunflower seeds.
5. Using a tablespoon to measure, scoop out balls and place on a baking sheet with parchment paper. If you’re baking right away, put this baking sheet in the fridge for 15 minutes and then start scooping cookies onto another. You can freeze them on the baking sheets and when they’re hard enough, transfer them to a freezer ziploc bag or a container. You can then take these cookies from the freezer to the oven (just add a couple of minutes to the baking time).
6. Bake cookies for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.