Hello all! I am so happy for the weekend! I had my first test of the year today and it was very easy, which was lovely since I “studied” halfheartedly while watching the premiere of about 13 fall television shows yesterday (most notably The Office). Fritz and I also cleaned the entire house top to bottom (well, all 800 feet of our apartment), which was about 1/2″ deep in dust and cat hair. So with all that annoying stuff out the way, welcome to the weekend!
Here are some things we ate today:
This was a good week for baking, and I tried two recipes that were leaning towards the healthier side so I can feel less guilty while eating cookies and brownies. I used the applesauce/oil substitution in both of them, and was impressed with how it worked in the brownies and not so much in the cookies (although that may have just been the recipe itself, not the applesauce).
Healthy Oatmeal Spice Cookies (adapted from this Martha Stewart recipe)
- 1/2 C whole wheat flour
- 1/2 C all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/3 C applesauce
- scant 1/2 C brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 t vanilla extract
- 1/2 C rolled oats
- 1/2 C raisins (I didn’t have these on hand but would definitely recommend them)
- 1 t cinnamon
- 1/2 t grated nutmeg
- dash of salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix wet ingredients first, then add dry ingredients and stir to combine. Add raisins and spices, and drop onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet (I ran into an issue here, as Martha’s recipe said to “roll” them, and they were definitely not a rolling consistency. I added a bit more flour and oats, and ended up with slightly tougher cookies then I like. So I’d suggest you ignore her, and just make ‘em as drop cookies).
I added some coconut for texture (one of my favorite baking things to do…I love coconut). Bake about 15 minutes, or until browned. Let the cookies cool on the baking tray for five minutes, then on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container, or just let your husband eat them rapid fire for the next 24 hours. They aren’t too bad for ya, after all.
Recently, one of my favorite new recipes to bake has been black bean brownies–Fritz gets extra protein, and I get chocolate. A match made in heaven (plus, my friend Cait can eat them–they are gluten-free!) (Hi Cait!).
Black Bean Brownies
- 16 ounces black beans (that’s 1 can, or 1/2 bag dried beans, if you are like me and like to save money and eat less preservatives)
- 3 eggs (I’m working on a healthier alternative to this…I may try a guar gum thing later since I’m assuming all the egg is just there as a binding agent)
- 4 T applesauce
- 1/4 C cocoa
- pinch of salt
- 1 t vanilla
- 1/2 C sugar (I actually use closer to 1/4 C, and the brownies taste more like a dark chocolate version)
- 1 t instant coffee (opt)
- 1/2 C chocolate chips (opt)
One reason I love these is because they are so easy–add all the ingredients together in a blender, and simply blend until smooth. Pour into a greased pan, sprinkle some coconut/chocolate chips/walnuts on top, and pop into the oven at 350 degrees until they start to pull away from the sides of the pan–about 25-35 minutes.
And the best part is–you definitely don’t have to feel guilty about eating one of these! There are a lot of essential amino acids in these babies. However, the texture is a little different from regular brownies, but still a good smooth and dense feel. Also, for some reason these brownies taste twice as good the second day.
Enjoy the desserts! I plan on doing a lot of cooking this weekend, starting with overnight oats for breakfast tomorrow. Now I do have a question–anyone out there dry your own herbs? I’ve got a few I want to dry soon, and I’m not sure what the best method is. Let me know what has worked for you (please?)!