Thursday, December 24, 2015

Two Quick Family-Friendly Healthier Desserts

Yikes!  Just realized that you forgot you said you'd bring dessert or need one more snack for your holiday party?  Here are two quick family-friendly, healthier dishes that can be a dessert, side or snack made with ingredients you probably have in your kitchen.
Apple Nachos & Christmas Fluff

Christmas Fluff
1 32-oz tub vanilla yogurt (I used Greek non-fat)
1 packet instant vanilla pudding
1 tub cool whip, thawed
1 bag frozen berries (I used raspberries)

Mix the yogurt and vanilla pudding mix until combined.  Fold in cool whip until combined.  Fold in frozen berries.  Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Apple Nachos
Four apples
2 heaping Tablespoons Peanut Butter (creamy or crunchy)
Topping you have on hand (chopped nuts, coconut, chocolate chips, sprinkles, chocolate syrup, etc)

Slice the apples.  Arrange on a plate.  Melt the peanut butter in the microwave.  Pour over the apple slices.  Sprinkle with additional toppings if desired.

Easy!  I made both of these for our Christmas Eve after church snacks tonight.  My family gave them two thumbs up!

Merry Christmas from Mom Went Running!!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Award-Winning Healthier Oatmeal Cookie Recipe

Last week I entered my very first cooking contest.  I LOVE contests!  Not the kind where you simply sign-up and hope that your name is drawn.  I like the contests where I have to write something or create something or . . . bake something!  So when our YMCA (The Sampson Family YMCA in Plum, PA) announced their Healthy Cookie Contest I was in from the start!

The rules of the contest stated that entrants should take a current recipe and change at least one item to make it healthier.  I took a classic Oatmeal Cookie recipe and changed three ingredients.  Half of the butter was replaced with unsweetened applesauce.  The egg was replaced by 1 Tablespoon ground flaxseed mixed with water.  Finally, I increased the flour from 1-1/2 to 2 cups.  Three changes turned out to be the key because I PLACED THIRD!!
Third Place!!
Without further ado . . .
          Here is my award-winning healthy cookie recipe:

OATrageously Yummy Cookies
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup  unsweetened applesauce
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 Tablespoon flaxseed. ground
3 Tablespoons water
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
dash nutmeg
1-1/2 cup oats

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cream butter, applesauce and sugars together until light and fluffy.  In a small bowl, combine flaxseed and water.  Add flaxseed mixture to butter mixture and beat until smooth.  Add vanilla.  In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.  Stir into butter mixture.  Add oats.  Drop spoonful (T or tsp depending on desired size) of cookie dough onto ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until bottoms are golden.  Cookies should not get brown.  Cool on a wire rack.

Makes 3 dozen small or 1-1/2 dozen larger cookies
Serves 18
175 Calories per serving

I'm normally a follow-the-recipe-exactly kind of cook, but it turned out to be a lot of fun to play with the ingredients.  The fact that my family loved the cookies was a huge bonus!  For the contest, cookies were judged on taste, appearance and nutritional profile.  Making a few simple changes to a classic Oatmeal cookie recipe lowered the calories from 210 in the original recipe to 175 per serving. The saturated fat decreased from 7 grams to 3 grams per serving.  Fiber content increased.  I'm already thinking about what changes I make to other recipes!

I hope you'll give these OATrageously Yummy Cookies a try this holiday season!
Merry Christmas!