Oscar the Grouch Cookies

He loves cold weather, stinky things, and loud noises. Who better to celebrate the transition from February to March than Oscar the Grouch? Fur matted with please-I don’t even-want-to-know, is he really not such a bad guy? If you don’t fully appreciate the contrarian that is Oscar, then you can call these Crocodile Nuggets.

If you are familiar with baking using sunflower butter or meal (I wasn’t), then you are probably well aware of the emerald result when chlorogenic acid reacts with baking soda. Chlorogenic acid is present in the stems and leaves of most plants, but peculiarly also in the seeds of sunflowers. This cookie takes advantage of it!

I am going to continuing playing around with this recipe to enhance it. I learned a valuable lesson in the course of modifying the original recipe, which is that sometimes, I need to leave well enough alone. I tried my hand at Against All Alligator Surprise Cookies_InsideGrain’s N’Oatmeal Raisin St. Patrick’s Day Cookies, and ended up with something soft, creamy, sweet and delicious, in addition to being bright green on the inside (see photo to the right). Then I decided that if it was going to be green anyway, wasn’t it disingenuous to NOT contain some kind of leafy vegetable?  I tried a version with spinach, then with chard. They were equally delicious, but a less vibrant green throughout. The recipe below includes that veggie infusion, but as you can see, the cookies are a dimmer, “Oscar” shade of green throughout, even textured a bit like his fur. Still surprisingly creamy and moist. If you want a version that is deceivingly brown and cookie-like on the outside and bright green on the inside, though, go with the Against All Grain recipe.  I will update this if I can manage to retain the emerald illusion WITH the greens.

 

Oscar the Grouch Cookies
Yields 12
These nuggets are better than they look. Due to the reaction between baking soda and the chlorogenic acid in sunflower seeds, the interior of these cookies will turn green after cooling, which makes for a nice surprise for kids. The sunbutter makes them creamy and just sweet enough.
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Cook Time
16 min
Cook Time
16 min
170 calories
23 g
16 g
8 g
3 g
2 g
67 g
124 g
17 g
0 g
6 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
67g
Yields
12
Amount Per Serving
Calories 170
Calories from Fat 71
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 8g
13%
Saturated Fat 2g
9%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 5g
Cholesterol 16mg
5%
Sodium 124mg
5%
Total Carbohydrates 23g
8%
Dietary Fiber 3g
12%
Sugars 17g
Protein 3g
Vitamin A
5%
Vitamin C
3%
Calcium
3%
Iron
6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 1 large egg
  2. 3 tablespoons hot water
  3. ½ cup unsweetened sunbutter
  4. 6 medium pitted dates
  5. ½ apple, with skin
  6. 3/4 cup chopped spinach (about 1/3 cup purée)
  7. 1 tablespoon honey
  8. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  9. ½ cup finely shredded coconut
  10. ¼ cup coconut flour
  11. 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  12. 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  13. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  14. 1/3 cup dried currants
  15. 1/4 cup pepitas
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Place the halved, pitted dates into a glass or metal measuring cup and pack down. Add the hot water and let sit 5 minutes.
  3. Combine the egg, sunbutter, greens, applesauce, vanilla extract, and dates (with their liquid) in a food processor. Process for about a minute until smooth.
  4. In medium bowl, measure out and combine the coconut, coconut flour, ground flax, arrowroot flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Stir until fully incorporated.
  5. Add the purée mixture to the dry ingredients and stir thoroughly to combine.
  6. Add the currants and stir to incorporate. Let the mixture sit just a couple minutes so the coconut flour can absorb a little of the moisture.
  7. Drop spoonfuls of dough onto a greased or parchment-lined baking sheet. Each cookie should be about 2-3 bites in size. Gently flatten tops of cookies with a spatula. Add a few sunflower seeds to the top of each cookie for decoration.
  8. Bake for 16 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack. Cookies will turn green once cooled and will continue to get a deeper green after 2 hours.
Notes
  1. This makes between 24-26 "three bite" cookies. The nutritional information assumes a toddler serving of 2 cookies.
Adapted from Against All Grain
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calories
170
fat
8g
protein
3g
carbs
23g
more
Adapted from Against All Grain
https://goodphytefoods.com/

Kale & Apple Roll-ups with Quinoa & Flax

Most fruit/veggie roll-ups (yes, even the organic ones with “feel-good” branding) have fruit or vegetable juice concentrates or extracts, not to mention liquid sweeteners and added pectin. By comparison, these kale roll-ups are simple, sweetened only with whole local apples, loaded with fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, and protein.

Kale & Apple Roll-ups with Quinoa & Flax
Serves 8
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Prep Time
15 min
Prep Time
15 min
75 calories
12 g
0 g
3 g
2 g
0 g
71 g
8 g
4 g
0 g
2 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
71g
Servings
8
Amount Per Serving
Calories 75
Calories from Fat 23
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 3g
4%
Saturated Fat 0g
1%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 8mg
0%
Total Carbohydrates 12g
4%
Dietary Fiber 3g
12%
Sugars 4g
Protein 2g
Vitamin A
39%
Vitamin C
35%
Calcium
4%
Iron
4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 1 1/2 cups fresh lacinato kale leaves, packed
  2. 1 1/2 medium apples, cored
  3. 1/4 cup flax seeds
  4. 1/4 cup cooked quinoa
  5. 1/2 peeled orange
  6. 3 tablespoons water
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth. I use a Nutribullet, and this fills it up to the brim.
  2. Spread the puree evenly on a 14” by 14” silpat baking sheet or parchment paper.
  3. Pour the mixture onto the sheet and use a rubber spatula to evenly spread the mix from one corner to the other, somewhere between 1/8 and 1/4 inch thick. Get it as smooth and even as possible, erring on the side of making the edges just slightly thicker than the center.
  4. Place in dehydrator and dry at 135°F or 57°C for about 3 hours (maybe longer in humid conditions).
  5. To test for doneness, press the leather lightly with flat fingers. If your finger leaves an indentation, it is not ready. If the leather feels moist or sticky, it is not ready. It will be slightly tacky, but it should not feel wet at all. If it pulls off the paper easily, it is done. If parts stick to the sheet (which is more likely at the center), it is not done. Look for color variations, wet spots may be much lighter or much darker in color.
  6. If it is dry and brittle, it is too dry, but it makes a nice crunchy "chip."
Notes
  1. Spinach or other mild greens can be substituted for the kale, and chia or other seeds can substitute for the quinoa, if you want a "grain free" version.
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calories
75
fat
3g
protein
2g
carbs
12g
more
https://goodphytefoods.com/

Seedy Apricot Saucers (with Spinach)

Have you been duped in the confusing profusion of “energy bars”? Well, I decided I had been duped for the last time a few days ago, trying to choose the “least bad” option for my little guy at the at the store, as he Go-Go-Gadgetted his arms toward everything within view of the shopping cart. Even the best of commercially available ones (those without some kind of rice syrup or other liquid sweetener) are still composed mostly of dried fruits, with some seeds thrown in for texture. Of course they will give you “energy” if they are mostly sugar! This recipe is better for two reasons: Even by weight, seeds predominate, lending a lot of omega-3 fatty acids, protein, and minerals. Secondly, I managed to sneak a decent amount of spinach in there. In retrospect, I laughingly admit that these would be much prettier with some goji berries.  See my post on Seedy Superfood Saucers regarding goji berries. Go ahead and add about 1/2 cup of them to the recipe below if you fancy.

Note: There are two options with this recipe. The traditional bar size is made in a 9 by 13 inch baking pan, while the saucers use a 24 cup mini muffin tin, which might require two batches. Alternatively, you could have it both ways by using a square 9 by 9 inch baking dish and simply use the remaining mixture for the muffin tin.

Seedy Apricot Saucers (with Spinach)
Yields 20
Not too sweet, these "space saucers" are mostly seeds, with just enough dried fruit to hold them together. Your little one will never guess they also contain spinach!
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Cook Time
25 min
Cook Time
25 min
134 calories
12 g
0 g
9 g
3 g
2 g
29 g
36 g
3 g
0 g
6 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
29g
Yields
20
Amount Per Serving
Calories 134
Calories from Fat 77
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 9g
14%
Saturated Fat 2g
12%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3g
Monounsaturated Fat 3g
Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 36mg
1%
Total Carbohydrates 12g
4%
Dietary Fiber 5g
18%
Sugars 3g
Protein 3g
Vitamin A
8%
Vitamin C
2%
Calcium
8%
Iron
8%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 4 medjool dates
  2. 8 dried Turkish apricots
  3. 3 tablespoons extra virgin coconut oil
  4. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  5. ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  6. 1 1/2 cup (about 3-4 ounces) fresh spinach leaves, packed down (this should equal at least 1/2 cup purée)
  7. ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  8. 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  9. 1 1/2 cups raw pumpkin seeds
  10. 1/2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
  11. 1/2 cup sesame seeds
  12. 1/2 cup chia seeds
  13. ½ cup whole brown flax seeds
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 300 F and line a 9” x 13” metal cake pan with parchment paper, OR grease the cups of a 24 cup mini muffin tin with coconut oil.
  2. Put the pitted dates and apricots in a metal or glass 1 cup measuring cup and pack down. Add about 3 tablespoons hot water and let soak for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the soaked dates and apricots (along with the liquid) to a food processor. (I use a Nutribullet). Add the spinach and blend to a smooth purée.
  4. In a small saucepan on low heat, whisk together the coconut oil, vanilla, and puree mixture, mixing till well combined for just a minute or two. Do not bring to a boil. Remove from heat and whisk in the ginger,cinnamon, and salt.
  5. In a large mixing bowl, stir the pumpkin seeds, shredded coconut, flax seeds, and chia together.
  6. Pour the liquid mixture onto the dry ingredients and stir together thoroughly.
  7. For bars: spread the mixture into the parchment paper-lined metal pan and press down until you have an even thickness.
  8. For saucers: Spoon the mixture onto the greased mini muffin tin and press into each well, patting down firmly so that the mixture comes flush with the top in each one.
  9. Bake at 300 F for 25 minutes. Remove from oven, let it cool completely on the counter, and then transfer to the refrigerator for one hour (or overnight, if it's late!) before moving onto the next step.
  10. For bars: Cut into 20 rectangles.
  11. For saucers: place a cookie sheet on top of the muffin tin and gently flip it over, setting the sheet on a counter before lifting the upside-down muffin tin.
  12. Store bars/saucers in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks (though they will probably last much longer if you let them!)
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calories
134
fat
9g
protein
3g
carbs
12g
more
https://goodphytefoods.com/

Rosemary Raisin Biscuits with Kale

Are you raising your eyebrows at the idea of a marriage between rosemary and raisins? Trust me on this one. The original inspiration for these came from Paleo Magazine cracker recipe, and I made a couple minor adaptations to incorporate raw leafy greens. For Charlottesvillians, I prefer to get as much of my kale, chard, and collards from Whisper Hill Farm, which has a knack for growing gigantic, gorgeous greens organically. Check them out at City Market. I tend to roll mine out a little thicker than the recommended 1/8-inch, so the insides remain a little soft (“biscuity,” if you will). Be sure to keep them less than 1/4-inch thick, even if you go this route.

Rosemary Raisin Biscuits
Yields 12
The raisins make this slightly sweet, combining surprisingly well with the rosemary. These can be made pretty quickly in the oven, no dehydrator is needed. Make about 48 1 x 2 inch biscuits, with the nutritional information below presuming about 4 per kiddo serving.
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Total Time
17 min
Total Time
17 min
130 calories
14 g
0 g
7 g
4 g
1 g
32 g
104 g
6 g
0 g
7 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
32g
Yields
12
Amount Per Serving
Calories 130
Calories from Fat 62
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 7g
11%
Saturated Fat 1g
4%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 5g
Monounsaturated Fat 2g
Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 104mg
4%
Total Carbohydrates 14g
5%
Dietary Fiber 4g
17%
Sugars 6g
Protein 4g
Vitamin A
9%
Vitamin C
6%
Calcium
5%
Iron
7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 3/4 loosely packed cup of raisins
  2. 1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
  3. 1/2 cup flax seeds
  4. 1 cup raw pumpkin seeds
  5. 1/2 cup finely chopped lacinato kale
  6. 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
  7. generous 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  8. 2 tablespoons raw sesame seeds
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Place the raisins in a small bowl and cover with hot water. Set aside to soak for 10 minutes.
  2. In a food processor fitted with a steel blade, process the sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, kale, rosemary, and sea salt until finely ground, about 30 seconds.
  3. Drain the raisins, reserving 2 tablespoons of the soaking liquid. Add the raisins to the food processor along with the sesame seeds. Pulse until the raisins are reduced to small flecks and are incorporated into the seed mixture.
  4. Add 1 tablespoon of the reserved water and process until a rough dough forms. The dough should hold together when pinched between your fingers. If it does not, add a little bit of the remaining reserved water at a time, to achieve the right texture.
  5. Transfer the dough to the center of a large piece of parchment paper, folding one side over the other and using a rolling pin to roll out the dough to about 1/8-inch thickness.
  6. Remove the top sheet of parchment paper and trim any jagged edges with a knife or pizza cutter.
  7. Transfer the dough, parchment paper and all, to a baking sheet. Use the pizza cutter to cut the dough into 1 x 2 inch square cracker shapes. Bake for 12 minutes.
  8. Remove the pan from the oven and separate the crackers with a spatula along the precut lines, spacing them out a little bit on the baking sheet so the air can circulate around them. Place the pan back in the oven for 5 minutes. This step helps to crisp up the crackers.
  9. Remove the crackers from the oven and cool completely, as the crackers will continue to crisp up as they cool. Store in an airtight container.
Notes
  1. Nutritional information: Low in Cholesterol, these muffins are a good source of Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus and Copper, and a very good source of Vitamin K and Manganese. Click here for a complete nutritional profile.
Adapted from Paleo Magazine
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calories
130
fat
7g
protein
4g
carbs
14g
more
Adapted from Paleo Magazine
https://goodphytefoods.com/
#sugarfree #spinach #wholegrain

Crocodile Crunch Muffins

I could just have easily called these “Popeye Muffins” or “Incredible Hulk Muffins,” or “Green Goblin Goodies” but I suggest using whatever green character happens to resonate with your little guy at the moment. I like the crunch that millet offers, though I’ve also used black quinoa (cooked al dente). Some day, I will find an adequate, locally grown banana equivalent, but I have yet to find a good method of extracting pawpaw flesh in sufficient quantity. If there are any intrepid Appalachian foragers out there with more pawpaw patience than I, please let me know, and I’ll post the modification!

Crocodile Crunch Muffins
Yields 12
These sweeter-than-you'd think muffins can be made with local greens nearly any time of year. I have subbed 1 cup freshly ground oat flour and 1 cup black quinoa flour for the whole wheat, which gave the muffins a darker hue and deeper flavor.
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Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
35 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
35 min
168 calories
37 g
1 g
1 g
4 g
0 g
66 g
112 g
13 g
0 g
0 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
66g
Yields
12
Amount Per Serving
Calories 168
Calories from Fat 7
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 1g
1%
Saturated Fat 0g
1%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 1mg
0%
Sodium 112mg
5%
Total Carbohydrates 37g
12%
Dietary Fiber 3g
10%
Sugars 13g
Protein 4g
Vitamin A
10%
Vitamin C
4%
Calcium
3%
Iron
4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 2 cup chopped, packed spinach, chard, tatsoi, or other fresh greens
  2. 1 banana
  3. 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  4. ¼ cup whole milk
  5. 2 cups whole wheat flour
  6. 1/2 cup millet, uncooked
  7. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  8. 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  9. ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  10. 2 tablespoon raw honey
  11. 6 dates soaked in 1 cup water
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375F. Grease mini muffin tins with butter or line with parchment mini-muffin liner cups.
  2. Add water to dates in a 1 cup measuring cup until it reaches the top. Let soak for about 30 minutes.
  3. Combine greens, banana, vanilla extract, dates/water, honey, and milk in a blender or food processor until well combined into a green goop.
  4. Mix remaining ingredients in a large bowl . Then pour in spinach mixture, stirring to combine. If it looks dry, add another 2-4 tbsp milk.
  5. Spoon into greased/lined mini muffin pan and bake 15 minutes at 375F.
  6. 5. Let cool for a few minutes and enjoy!
Notes
  1. This will make approximately 24 mini muffins, or 12 nice large size muffins.
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calories
168
fat
1g
protein
4g
carbs
37g
more
https://goodphytefoods.com/