I am very excited for my first post with The Recipe Redux! What better way to start blogging with a group of fabulous RD’s and food-bloggers than with a recipe from my childhood.
So, what is this Recipe Redux that I speak of? It is “the first and only recipe challenge founded by registered dietitians, focused on taking delicious dishes, keeping them delicious, but making them better for you.” Dietitian and communication experts Regan Jones, Deanna Seagraves-Daly and Serena Ball (of Teaspoon Communications) “founded the group on the belief that healthy eating should always taste delicious.” Just like many other RD’s, that is exactly why I started blogging!
Our challenge this month was to “Share a healthy recipe and the accompanying story about one of our first cooking memories.” When I think about my culinary background, I think of both of my grandmothers and my mom. While I can’t say that I picked up all of my cooking skills from them, I did pick up my philosophy to always use real ingredients when preparing meals. I am thankful for this because, despite only wanting macaroni and cheese for a couple of years of my childhood, the eat real philosophy helped me become the dietitian I am today!
My paternal grandmother was the 100% Italian cook. She’d be in the kitchen much of the day, making dishes from scratch that wowed everyone. While I never ate them (and got hell for it from my family members!), her sausage and peppers as well as her meatballs were a hit with any crowd. So were her stuffed peppers. My favorite was her eggplant. Despite the delicious meals, she never taught any of us how to make them or involved us in the cooking! Cooking for us and not with us was her way of showing love. Needless to say, I am not sharing one of her recipes!
While I was apparently obsessed with my maternal grandmother’s beef stew growing up (the only beef I think I ever liked), it is her baking that I remember the most. My mom made plenty of great balanced meals when I was a kid too but, when my grandmother passed away, it was her baking recipes that I continued making with my mom too. While I thought about making my mom’s amazing blueberry cake for the redux, with it being fall I decided on some oatmeal cookies! I know, it is supposed to be a healthy dish from childhood. Well, I have “healthified” the recipe!
Versus the original, I switched the flour from white to a sprouted whole wheat, eliminated the white sugar, switched the milk chocolate chips to 85% dark and added a ground chia/flax blend for some omega-3’s. I am sure they were this way when my grandmother made the recipe as a child but, I used grass-fed butter from pasture raised cows and certified humane eggs from pasture raised chickens too. These factors are extremely important to me when I do make the exception to consume animal products in my diet.
Guess what? With the boost of health in these cookies, they are just as delicious as the original! I know, I am biased. So is Tim who tested multiple batches without complaining :). But, my co-workers and Tim’s co-workers gave the stamp of approval before the last tweaks were made to perfect these baked beauties. The texture is chewy with a bit of fluffiness. I recommend taking them out on the early side if you’re into more gooey cookies like me!
In memory of my Grammy and in honor of my Mom and the real food philosophies they instilled in me, here are my Grandma’s healthified oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. I hope you love them as much as me!
Makes 18-22 cookies
- 1/2 Cup brown sugar
- 1/4 Cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1/2 stick grass-fed butter, room temperature
- 1 egg + 1 yolk
- 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
- 2 Tbsp milled flax and/or chia
- 1 Tbsp unsweetened soymilk (or other milk)
- 1 Cup quick oats
- 1 Cup sprouted whole wheat or whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 Tablespoon high quality cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 Cup dark chocolate chips
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F
- In a medium mixing bowl, cream the brown sugar and butter with an electric mixer until it is fluffy.
- Add the egg and yolk, applesauce and vanilla and continue to mix until well incorporated.
- Add the milled seeds and milk and again mix until well incorporated.
- In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together all of your dry ingredients, except the chocolate chips.
- Add the dry ingredients slowly to the wet while beating with the electric mixer, until just incorporated.
- Finally, stir in the chocolate chips with a rubber spatula.
- Spoon a heaping tablespoon of the mixture onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a reusable silicone baking mat.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes and remove from heat.
- Let cool on baking sheet for about 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.
Do your best to practice portion control and share with others 🙂
Please check out posts from other members of The Recipe Redux below! I cannot wait to read and see what has inspired them from their childhood!
Comment below – what is your favorite recipe from childhood? Have you tweaked it so you can enjoy it in a more healthful way?