Salty Oat Cookies

I’m sure you’ve heard of the whole salty/sweet combination thing that’s been really popular for the past year or so.  Salted caramel, anyone?  Yeah, thought so.

But have you tried salty cookies?  At first thought it sounds gross, I’ll admit.  But it’s not!  Especially not when salty is combined with sweet chocolate, crunchy oats, and savory coconut.  The yum never stops.

These cookies, in addition to being delicious, are very hearty.  As in, eat-a-cookie-for-breakfast hearty.  You can totally do that, especially if you substitute raisins instead of chocolate chips (but even if you don’t….I won’t tell).  Judgment-free zone right here.

Oats are healthy.  So these cookies are healthy.  Right?  Here’s the deal.  These cookies do have oil in them.  These cookies do have chocolate in them.  But oats, coconut, and whole-wheat flour take away some of the guilt.  And if you’re going to eat a cookie, why not eat one that has fiber and healthy fats and will load you up with energy?  Vote oats 2012! (Seriously, oats are looking like a much better candidate…)

Annnddddd, oats are a very versatile ingredient.  They are complemented by so many other things: chocolate, coconut, dried fruit, salt, cocoa powder, nuts, etc.  Which means that you can get creative with these cookies.  As in, you don’t have to do everything I tell you (shocking!  I know).

So even though mine are delicious, you have the freedom to make your cookies in whatever way you enjoy most.  Get baking!

recipe

makes ~22 cookies

2 cups all-purpose flour (I used half whole-wheat, half regular)

1 t baking soda

1 t baking powder

1 t salt

1 1/2 cups canola oil

a bit more than 1 cup brown sugar

2 eggs

1 1/2 t vanilla extract

2 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats

3/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes

1 1/2 cups chocolate chips/chunks

good quality sea salt

Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  In a large bowl of an electric mixer (with paddle attachment), beat oil and sugar until creamy.  Add eggs, one at a time.  Add vanilla.  Beat to combine.  Add oats and coconut and stir.  Add chocolate and stir some more.

Using an ice cream scooper, shape 22 cookies on baking pans.  Sprinkle generously with sea salt.  Bake at 350˚F for 13 minutes, rotating pans halfway through.

[Try to] allow the cookies to cool before enjoying 🙂

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Homemade Granola Bars

Time for fall.

Time for school.

Time for cross-country.

Running makes me hungry.  Biking doesn’t….which is bad.  But running does.  I feel like I’ve been eating 7 meals a day.  And I still wake up with a growling stomach.

Here’s a formula I like: Number of miles=Number of meals.  Yeahhhh.

We’ve all heard how hard it is to eat healthfully on the road (and on the run).  Blah, blah, blah…the evolution of fast-food…the end.  Enter: homemade granola bars.  Wrap one up and stash it in your bag for later (or now).

You won’t find any soy protein isolate or xanthan gum in these.  You won’t need to pay $2.00 at a vending machine for these.  Here’s real, good food.  Made by you!

This recipe comes from a dear friend who loves food almost as much as I do.  Here’s a shout-out thanks to her for sharing her awesome lake with me.  And then feeding me sushi to revive me.

Here’s to the new season and whatever it may bring you.  Eat up!

recipe

[servings depend on how you slice it 😉 ]

1 cup peanut or almond butter

1 cup sweetener such as agave nectar, brown rice syrup, or honey

3/4 cup chopped almonds

1 1/2 cups puffed rice

1/4 cup pumpkin seeds

3/4 cup sunflower seeds

1 heaping cup Nature’s Path Mesa Sunrise

1 cup dried cherries, cranberries, raisins (optional)

chocolate chips (optional)

Lightly coat a 9 x 13” baking pan with oil.

In a large saucepan, heat peanut butter with brown rice syrup over low heat until bubbles form.  Quickly stir in remaining ingredients (except chocolate) and mix well.

Allow mixture to cool slightly.  When cool enough to handle, press mixture into baking pan.  Press chocolate chips onto top of bars, if using.  Enjoy 🙂

TIP: These bars can be sliced and frozen.  Just take one out of the freezer and it will defrost in time for a snack!