Double Chocolate Oatmeal Almond Cookies

Double Chocolate Oatmeal Almond Cookies

These cookies have a rich chocolately flavor, reminiscent of a brownie with a moist cakey texture. The cocoa is just intense enough so you don’t really taste the banana and the coconut flavor is very subtle, but I really like it with the almonds.  For the almonds, I used the sliced ones with the skins still on and left them as is, if you prefer chop them up into smaller pieces, you could even chop up whole almonds if you like.  Double Chocolate Oatmeal Almond CookiesFor the chocolate chips I like 60% or above cocoa and you could even use bar chocolate cut into chunks.  Vanilla extract was added for flavor but I think almond extract would also work well.  And there’s enough oats so you can feel healthy and indulgent all at the same time, yum….I can’t get enough of these, the only taster who was a bit luke warm on them is my five year old, normally lover of all things baked (that is cookies, muffins, pancakes, etc), I think I just needed to add a few colorful m&m’s and he would have been sold!

Double Chocolate Oatmeal Almond Cookies, yum!

Double Chocolate Oatmeal Almond Cookies, yum!

Double Chocolate Oatmeal Almond Cookies

Author: Sweet Green Kitchen’s Jen Jones

Ingredients:

1/2 cup Unbleached Flour

1/2 cup Whole Wheat Pastry Flour

½ teaspoon Salt

1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda

4 Tablespoons (1/2 stick) of unsalted Butter

2 Tablespoons extra virgin coconut oil

1/4 cup granulated Natural Cane Sugar

1/4 cup Brown Sugar

1 Egg – I use X-large

1 teaspoon pure Vanilla Extract

1/2 large ripe Banana – mashed

1/4 cup cocoa powder – I use a mix of Natural and Dutch Processed

1 cup Old Fashioned Rolled Oats

1/2 cup Bittersweet Chocolate Chips – I use 60% cocoa or above

1/4 cup slivered almonds

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Wheat Berries and Sprouts Salad with Grapes & Almonds

Wheatberries and Sprouts Salad with Red Grapes and Almonds

Wheat berries are dense and chewy with a slightly nutty flavor, packed with protein and fiber and a decent amount of iron, they make for a filling and healthy base to this delicious salad. Raw Brussels Sprouts have a mild flavor, so different than cooked sprouts, if you’ve never had them this way I think you will be pleasantly surprised. I also love how the grapes along wth the fruity vinegars add some brightness to both the taste and look of this salad. The almonds, aside from being super healthy; protein, fiber and vitamin packed, add a really nice crunch. This salad is so filled with flavors, texture and nutrition, I hope you love it as much as I do!     

Wheat berries ready to  cook

Wheat berries ready to cook

Wheat berries and sprouts salad

Wheat Berries and Sprouts Salad

With Grapes & Almonds

Author: Sweet Green Kitchen’s Jen Jones

 

Ingredients:

Salad:

1/2 cup uncooked wheat berries – rinsed and cooked in about 1 ½ cups water for about an hour

1 container or large handful of Brussels Sprouts – outer leaves & stem ends removed, sliced very thinly

1 – ½ small red onion (about ¼ – ½ cup) – slivered or diced

A handful of red grapes – halved

A small handful of parsley – chopped

3-4 Tablespoons slivered almonds

 

Dressing:

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

2 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar

2 Tablespoons Blackberry Balsamic Vinegar or similar

A few shakes of dried Rosemary – about ¼ – ½ teaspoon

Sea Salt to taste

 

Optional add ins: crumbled bleu cheese or goat cheese

Directions:

Stir together the dressing either in a small bowl or right in the bottom of your serving bowl.

Add to the serving bowl cooked and cooled wheat berries, dressing and remaining salad ingredients. Stir well to combine.

Optional, crumble in cheese of your choice.

Serve as a side salad or atop a pile of greens, romaine or baby spinach are nice as a yummy and filling vegetarian entrée. Enjoy! wheat berries and sprouts salad with bleu cheese and cheesy bread

Wheat Berries & Sprouts Salad with Grapes & Almonds topped with Bleu Cheese

Wheat Berries & Sprouts Salad with Grapes & Almonds topped with Bleu Cheese

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Pumpkin Oatmeal Mini Muffins

I know, I know, every food blog and website you go to right now has pumpkin recipes and here’s one more! pumpkin oatmeal mini muffinsBut these little muffins are a perfect and healthy treat.  I bring these to my son’s class for Halloween and Thanksgiving parties and the kids devour them without getting  all sugared up.  These are also great for an afternoon snack.  The maple syrup works perfectly with the pumpkin flavor and makes it taste just like autumn in a little bite.  pumpkin oatmeal mini muffins with pecansThese muffins are delicious as is, or if you so desire even better with some chopped pecans. I love making these as mini muffins, but they’re just as yummy as full size muffins if you prefer.pumpkin oatmeal mini muffins with pecans

pumpkin oatmeal mini muffins

Pumpkin Oatmeal Mini Muffins

Author: Sweet Green Kitchen’s Jen Jones

Adapted from Angie Walker’s Pumpkin Banana Oatmeal Muffins

 

Ingredients:

1 cup all purpose flour

½ cup whole wheat flour

1 cup old fashioned oats

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons cinnamon

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

1 cup pumpkin puree – I use canned pumpkin

1 large ripe banana – mashed

2 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla

¼ cup apple juice

½ cup maple syrup

¼ cup canola oil or other oil

Additional – about 2 Tablespoons of oats & a bit of Raw Sugar – to sprinkle on top

Optional: ½ cup chopped nuts, pecans are my preferred – I skip this when making for a school event

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Tofu Beets and Greens Summer Rolls with Peanut Miso Lime Dipping Sauce

Tofu Summer Rolls with Beets and Greens

Even though summer is becoming a distant memory I love making (and eating!) summer rolls any time of year and this is just another delicious variation.  Really, you could fill them with just about any veggies and even your choice of proteins, so be creative and use what you like. 
Summer Rolls with Peanut Miso Lime Dipping Sauce

Summer Rolls with Peanut Miso Lime Dipping Sauce

This time around I couldn’t decide between using cabbage or arugula, so I just made a few with each and was quite happy with both tasty results.  The cabbage adds a nice little crunch and arugula adds a little bit of a peppery bite.  I love the way the cilantro adds another layer of flavor, but if it’s not to your liking you could happily sub in basil or mint with delicious results.  The beets add a very subtle sweetness and a beautiful contrast of color.  But again, if you’re not a fan of beets you could use carrot slices or mango as I do in this version.
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Lemon Chia Tea Cake

 

Lemon Chia Tea Cake

Testing this recipe has been like the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears in trying to determine the perfect amount of lemon to use.  The household tasters just could not come to agreement. The first few times I made this with the juice and zest of just one lemon and it was really tasty with a very nice mellow lemon flavor.  BUT, I decided we just had to try upping the ante of lemon just to see…So the next time I decided to really go for it “go BIG or go home” and added in 2 whole lemons worth of juice and zest.  I didn’t change anything else in the recipe, even though the extra lemon added in another ¼ cup of liquid.  The result was intensely lemony, but not excessive and the extra juice made for a really moist cake, whereas one lemon made for a drier crumb but easier to get a nice clean slice out of, which is a plus for presentation.  Now at this point we came to some disagreement, my husband loved the extra zing of lemon, but my daughter (who still happily ate several slices) said it was just too much.  In fact Skyler described the taste as “violently lemony”, which sounded pretty bad to me, but to her teen age self that wasn’t a bad description at all.  To me the taste of the extra lemony tea cake was more like a big smacking kiss of lemon, the way may 5 year old plants a BIG kiss on my face.

Lemon Chia Tea Cake

So on to round 3, which was really more like round 5 or 6, but who’s counting, we’re just eating…Now it was time to split the difference and try it with the juice and zest of 1 ½ lemons, which required another trip to the grocery and me being late to pick up Skyler from swim team practice which ended 30 minutes early that day without my knowing, but hey she got some cake out of it even if she had to sit out in the rain a little extra time. I wonder does making lots of yummy food cancel out numerous late pick ups in mommy universe?  So Saturday morning, one more tea cake was made and this time I used 1 ½ lemons.  One taste and finally we felt this version was just right, nice and moist with a pronounced but not over powering flavor of lemon.  But, I will leave it up to you to decide what is the ideal amount of tart for You.  Lemon Chia Tea Cake

With all that said, I really do love lemon in SO many ways, however I’m not usually a fan of lemon in sweets preferring more of a savory twist on my lemon, but Skyler has been begging for months for me to make lemon poppy seed muffins and then I came across the Clever Carrot’s recipe for Lemon Poppy seed Cornmeal Muffins and since I love corn muffins and lemon I was sold!  As usual, I added a bit of my own twist to it with a little whole wheat flour, some extra cornmeal for added crunch and some coconut oil.  But then when it came time to add the poppy seeds, which I had every intention of using, I found that my ancient jar of poppy seeds had gone rancid, so rather than run out to the store in the middle of baking I tried to figure out a substitute and lo and behold, chia seeds came to the rescue!  Just make sure you add in the  seeds at the very last minute, otherwise they may start absorbing liquid and gel up, which is not what you want.Lemon Chia Tea Cake Batter

The first time around I did make these as muffins but then I decided to try it in a loaf pan and liked it even better (that much the whole family could agree on).  However you slice it, this is a very tasty treat, perfect for an afternoon with tea, served at brunch, as a late night snack or even for breakfast with a side of yogurt and berries.

Lemon Chia Tea Cake

Lemon Chia Tea Cake

Author: Sweet Green Kitchen’s Jen Jones

Adapted from The Clever Carrot’s Lemon Poppy seed Cornmeal Muffins

Ingredients:

1 cup all purpose flour

½ cup whole wheat flour (I use whole wheat pastry flour)

½ cup corn flour

2 Tablespoons corn meal (adds a nice little crunch)

1 ½ teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

 

2 extra large eggs

2/3 cup natural cane sugar

¼ cup coconut oil – either softened or liquid

1 cup buttermilk

Juice & zest of 1 1/2  lemons (or just 1 or up 2, whatever you prefer)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 Tablespoon chia seeds, plus a little extra for sprinkling on top

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Oil a loaf pan.

In a medium bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients (flour through salt), plus the lemon zest.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar and oil.  Next add in the buttermilk, lemon juice and vanilla. Whisk it all together.

Add the liquids to the dry ingredients and mix until fully combined.  Lastly add in 1 Tablespoon of chia seeds.  Pour it all into your oiled loaf pan and sprinkle the top with a few more chia seeds.

Bake at 350 F for about 40-45 minutes.  When a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, remove from the oven and let cool in the pan, slice it up and Enjoy!

If you prefer muffins – bake regular size muffins for about 17 minutes and mini muffins for 10.  Makes about 15 regular or 26-30 minis.  Just make sure to oil your muffin tin well and skip the paper liners as I find the muffin sticks a lot more to the paper than they do to the pan.

Lemon Chia Muffin

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