Cookies and Milk for World Peace

     So today is 11/11/11 and all around the globe folks are pausing to remember what brings them joy and to envision world peace.  I know I did.
 
     I hadn’t planned on posting a blog today, since I just posted one yesterday, and I surely won’t manage to post one every day . . . more likely every week  . . .but I got to thinking about a day dedicated to World Transformation, and about what brings me joy and I decided I would like to post something sweet–alternatively sweet that is.  Because, well . . . I believe it’s important to reach out and share sweetness, whenever and wherever you can.
 
     Like all moms know, there is something inherently good about baking cookies.  It’s a way to fill the house with yummy sweet smells, to create an opening to sit down with a glass of milk or a cup of tea and relax for a moment, to support your child while they are doing homework, to support your spouse after a long day of work–it’s a time honored way to say “I love you” Bottom line, in my book: cookies and milk are a good thing.
 
     So when I discovered that my five-year-old daughter could not tolerate sugar, and when I learned my husband could not eat gluten, I immediately recognized that I would have to improvise.  How could I raise a child or nourish my husband without ever baking cookies? 
 
     I know, I know . . . . cookies are not the most important thing and there are lots of ways to show love  . . . and what about all the health detriments to eating too many sweets anyway ?        . . .  but still . . .
 
     Perhaps I was so drawn to the need for cookies because I grew up with European parents and it was absolute tradition in our house to have tea every morning and tea and a cookie every afternoon.  It wasn’t overindulgent.  It didn’t make us fat or wigged out.  It was a good thing.  And plus we had the wisdom of my Oma balancing things out–by the end of her creative and inspiring life that included harboring Jews during the war, and working for the underground, her single most important piece of wisdom:  Everything in Moderation.   That’s all. 
 
     Thus, with my time honored European traditions ensconced and my grandmother’s words to guide me, I set out to create a recipe for my daughter for chocolate chip cookies that was sweetened with alternative products and then a version for my husband that was gluten free. 
 
     I had a few other goals too. I wanted them to be filled with protein because I understood that protein would help balance the ill effects of sweets.  (There were few power bars in those days!) And . . . . and this was important  . .. they had to taste good because I had decided I was going to share them with my daughter’s kindergarten class.
 
     Below is the recipe on the original piece of paper I typed it out on–the handwritten notes below the typing comprise the gluten free version I came up later. 
 
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     Before we get started cooking though, though, I want to really set the stage.  After testing these cookies out I took all the ingredients in to the kindergarten, having arranged for a special demonstration with the teacher.  We spent some time learning about sugar and learning about all the different products that contain a popular derivation of sugar:  high fructose corn syrup.  We looked at labels and I got the kids to try to imagine what it would be like if they couldn’t have any of those things, like my daughter.  No candy treats from the teacher for completing their math page, no Halloween candy, no donuts or cupcakes or kids cereal . . . . . they all looked horrified. 
 
     But then I told them that it was okay because we had learned there are always alternative ways to treat ourselves and others and these were often healthier, more creative and fun.  Halloween didn’t mean no dressing up and trick or treating, it meant swapping her sugar filled treats for wrapped up prizes when she got home.  And not being able to eat sugar, didn’t mean no chocolate chip cookies, it meant we had to figure out how to make them with out sugar, and we were there to have the whole kindergarten class pitch in and make a batch that we would taste test then and there that day!  The five year olds all pitched in and made the chocolate chip cookies with the unusual ingredients and they all declared they loved them!
 
     It’s always amazing what happens when you invest your own time and energy into making something happen . . . like pausing and taking a moment to envision World Peace, for instance . . 

Perhaps, like we found with Sugar Free, Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies, there are all kinds of alternative ways we can treat ourselves and each other that are healthier, more creative and fun.
 
     Anything is possible, always.
 
     So finally . . . without further storytelling transgressions, here are my original Sugar Free Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies and Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies.  Be prepared for a surprise ingredient right out of the shoot!
Sugar Free Oatmeal Chocolate Chip      Gluten Free Sugar Free Chocolate Chip
1/3 cup soft tofu
1/3 cup soft tofu
1/3 cup canola oil
1/3 cup canola oil
¼ cup liquid fruit sweet or concentrated fruit juice
¼ cup chocolate or vanilla whey protein powder (alternative)
½ cup sucanat or granulated fructose
(or substitute coconut palm sugar)
½ cup sucanat or granulated fructose
(or substitute coconut palm sugar)
¼ cup honey (or use more fruit sweet)
¼ cup honey
1 TBl vanilla
1 TBl vanilla
¾ cup unbleached flour
¼ cup potato flour;
¼ cup white rice flour;
½ cup teff flour
(or substitute ¾ cup pre-packaged Gluten Free Flour such as by Bob’s Red Mill)
2 cups rolled oats
1 cups gluten free oats (optional)
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp sea salt
½ tsp sea salt
2 cups grain sweetened chocolate chips (look for these in health food stores like Whole Foods or Sprouts)
2 cups grain sweetened chocolate chips (look for these in health food stores like Whole Foods or Sprouts)
1 cup walnuts (optional)
½ cup ground cashews
½ cup ground pecans
¼ cup sesame seeds
·    Blend Flour(s), baking soda, and salt and set aside
·       Blend tofu
·       Add oil, (whey powder) fruit sweet, vanilla, sucanat or fructose, and honey;
·       Add honey and mix until well blended
·       Add oats to flour mixture
·       Add nuts and mix
·       Fold in chocolate chips
·       Drop by teaspoon on well-oiled cookie sheet
·       Bake 13 – 15 minutes at 350 degrees.
·       For softer cookies cool on counter surface; for crunchier cool on cookie sheet
(Versions of this recipe replace the oil with peanut butter and cream cheese and I now often use coconut palm sugar instead of fructose or sucanat.)
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     So, all I have left to say is: 
 
     World Peace and Chocolate Chip Cookies in the same day?  Sweet!
 

 

 

1 Comment

Filed under family, gluten free, sugar free, Uncategorized

One Response to Cookies and Milk for World Peace

  1. So glad I had a mom who went out of her way to make delicious healthy treats for me even though I couldn’t eat sugar 🙂 I can only hope I can be as creative and supportive with my kids

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