Friday, July 27, 2012

Coconut Granola

If you're looking to incorporate more oats into your diet but don't like the taste/texture of oatmeal, why not try some granola?  Here's an easy recipe for granola that you can make with ingredients you probably already have in your pantry!  I like my granola with dried fruits and sometimes nuts, but they're not included in the recipe because in my experience the granola stays crunchier longer if it's stored "plain".  Just add your favorite mix-ins before serving.  I like a small bowl of this (it's really hearty!) with milk for breakfast, but it's also great with yogurt. 

Coconut Granola
Adapted from Lynn's Kitchen Adventures

7 cups old fashioned oats
2 cups sweetened flaked coconut
1 Tbl. cinnamon
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup oil
1/2 cup honey
1 Tbl. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Line a half sheet pan with parchment paper (can also use two 9x13" pans).

In large bowl combine oats, coconut, and cinnamon.  Stir to evenly distribute, and set bowl aside.

Combine brown sugar, sugar, oil, and honey in a small saucepan.  Bring to a boil.  Remove from heat and add vanilla extract (careful, the mixture may bubble up a bit).  Pour over oat mixture and stir thoroughly.  Spread into the lined sheet pan.

Bake at 350°F for 10 minutes.  Stir granola, then return to oven.  Turn the oven off and leave the granola in there for 3-4 hours. (I do 4 hours)  The heat left in the oven will finish cooking this.  Once 3-4 hours have passed, remove from the oven (it will probably be slightly warm) and break into small pieces.  Let cool completely and store in an air tight container.


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Here's a recipe for classic oatmeal raisin cookies that I think you'll really enjoy.  It comes from Cooks Illustrated, so you know it has to be good!  While most oatmeal raisin cookies tend toward the cinnamony side (my favorite!), these don't have any cinnamon at all.  The recipe calls for freshly grated nutmeg, which brings out the "oaty-ness" of the cookies better.  Not a fan of raisins?  No problem!  Feel free to swap them out with chocolate chips!

Big Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

makes 16 to 20 large cookies

2 sticks (1/2 pound) unsalted butter, softened but still firm
1 cup light brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
3 cups rolled oats
1 1/2 cups raisins

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line two baking sheets with parchment.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and both sugars on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, until well combined. With the mixer on low, gradually add the dry ingredients, beating just until combined. Mix in the oats and chocolate chunks until evenly distributed in the dough.

Divide the dough into 2 tablespoon balls and place on the prepared baking sheets, leaving 2 inches between them. Bake for about 20-22 minutes, or until the edges of the cookies are golden brown (the centers will still be pale - don't overbake). Transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack and let the cookies cool a few minutes before removing them to the rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough (be sure to let the baking sheet cool in between batches).

Store in an airtight container at room temperature.


Saturday, July 21, 2012

Milk Cookies for New Mommas

Whether you're a new momma looking to boost your milk supply or just looking for a healthy and yummy treat, these cookies might be just the thing you're looking for.  I found the recipe on the Peaceful Parenting website and have made them at least 5 times since coming home from the hospital.  The cookies are packed with good-for-you ingredients (rolled oats, flax seed, brewer's yeast) that also happen to be galactagogues (they help with lactation).  Of course, this doesn't mean that only nursing mommas can eat these--if you're not already lactating these cookies will not cause you start producing milk.  (For the record, Hubby likes to eat these just as much as I do!) They're super yummy and really hearty.  I highly recommend them!

The recipe below if from the Peaceful Parenting website.  I've switched the order of some ingredients to match the order in which I prepare the recipe, which I've written in my own words below.

Major Milk Makin' Cookies
By Kathleen Major

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour (try it with white wheat too!)
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 cup almond butter or peanut butter
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup flax (I use ground flaxseed meal)
3 Tbl. brewer's yeast (can find at health food stores or GNC)
1/3 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 large eggs
1 3/4 cups rolled oats (thick-cut or old fashioned)
2 cups (12 oz.) chocolate chips*
1 cup chopped nuts of your choice (I like walnuts here)

*for a fun trail mix version, try using 1/2 cup each: chocolate chips, raisins, dried cranberries, and chopped dried apricots.  Yum!

Preheat oven to 350°F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment or foil.

Combine flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in a bowl; set aside.

Combine peanut butter, butter, flax seed, brewer's yeast, water, and both sugars in a mixing bowl and blend thoroughly.  Blend in eggs until incorporated.  Stir in flour mixture until just moistened.

Add oats, chocolate chips, and nuts.  Stir in by hand with a sturdy wooden spoon.  Portion dough out onto lined cookie sheets, flatten slightly and bake at 350°F until cookies are done (I use an ice cream scoop that is about 1/4 cup to make 20 cookies and bake for about 15-16 minutes.  The original calls for 12 minutes, but does not state a recipe yield or cookie size.)

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Lucy is 4 Months!

 Hi there!

These past 4 months have zoomed by so unbelievably fast.  Where did the time go?  Lucy is growing by leaps and bounds.  At our last count, she is in the 90-95th percentile for both height and weight.  She's a big happy baby!  I'm enjoying being a Mommy more than I ever thought possible.  Lucy has been such a wonderful baby, and lately she's been very generous in dishing out the smiles and squeals!  Though I have to admit one of my favorite things to do is snuggle up in bed with her after we've both had breakfast.  It's the best!

Anyway, I have 3 new recipes to share with you coming up soon.  They all feature oatmeal, which is widely used as a natural galactagogue.  So if you're looking for a little boost in your milk supply, be on the lookout!  (These recipes are tasty for everyone though, not just new Mommas!)