Chocolatey Chickpea Cookies

Can you believe this cookies are mostly made of chickpeas?? That’s right! They are incredibly delicious, ooey-gooey and rich in flavor-and do not taste like beans!  My kids loved these so much, they kept asking for second and I didn’t feel guilty to give them two!  In case you haven’t noticed, chickpeas are a major food sensation.  Used in everything from my favorite @eatbanza chickpea pasta to desserts like these cookies!  Gluten-free, no refined sugar and eggless, no oil or butter.  Give them a try! and share with others! They will not be able to guess the “secret” ingredient 🙂

Ingredients:

1-15 oz. can of no-salt-added chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed*look for a BPA free can

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/3 cup oat flour

1/2 cup natural creamy peanut butter (look for a low-salt brand)

1/4 cup agave nectar or honey

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/3 cup chocolate chips

pinch of salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a good blender, blend the chickpeas for about 2 minutes.
  3. Add in the peanut butter and blend until smooth.
  4. Add the vanilla and agave or honey and blend to combine.
  5. In a mixing bowl, combine baking powder, salt and oat flour and whisk to combine
  6. Add the peanut butter-chickpea mixture to the flour and mix to combine.
  7. Fold in chocolate chips.
  8. Bake for 11-12 minutes.
  9. Enjoy!!

 

Carrot & Oat Yogurt Muffins with Coconut Cream Cheese topping

One of my all-time favorite desserts is carrot cake.  In fact, I have a post for a lightened up version of carrot cake that you must try! But I wanted to create a muffin version as a quick grab-n-go breakfast option.  These are a lifesaver for busy mornings when you have no time to even shove food into your mouth from a plate or bowl!   My kids loved these too and bonus-they were eating veggies at breakfast!  I’m calling my coconut-cream cheese a “topping” versus “frosting” since it has minimal sugar per serving but you still get that perfect combo that just works so well with this carrot muffin! and great for breakfast without spiking blood sugar.

I used plain whole milk yogurt in these and applesauce which help to keep these muffins moist and flavorful!  Not to mention the extra nutrients you get from these simple ingredients such as Vitamin C and protein.  Make these gluten-free by using gluten-free all purpose flour to replace the whole wheat and regular ap flour.  Enjoy!

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cup quick cooking oats

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

5 tablespoons packed brown sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce

1 cup low fat or whole milk yogurt

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup finely grated carrot, packed (blot well with paper towels to remove excess moisture)

Coconut-cream cheese topping

1 tablespoon agave nectar

4 oz. light cream cheese

3 tablespoons finely shredded unsweetened coconut

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Place muffin liners in a muffin tin and spray lightly with cooking spray. Set aside.
  3. Combine oats, flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine yogurt, vanilla, egg and applesauce.
  5. Add liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients, mix until moist.  Do not overmix!
  6. Fold in carrots
  7. Bake for 18-20 minutes.
  8. In the meantime, make the cream cheese topping by adding 4 cream cheese, vanilla, and agave to a blender ( I used my vitamix) and blend on high until light and fluffy, about 1 minute.  Add the coconut and mix for another few seconds until combined.
  9. Scoop cream cheese mixture out into a ziplock bag and cut a hole at the corner so you can easily squeeze it out onto the muffins.

4-ingredient Shortbread Cookies

Who doesn’t love a good shortbread cookie?  and if you have yet to try one…it’s time.  These cookies are eggless which means the batter is edible!!!!!  and trust me, being a dietitian I’m totally aware of my sugar intake and that of my kids of course…but sometimes you just need a good old fashioned cookie and these make the perfect Valentine’s day treats!  Using ingredients you already have in your cupboard (flour, sugar, unsalted butter and vanilla extract)!  This recipe makes about 4 dozen small heart shaped cookies, so the amount you  produce will depend on the size of your cookie cutter.  To make them more festive, I mixed in 1/2 cup of fun pink heart sprinkles to the mix and for some, I created a 3-ingredient simple frosting (confectioner’s sugar, little butter and food coloring).  Be sure to involve your kids in making these! My son had a blast since it was like cutting out edible play doh shapes.  Enjoy! Oh and did I mention you CAN EAT THIS BATTER BEFORE BAKING?! With moderation of course :))

Ingredients:

4 cups unbleached all purpose flour

1 cup white sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract (try other extracts like almond or orange for different yummy flavors)

2 cups unsalted butter, softened

Directions:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar together.
  2. Beat in vanilla extract.
  3. Slowly add the flour, about 1/2 cup at a time and mix until flour is no longer visible.
  4. Your dough will be a bit sticky at this point!  If adding sprinkles, now is the time and just fold them in.
  5. Dust a cutting board with flour and pour out the dough.
  6. Firmly press down on the dough to create a large disc shape or two separate discs and then wrap in saran wrap and refrigerate for about 1 hour (alternatively, kneed the dough inside of the bowl and cover and refrigerate, then take out a small amount at a time to roll out and cut your shapes.
  7. Roll out the dough and cut out desired shapes.
  8. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  9. Bake for 11-13 minutes (mine were perfect at 12 minutes)
  10. If using icing, allow cookies to cool and frost. Enjoy!

 

Mini Pumpkin Donuts

My kids love donuts (I mean what kid doesn’t right?), so I  wanted to create a healthier version that used less sugar and was baked! You might have seen my pumpkin applesauce donuts from a previous post which are basically almost identical to these, but experimented a bit more to create a donut with a better texture.  In this recipe, instead of using 100% applesauce, I added some unsalted butter which really improved the texture!  These donuts are awesome. I’ve made them with and without pumpkin and both come out great but my kids prefer the pumpkin which also adds a boost of nutrients!  Plus they are baked instead of fried! You must buy this mini muffin tin-it’s fantastic (purchased on amazon) and it’s nonstick so the donuts pop out easily.  Feel free to sprinkle some mini chocolate chips (like I did here with some of the donuts) or leave them plain.

Makes 18 mini donuts

Ingredients:

1 cup unbleached all purpose flour (make these gluten-free with GF all-purpose flour)

5 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon pumpin pie spice

1/8 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup 100% pure pumpkin

1 egg, whisked

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

2 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce

(1/4 cup mini chocolate chips (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Lightly spray a nonstick mini donut tin with cooking spray.
  3.  Combine the flour, baking powder, salt and pumpkin pie spice.  Whisk and set aside.
  4. In a separate bowl whisk together cream the egg, butter, vanilla, pumpkin applesauce and sugar.
  5. Add the flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture.
  6. Whisk until combined and flour is no longer visible.
  7. If adding chocolate chips, mix them into the batter or place a few on top of each donut once they are piped into the molds.
  8. Place the dough in a large ziplock bag, seal the bag airtight and then cut off ½ inch of one corner.
  9.  Pipe the dough into a doughnut pan. Bake for 10 minutes and allow to cool.

 

Whole Wheat Orange Challah French Toast

I love breakfast food.   In fact, I could (and have) eaten it as all 3 of my meals.  Nutritionally speaking, there is no rule about eating breakfast for lunch or dinner.  My kids swap and have lunch for breakfast sometimes (let’s just say rice and beans is one of Ethan’s breakfast favorites).  Ok, so back to the french toast.  This right here was our breakfast this morning which I made in advance last night.  I discovered whole wheat challah a few years ago in @wholefoodsmarketnyc.  I buy a brand by @zomick’s which is DEEElicious!  and already contains sugar, so I do not add anything additional to this recipe nor do I eat it with syrup or anything sweet.  This french toast is so good, in it’s own or served with fresh fruit or my blueberry sauce (search for blueberry sauce on my blog CookingforTots.com).   The addition of orange zest makes these extra special and flavorful.  Now, if you can’t find whole wheat challah, you can go for the regular white type or even use whole wheat bread.  If using whole wheat bread, don’t soak for too long as they tend to get too mushy and fall apart before getting to the griddle.  Enjoy!!

Ingredients
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups low fat or whole milk
Zest of one orange
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 loaf whole wheat challah
Unsalted butter for the pan

Directions
1. In a large shallow bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, orange zest and vanilla.

2. Slice the challah in 3/4-inch thick slices. Soak half the loaf in the egg mixture to start.
Glaze a griddle with a bit of unsalted butter

3. Add the soaked bread and cook for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until nicely browned. While bread is cooking, soak the other half of the loaf.

4. Serve with my low sugar blueberry sauce, fresh fruit or light cream cheese as a spread.

Pumpkin Cinnamon Snails

How cute are these pumpkin cinnamon snails?  I know it’s been a while since I posted between  me and then Ethan getting sick.  My little Ethan had a rough week so I wanted to take this morning to make him something special for breakfast.  Here are my pumpkin cinnamon snails, think cinnamon roll but WAY healthier and has the addition of pumpkin!   I used agave nectar to sweeten the cream cheese filling.  Who else still has a few leftover cans of pumpkin in the pantry besides me? I really wanted to make some pumpkin recipes and immediately thought of this fun breakfast idea!  and besides, who said pumpkin was only for the holidays?!  Pumpkin adds a boost of Vitamin A and other nutrients to this recipe.  These rolls are quick and easy, no yeast required and no eggs! You can make this recipe totally vegan by using tofutti spread instead of cream cheese and vegan buttery spread to replace butter.  Needless to say, my kids loved having these for breakfast this morning!  Get creative and decorate these or get your kids involved! Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened 
  • 2 heaping tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 4 ounces light cream cheese
  • 1 tablespoon agave nectar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • **make these vegan using tofutti spread instead of cream cheese and vegan buttery spread instead of unsalted butter.

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together the flours, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder and salt.
  3. In a separate bowl cream together the butter, applesauce, vanilla and sugar, then mix in pumpkin puree. Add the flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture and stir to combine.
  4. On a well floured surface, roll the dough to a 1/4 inch thick rectangle about 16 x 12 inches.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together the agave and cream cheese.
  6. Spread the cream cheese on top of the dough and sprinkle with cinnamon.
  7. Carefully roll up the dough, starting with the long side and cut into 1-inch pieces.
  8. Now take the cut ends and curve them outward to create the snail’s face.
  9. Place the rolls on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown.
  10. You can use a dot of black food coloring or a mini chocolate chip for the eyes.  Get creative and decorate these cute snails as you want or get your kids involved!

Lighter Carrot Sheet Cake

Carrot cake is my absolute favorite cake.  OK, I’ll go so far as to say it’s my favorite dessert (next to a good NY cheesecake).  There is something about the delicate carrot flavor, hint of cinnamon, crunch of the walnuts and that delectable cream cheese frosting..ahh I digress.  So I made this lightened up version as I have to be cautious of my sugar intake (yes dietitians also can have sugar issues but I promise you this one is hereditary), and I also didn’t want anything too sweet for my little ones or family on Christmas day.  Thankfully everyone else enjoyed it as much as I did making it.  This carrot cake is kinda AHHHHmazing.  I’m not a fan or raisins or crushed pineapple in carrot cake so didn’t include them in this recipe.  I did replace most of the oil with unsweetened applesauce and cut the sugar.  It was just the right amount of sweetness and balance with the frosting.  The cake itself was ever so moist and delicious.  The only timely process was shredding those carrots which I suggest doing by hand vs a blender-but try it your way 🙂  Give this a try and I promise you will not want to go back to super sweet carrot cake again!

Ingredients:

3 cups raw finely shredded carrots, not packed and drained well of excess water

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

2 teaspoons baking soda

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 cups all purpose flour

1 cup granulated sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

4 whole eggs, whisked

3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce

1/2 cup canola oil

Cream cheese frosting

3 cups powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup butter softened

8 oz light cream cheese

3/4 cup chopped walnuts

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Spray a 9×13 inch pan with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, beat together eggs, oil, applesauce, sugar and vanilla extract.
  3. In a separate bowl whisk flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. 
  4. Add dry ingredients to wet and mix to combine.
  5. Fold in carrots.
  6. Bake in the preheated oven for 40 to 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.
  7. To Make Frosting: In a blender whisk butter, then add in cream cheese, powdered sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Beat from low to high speed until the mixture is smooth and creamy. 
  8. Frost the cooled cake and sprinkle with walnuts.