Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Clean Eating Pear Oatmeal Cookies

Makes 18 regular cookies or 36 mini-cookies
Since we don't use white sugar or white flour, I'm always in search of baked goods that use healthy ingredients but still taste indulgent. One great way to naturally sweeten baked goods is by using fruit. Both of my boys love pears and, since they were on sale THIS week, I thought I'd try them out in a cookie. I found a recipe and "healthified" it. They were definitely different but we were all happy with the results. They are more of a cakey cookie (just how you like them, Mandy!) and we all thought they got better and better the longer they sat there. I think the flavor of the pears absorbed through the rest of the cookie as they sat or something. Because they're made with fresh fruit, you should probably store them in the fridge.

Bet you wish you could reach through your screen and grab one :)
Another plus is that these are resilient enough that your kids can help you make them. You know all those recipes where you have to use like 10 separate bowls and cream stuff together first and then sift the flour? I don't play that game. Maybe because I'm not a very sophisticated cook so I don't understand the benefit of mixing all the things separately. I'm just a Mom in a kitchen with one kid hanging on her leg and the other trying to eat the flour out of the bowl. I dump everything into one bowl and just stir it up. Sometimes that doesn't work but I let my boys and my crazy nephew help make these and they mixed.... and mixed.... and mixed the ingredients and they (amazingly) did not become hockey pucks when baked. They were soft and cakey and oh so good :) Enjoy!!

How I "healthified" it:
  • The original recipe called for 1/2 a cup of butter. I used 1/4 cup of olive oil and, since mashed fruit can be used in place of oil/fat in baked goods (usually you see applesauce as an oil substitute), I rounded out the 1/2 cup with 1/2 a mashed pear.
  • The original recipe was sweetened with 1/3 cup of honey, 1/2 cup brown sugar, and 2 pears. I increased the honey to 1/2 a cup and made up for the lack of brown sugar by adding an extra pear; half mashed as mentioned above and half diced. I also put a few chocolate chips on some of ours... but mainly because I just think everything is better with chocolate :)
  •  The original recipe used white flour. I substituted an equal amount of whole wheat flour (I like to use King Arthur's White Whole Wheat when I'm making baked goods).
  • The Results - A decrease in calories, fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium and a slight increase in dietary fiber and protein.
 Ingredients:
  • 2 1/2 medium pears, diced (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1/2 a pear, mashed (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla (my mom didn't have vanilla so I used coconut extract. Awesome if you like coconut!!)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour (I recommend King Arthur's White Whole Wheat)
  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • Chocolate chips (optional)
ONE: Dump the mashed pear, olive oil, honey, egg, vanilla, salt, baking powder and nutmeg into the bowl. Stir well.

TWO: Dump the flour and oats in and mix until it forms a dough (or for like an hour if there are three toddlers helping you and everyone wants a turn to mix... twice).


THREE: Add in the diced pears and fold it into the dough until evenly distributed. Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls (rounded teaspoonfuls for mini-cookies) onto an ungreased baking sheet. Press 4 chocolate chips onto the top of each cookie (2 for mini-cookies). (I do this instead of mixing them into the batter because then everybody's cookie has the exact same number of chocolate chips and there's no fighting over who got more).


FOUR:  Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 15 minutes or until the edges are light golden brown. Cool on a cookie rack and store in the fridge or freeze using the flash freeze method.


NUTRITION INFO:

Original Recipe (1 cookie) - 180 Calories (56 Calories from Fat), 6g Fat, 4g Saturated Fat, 25mg Cholesterol, 134mg Sodium, 28g Total Carbohydrates, 2g Dietary Fiber, 13g Sugars, 3g Protein, 4% DV Vitamin A, 1% DV Vitamin C, 3% DV Calcium, 6% DV Iron

New "Healthified" Recipe (1 regular cookie)151 Calories (38 Calories from Fat), 4g Fat, 1g Saturated Fat, 12mg Cholesterol, 96mg Sodium, 26g Total Carbohydrates, 3g Dietary Fiber, 11g Sugars, 4g Protein, 0% DV Vitamin A, 2% DV Vitamin C, 3% DV Calcium, 6% DV Iron

New "Healthified" Recipe (1 mini-cookie) - 75 Calories (19 Calories from Fat), 2g Fat, 0g Saturated Fat, 6mg Cholesterol, 48mg Sodium, 13g Total Carbohydrates, 2g Dietary Fiber, 5g Sugars, 2g Protein, 0% DV Vitamin A, 1% DV Vitamin C, 1% DV Calcium, 3% DV Iron

This is where my Mom put my niece while we were baking, LOL!!! Not at all related
to the recipe, but don't you think her expression says, "Hey, where's my cookie...
...and why are you all laughing at me in my cardboard box?"

Check out other sweet treats like these on Sweet as Sugar Cookies :)

5 comments:

  1. What a tasty idea to add pears to an oatmeal cookie. They look great. I have a sweet treat linky party going on at my blog and I'd like to invite you to stop by and link your cookies up. http://sweet-as-sugar-cookies.blogspot.com/2011/03/sweets-for-saturday-9.html

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  2. What a great idea!! These look really delicious.

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  3. Hello! I just love this recipe! I have just found your blog searching for this recipe! I try this now! Thanks for sharing!

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  4. Thanks for the great recipe!

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