My mother once attempted to turn the whole family into vegetarians. It was a failed attempt, but definitely left a mark. My siblings and I all know what constitutes a balanced diet, and we've all sworn off Spinach Lasagna for the rest of our lives.
Monday night I went to my local C.H.O.I.C.E.S meeting, which is a natural parenting information network. The lady who spoke has Celiac disease, which can only be treated with a completely gluten-free diet. She shared some thoughts on healthy eating in general, places to find good prices on natural foods, and a few recipes. One was for cookies, which she had samples of. I thought they were pretty good.
So, today, the Monkeys and I baked cookies. It was great, because these cookies are actually really healthy. I didn't tell the Monkeys that though. Oh no, I'm smarter than that. I just told them we were baking cookies, and then when they tried one I said "Do you like it?" And they did! I was so excited! So I let them have as many as they wanted. I'm a cool mama like that.
Then the Mad Scientist came home. Hungry as always (and he's ALWAYS hungry), he grabbed a cookie off the cooling rack. Chewing carefully, he hesitated, and asked "Do these have bananas in them?"
I could tell he wasn't too enthusiastic, so I got a bit defensive. "Well, yes. They're gluten-free! And, they have no sugar in them, so they're really healthy! So you can have several, if you'd like. The children really liked them!"
He replied "Oh, that explains it. Actually, I think they're terrible." Then he laughed, and said "Bananas, gluten-free, and no sugar. It sounds like one of your mother's recipes!" (Don't get too upset, Mom, he's only going by what the boys have told him. I, of course, deny any responsibility for whatever he has heard regarding your healthy recipes.)
So apparently the children and I have developed our taste for healthy food further than the Mad Scientist has at this point. I'm still working on him, though. :-) And for those who would like to try the cookie recipe, here it is:
2c. oats, ground (a coffee grinder works great)
2/3 c. almonds, ground (coffee grinder again. I have one just for spices and things)
1 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
1 t. cinnamon
1 1/2 c. mashed bananas
1/4 c. oil
1 t. vanilla
3/4 c. raisins (optional)
Mix dry ingredients. Mix bananas, oil, and vanilla in a food processor or with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy. Add to dry ingredients. Add raisins, if using. Shape into cookies and bake on an oiled cookie sheet at 350 degrees F for about 15 minutes.
(Recipe adapted from Simply Natural Baby Food, Olson)
I didn't actually measure my banana. I just used two, plus a piece of one Monkey #3 was eating, because it looked to me like I needed a bit more. Then, the dough was gloppy, so I added some more oats. (I'm really precise like that, with my cooking and baking.) When I got what I think of as a cookie-dough texture, I dropped it by spoonfuls onto the cookie sheets. After they came out of the oven, I realized these cookies don't spread by themselves, so if you want them flat you have to flatten them before baking. Please note, that if you care that these are gluten-free, you need to buy gluten-free oats. It didn't matter to me, so I just used regular oats that I already had.