Carrie Fehr

Kitchen Garden Food

Tag: Sugarless

Banana Oatmeal Cookies

Banana Oat Cookie

Since quarantine began, I get all of my food delivered to my home. Going to the local produce market, or bakery for a fresh baguette feels like a luxury now. My car has not moved for 8 weeks. And to be honest, I’m OK with it. But these tough times have me examining everything, especially all potential sources of food in my pantry. Careful meal planning is essential right now and a new relationship with my kitchen is beginning to emerge.

Before quarantine life, my freezer was a cold and lonely place, except for the occasional pint of ice-cream, it was mostly a vessel reserved for ice. Now, it’s a winter wonderland of possibilities with frozen assets to nourish me in-between deliveries. Pas mal as they say in French.

Cooking in quarantine has been an interesting journey. For instance, rather than send vegetable scraps straight to the compost bin, I collect and save them like a prize in a freezer bag for broth that will eventually land into a pan as a flavor booster for risotto, stir-fry, or sauce. My reward brings me comfort and satisfaction.

New discoveries in the kitchen, sparked by lockdown, have truly become a blessing. This Banana Oatmeal cookie recipe counts as one of them. It highlights how baking doesn’t have to be complicated. No flour, no eggs, no dairy. No problem! Plus, the starring humble ingredients are most likely found in your quarantine pantry. Voilà!

Easy. To. Prepare. These cookies are on the cooling rack and ready to eat in less than 15 minutes. This recipe is easy enough for young kids to make by themselves. Simple set of instructions: Mash bananas. Add oats, and mix together. You’ve got this!

Banana Oatmeal cookies are moist and delicious with just two ingredients, but feel free to add any mix-ins you like to jazz up the flavor combinations. I like chocolate chips, dried fruit, or toasted nuts. Sesame or sunflower seeds would also work, as would coconut.

These healthy cookies are perfect for breakfast, or as an energy booster for those late quarantine afternoons.

Questions? Feel free to leave them in the comment section below. Also, I would love to know what recipes are inspiring you during quarantine?

Banana Oatmeal Cookies

Makes 1 dozen cookies

Ingredients:

2 ripe bananas, mashed

1 ½ cup of oats

Mix-Ins: (Optional) ¼ cup chocolate chips, toasted nuts, coconut, dried fruit such as raisins, dried cranberries, apricots. Vanilla extract.

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°F and line baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a mixing bowl combine the mashed bananas and rolled oats. Stir in mix-ins, if using.

Using an ice-cream scoop, form tablespoon-sized mounds of dough onto the baking sheets and press the tops down a bit with your fingers, or the back of a spoon.

Place in the preheated oven and bake for 12-15 minutes, until cookies are lightly browned and set.

Remove from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack.

Keto Chocolate Chip Cookies

Keto Chocolate Chip CookieA super moist cookie full of flavor, with a sprinkling of flaky salt that can carry the intensity of pure dark stevia sweetened chocolate chips. This recipe cuts down on the carbs by using almond flour and swerve sweetener as a sugar alternative. Even if you aren’t on the keto diet, you will love these!

Keto Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients:

3/4 cup softened butter

2/3 cup swerve sweetener

2 eggs, room temperature

2 tsp vanilla extract

3 cups almond flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 3/4 cup stevia sweetened chocolate chips

Flaky sea salt or fleur de sel

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 350˚.

Combine softened butter and swerve sweetener in a stand mixer and mix on medium until light and fluffy.  Add eggs and vanilla extract and mix well.

Whisk together almond flour, baking soda, and salt in a separate medium-sized bowl. Gradually add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.

Using an ice-cream scoop, set tablespoon-sized mounds of cookie dough onto lined baking sheet.  Lightly sprinkle cookies with flaky sea salt or fleur de sel.

Bake for 12-15 minutes until lightly browned.

Let cool on the cookies sheets for 15-20 minutes, then remove to cooling rack. Makes 2 dozen cookies.

Butternut Squash Soup

butternut-squash-soup-jpgOn stormy weather nights when I crave something warm and comforting, there’s nothing like a steaming bowl of butternut squash soup to assuage the winter chill. This soup is easy to prepare and with a handful of simple ingredients, it will turn into something creamy and soothing. A sprinkling of pomegranate seeds adds a little burst of color and crunch. Soup On!

Butternut Squash Soup

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger

6 cups vegetable stock or water

1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cut into 1-inch pieces

1/4 pound sweet potato, peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces

6 cups vegetable stock or water

3/4 cup coconut milk

Season with salt and white pepper

Directions:

Heat olive oil in large saucepan over medium heat, add the onions, and sauté about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger. Cook until the onion is very soft, about 10 minutes.

Add the vegetable stock or water to the onions and bring to a boil. Add the butternut squash and sweet potato, return to a boil then, reduce the heat, cover, and simmer until the squash and sweet potato is soft.

Pour the soup into a blender and purée until smooth. Add the coconut milk. Return the blended butternut squash and coconut mixture to the saucepan, then, bring it to a simmer. Remove from heat. Taste and season with salt and white pepper.

Lemon Energy Treats

Lemon "Energy" TreatWhile “better-for-you” energy bars are part of an on-the-go lifestyle, most are hiding a hefty (and expensive) amount of sugar, oil, and calories.  It is no surprise that obesity rates have increased in a society when meals are a rare occurrence in a busy schedule.

The healthiest nutrition bars do not contain added sugar and are full of ingredients that provide slow sustaining fuel, with whole foods such as nuts, seeds and fruits.  A homemade version is even healthier than almost any energy bar that you can buy in a store, and is incredibly simple to throw together, for a fraction of the cost.

Lemon “energy” treats are primarily dates, sesame seeds, and almonds, and are generously flavored with fresh lemon juice, that add a bit of zing to compliment a blanket of snowy white unsweetened coconut.  The later gives this energy treat its pronounced taste that pairs well with the floral-scented lemon.

The inside of this lemony treat is soft and slightly sweet, thanks to the flecks of creamy dates.  Dates not only replenish energy and revitalize the body instantly, but also contain the right amount of sugar to bring glucose levels up. It is no wonder that Muslims break their daylong Ramadan fast with this nourishing fruit.

The very best energy boost ultimately comes from healthy living.  People who eat real foods, (not processed) drink ample water, and exercise daily will have plenty of energy, the natural way.

Lemon “Energy” Treats

Lemon “energy” treats come from a Whole Foods Recipe that I tweaked, just slightly. I substituted toasted almonds for walnuts, and then added a couple of tablespoons of water to the mixture, using a blender to purée it, instead of a food processor.  A small-sized ice cream scoop is handy to portion these energy treats into even 2 “ round shapes. Oh, and one more thing, these raw energy delights are gluten-free and vegan-friendly.

Adapted from Whole Foods

Ingredients:

1 cup chopped pitted dates, (I use Medjool dates)

1 cup toasted almonds

1 cup toasted sesame seeds

1/4 cup lemon juice

1 lemon, zest

1-2 tablespoons water

1/2 cup unsweetened dried coconut flakes

Directions:

Place dates, almonds, sesame seeds, lemon juice, zest and water in a food processor or blender and mix until creamy. If using a blender place 1/2 of the mixture into the blender and mix until creamy and repeat with the other half. The mixture will be slightly sticky.

Using a small ice cream scoop, drop mixture in coconut and roll into a ball shape.  Chill until ready to serve. Makes 2 dozen 2” sized balls.