I am here to tell you that being a health coach and a kid’s cooking teacher can coexist. And the proof is in the cookie.
With Earth Day around the corner, I put on my best Family Circle + Martha Stewart inspired – thinking cap and started creating an ‘earth friendly’ menu for my tiny tykes to whip up in after school classes around the city.
Green smoothies seemed like an obvious choice [especially given my new blender and addiction to smoothies], but I needed something else. As much as kids love to ‘push the buttons’ [seriously… if you ever need to entertain a rowdy group of three year olds whip out a blender or food processor], it isn’t enough to keep them engaged for ninety minutes. I needed something else.
And then it came to me… compost cookies! One of the greatest cookie inventions of the twenty first century, compost cookies are exactly what they sound like – a cookie stuffed with the leftovers of every good junk food you have lying around. I’m talking pretzels, potato chips, chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, coconut, nuts, raisins… you name it and you’ll probably find a compost cookie that has it.
The challenge came when I went to gather my ‘compost’ materials. Looking through my cabinets, I realized that I didn’t actually have any leftover pretzels, chips, or other junk foods that make the compost cookie so great. But as a health coach and cooking enthusiastic, what I did have was a ton of extra veggies, nuts, and dried fruit.
And thus… the Health Coach Compost Cookie was born.
I would say this cookie lies somewhere between a morning glory muffin top, breakfast baked treat, and compost dessert cookie. It’s a beautiful marriage of unexpected veggies [carrots + zucchini… in a cookie!] and classic cookie flavors [chocolate chips, raisins, and craisins]. The cookie itself is pillowy and light with a new combination of mix-ins in every bite.
Sweet and simple enough for kids to enjoy, but wholesome enough for my Health Coach stamp of approval.
Makes 3 dozen
Adapted from Blue Eyed Bakers
1.5 sticks butter
1 c. loosely packed brown sugar
½ c. white sugar
2 t. vanilla
2 eggs [applesauce is a great choice if you’re going to make these vegan]
1 ¼ c. whole-wheat flour
1 c. all purpose white flour
½ t. salt
½ t. baking soda
½ t. cinnamon
1 ½ c. grated carrots
1 c. grated zucchini
1 c. chocolate chips
½ c. raisins
¼ c. craisins
+ Whatever else floats your boat!
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Grate the carrots and zucchini and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients.
Cream the butter + sugars [brown + white] together. Beat in the eggs and vanilla. Slowly incorporate the dry ingredients, and mix until well combine.
Fold in the carrots + zucchini, and whatever add-ins you are using.
Drop cookies on prepared baking sheet about 2 inches apart and bake for 12 minutes. [They will look slightly wet, but you don’t want to over bake them!]
Earth Day 2013 – Helping budding young chefs make a little healthier choices… One cookie at a time.