There's nothing quite like a soft, chewy chocolate chip cookie. My kids (and husband) are so used to me adding nutritious ingredients to baking--things like whole grain flour, chia seeds and oats--that they were slightly caught off guard when they taste-tested these delicious, decadent cookies. It reminded me to make sure they made it into the baking rotation more--one of my fondest food memories is enjoying similar cookies with glass of milk as an afternoon snack or after dinner.
As a Dietitian, it can be hard to switch off the "nutrition" part of my brain when it comes to feeding my kids (and myself), but it's so important. Food is more than just nutrients--it's also about enjoyment, connection, and love. I want my kids to appreciate a good, classic chocolate chip cookie, just as much as I want them to enjoy nutritious, healthy foods. Teaching moderation--that all foods can fit--is an important lesson and that will benefit their eating habits and relationship with food long term.
One of the best ways to teach about moderation is to sporadically offer dessert with a meal. For example, I might offer my kids one of these cookies with their dinner (instead of after), which takes the pressure off of eating all of the "healthy foods" to get to the dessert. Because the cookie would be competing with dinner foods, I would offer only one (when it's gone, there's no more) so that precious tummy space isn't filled with cookies. Have you ever tried this strategy??
Here are my one-bowl, deliciously decadent chocolate chip cookies:
Preheat oven to 325F.
In a large bowl, beat the butter and brown sugar together until well combined. Add the eggs, maple syrup, and vanilla and beat until smooth.
Add the flour, baking soda, and salt (mix them together first if you like) to the mixture and stir by hand until almost combined. Add chocolate chips and stir just until blended (you don't want to over-stir).
Drop spoonfuls of dough about 2 inches apart on a cookie sheet that has been sprayed with non-stick spray. Bake for 8-10 minutes (you want them to appear slightly under-done - they turn out perfectly once they've cooled). Transfer to rack to cool before serving. Makes about 40 small cookies.
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I have an serious obsession with muffin-tins. I use mine daily, either for baking, to fill with craft supplies for my kids, or to fill with healthy snack foods after school. When it comes to muffin-tin recipes--whether it's egg muffins, flourless muffins, oatmeal cups, mini burritoes, or healthy healthy pizza rolls--I have tried it all. And now, I can add dessert to the list!
These flourless muffin-tin chocolate brownies are to die for; soft, moist, and full of chocolatey flavour. They're slightly addicting--it's a good thing they have an entire 19 oz can of lentils in them! You read that right--lentils. And you wouldn't even know it!
Lentils are one of my favourite ingredients to use when making baked goods because they offer so much nutrition, including protein, fibre, iron and other vitamins and minerals. Traditional baked goods and desserts don't usually contain much fibre or protein (which is ok--they're desserts after all!). But, if you can include nutritious and filling ingredients without really noticing it, why not?! These lentil brownies are both delicious and dessert-worthy, but also have staying power, which helps to control cravings and prevent overeating. Need I say more?
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 C) and lightly grease a 12-cup muffin pan.
Add all of the ingredients (except the chocolate chips) to a good quality blender, and puree until smooth
Transter to a medium-sized bowl, add chocolate chips and stir gently until combined.
Scoop the mixture into the muffin tin, filling each cup about half way.
Bake for about 18-20 minutes
Remove from oven and let cool before serving.
Store in an airtight container for up to a few days, or refrigerate or freeze to keep longer.
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