My 9 year old daughter wanted to make cookies the other day…while we were waiting for a new oven to be installed. So we looked up some no-bake recipes. They all had 2 cups of sugar for about 2 dozen cookies – seemed a bit extreme. They also said NOT to use natural peanut butter because the cookies were too dry… I KNEW we could do better!
Health-ified no-bake cookie ingredients
We softened some dates in hot water for a few minutes and threw them in the blender with the milk (not pictured) and were able to cut sugar by more than half!
Health-ified No-Bake Cookies
- 1/4 c butter
- 5 dates (pits removed and soaked in hot water to soften)
- 3/4 c sugar
- 1/2 c milk (dairy or non dairy)
- 1/2 c peanut butter
- 2 t vanilla
- 1/4 t salt
- 3 c oats
- 1/4 c chocolate chips
- Soak pitted dates in hot water to soften. Remove from the water and put in blender with the milk. Blend until smooth.
- In a saucepan over med-high heat combine butter, date puree and sugar. Bring to a boil and stir for a minute. Remove from heat.
- Stir in peanut butter, vanilla and salt until all melted and smooth.
- Stir in oats and chocolate chips – which may melt if the mixture is still warm.
- Scoop onto parchment lined pan or silicone mat and freeze 20-30 minutes or until firm.
- Store refrigerated or frozen.
Makes about 2 dozen gluten, dairy, egg free cookies. You could use almond butter in place of peanut for peanut free cookies.
Oh what to serve or bring to Thanksgiving dinner that will be healthy and delicious? Get in a few extra veggies but not a traditional carrot and hummus platter or salad? Traditional Green Bean Casserole with the crunchy onions from a jar does NOT count. Sorry. Creamed Corn Casserole doesn’t either. Or the sweet potatoes from a jar topped with marshmallows!
Sorry to burst your bubble, but I’m going to give you 3 great options here that are easy to prepare, delicious and nutritious!
- 4 T butter or olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 2 ribs of celery, chopped
- 3 cups of riced (fresh or frozen) or finely chopped cauliflower
- 1 cup mushrooms, chopped
- 1/2 t dry sage
- 1 T fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 t fresh rosemary, chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
- may need up to 1/2 c broth (chicken or veggie)
- In large pan with sides, melt butter or heat oil. Sauté onion. Add carrots and celery and sauté till soft. Add about cauliflower and cook about 8 min. Add mushrooms and season with salt, pepper, sage, fresh parsley and fresh rosemary.
- Cover and cook 15 min. Add up to 1/2 c broth if it seems dry. Using frozen cauliflower rice brings more moisture. Serve warm and eat it up!!!
Roasted Brussels Sprouts
with Lemon Tahini and Roasted Red Pepper Sauces
Serving with two different colored sauces, white and bright red, adds color and variety and allows guests to customize their dish. When given an option to personalize kids of all ages get creative and are more likely to dive in!
- 2 lb Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved or quartered
- 2 T olive oil
- 1 t salt, 1 t pepper
- 2 garlic cloves crushed or 1 t garlic powder
- Heat oven to 425° F.
- In a bowl, toss the Brussels sprouts with the olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic. Spread in an even layer on a pan with sides.
- Roast for 20 minutes or until pierced easily with a fork and browning on the edges. Toss every 5-7 minutes for even roasting.
Lemon Tahini Sauce
- Juice of one large lemon
- 1 garlic clove minced
- ½ cup water
- ½ cup raw tahini
- 1 t maple syrup or honey
- 1 T and 1 t apple cider vinegar
- 1 ½ t tamari soy sauce
- 1 t coriander powder
- 2 T olive oil
- ¼ t sea salt, pepper
- Combine lemon juice, garlic and water into a blender and puree for 15 – 30 seconds. Add all remaining ingredients and puree again until smooth.
Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
- 1 c jarred roasted red peppers, rinsed and drained
- 1/4 c olive oil
- 3 T sherry or red wine vinegar
- 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 1/4 c fresh parsley, chopped.
- 1 t smoked paprika
- 1/4 t salt, pepper
- optional: 1/4 c Parmesan cheese or 1/4 sour cream.
- combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor and puree.
Marinated Vegetable Platter
Similar to the platter pictured above, select a variety of marinated vegetables of different size, color and texture. The variety draws in kids and picky adults that may turn their nose at traditional crudites. Select or prepare vegetables so that they can be picked up with a cocktail fork or small tongs and can be eaten in a bite or two with out cutting. You want your guests to eat it and not wonder how to do it with out making an embarrassing mess! Serve with a side of Marcona Almonds for crunch. Optional cheese: cubed feta or small balls of Mozzarella.
Some good options:
- roasted red peppers, sliced into 1″ thick sections
- sun dried tomatoes, drained and in halved or quartered.
- whole artichoke hearts
- hearts of palm, sliced lengthwise on the bias
- marinated mushrooms
- variety of olives
- pickled okra
- marinated green beans
- Giardiniara style marinated cauliflower and carrots – in bite size not finely chopped.
Happy Healthy Thanksgiving to you, your family and friends!
This recipe checks so many boxes!
- Quick and easy
- Vegetarian…or not…
- Gluten free
- Breakfast / lunch / dinner
- kids love it!!
Make it WITH the chicken or just omit it. Left photo with, right with out.
Sweet Potato Hash (with/without Chicken)
- 3 sweet potatoes, small cubes
- 2 T olive oil, salt and pepper to taste
- 2 T coconut oil
- 2 red peppers, chopped
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 + cups fresh spinach (baby or chopped if larger leaves)
- 1t paprika, salt and pepper to taste
- 4 eggs, beaten
- 2 c cooked, chopped chicken
- Toss the potatoes with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast at 425 for 15 minutes, turning every 5 minutes, until potatoes are cooked through and browning.
- Melt coconut oil and saute onions and peppers until soft.
- Stir in spinach and season.
- When spinach begins to wilt add beaten eggs. Stirring to fully cook the egg.
- ** separate any you want to be vegetarian** and add cooked, chopped chicken.
- Stir potatoes back into all vegetarian and chicken dishes.