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Two Delicious Sweet Treats with Added Nutrients

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For the past few months I have been in training to become a Community Food Advisor.  Our mandate is to go out into the community and teach people about healthy eating – from things like teaching them about Canada’s Food Guide to meal planning to better grocery shopping to actual cooking classes.  In a recent presentation I did to a group of moms, I took along the following two recipes to demonstrate how added nutrients could be put into common foods to make them more beneficial for their children.

This first recipe is for Veggie Cookies.

Ingredients:

1 cup of pureed veggies (carrots, sweet potatoes, or squash or a combination of these) – If you like more of a carrot cake type taste to them, you can use some grated carrot in place of some of the puree

1/3 cup butter or margarine, softened

¾ cup brown sugar

1 egg

½ tsp. vanilla

Beat the above ingredients together. In a separate bowl combine:

1 1/3 cups flour (I used half white and half whole wheat)

1 tsp. baking soda

½ tsp. salt

Add the dry ingredients to the carrot mixture and stir until moistened through. Drop dough by spoonfuls (about a tablespoon) onto a greased (I used cooking spray) cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees F for about 20 minutes until golden brown.

Note: if you want them to resemble carrot cake more, you can add a bit of cinnamon to the dough. Additions like pineapple chunks and raisins are also very good in these.

Black Bean Brownies

Note: this recipe is gluten free, dairy free, and soy free

Ingredients:

1 15.5 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed

3 eggs

3 T. vegetable oil

¼ cup cocoa powder

1 pinch salt

1 tsp. vanilla

¾ cup sugar

(Optional: can add 1 tsp. instant coffee to the batter. I didn’t do this.)

Instructions: Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Lightly grease a 8 by 8 inch baking pan (I used cooking spray) and pour the batter into the pan. If desired, sprinkle some chocolate chips over the top. Bake at 350 degrees F for about 30 mins. The top of the brownies should look dry and the edges of them should begin to pull away slightly from the pan when they are done.

Since making these (and they were a huge hit with the moms and their kids!), I have been experimenting with some other similar recipes.  The other two recipes that I used are from www.sneakychef.com. They’re listed under “free recipes”. The brownies use what she refers to as her “purple puree” – a combination of spinach and blueberries as well as some applesauce. The cookies (she calls them “Sneakerdoodles”) use a puree of white beans.  Again, these are delicious and were a big hit.  One of the nice things about “sneaky chef” is that she has a few different standard purees that she uses – she makes up batches of them and then freezes them for later use.  She has several recipes using these purees and I think it would be pretty easy to add them into your current recipe favourites as well.  I’ll let you know as I plan to continue experimenting with this type of cooking!

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