Monday, November 23, 2009

The Recipes

So here are the recipes for the treats that I have been making recently. Both of these are from Carrots 'N' Cake, a food blog that I enjoy reading. These particular goodies may be a little healthier than other comparable versions, although I am not sure that the 75 calories per cookie for the very small Sweet Potato Oatmeal Raisin Cookies is any less than other oatmeal cookies. However, the sweet potatoes have tons of Vitamin A and a fair amount of Vitamin C, so there are extra benefits there.

Sweet Potato Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

1 cup old fashioned oats
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup raisins
1 cup mashed sweet potato (I found that a medium-large sweet potato cooked in the microwave made one cup)
1/4 cup canola oil

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.
Combine all ingredients in large mixing bowl. Blend well.
Spray baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray.
Use a tablespoon to portion cookie onto baking sheet. Flatten cookies with back of spoon.
Bake for 18-20 minutes.
Remove from oven. Cool on wire rack.

Some I said, I made 25 cookies which brings the per cookie calorie count to about 75. The original recipe says it makes 16, which means bigger cookies and more calories. Your choice. Because I did refrain from eating them all right away, after a couple days I put the cookie container in the freezer to help keep them fresh. I find them very easy to eat directly from the freezer, no thawing necessary, but alternatively you could just let the frozen cookies (which do not get hard) sit out at room temperature for a bit before eating. There are no seasonings in the recipe, and they are very sweet and delicious as is, but I suspect you could also add some cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice to make a spicier cookie.

A few days before the sweet potato cookies, I made some delicious Chocolate Pumpkin Loaf. This recipe has no oil, but it does have lots of sugar and two eggs. Because it already lacks one ingredient which is usually crucial in baking, I hesitated to try to reduce the sugar or use egg substitute (although I think that substituting for the eggs may be worth trying if you are baking for someone with cholesterol concerns). I don't think that oil and fat are bad things at all, but they do constitute a lot of calories in baked goods. Typically a recipe like this might contain half a cup of oil, which adds 960 calories total and 60 calories per slice (based on 16 slices in a loaf). I have calculated that this recipe, based on 16 servings, has less than 150 calories per slice.

This bread is very chocolatey and moist, but unlike other quick breads with oil, it doesn't age too well. It will start to dry out in a few days. I made mine on a Tuesday night and by the time I ate the last end piece on Friday morning, it was a little bit dry and starting to get tough. (I ate it anyway.) So make it, just eat up!

The recipe makes one regular-sized loaf or two mini-loaves (I made the mini). Next time I make it I will probably double the recipe so that I can use the entire can of pumpkin. I think I can manage to give away the loaves! :)

By the way, I also went scant on the spice measurements, they seemed rather high for a small recipe!

Chocolate Pumpkin Loaf

1-1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 can (7.5 ounces) pumpkin puree
1 cup chocolate chips (I used Ghirardelli dark chocolate chips)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease loaf pan(s) or spray with nonstick spray.
Combine all ingredients in large bowl and mix well.
Pour batter into loaf pan(s).
Bake for 40-45 minutes, until top is firm and a toothpick comes out clean. (Smaller loaves may take less time.)
Cool slightly, and remove from pan.


By the way, I did do some running on Friday and today...I will write a bit about it later. I couldn't even download my Garmin today because it was completely discharged. I may have inadvertently left it running all day...wonder how many miles I covered?

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