My Early Riser
My oldest daughter is a morning person. She gets up way (way, way) before the crack of dawn. She crashes around her room like an elephant, opening and closing drawers and her closet. The rest of us lie in our beds and press pillows to our ears. But for me it is no use, before long there will inevitably be a very very loud whisper, two inches from my face, “Mom, Mom, Mom… I can’t find my leopard print flats.” I try to ignore it. Then maybe if we are all lucky she’ll head downstairs and set about making herself breakfast. Which means there will be a thin veneer of cereal crumbs scattered over the entirety of the kitchen floor before long.
That’s where I will find her, sitting in the dim glow of the under cabinet lights, tucking into a bowl of cereal at 5:35. [I am just there for the coffee. Please don’t talk to me, I’ll be much nicer if you wait for four sips.] My mother-in-law is convinced that her propensity to be up so early is due to her dairy farmer ancestry. I sometimes wonder if she does it so that she can sneak in as many unchaperoned sugar grams as possible while I am still upstairs.
It is not that I provide a lot of sugary options, but there are only so many meals that a seven year old can prepare for herself without burning herself or the house down. Usually that means cereal. And cereal hides a lot of sugar. I stick to the ones that have less than 6 grams of sugars per serving. She also makes toast on occasion. Again, she’ll load on the jam though. I am working with her to be aware of her overall sugar consumption.
These breakfast cookies are one of these Mommy compromises I have come up with. They are sweet enough for my early bird. [They should be because they have an entire cup of dates in them!] They also have dried berries and cherries (I used the Cherry Berry Bonanza from our NatureBox delivery but if you don’t have them another brand would work too.) Plus I added a touch of maple syrup. For added nutrition, I also added quinoa, pecans and flax. As usual I made them with whole-wheat flour. So I don’t feel so bad about her having these for breakfast a few times a week. And the best part is, there are no cereal crumbs all over the floor when she is done!
Now on to that giveaway from NatureBox:
I mentioned last spring how much I love NatureBox when I posted these brownies. And I still do love NatureBox. Almost as much as my above mentioned daughter does. [Actually both girls love it.] Every month my girls squeal with delight when a new box of snacks arrive in the mail. And I have to say, it is so convenient. Especially because all of the snacks are nutritionist approved. If you haven’t heard of NatureBox, it is a snack delivery service. You just sign up for the size box you want, and then every month a green and brown box filled with new and delicious snacks arrives in the mail. [My favorite still is the Taj Mahal snack mix. Which is awesome because now you can specify what you want in your delivery with the new “choose your snacks” feature. And let me tell you I am puttin’ dat in every box!!] If you are interested in signing up, you dear readers of Healthy Seasonal Recipes can get 50% off your first box today. For the giveaway, please use the rafflecopter widget to enter. You can gain additional entries by following the instructions on the widget.
This contest is open to US residents only and you must be 18 or older to enter. The contest is open from 6 am Tuesday Feb 25th 2014 until noon on Sunday March 2nd 2014, EST.
Whole-grain, date-sweetened breakfast cookies with cherries and berries, pecans, quinoa and flax.
- 6 ounces soft Medjool Dates, pitted and chopped (1 cup)
- ½ cup boiling water
- 1 cup whole-wheat flour
- ¼ cup ground flax seeds
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs, separated
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- 4 ounces dried cherries and berries, such as Cherry Berry Bonanza
- 1 cup cooked quinoa (4 ½ ounces) see Tip*
- ¼ cup chopped toasted pecans
- Place dates in a small bowl. Pour water over the dates and let sit until the dates are very soft and the water has cooled to about room temperature, about 20 minutes.
- Arrange two oven racks evenly spaced in upper and lower thirds of the oven. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat two large baking sheet with cooking spray.
- Whisk flour, flax seeds, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Make a well in the center.
- Place dates and water in blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Add egg yolk, oil, maple syrup, vanilla and almond extract and process until smooth. Pour the date mixture into the well in the center of the dry mix. Stir to combine. Add in dried cherries and berries, quinoa and pecans and stir until just combined.
- Beat egg whites with clean beaters in a medium bowl until soft peaks form. Fold whites into cookie batter.
- Drop batter by two tablespoons per cookie, about 1 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets.
- Bake, rotating once half way, until puffed and set 15 to18 minutes. Let cool on baking sheet at least 5 minutes before removing to a cooling rack with a thin spatula.
Tip* To make cooked quinoa: Bring 2 parts water to a boil in a large or medium saucepan. Add 1 part rinsed quinoa and return to a simmer. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer undisturbed until the water is absorbed and the quinoa has just burst opened, about 15 minutes. | Fiber: 3 g| Protein: 2 grams|Sodium: 93 | Sat Fat: 0g|