Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Oatmeal-Chocolate Chip-Flax Cookies with Cranberries

Happy Wednesday!  With half the workweek behind me, I see Friday in my forecast!  Yay!  

I decided to try a new recipe over the weekend and I must say, the feedback was more than positive.  When you tell people that a cookie or baked good is healthy (or semi-healthy), you can automatically see the reaction in their eyes.  Healthy cookies = yucky flavor.  Not so much with these cookies!!  I took them to school with me and let my colleagues try them out in the faculty room.  Keep in mind that my friends can be tough critics, but the cookies received glowing remarks…despite the whole-wheat flour, ground flaxseed, and wholesome oats.  So go ahead…try them out and let me know what you think!  Here's the recipe...

Oatmeal-Chocolate Chip-Flax Cookies with Cranberries

1 ½ cups whole wheat flour
1 cup old fashioned oats
¼ cup flaxseed, finely ground in a spice grinder or mini-blender, or pre-ground
1 teaspoon baking soda
½  teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 ½ sticks butter
1 cup white sugar (granulated)
¾ cup packed dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
½ cup dried cranberries

1.     Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.     In a small bowl, combine flour, oats, flaxseed, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.  Set aside.
3.     In a large bowl, beat together the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar with a  mixer on medium-high until fluffy, about 3-4 minutes.  Beat in the eggs one at a time, beating well after adding each egg.  Beat in the vanilla.  Reduce the mixer speed to low; add the flour mixture slowly and beat until just combined.  Stir in the chocolate chips and cranberries.
4.     Drop heaping tablespoons of dough onto the cookie sheets about 2 inches apart.  Bake for approximately 10-12 minutes until golden brown.  Let the cookies cool for a few minutes on the baking sheets.  Transfer onto racks and cool completely.  

Why flaxseed?
Flaxseed has been around for ages, possibly as early as 3000 BC in Babylon, according to the Flax Council of Canada.  Some may call this seed one of the most powerful plant foods on Earth.   Flaxseed contains an abundance of essential fatty acids, B vitamins, potassium, magnesium, lignin, protein and zinc.  Some nutritionists now think that it’s the second most vital supplement after a multivitamin, as it helps every major system in your body (cardiovascular, immune, circulatory, reproductive nervous...even your joints!)  It also included both soluble and insoluble types of fiber. 

Flax seed has been shown to be specifically beneficial to:
  • lower breast/colon cancer risks, due to its high lignan content (Flax is 100 times richer in lignan than most other grains)

  • The Omega-3 fatty acids help lower cholesterol and triglycerides

  • Reduces risk of high blood pressure, water retention, inflammation (inflammation....the runner's worst recurring issue)

  • Shortens recovery time for post-exercise muscles (runners remedy)

  • Increases energy and stamina (runners remedy)

  • Speeds healing of sprains/bruises (who knew you could do something to get rid of bruises!)

  • Helps fight obesity by increasing metabolism (sure there are 60 calories per 2 tablespoon serving, but lets keep our eye on the big picture here)

The brand I prefer is called Bob’s Red Mill Organic Whole Ground Flaxseed Meal.  It is available in most grocery or health food stores.  For about $4 a bag, you can’t beat the benefits you get from such a small dose.  Just a reminder, flaxseed oil or meal must be kept refrigerated or frozen.

I hope you enjoy these delicious and nutritious cookies!  



1 comment:

  1. I did get to try these cookies Tracy baked Monday night and they get TWO thumbs up!!!