Whole Grain Lemon-Blueberry Cookies

Sometimes we just need a few simple things to get us through this crazy (in so many ways) life. 

And I don’t mean simple like GPS systems that are supposed to help us not need paper maps – that has most definitely been the root of roadside-squabbling many a time – or simple like Ramen noodle bowls, which, in my opinion, provide only a dietary gap to further complicate things.  

I mean simple like a loose sundress.  Or a sun-ripened strawberry.  Or lying on cold tile to keep from melting when your AC goes out in an Arizona summer.  (Yep, that happened.)  Or a batch of freshly baked cookies.  (Specifically THESE freshly baked cookies.) 

That’s right.  I’m effectively claiming these cookies as simple, uncomplicated, and sanity-saving.

This recipe only uses the best stuff – nothing extraneous, nothing unnecessary.  The flavor is summery with lemon and blueberries, on a base of only whole grains.  For softness and lightness, natural applesauce, Greek yogurt, and a little butter are blended together with just enough brown sugar to make the cookies deliciously sweet.  For simplicity (you know I can never have enough) the cookies use scoop-and-drop technology, for perfectly round and slightly cake-like bites, and take so little time to get out of the oven and into my mouth.  All very important aspects.

So when life happens, and you desperately need to make something sweet and delicious – whether it be for a friend’s birthday or just to save yourself from an otherwise humdrum day – just breathe, and think simple.  No point in adding more stress when your cats/kids are climbing the walls, the mailman just delivered the wine you ordered to your neighbors, and you have three more loads of laundry to get through.  Right?

Of course, there is a time and a place for fancy and involved things… but maybe that’s just not right now.

Whole Grain Lemon-Blueberry Cookies

3 c. white whole wheat flour, lightly spooned into the cup and leveled

2 c. rolled oats

1 tsp. baking soda

½ tsp. salt

1 c. unsweetened plain applesauce

½ c. butter, softened

1 c. packed light brown sugar (or sucanat if available)

½ c. nonfat plain Greek yogurt

2 T. lemon juice

Zest of one large lemon or two small lemons

1 c. dried blueberries

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. and line two large baking sheets with parchment paper (or spray with cooking spray.)

In a large bowl, whisk together flour through salt.

In another bowl, whisk applesauce through lemon zest together.

Combine the wet mixture with the dry in the large bowl using a rubber spatula.  Fold in the dried blueberries. 

Use a small (about 1” diameter) scooper to create round cookies by simply dropping 1 ½” apart on the baking sheets. 

Bake for 7-9 minutes, or until baked through but still very soft inside.  (I usually poke the cookies to get an idea, and then break one in half to be sure.)  Cool on a wire rack.

Enjoy simply as you would enjoy any healthy and delicious treat – for part of breakfast, as a snack, or as a dessert!