If you’ve ever, at any time, read a healthy-eating guide of some sort, you’ve heard the phrase, “shop the perimeter of the grocery store, avoid the aisles!” You know why that is? Because the aisles are full of devious gnomes that steal your coupon books and put candy bars in your cart when you’re not looking.
Or maybe that’s not it. It probably has more to do with the fact that processed foods fill the majority of the aisles. After all, one of the best things you can do for your health is ditch the junk food and eat whole food, right?
Still, it might not be entirely feasible to eat only unprocessed foods. I mean, first off, where do we draw the line at what’s processed and what’s unprocessed? Rolled oats are usually thought of as a “whole” food, because it’s only one natural ingredient. But it has still been processed to some degree – let’s face it, they’re rolled, after all. Um, AND? They’re found in the aisles.
So even though I get the whole “shop the perimeter” mantra, and I do tend to find myself shopping mostly in that fashion - and always counter-clockwise, too, now that I think of it – I feel the need to defend some “processed” foods.
Time, my friends, is not always on our side. Sometimes we rush. Sometimes the alarm doesn’t go off (or we hit the off-button in our sleep?) But when we’re pressed for time in the morning, it might come down to convenience foods or skipping breakfast. Personally, I think we can make a compromise here without having to deal with the typical too much salt/ sugar/ not knowing what all those ingredients are in premade store-aisle foods.
Bake a little ahead of time, be prepared all week. Or all month, if you have some freezer space! Cookies like this one are a great way to get in some slow-digesting carbs, fiber and a little protein – just like a bowl of oatmeal. A bowl of oatmeal that tastes like a gooey brownie, no less. If you have a moment before running out the door, pair it up with another protein source like eggs or Greek yogurt. Buuut if you don’t have a moment, a scoop of protein powder in a shaker bottle pairs well, too!
P.S. Don't you love my mug in these photos? I got it for Christmas from my sister. My husband's says "Mr. Right". And of course, I was right... because I chose him! (Also... I AM always right, you know... for example: these cookies are delicious.)
Brownie Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies
- 1 c. whole wheat flour
- 2 c. rolled oats
- ½ tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 3 T. unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 T. ground flaxseed
- ½ tsp. salt
- 3 T. coconut oil, softened
- 2 T. butter (or more coconut oil), softened
- ½ c. applesauce
- ¼ c. (50 g) prunes/ dates/ or dried apricots
- ½ c. (84 g) dried cherries or dried blueberries
- 1 ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
- ¼ c. agave syrup (or honey or maple syrup)
- 2 T. almond or soy milk or water
- Optional: 4-5 chocolate chips/ white chocolate chips/ or peanut butter chips per cookie
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Prep 2 baking sheets by spraying with cooking spray.
For an oatmeal-cookie texture, combine whole wheat through salt in a large bowl with a whisk. For a smoother cookie, combine those ingredients in a food processor and transfer to a large bowl.
Use a food processor to combine coconut oil through almond milk until smooth.
Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients and mix to combine.
Use a large scoop (like an ice-cream scoop) to portion out about 10 large cookies onto the sheets.
Bake for 11-15 minutes (depending on the final thickness of your cookies) until baked through but still pretty soft.
Cool on the pan a couple minutes before transferring to a wire cooling rack.
Eat on-the-go, crumbled over Greek yogurt, or alongside eggs or other protein!
Makes about 10 giant cookies
Nutrition per cookie: 238 calories each; 9 g fat (7 g saturated); 37 g carbs; 5 g fiber; 5 g protein (Bonus: 10% DV iron)