Back when our daughters were competitively swimming and training, I kept the pantry stocked with nutritionally dense foods. Nutritionally dense foods are foods that provide both high amounts of energy and nutritional benefits. In comparison, snack foods, like potato chips, provide empty calories, or high calories with no other nutritional benefits. A working body needs all three energy-yielding nutrients to fuel activity: carbohydrates, lipids (fats) and protein. The body also needs protein and a host of supporting nutrients to build lean tissue.
Everyone loves cookies, and Trail Mix Cookies are both delicious and nutritious. These powerful little morsels are a snap to prepare with a food processor, and keep fresh for several days. True to their name, Trail Mix Cookies are stuffed with chopped fruits and seeds or nuts. A combination of lipids, butter and peanut butter, add richness and provide the body with sustained energy over a period of time. Dry milk powder adds calcium, and oatmeal, whole wheat flour and wheat germ add protein, B vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
These cookies would be equally delicious when prepared with honey instead of sugar, just add a bit more flour to the dough. For those with a nut allergy, I have prepared them with sunflower or sesame butter. No raisins? Try dried cranberries, dates or figs. The flavor is addictive, but remember, even though they’re small, each cookie is just over 100 calories, and packs 2 grams of fiber. Before you’re tempted to eat several, I must disclose that our family’s other name for these tasty treats is the “whofarted cookies”!
Cheryl Wixson lives and cooks in Stonington. She welcomes food-related questions at [email protected].
Trail Mix Cookies
Makes 36 cookies
Chop together in the food processor:
1 cup raisins
½ cup dried apricots
¼ cup sunflower seeds
In a medium size bowl, stir together:
1/3 cup nonfat dry milk powder
¾ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. baking soda
1 cup rolled oats or oatmeal (old-fashioned, not quick cooking)
¾ cup whole wheat flour
½ cup wheat germ
½ cup peanut butter or sunflower butter
½ cup butter or shortening
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Stir the dry mixture and the chopped fruit into the creamed mixture. The batter will be stiff. Spoon the mixture onto cookie sheets, making 36 cookies about 25 grams each. Flatten the cookie slightly, it will be about 2 inches in diameter. Bake in a 350 F-degree oven for 8-12 minutes. Let cool on rack and store in a tin. These cookies stay very fresh for several days and freeze well.
Nutritional analysis per cookie: 112 calories, 3 grams protein, 14 grams carbohydrates, 6 grams fat, (0 grams trans fat), 60 mg. sodium, 2 grams fiber.