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Friday, February 14, 2014

Healthy Valentine's Treats for Loved Ones

Healthy Valentine's Day Treat for Loved Ones (photo by LivligaHome)
It is hard sometimes to give up longtime habits, particularly when it comes to sweets. Then there are the holidays that push us over the top of resistance and we give in snatching every decadent morsel we can get our hands on. Valentine's Day, much like Halloween, is a day that has been set up for us to fail when it comes to eating healthy and not over consuming.

My ongoing goal in life is to beat the habit. This means creating new traditions and engaging others in having fun in a different way on these holidays that trigger us to eat....and eat....and eat. Valentine's Day is all about giving sweets and chocolate candies, right?

Well I decide to avoid the chocolate and bake healthy, tasty cookies....to give away. I figured I am satisfying my need to celebrate, give to others and create something healthy for the people I care about. I also like cleaning out the kitchen, so I found a recipe from a Cooking Light Cookbook Low-Fat Ways to Cook for the Holidays that I adapted. I picked it because I wanted to use some really ripe bananas I had on hand. The recipe also calls for low-fat granola for which I substituted Kashi's Go Lean Crunch because it was in the pantry left over from when the kids were home for the Christmas holidays. It fit the bill.
Really Ripe Bananas add great flavor to bread and cookie recipes (photo by LivligaHome)

Go Lean Crunch my Subsititute for Low-Fat Granola (photo by LivligaHome)

Here is my adapted recipe for Decadently Delectable Banana Treats-

Ingredients-
1 cup sugar
½ cup stick light butter, softenend
1 banana, mashed
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ cup egg substitute (or 1 egg)
¼ cup plain non-fat Greek yogurt
1 cup white whole wheat flour
1 ¼ cup unbleached flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 ½ cup low-fat granola (no raisins)
Cooking Spray

Directions-
1. Beat sugar and margarine at medium speed in a stand mixer (KitchenAid) until fluffy.
2. Add banana, vanilla and egg. Beat well.
3. Combine flour, baking soda, and nutmeg. Add to banana mixture.
4. Fold in granola.
5. Drop dough by level tablespoon onto greased cookie sheet.
6. Bake at 325 degrees for 12 minutes or until lightly browned.
7. Cool on cookie sheets for 1 minute. Then remove cookies from baking sheet and let cool on wax paper or wire racks.

Makes 3 dozen. Calories per cookie 92.

Enjoy! May you have a Healthy and Heartfelt Valentine's Day!