Amy’s Amyazing Cookies!

Health and my sister Amy are synonymous. Healthy living and healthy choices have always come naturally to Amy. The interesting thing about eating healthy is that it can become contagious! Get excited about your new choices and lifestyle and it will rub off on your friends and family. They will see how much better you feel and look and they will want this renewed health for themselves. My sister has a knack for whipping up healthy alternative recipes in her kitchen. Even ones that her THREE boys enjoy. I've tried a number of cookie recipes myself over the years, and hands down my sister's wins the award! If you are reading this and have children or grandchildren, cooking fun treats WITH your kids is a great opportunity to TEACH them about ingredients and why you chose them! Healthy eating can be tasty and fun! Kids may also be more inclined to try their own creations rather than just another healthy snack that mom made. They will take pride in their cookies and may be more open to trying new possibilities!

Health and my sister Amy are synonymous. Healthy living and healthy choices have always come naturally to Amy. The interesting thing about eating healthy is that it can become contagious! Get excited about your new choices and lifestyle and it will rub off on your friends and family. They will see how much better you feel and look and they will want this renewed health for themselves. My sister has a knack for whipping up healthy alternative recipes in her kitchen. Even ones that her THREE boys enjoy.  I've tried a number of cookie recipes myself over the years, and hands down my sister's wins the award!  If you are reading this and have children or grandchildren, cooking fun treats WITH your kids is a great opportunity to TEACH them about ingredients and why you chose them! Healthy eating can be tasty and fun! Kids may also be more inclined to try their own creations rather than just another healthy snack that mom made. They will take pride in their cookies and may be more open to trying new possibilities! 

The holidays bring with them so many cookies and cakes and there actually are ways to make them healthier. An old trick is to substitute applesauce in a recipe that calls for oil/butter. I have tried it in cookies, cakes, breads, etc. and never been disappointed.  I personally love bananas, and I don't mind the flavor in cookies, and when you substitute bananas in place of oil the cookies seem extra gooey! Also, for some recipes, you can try to substitute agave nectar or honey instead of sugar. I have virtually removed sugar from all of my recipes…thanks Dr. Oz for educating me! Removing the sugar may change the final product a bit, but I'm willing to accept the compromise and not add any to my baking!


So, this holiday season, try some new things and remove some of the higher calorie/unhealthy ingredients (that do nothing for you), for lower calorie/healthier options. Now, you've been waiting long
enough for Amy’s cookie recipes…enjoy making them!

Amy’s Oven-Baked Chocolate Chip Cookies
Ingredients
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup agave (could use honey or pure maple syrup)

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil (could use applesauce to substitute!)
1/2 cup almond butter
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp Kosher salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup of dark chocolate bar broken into chunks
1 banana

Instructions
Put all dry ingredients into a bowl and then pour wet ingredients on top. Stir together until completely blended. Make round ½ - 1 inch balls of dough and place on cookie sheet. Bake in oven 10-12 minutes at
350 degrees! Yummy!

Amy’s In a Pinch “No Bake” Cookies
Ingredients
3 cups old fashioned rolled oats
2 tbsp flax seeds (chopped)

1/2 cup organic jumbo raisins
1/2 cup almond butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup rice milk
1/2 cup agave nectar
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
1 tbsp cinnamon

Instructions
In a mixing bowl put all dry ingredients and then slowly work in wet ingredients. Lastly, fold in raisins, flax seeds and walnuts. Plop into little balls onto a plate and chill in your fridge before you enjoy them!  DEEEElicous!

Q: I end up overeating because it makes me feel better and I never really get full. I'd like to lose weight but this makes it hard. Any suggestions?

A: Being persistently hungry can cause big trouble. So can overeating for comfort/pleasure. These two behaviors, say researchers from Baylor University's Children's Nutrition Research Center, are controlled deep within your brain by serotonin-producing neurons, but operate separately from each other — one in the hypothalamus, the other in the midbrain. They both can, however, end up fueling poor nutritional choices and obesity.

Eating for Hunger

When hunger is your motive for eating, the question is: "Does your body know when you've had enough?" Well, if you are overweight, obese or have diabetes you may develop leptin resistance and your "I am full" hormone, leptin, can't do its job. The hormone's signal to your hypothalamus is dampened, and you keep eating.

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