Over the past few years, as I’ve made my journey with clean eating, we’ve had an interesting relationship. At times it was strong, the food and recipes were totally inspiring and fulfilling and at other times, not so much. One of the biggest challenges for me has always been sweets. I have a ridiculous sweet tooth. Some of the things I’ve eaten in my lifetime would probably make some people sick just thinking about it.
As a kid I remember climbing onto the counter and getting into the cupboard where my Mom stored the little jars of sprinkles, red hots and other candies for decorating cakes and cookies, I would analyze the stash, sneak an amount that I thought she wouldn’t notice and pop them in my mouth. The same went for bags of chocolate chips, marshmallows and canned frosting: chocolate chips by the handful, marshmallows by the mouthful and frosting by the fingerful. Oh, and marshmallow creme by the spoonful. And while sweets in pretty much any form were a turn-on, my favorite has always been chocolate chip cookies. Mmm…hot, gooey, chocolate nearly dripping from a cookie hot out of the oven… Yum! Unless, of course, my Mom got the bright idea to put nuts in the cookies. Total buzz-kill.
My Mom was actually pretty good about keeping uncontaminated chocolate chip cookies around and for the most part I wasn’t obsessive about them. If I wanted one I would ask and that would cover the craving. On occasion I would ask for a second one (or simply sneak another if I thought my parents would say “no” to the request), but that wasn’t too often. However, on one occasion, I got up in the middle of the night (sleep walking) and dipped into the cookie jar. Apparently, I enjoyed a few cookies before my parents found me and put me back to bed. The next day, when they told me what I had done, I was alarmed. Not only had I just found out that I’ve been sleepwalking, but I also realized I’d eaten multiple cookies and didn’t even recall enjoying them. What a waste!
And so the journey continued. When I started clean eating a few years ago, sugar was by far the hardest thing for me to ditch. Part of the problem is simply my sweet tooth, the other part is that sugar is in nearly everything we eat… even places I didn’t suspect it like pizza sauce, pasta sauce, savory dishes. When I learned to read labels, I realized why so many people have such a bad relationship with food. Most of the foods we eat are laced with sugar and other stuff we shouldn’t eat. That’s also when I realized the only way to control what was going into my body was to make it myself. The good news is, thanks to the many clean eating gurus, I’ve found replacements to traditional sugar: honey, pure maple syrup, agave nectar, evaporated cane juice (a.k.a. Sucanat), etc. and the best part is that they taste good, fulfill the sweet craving, but I don’t get that addictive need for more like I do with sugar.
And now we come to the subject of this post: Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies. While I’ve found many tasty recipes for breakfasts, lunch, dinner and snacks, most of the desserts were not really doing it for me. I still had the nostalgic craving for chocolate chip cookies, cakes, frostings, etc. And while I could live without some of the other things, I still yearned for healthy sweets. In my mind I thought it was an oxymoron, but at the same time thought someone had to have done it, and if they hadn’t, I was going to start experimenting. Thankfully, it didn’t come to that.
A few weeks ago, while cruising one of the local Co-ops with a friend of mine, we ran across a sale rack of recipe books. One in particular caught my eye, The Wholesome Junk Food Cookbook by Dr. Laura Trice, M.D. When I first spotted it, I thought it was too good to be true. Then I started flipping through the recipes and reading the first chapter. I couldn’t contain my excitement, “I have to get this! This is it! This is what I’ve been looking for!” There are recipes for ice cream, frosting, cakes, and even chocolate chip cookies! And the best part? The recipes actually look good.
So I bought it. The first recipe I made was the barbeque sauce… holy yumminess! And now, a couple of days ago I made the chocolate chip cookies. Now, I have to be honest, while mixing them up, I had my doubts. And because I’ve always been pretty finicky about my chocolate chip cookies I was afraid I wouldn’t love them. But when they were baking up they smelled… like chocolate chip cookies. And when they came out of the oven, I tried one. Mmm… They were as she had promised in the book. Wonderful!
But the true test had not yet taken place. My son. While he’s not a picky eater at all, I was still a little worried he’s snub the cookies. Instead, he loved them!
So if I’ve got you craving cookies, head to The Wholesome Junk Food Cookbook website and there you will find some sample recipes, including Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies, Chocolate Fudge Sauce and Golden-Pineapple Carrot Muffins.
So there you have it, for those of you who have been with me on the search for healthy junk food, you can now have your cake and ice cream and cookies and eat them too!