Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Food Rule 5, No Sugar Oat Cookies, and a Giveaway!

(Giveaway details at the bottom of this post)

Good mooooooorning!

So.  After yesterday's chatter about these mysterious and vague "Food Rules," I bet you're ready for something to sink your teeth into - both literally and figuratively.  Behold!  Our first Food Rule:

Over the past few months, I've been trying to eliminate excess sugar from my diet.  And that includes the Splenda I once loved with all my heart.  I've been reading too many scary things about artificial sweeteners, and if it's such a hotly debated topic in the nutrition world, I really ought not to be eating it.  But, I can't bear the thought of using real sugar and adding all those calories back into my diet.  So I did the one thing that seemed to make the most sense: I started teaching my taste buds to be ok with foods that are less sweet.  Yep.  The same way I taught my taste buds to be ok with vegetables (and then like them and then crave them and then actually love them way more than the other things on my dinner plate).  I started with ditching the sugar in my morning coffee.  Then I started digging through my pantry to see if sweeteners were sneaking onto the labels in my other foods.  Did you know that a lot of canned soups have sugar?  And that whole/real/natural fruit popsicles have sugar, fructose, and corn syrup at the top of their ingredient lists?!  It's crazy town!

After really sticking to it (I'm a baker after all, and my favorite food is cake with frosting!), I discovered some things about sugar: When I don't eat it, I'm a lot nicer.  Like, a lot nicer.  And my skin looks better.  And I don't find myself filled with an overwhelming urge to cram forkfuls of dessert into my face, like before.  I'm not doing some crazy diet or counting carbs or using a new-fangled substitute.  I'm teaching my taste buds to like foods that aren't dialed up to Holy Sugary Sweet Explosion.

Today's cookie recipe definitely fits the bill!  I mean, it's got "No Sugar" straight up in the title, even.  And if you look at the ingredient list, there is also no dairy, no gluten, and only a scant amount of added fat.  The cookies bake up similar to a chewy bar, and I really, truly love them.  When Bo first took a bite, he was expecting a sugary blast similar to my regular cookie recipes.  But after I told him, "Dude, there's only fruit sugar in those things and almost zero fat," he paused to consider them and then promptly ate 4 cookies before I could yell at him to save some for me.  I love that these cookies have an ingredient list I feel zero guilt about, and they're a perfect little snack to keep the tummy grumblies at bay.


p.s.  Don't forget to enter the giveaway!  Details at the very bottom of this post!

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No Sugar Oat Cookies
adapted from Blueberry Girl

1 1/2 c. (128g) regular rolled oats
1 c. (60g) unsweetened coconut flakes
1/4 c. (30g) almond meal
1/2 c. (60g) nuts, finely chopped
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. (60g) dried fruit (I used blueberries and raisins)
4 (425g total) ripe bananas, mashed
1/4 c. canola oil
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, stir together oats, coconut flakes, almond meal, nuts, cinnamon, and salt.  Stir in dried fruit, making sure that the pieces do not stick together.

In a separate medium bowl, combine mashed bananas, oil, and vanilla.  Pour wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients and stir until well combined.

Press batter into cookie cutters and space 1" apart onto parchment paper.  (Or use a cookie scoop and flatten the balls to make them evenly thick.)  Bake for 20 minutes, or until edges and bottoms are golden brown.  Store in airtight container.  Makes about 20 cookies.

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Ingredient Lineup:


To celebrate kicking off this Food Rules series, I'm sponsoring a giveaway!

What the winner will get:

- A copy of Michael Pollan's newly illustrated "Food Rules: An Eater's Manual"

- 2 bottles of my homemade vanilla extract

- 1 "Cookies for Kids Cancer" cookie spatula

There are three different ways you can enter.  That means that each person can enter up to 3 times!

1.  Post a comment here telling me one area in your food world where you're thinking of cutting back on sugar or sweeteners.  (Or post a comment telling me that cutting sweeteners is for the birds and that you really just want the pretty book, the pretty vanilla, and the pretty spatula.)

2.  Post a link to this recipe on Facebook and come back here to leave a comment telling me you did that.

3.  Post a link to this recipe on Pinterest and come back here to leave a comment telling me you did that.
     (If you need a Pinterest invite, email me: skeddy @ gmail .com)
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Drawing will take place this Friday, 1/6 at noon EST.  And I'll email the winner right away!

Fine print: Giveaway open to US shipping addresses only, so if you live somewhere else, you'll need to regift these prizes to a best pal living in the US.  This giveaway isn't sponsored by anyone or any company.  It's all out of my pocket and, as my Dad used to say - the goodness of my pea pickin' little heart.


  1. You've been shared on facebook! :)http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/LivingCrunchy/304500192896924?sk=wall

  2. I was immediately skeptical of the phrase "no sugar" in the recipe title, but I guess if Bo likes 'em, I might as well give it a whirl.

    While I greatly respect your quest for no sugar, and heartily cheer on your efforts, my previous attempts at reducing sugar intake have failed. I don't drink any in my coffee and don't have any other daily sugar filled food rituals. I do feel that cooking/eating vegetarian and gluten free have already limited by food choices, so why limit them further by eliminating sugar too? I know this is a cop out, but sugar tastes so good...Perhaps your positive results with this experiment will help motivate me to also give up sugar.

  3. cutting out sugars and mindless eating has been HUGE in me feeling good. It makes a world of difference. I am using sweetner, but am trying to cut back, but it's hard to break.

  4. So...right before Lisa Flora's wedding (Dec 17th), I cut out my beloved Int'l Delight Caramel Macchiato creamer. Cut it out altogether. And (please feel free to laugh here!) I lost 6lbs in a matter of a couple weeks. I was consuming THAT much creamer...like a big bottle every 3 days. I know, GRODY. So, now that I've cut that out, I'm no longer drinking coffee - but tea rather. I like it!

  5. Ooooh, and I posted to Facebook too.

  6. http://pinterest.com/pin/223843043948841090/

    I pinned it!

  7. one area of food I'd like to cut back on artificial sugar? For the kiddo. And I suppose it would be good for the kiddo I'm growing in my belly right now to start off healthy, so I will try for myself to snack better in the afternoon!

  8. I was going to jump into action & make these for my Hubby tomorrow until I realized, I'm missing half the ingredients. Go figure, we have lots of sugar! I'll have to add these to my shopping list.
    PS- I really want the vanilla!!!

  9. Jayne Stallons1/3/12, 8:23 PM

    Well, one place I'm trying to reduce sugar is in my morning steel-cut oatmeal. That's seriously good stuff, but if I put like two tablespoons of brown sugar on it, it kind of defeats the purpose, you know? So I'm reducing down to just a teaspoon today, and added chopped walnuts and flaxseed. Like you said, I need to train my tastebuds to enjoy things without so much sweetness.

  10. I totally pinned this so I don't forget about it!

  11. Pinned it on Pinterest so I remember to try it! I know when my sugar consumption goes up, I crave it. When I cut it out, I don't miss it. Time to get back on track:)

  12. I want to cut out sugars from cereals - I love sweet breakfast cereals but I know they're not good for me!

    urchiken at gmail dot com

  13. I'd love to cut out the after dinner sweets. Tough one but I'm working on it!

  14. I'm conflicted about this debate... to sweeten or not to sweeten? Can honey count as a non-sugary substitute? If so, I'm in!

  15. Louisa Conklin1/5/12, 1:38 AM

    Hi girls, I just posted this on my facebook page. Love this site and your recipes. Thanks for the sugar-free help too.

  16. i want to add less sugar to my morning oatmeal or cereal

    katherinedibello (at) gmail (dot) com

  17. i bake almost everyday for my children. i would love to cut back the sugar i bake with

  18. http://www.facebook.com/clarissa.neiding/posts/356319867718267

  19. http://pinterest.com/pin/251216485433965723/ pinned

  20. Two older siblings just went Type II Diabetes. I know that this might be an issue for future me, and I've been cutting way back on refined sugars. And sadly,even eyeing some fruit suspiciously. For me, it's important to keep a balance in regard to food, and not turn my limitations into obsessions. It's wonderful to have a community like this where ideas and recipes are shared!

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