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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

"Whole Wheat" Almond and Chocolate Chip Cookies

I agree to Lisa Leake, from "100 Days of Real Food" : There is "Traditional Junk Food" Versus "Artificial Factory made Junk Food". At home, even if you bake with things like butter, all purpose flour, sugar...which most don't consider 'healthy'....you still are doing much better than eating a cookie from a store with 20 ingredients/ additives/ chemicals...you can't spell and don't know what they do to your body.
 And then there is that 'concept' that processed foods have built into us. For eg: a store bought bread...is extra fluffy ..soft ...looks 'picture perfect'. But a bread baked at home...may not come out as "picture perfect' and fluffy and soft. Well...at the factory they added all those conditioners and other chemical additives to make your bread that way. At home...you are eating "pure"....a bread..like bread should be!! But in our minds..the texture and 'look' of bread is "like the store bought"...

So....Spring break started and we needed some 'activity' to keep the Lil' ones busy!

We managed to bake a 'Healthier Version" of  Chocolate Chip Cookies!!!

Ingredients:(Makes 24 cookies)
 1 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
1/2 Cup Almond powder
1/2 cup All purpose flour
1/2 cup Sugar
1 Stick unsalted butter (slightly cold)
1/3 cup Chocolate chips
1/3 cup Peanut butter chips(optional- you can double the chocolate chips and leave out peanut butter chips)
1/2tsp Baking soda
1/2tsp vanilla extract
1/4tsp salt

1)  Sieve together whole wheat flour,all purpose flour, salt and baking soda.
2) Beat the butter with electric beater for 3-4 mins until creamy.This is important!!Add sugar and eggs and beat for another minute or so.Add the vanilla extract and mix.
3) Add the sieved flours,almond powder and beat till blended.
4) Add the chocolate and peanut chips and mix
5) Chill the batter in refrigerator for 15-20 mins. Pre- heat the oven to 375F.
6) Place spoonfuls of batter onto a ungreased cookie sheet. For 'better looking' cookie..make the batter into rounds and press.I just leaved the batter as is.

7) Bake for 8-10 mins till golden. Do not let them burn on bottom.Let them cool.
 The cookies will puff up, are crisp on the bottom, little soft in center and delicioussss ....as cookies should be:))

Monday, March 18, 2013

A Sizzling Good Read:: 'In Defense of Food' by Michael Pollan

I tried to get this book from the library but had to wait over a month to get my hands on to it.Meanwhile, I was getting too impatient and I finally ordered a copy for myself from Amazon:)
Today I am done with it....and have mixed opinion about-- whether I know more now...or whether I am all the more confused about "What to eat"??

The book says, there is no clear evidence that a "low-fat" diet is the key to good health. There are all those 'low fat' and "no fat" foods available in the market ....and yet we still have heart diseases and obesity. Eliminating fats..may not be a good thing to do after-all.
For that matter ...any 'Fad" diets should be questioned.Adding one nutrient or subtracting another may not be helpful after all.
So...like they say---- MODERATION is the Key!!!

What the book makes clear:
1) Stick as much as possible to your 'traditional' diet!!! Less westernization/processed foods in the diet.Your genes/enzymes are designed to work on the food that you traditionally eat. If your vary too much...your body will suffer.

2)  Eat 'variety' of foods--to cover the whole spectrum of Nutrition. More diverse your diet in terms of veggies,fruits, whole grains....the more nutritionally you will benefit. Instead of thinking of food as mere 'combination of nutrients'...think of it's 'completeness' to provide nutrition.

3)  "Non traditional' foods...a product of food science experimentation...may not be the best thing to eat. Their effects on health are yet to be proven. The 'food labels' are often deceiving....they boast of things..they don't provide or have.

It was a nice read overall...and it kept my mind occupied for days!!
Looking forward to next one--"What to Eat" by Marion Nestle.