Magic Banana Cookies

These cookies are really amazing. No oil, no salt, no butter, NO SUGAR!! How can they be so good? This is why I call them Magic Banana Cookies! Anyone I serve these to is amazed by their magical properties and delicious taste. Thanks to my friend Wendy for introducing me to the basic recipe which we have adapted to our own tastes. Add in your own favorite healthy mix-ins (nuts, dried fruit, cinnamon, coconut flakes…the possibilities are endless!) INGREDIENTS 2 ripe bananas 1 cup of quick oats (use gluten free oats if necessary) 1/2 tsp vanilla 2 tsp. flax meal Doctor Yum’s Mix-ins 1/4 cup dried cherries 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips 1/4 cup chopped raw cashews DIRECTIONS Preheat oven to 350 Use a potato masher to mash bananas, oats, vanilla and flax meal. Mix and combine completely. Stir in your mix ins until combined with “dough.” Spoon onto a prepared cookie sheet and bake 15-17 minutes. Cool and enjoy! RATINGS  “Super Yum! They are awesome. I love the bananas and the texture of the cashews. The cashews get a little crispy when you bake the cookies.” Zane, age 11  “Super Yum! I like the the bananas because you can actually taste it! They are really good!” Asa, age 7  “Super Yum! They are REALLY good, I love the cashews and the chocolate!” Cindy, a grown-up  “Super Yum! These are great. The texture of the banana and the oats is really great, the way it comes together is WOW!” Nicole, a...

Squash and Chickpea Soup with Greens

This is an impromtu soup I made last week which got rave reviews from the kids. I made this again tonight and wrote down the recipe so I would not forget. Chickpeas are a GREAT source of fiber and protein. The squash and greens make this a nutritional WINNER!! Tonight I’m serving this with some dollop of Greek yogurt, whole wheat bread make in our breadmader, and asian pears. YUM!! Dr. Yum Tip Serve warm leftovers in the morning and pack this hearty soup lunch in a thermos. Pack an apple and some leftover crusty bread for a complete lunch! Baby Food Option This makes a great baby food, but you can add the the salt and spices later when squash has softened. Grab a cupful of the plain, unspiced soup and run it through the blender or food processor to make a great stage 2 or 3 puree. Then add spices for your older tasters.   INGREDIENTS 1 tablespoons olive oil 1 large onion, diced 3 cloves garlic 2 fine slices of ginger 2 carrots, sliced 32 oz. chicken OR vegetable broth 20-24 oz, butternut or buttercup squash, peeled, seeded and cubed 1 tsp. cumin 1/4 tsp. turmeric 1/2 tsp. salt 1/8 tsp. black pepper 1/8 tsp. chili/cayenne pepper 4 large kale leaves, chopped 15 oz. can chickpeas, drained and rinsed Greek yogurt (optional) DIRECTIONS Heat olive oil in a large heavy pan. Cook onion for about 3-4 minute until transluscent. Add garlic, ginger and carrots and cook 1-2 more minutes. Add broth and squash and bring to a boil. Add cumin, turmeric, salt, pepper and cayenne pepper....

Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie (Vegan and Gluten-Free)

In our quest to keep improving our diet, our family has markedly cut down the sugar we consume (and I try to counsel my patients to do the same). But I have a confession. I LOVE chocolate (it’s a problem my whole family has!) As someone who eat a mostly healthy and increasingly vegetarian diet,  I still like to enjoy desserts from time to time and don’t mind indulging in small portions of a rich dessert.  However, I have found that with desserts I can find ways to make healthy substitutions (adding fiber, omega 3’s, cutting down fat, etc). The trick for me is preserving the overall taste and enjoyment. If a dessert tastes fake or empty then I may may just end up craving something else that tastes better. When it comes to raising healthy eaters, I believe it’s important to let children enjoy occasional sweets and teach them the skill of enjoying food in MODERATION. My friend Najla recently brought over an amazing chocolate coconut pie recipe from her favorite healthy dessert blog called “Chocolate-Covered Katie” which features healthier versions of desserts. My 6 year-old and I decided to try to make her Deep Dish Cookie Pie which is GLUTEN-FREE and VEGAN. I was a bit skeptical as the first ingredient is CHICKPEAS….strange!   As we ran the ingredients through the food processor my 6 year-old kept saying, “I think there are too many chickpeas!” But we were shocked to taste the results-a rich moist chocolately pie that tasted DECADENT!  I took this to the Tiny Tasters and they all agreed this recipe is a WINNER. This...

Pumpkin Apple Flax Muffin (Gluten Free)

I have lately observed the increase in demand for gluten-free recipes.  Gluten is the protein found in wheat, barley and rye. More and more people are being diagnosed with gluten sensitivity, but want to be able to eat some of the recipes they love. I adapted this muffin recipe from one I found on bigeatstinykitchen.com.  It uses almond flour instead of wheat flour. Almond flour is pretty pricey, but can be made using blanched almonds and a food processor for a bit less money. I made a few modifications to this recipe, the main one being the addition of flaxmeal, which is high in omega 3 fatty acids, which are good for brain functioning and development in kids.  I buy golden flax seeds in bulk, grind them in my Blendtec blender until they resemble a fine meal, and then store them in the refrigerator. The golden flax seeds have a light color so I can sprinkle it easily into soups, breads, smoothies, cookies, etc. without changing the look of my recipe. Don’t be afraid to keep baking these until they are really done in the center. It can be a bit mushy inside if you don’t. Some people liked the mushy undercooked consistency, but if you don’t then keep baking them. Take one out of the pan and cut into it if you are not sure. INGREDIENTS 1/2 cup pumpkin puree 2 large eggs 1/3 cup maple syrup or honey 2 Tbsp. melted coconut oil 3 Tbsp. apple sauce 1 diced apple, leave skin if desired 2 cups blanched almond flour 1/2 cup flaxmeal (golden flax meal works great)...

Cornmeal Dusted Okra and Potatoes

This is a great recipe for those little ones (and grown-ups) who are not sure about okra. I call it “Intro to Okra.” This recipe idea come from my mother-in-law who lives in the South. It uses potatoes and okra lightly dusted in cormeal and then lightly pan fried (not deep fried). The results is okra with a crispy, textures with NO SLIME!  Pairing it with potatoes makes the dish a bit more approachable, as most kids love the taste of potatoes (what kid doesn’t love french fries?)  One of my tasters would not try the okra and kept grabbing the potatoes and saying, “These are really good!” By mistake she grabbed some okra and kept chewing happily. After she swallowed it, I said to her, “You know you just ate okra, right?” Hilarious!  She didn’t seem to care and kept eating! One of the teachers at my kids’ school has had a longstanding fear of okra. After trying this dish she declared, “This is REALLY good!”  I’m convinced that okra haters will think twice after trying this recipe!  Dr. Yum Tip Okra is a great source of fiber and vitamins like A, C, K and folic acid. It also has a TON of antioxidants and some trace minerals like iron and calcium.  Babyfood tip The size small size and soft texture of the okra and potatoes make this a great dish for older finger-food eaters with a few teeth. Cut larger okra pieces into half or quarters. Also, go easy on the cayenne pepper! INGREDIENTS 6 oz okra, sliced medium thickness, tops removed 2 small yukon gold potatoes,...

Oatmeal Breakfast Cakes

This recipe idea came from my friend Debbie who is a vegan and teaches vegetarian and vegan cooking.  I misplaced her recipe, but sort of recreated it the best I could. I hesitate to call these “pancakes” because even though they look like pancakes, they taste and feel quite different. They are dense like a bowl of oatmeal.  Imagine a yummy bowl of oatmeal that looks like a pancake!  I used almond milk which was delicious, and the banana adds a nice sweetness. I have a hard time getting Tiny Tasters together for tasting breakfast foods on the weekend, so I tried these on my own Tasters and my husband.  Make sure you have a good blender so that the oats get really ground up.  A food processor would also work well.  This is a great gluten-free breakfast if you you use gluten-free oats. INGREDIENTS 1¾ cup old-fashioned oats (gluten-free oats are optional) 1 ½ cup milk (almond or soy)- may need additional to thin the batter 2 baby carrots ½ tsp. salt 1 tsp. baking soda ½ ripe banana 1 tablespoon flaxmeal DIRECTIONS Heat nonstick pan or griddle to medium and spray with cooking spray. Combine ingredients  in a blender or food processor until smooth.  Add additional milk if necessary to form a thin milkshake consistency.  Drop 2-3 large spoonsfuls of batter onto the pan. Cook on each side about 1-2 minutes until golden brown.  Makes about 8 medium sized cakes.   RATING “Okay . They are kind of thick but good with syrup.  They taste like oatmeal.” Zane, age 9  “Yum. They taste like oatmeal!” Asa, age 5...

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