Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Beat the Back to School Blues

I’ve been a bit nostalgic this week after hearing all the “back-to-school” chatter. It has been everywhere – from text messages from my siblings in high school showing off their tax-free weekend shopping success to walking through Publix and seeing all the school supplies on sale. So, with the first day of school right around the corner for so many parents and kids, I got to thinking about some of my favorite memories from grade school. Let me tell you, nothing (and I mean NOTHING) will ever compare to opening your lunch box and seeing a fresh baked piece of priceless lunch room bribery waiting to be traded off to the highest bidder.

All kidding aside, fresh baked goods are definitely a sweet way to kick the new school year off to a good start. It’s also important to make sure we are keeping our South Florida kids (and ourselves) healthy, so I’m going to share a great recipe I found for “heart smart” cookies that are so good you won’t feel bad if you have two!

Berry Chocolate Cookies

– 1/3 cup all purpose flour*

– 1/3 cup whole wheat flour*

– 1 1/2 cups organic rolled quick oats

– 1 tsp baking soda

– pinch of salt

– 6 tbsp unsalted butter

– 3/4 cup brown sugar *

– 1 cup dried berries*

– 1 egg lightly beaten

– 1 tsp vanilla extract

– 3 oz bittersweet chocolate chips coarsely chopped

– coconut oil to grease your cookie sheets

*I used 2/3 cup of Gluten-Free all purpose flour, dark brown sugar (I like a richer taste, but feel free to use light brown), and I used a dried cherry/cranberry/blueberry combo

For the full recipe visit cooking light


The original recipe I found was for “cherry chocolate cookies,” but I’m a fan of most dried berries and didn’t want to pick favorites. Raisins would also be a great substitution or you can even use the raisins and subtract the chocolate for a healthy oatmeal raisin cookie! Note:  I used bittersweet chocolate chopped coarsely and not semi-sweet or milk chocolate chips. This creates a richer flavor (which I’m obviously a fan of given the dark brown sugar choice) and is also a healthier alternative with a higher cocoa content and thus less sugar/milk needed.


I won’t lie. I tasted the batter. I know that’s a “no-no” but as a baker I tend to judge how the final product will turn out by the batter and this was DELICIOUS. Of all the baking I’ve done, it has been years since I’ve made cookies using rolled oats and now I’m wondering why! It was so good that I could have made the cookies without the berries or chocolate and still enjoyed them. So keep that in mind if you want to make a sweet treat for yourself but eliminate even more calories!

Try this recipe out! Let me know if you have a favorite sweet treat that you want to make a little healthier.  I’ll share some healthy alternatives to your favorite recipes next week!

Leave A Response