Banana Oatmeal Chocolate 1

Ready for the freezer.

Well, I’m on the annual “try to take off some of the holiday weight gain in the month of January” ritual. For me, this is as much about getting off of the sugar indulgence band wagon and regaining some control over my snack cravings than anything else. Though seeing the scale move to a number higher than I’ve ever seen before was certainly additional motivation. I’ve been doing pilates at home and swimming three days a week. I started out doing a three day smoothie detox, mostly to clean out my system (the smoothies are basically a giant fiber bomb). We’ve been eating lighter, eating WAY more vegetables, and mostly eating much smaller serving sizes.

I’m a small woman. I am 5’3″ tall and small boned. My Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR), the energy it takes to just keep me breathing and performing normal bodily functions, even if I just lay in bed all day, is 1286 calories a day. They say that when dieting, you really shouldn’t fall below 1200 calories a day, or you won’t get your nutrition needs met. This means that its difficult to cut my calorie intake dramatically (there’s just not that much wiggle room), so it takes a long time to burn off those extra pounds (every pound of weight loss is about 3500 calories not eaten – you can do the math).

Along with the above, I’ve almost entirely cut out bread and completely cut out added sugar desserts. While I don’t have any gluten issues per se, I find I lose weight much easier if I stop eating bread. My weakness is that I want a small bite of a little something sweet at the end of dinner. It’s always the worst time of day for me. So I’ve been making homemade hot cocoa with cocoa powder, a pinch of salt and cinnamon, and a packet of spenda, bloomed in a bit of boiling water, then heated with milk. Or having a handful of nuts. Or having fresh fruit as an after dinner treat. My weight is down (I’ve lost about 4 lbs, but more importantly, the exercise has made me feel SO much better) and I’m continuing on in February, especially with the smaller portion sizes. I didn’t get to this weight in a month, and its not going to disappear in a month either. What’s great about what we are doing is that neither of us feel deprived, and so its sustainable over the long haul.

Banana Oatmeal Chocolate 3

A few, ready for the toaster oven.

Years ago, when exploring the South Beach Diet and eating lower glycemic index foods (which still works for me, in terms of controlling cravings and giving me more control over what goes into my mouth, not to mention balancing out my energy levels) I found this recipe for “Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Cookies”. They are low sugar (the only processed sugar is found in the chocolate chips), relatively low glycemic index, gluten free, and vegan (not that it matters to me, but it might be important to someone). Most importantly, they are tasty and surprisingly satisfying. I’ve renamed them…

Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 3 large ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup olive oil (or other oil of your choice – I know coconut is all the rage)
  • 2 cups old fashioned oatmeal (not instant)
  • 2/3 cup almond meal
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened coconut
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder (do seek out the no aluminum kind)
  • 4 oz mini chocolate chips or a finely chopped 60% or higher cacao chocolate bar (I cut the amount way down from the original recipe)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Banana Oatmeal Chocolate 2

Done. Yum.

In large bowl, mash bananas and combine with oil and vanilla extract.

In separate bowl, mix together the rest of the ingredients, except for the chocolate chips. Mix dry ingredients into wet ingredients. Mix in chocolate chips. Dough will be slightly looser than normal cookie dough.

Scoop about 2 tsp of cookie dough (I use a small disher) onto a greased or parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Flatten cookies slightly with the palm of your hand. They won’t spread much, so you can put about 20 per cookie sheet.

Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, until they begin to brown around the edges.

cookienutrition

This is based on an online recipe nutrition calculator, but it seems pretty accurate. For comparison, a typical Toll-House cookie has 110 calories and 10 grams of sugar.

Makes about 42 small cookies. Each is about 72 calories, so don’t eat 12! But they contain whole grain from the oats, healthy oil, fiber from the oats, banana and coconut, and are nicely sweet without a lot of added sugar. I dish them all out onto cookie sheets and freeze the raw dough. I pop them frozen, into a bag, and keep in the freezer. When I want one, I bake 3 or 4 at a time – for a few minutes longer than if they were at room temperature. That way I’m not temped to eat the entire batch over the course of a day or two.

Miles Away Farm Blog © 2016, where I’ll be turning 50 next month! Now is the time to make what I’m putting into my mouth count.

 

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