Crazy Carrot Sugar Cookies

Crazy Carrot Sugar Cookies

It was my turn to host my daughter’s playgroup this week, and the kids expect themselves some cookies. Good cookies. So in addition to the zucchini bread (recipe in my Skinny Dish book), hummus plate with Baked Lentil Chips, cherry tomatoes, and carrot discs, strawberry cucumber water (a pitcher of filtered water with strawberry and cucumber slices), sparkling berry lemonade, and white wine on the snack table, I invented a new sugar cookie with help from my friend Betty Crocker.

I had some sugar cookie mix in the pantry which called for 1 stick of softened butter (1/2 cup) and 1 egg. Instead, I added 1 Tbsp softened Earth Balance margarine, 3 Tbsp flaxseed meal gelled with 1/2  cup warm filtered water, 1 cup shredded carrots, 1/4 tsp pure almond extract, and sprinkles. Sure they’re still sugar cookies, but they’ve also got vision-enhancing and cancer-kicking beta-carotene, omega-3 fat- and fiber-rich flaxseed meal, and they’re much lower in fat than Betty intended them to be. And with the almond zing (without the almond allergen) and sprinkles, there’s no need for frosting.

Crazy Carrot Sugar Cookies
Makes 28 good-sized cookies

3 Tbsp ground flaxseed meal (such as Bob’s Red Mill) mixed with 1/2 cup warm filtered water for 5 minutes until a gel forms
1 pkg (17.5-oz) Sugar Cookie Mix (such as Betty Crocker’s)
1 Tbsp softened or melted Earth Balance margarine
1 cup shredded carrots
1/4 tsp pure almond extract (I repeat, this does not contain almonds for the allergenics)
sprinkles (optional, black sprinkles or poppy seeds for Crazy Halloween Cookies)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients together (except sprinkles) in a bowl and drop by spoonful onto a cookie sheet. Top with sprinkles, if using. Bake for 12-14 minutes until very lightly browned.  Cool and chow!

Nutrition info per cookie: 79 calories, 2 g fat, 0.5 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 58 mg sodium, 14 g carbohydrates, 0.5 g fiber, 8 g sugar, 1 g protein, 10% vitamin A, 2% iron. 

Were they good? Were the kids fooled? Lemme just say that the plate of 28 was just crumbs after the 2-hour playgroup, and my 3 yr-old son started crying because he only got one. One 6-yr-old boy said “What are these orange things in here?” I was honest, and he responded with “Well, I can see the carrots, but I can’t taste them. They’re actually good!”

For more crazy dessert ideas try the black bean brownies and kale cake–all hits with the youngin’s.

Love Straws? Love the word Awesome? Introducing Strawesome!

If you’re looking for a fun way to down a green Popeye Smoothie, kale apple juice, or just get better hydrated, you have GOT to check out these rad straws! Strawesome was started by Michigan mom and architect Daedra Surowiec, and is a family-owned business that creates healthy, environmentally friendly, unique, reusable glass drinking straws. Just when you thought you had everything!

Other fun ways to get wholesome goodness into your bod?

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Green Food #3: Shamrock Pancakes!

Photo by Bitchin' Dietitian, Eaten by Keller Shannon Reilly

Happy Green Foods Day! Today, I challenge you to eat 10 green foods (naturally green… M&M’s don’t count) in honor of St. Pat himself. Today, the Reillys started out with Shamrock Pancakes: Multigrain pancake mix made with flaxmeal & water instead of eggs plus shredded zucchini and green food coloring. Cut out with a shamrock cookie cutter and topped with pure maple syrup. DE. LISH.

The line-up for the rest of the day will include a green apple, green smoothie, arugula salad, roasted collards, cucumber slices, steamed spinach, peas, edamame beans, and lime popsicles.

How will you meet the green challenge today?

St. Patty’s Day Week: Green Food #2: Green Smoothies (of course!)

You had to see this one coming! If green smoothies mean St. Patrick’s Day, then the Reilly family celebrates most days. Check out the recipe in the picky kids post. And, feedback welcome on my new food photography hobby, which I’ve started as a result of my upcoming Trader Joe’s cookbook. Happy Green Drinking!

St. Patty’s Day Week: Green Food #1: TJ’s Seaweed Snack

Photo by: Deana Gunn

St. Patrick’s Day chez Reilly is more festive than any other occasion, so we celebrate it the whole week. Take for example our breakfast this morning (March 14th): Green oatmeal and green soymilk on cereal. Good thing we’re head to toe in green clothing as we’ve learned that foods with extra food coloring usually end up in our laps.

In honor of green foods, and since I haven’t been posting our recent new food creations (they’ve become top secret for my new Trader Joe’s cookbook, which you’ll be able to see in print in November!), I’ll be posting a new favorite GREEN food each day this week. Today’s snack would make St. Patrick, RD (the dietitian sibling) VERY proud: Trader Joe’s Roasted Seaweed Snack. I (thankfully) picked up 3 of these new creations at TJ’s last night. They were on sale for $0.99 each and who doesn’t like roasted, seaweed, or snacks? No risk in buying 3, and hallelujah, since we were down to 1 package within 10 minutes of my arrival home.

What the critics said:
Bitchin’ Dietitian: “I can’t eat these fast enough!” (and completely inhaled 1 entire package consisting of “2” servings)
Bitchin’ Husband: “These are stinky. And they taste like fish.” (Victory for Bitchin’ Dietitian!)
5-Year-Old: “THESE ARE SO GOOD!!!” (and completely inhaled 1 entire package minus what 3-year-old brother grabbed)
3-Year-Old: “Yum! Kellllerrrr!!?! Save some for me!”
1-Year-Old (if he could talk): “I’ll have one. Ooh, look at this thing crumble up into a static mess on the carpet! Another please!”

What green snacks help YOU celebrate the Irish life?