Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Back to School Blues

I've been desperately ignoring it, doing my very best ostrich impression, hiding my head in the sand, but it's come anyway. Yes, school is upon us. I know for most mothers, back to school is a time of "ah, the kids go away all day and life is quiet again." For homeschoolers, though, it's a time of "oh no, my other job is starting up again!"

For some reason this year has been particularly bad. I was in such deep denial about the coming school year that I didn't even put in my school book order until two weeks before we were scheduled to start. Perhaps that was my subconscious ploy to delay - if the books aren't here, we can't do school, right? But I was foiled by my most excellent curriculum provider. They had the books on my doorstep the day we started. Grrr.

You see, I was not ready to let go of summer. It seemed like we'd barely had a summer and I wanted to continue our ambitious agenda of lazing around, going to the pool, hanging out with friends, reading trashy novels, and baking just for fun. But life intrudes and pretending to be a grown up takes precedence over play time.

So, to console myself, I made cookies. Since I'm trying to drastically cut down on sugar (see my last post), I thought I'd try these cookies. Sweetened only with fruit, they seemed to be the answer to my post-breakup prayers. But I have to be honest with you. They're a make-do cookie. You know, the kind you eat when you're desperate for something sweet and there's nothing else in the house. It's not that they're bad, but they're not amazing. If you had your choice of these cookies and the ones in the previous post, you'd pick the latter. Every time.

In fact, I even ended up chucking a few of these cookies. They'd gone moldy. My family probably figured out that if they just held firm, the sugar embargo wouldn't last and I'd come up with something more tempting. (They were right. You should see what's sitting on my counter now!) Or maybe it was because of the coconut. My family has issues with coconut.

But if you're committed to not feeding your family sugar, or if your kids have never had sugary treats, you will probably really enjoy these cookies. They are moist, the banana-chocolate combination is always a winner, and they have the added bonus of making you feel virtuous while eating a cookie. But if you're one of the parents who packs a lunch for your child to take to school, be aware that they might try to trade these away for a Twinkie. (Euww!)

No Sugar Banana Cookies
adapted from 101 Cookbooks

3 large, ripe bananas, well mashed (about 1-1/2 cups)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup coconut oil
2 cups rolled oats (not quick or instant)
2/3 cup almond meal
1 Tbsp coconut flour
1/3 cup coconut, finely shredded & unsweetened
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp fine grain sea salt
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup chocolate chips

1- Preheat oven to 350 deg. F with a rack in the top third of the oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or Silpat.

2- If your coconut oil is solid, warm it up to liquid. You can use either a saucepan or just set the measuring cup into a cup of hot water. You want the oil liquid, but not hot.

3- In a large bowl combine the bananas, vanilla extract, and coconut oil. Set aside. In another bowl whisk together the oats, almond meal, coconut flour, shredded coconut, cinnamon, salt, and baking powder.

4- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until combined. Fold in the chocolate chips. Let the dough sit for 10 minutes to firm up a bit.

5- Drop the dough in dollops about 2 tsp each onto the prepared baking sheet, about an inch apart. Bake for about 12 minutes, until the tops are just browning. Leave on the cookie sheet for 2 minutes before removing to a cooing rack.


Adam said...

I remember my parents telling me that I would miss school when I was done with it. I called them crazy. Now that I'm older and working full time, I kind of miss school, it was a lot of work, but it was also a lot less responsibility and pressure (even though it might not have felt like it at the time). I suppose as with everything hindsight is 20/20.
I think sugar gets a bad rap (even the processed kind). It's all about balance. If you're trying to cut down on refined sugars, use raw sugar, honey (etc) instead. Honey especially being sweeter proportionately than sugar allows you to use a bit less (though I'm sure I'm telling you things you already know :)).
1 tsp sugar = 1/4 tsp honey (roughly) and for each cup of honey added, reduce total liquids in a recipe by 1/4 cup :).
Yay science! :)... now you can add me to your lesson plan :).

Fallon said...

Yum these sound good, I'm sure the banana gives off just the right amount of sweetness.

Chats the Comfy Cook said...

I am a teacher and I love school. It was more challenging when I had small kids to get off, each day.

Cookies sound wonderful.

Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

Since my L'il one is all grown up, living on her own and miles away at university, the school schedule scoots right on by without even a whisper. But I can definitely relate to not wanting so much sugar in our diets and eating healthier desserts.

Shannon Riley said...

Delicious! :D

leslie said...

i'm a teacher too and i feel your back to school blues (plus i'm being evaluated this year .. yikes!). but cookies always make things better .. these look great! i love banana and chocolate together.

Barbara said...

Kudos on the home-schooling, Lynn. I am major impressed! Hard work, but so rewarding.
As for the cookies, sorry they didn't make the cut. Sometimes we just need the old fashioned sugar-laden cookies as a reward!
Now tell me....what's on your counter???

Donna said...

Hi Lynn!

This made me laugh!! Oh, how I can relate.... the sugar AND the homeschooling. I love Sonlight, but have switched to Seton.

These cookies look great, and sometimes you just have to make do with the healthy cookies for a while!

trump said...

Greetings from the Amish community of Lebanon Pennsylvainia.Richard from Amish Stories.

Holiday Baker Man said...

All I can say is....YUM!

The Blonde Duck said...

I didn't know you homeschool!

grace said...

i've never seen a banana cookie in all my 10,220+ days! best of luck with this school year, lynn. bring on the fun. :)

CookiePie said...

I really appreciate your honesty about these cookies. So far my little one hasn't had much sugar, I might try them out on her! Thanks for sharing!

24h Betreuung said...

WoW! that looks very luscious.