Each year, one of my goals is to introduce my classes to new fruits and vegetables, and surprisingly, dried cranberries are unfamiliar to many of them. But, because they are so yummy, pack plenty of antioxidants and fiber and work nicely with almost anything, from trail mix and oatmeal to salads and sandwiches, they remain on my list of favorites when I need healthy snacks for school. And of course, they are great for baking, so Cranberry Oatmeal Raisin cookies are a top choice for end-of-the-year class parties. These cookies are lower in fat and sugar but high on taste and a great way to show students that eating healthy doesn’t mean having icky desserts. As a side bonus when baking for a crowd, they are free of egg, soy, dairy (if made with water) and nuts and can become gluten free if gluten free oats and gluten free baking mix replace the regular oats and all-purpose flour. They are also ridiculously quick and easy with a start-to-finish of less than 30 minutes, and the recipe doubles, triples and freezes well – perfect for times when I want just a few for me or need more for my larger classes. For extra special occasions, I like to stir in 1 tablespoon of semi-sweet chocolate chips, chopped, dark chocolate (Enjoy Life makes allergen-free chips and dark chocolate) or even peanut butter chips (if nut allergies are not a concern). But really, my students tell me they are awesome with just cranberries and raisins!
Cranberry Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
Makes about 7 servings (double or triple recipe as needed)
¼ cup quick-cooking oats
¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1½ tablespoons 1% milk, Lactaid, enriched rice milk or water
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 cup each dried raisins and cranberries
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Combine ingredients in a medium-sized bowl. Stir everything together, and drop cookies onto cookie sheet by rounded tablespoonful. Bake 15 minutes or until golden. Recipe doubles and freezes well.
Per Serving: 71 Cal (7% from Fat, 9% from Protein, 84% from Carb); 2 g Protein; 1 g Tot Fat; 0 g Sat Fat; 0 g Mono Fat; 15 g Carb; 1 g Fiber; 5 g Sugar; 17 mg Calcium; 1 mg Iron; 34 mg Sodium; 0 mg Cholesterol