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Make It Natural: Cinnamon-Walnut Oatmeal Cookies

Cinnamon Walnut Oatmeal These quick and easy-to-make cookies more than satisfied our nutritionists, along with the sweet tooths of our tasters. Something for everyone! Elena sent us her cookie recipe to test, saying that she loves to make healthy food for her family and bakes these cookies for her son, who loves them! Her recipe was right on the mark; we added a bit of cinnamon and everything else stayed the same. Check out the full recipe for Cinnamon-Walnut Oatmeal Cookies. Speaking of "everything else," there's a secret ingredient in these cookies. We received lots of positive feedback on our Secret Ingredient Flourless Brownies, which call for black beans. So we are hopeful that you'll once again try something new and different: prunes. Yep, one cup of chopped prunes goes into this cookie recipe. As they bake, the prunes don't stand out as a separate flavor but instead add moistness, texture and natural sweetening. And don't forget fiber, potassium and vitamin A! Prunes are a powerhouse secret ingredient. Some of our tasters didn't know the cookies had prunes and never suspected (until we told them... or maybe we never told them... we don't remember!). Additionally, these cookies upgrade your standard fare with:

  • Walnuts - are packed with omega-3 essential fatty acids, important for supporting healthy brain and nervous system function. They also provide dietary fiber and manganese.
  • Whole wheat pastry flour (instead of processed white flour) - made from whole grain wheat, this is a very good source of dietary fiber and manganese, along with some magnesium too.
  • Unsweetened applesauce - a naturally fat-free substitute for some of the butter or oil called for in similar recipes.
  • Old-fashioned rolled oats - this whole grain ingredient makes all oatmeal cookies a good choice for added protein, soluble fiber, vitamin B1, manganese, selenium, magnesium and phosphorus.

Do you have a favorite recipe using prunes or another secret ingredient? I'd love to hear about it. Please let us know in the comments below. Did you miss the link for the full recipe? Here is the complete Cinnamon-Walnut Oatmeal Cookies recipe. Got a recipe that needs a natural makeover? Post it in the comments section below! If we select your recipe for a healthy makeover and publish the improved version on our website, we'll send you a $25 Whole Foods Market gift card.

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Nicole says …

Gluten free pie

Laura says …

Chicken Pie!! I live in the South and love chicken pie, but it is so unhealthy!

Jill P. says …

One thing I haven't been able to find a healthy substitute for is crescent rolls in a can. My husband's "I could eat this every day" meal is what we call "chicken puffs." These consist of chicken breasts mixed with cream cheese (low-fat), onions, peas, and spices. I've tried to make the filling as healthy as I can, but those darn crescent rolls make this a meal I don't feel completely comfortable serving.

Barb says …

I would love to see a healthier version of chocolate chip oatmeal quick bread, it's one of our favorites!

Xiaokun says …

Chicken pot pie is my favorite comfort food. It's rich, creamy, yet sinful (chock-full of fat and calories). Here is my recipe. Is there some way to lighten it up? 1 cup cooked chicken 10 ounces frozen mixed vegetables 1 small potato, cooked & diced 2 tablespoons butter 2 tablespoons flour 2 cups chicken broth 1 cup Bisquick baking mix 1/2 cup milk 1 egg Melt butter in a medium size saucepan. Add flour and cook over medium heat, about five minutes. Add chicken broth and heat until mixture just begins to boil. Reduce heat; add chicken, potato and mixed vegetables until heated through. Pour into a 2-quart casserole dish. Combine Bisquick, milk, and egg; pour over chicken mixture. Bake at 400°F for 30 minutes or until golden. Serving Size: 4

Grace says …

I like quesadilla. It's easy to make, delicious, and satisfying. However sometimes it can be very calorie-dense. Can you give me a light and healthy version?

Nina says …

With apple season here, it’s hard not to crave homemade apple pie, but all the fat and calories, for example, butter, shortening and lard that help make a flaky and tasty pie crust, can help pack on the pounds over winter. Can you suggest some lighter and healthier options?

Raine Saunders says …

I would love to see more information on this site about traditional foods and diets. Our ancestors ate real meat, dairy, organic fruits, vegetables nuts, seeds, legumes, and sprouted grains. Their health fluorished, whereas the health of the average modern person is languishing under the weight of the myriad processed foods available on the market, as well as the lack of correct information about how these foods adversely affect our health. Lard, butter, and real fats from healthy organic, pasture-raised sources improve health, they don't actually cause weight gain, diabetes, and heart disease, as common health rhetoric claims. Fake, industrially-produced (and genetically-modified) oils like canola, soybean, cottonseed, and even safflower and sunflower oils are too high in Omega 6s (responsible for causing inflammatory conditions in the body, and ultimately, degenerative disease) are not healthy to consume as many "health experts" claim. In the same way, anything with "low-fat" or "non-fat" on the label should be suspect. Why is that food low fat? Has it been processed or artificially produced? Unless it is a food that is naturally low fat without any processing, it's probably not healthy to consume. Good examples are processed grain products that read "low fat" or processed dairy products that are skim, 1%, 2%, or "low fat". These foods have been altered, had their natural fats removed and denatured, and the body simply cannot absorb it and use its nutrients. Co factors and enzymes in foods must be present and total or else the body cannot use it. Why do you think so many people have gluten intolerances, dairy allergies, and nut allergies? Most of the foods people have trouble digesting and eating are processed forms of these foods. The natural proteins and fats have been altered, and the body rejects it. In the case of grains, rice, and nuts, the phytic acid in the food prevents the body from absorbing nutrients. When those foods are properly soaked and sprouted, people with allergies find that they can finally eat these foods and gain benefit from nutrients in them. So make your desserts (such as apple pie) with sprouted, soaked grains, real lard and butter from a healthy source, and use a natural sweetener such as palm or maple sugar, rapadura, or sucanat. And you will find that not only do these desserts taste amazing - they are actually healthy too. Trust nature, it really knows what it's doing!