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Five-Grain Chocolate Chip Cookies

Mary Anne here. This past Friday the hospital where I work “went red” for Women’s Health Day, a campaign initiated by the American Heart Association that’s designed to raise awareness for women’s cardiovascular wellness.

Our radiology department, led by an MD well-versed in heart disease, shared valuable info on new, non-invasive tests that assess the condition of coronary arteries, while the dietitians offered advice and how-to’s on improving heart health with simple dietary changes. Along with their recommended daily doses of omega-3s, vitamins, and minerals and assorted foods rich in antioxidants, they handed out prettily packaged cookies loaded with all of the above.

My boss went nuts for these nicely wrapped, albeit seemingly dried up lumps of goodness, and swore she was a health-food convert. I was more than skeptical – healthful cookies? Now there’s an oxymoron. But she was so smitten that she actually asked me to go back to the dietician and grab another handful. While there, I was given a recipe for these mounds of all-things-fiber, and then promptly lost it. Freudian? Most likely. But somehow, the idea of trying my hand at 5 grain goodies stuck with me and so of course I had to put my own spin on heart-healthy treats.

I never found the recipe, but I did find Bob’s Red Mill cereal in the grocery store. The bag boasts a bounty of rolled whole grains, flaxseeds, rye, and oats. The package has its own cookie recipe and I’m certain their addition of dried cranberries and raisins is a more healthful alternative to my coconut and chocolate chips – but let’s get serious folks – we’re talking cookies here! And my version is moist with a fantastic texture and just enough sweetness to feel like you’re being naughty when you’re actually being kind of nice to the old pumper. So take heart, you can definitely have your healthful cookie and love eating it too!

5 Grain Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes about 4 dozen
Adapted from Bob’s Red Mill 5 Grain Cookies

3 cups Bob’s Red Mill 5 Grain Cereal – $3.29
1 cup whole wheat flour – $2.29
½ Teaspoon baking soda – stock
½ Teaspoon salt – stock
1Teaspoon cinnamon – stock
½ Teaspoon nutmeg – stock
1 stick sweet butter, softened – stock
1 cup dark brown sugar – stock
1 Teaspoon vanilla – stock
½ cup tap water
2 large eggs, lightly beaten – stock
½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips – $2.50
½ cup walnuts, chopped – optional
½ cup sweet shredded coconut – optional
Grand Total Assuming a Well-Stocked Pantry: $8.08
Total Per Cookie: $0.17

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line 2 large cookie sheets with parchment paper.

2. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, and spices. Set aside.

3. Using a mixer, cream the butter with the brown sugar until smooth. Add the water and vanilla, blending well after each addition. Add the eggs, beating well to incorporate.

4. On the lowest setting of the mixer, add the flour mix to the butter mixture, until lightly combined.

5. Using a large wooden spoon, gradually add the cereal, chocolate chips, coconut, and nuts, combining thoroughly.

6. Using a regular kitchen teaspoon, drop the dough by rounded spoonfuls onto the prepared cookie sheets. (I baked mine in 2 batches to prevent uneven baking.)

7. Bake each batch for 12 to 14 minutes until the edges are beginning to brown.

8. Transfer to wire racks and allow to cool. Store in a sealed container.