Pumping iron

Well, the inevitable has happened: my maternity leave is over and my daughter is anemic.

These are not two connected facts, just two inevitabilities. The first because all good things must end and the second because I swore I would never argue about or use food as a weapon with my kids. Now, to be fair, my maternity leave ending isn’t that bad- I’ll have April vacation in just two weeks and then it’ll be May and then June when summer break starts. The kids go to a fantastic home daycare and couldn’t be in better hands. In fact, in some ways, it’s better for them to be there than with me- more attention for them and more things to do, learn and see.

As for the anemia, well, my little girl eats a whole bunch of a variety of foods while at daycare but prefers pasta, yogurt, peanut butter and chicken at home. Since I refuse to argue about it and since she’s a good weight, I haven’t really focused on her food intake. We offer everything but don’t force the issue.

So now I must figure out how to get more iron into her diet. I have a supplement I could give her but I want to try food first. The supplement could make her constipated which would then lead to more medicine and, well, I’d like to avoid medications that aren’t purely necessary. How to entice a picky eater?

Cookies, of course. Cookies with extra iron. No, they don’t have steak or kale as a secret ingredient. They have beans.  The beans are actually meant to replace most of the butter, making these cookies lower in fat than others.  So, not healthy, exactly, but maybe healthier.

And you’d never know from the taste. You might suspect something wasn’t quite right from the texture but it’s not a bad one- just different. Sort of denser, thicker and maybe slightly chewy. They also don’t spread out when they bake, making them sort of rock-like.

Luckily, my girl just noticed the chocolate chips and demanded “moo-wah!”


These are billed as “oatmeal chocolate chip” cookies but they weren’t as oatmeally as I expected. Nonetheless, they were pretty good.


Sneaky Cookies
1 1/2 cups oatmeal
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup any kind of white bean, plus 2 Tablespoons of liquid (I used garbanzo)
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
3 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350. Prepare cookie sheets with parchment or silpat.
In a blender or food processor, break down the oatmeal so that it is the consistency of flour.  In a small bowl, whisk the flour, oatmeal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.



Using a food processor or blender, purée the beans and liquid until smooth.


In another bowl, combine the butter, sugar, beans, eggs and vanilla.


Add the flour mixture and beat well. This was really thick so I’d recommend using an electric mixer.


I ended up using my hands. Add the chocolate chips and combine to evenly distribute.


Drop by tablespoonfuls onto cookie sheets and bake for 15 minutes. Remember, they won’t spread so maybe smoosh them with your hand first.


Feed to unsuspecting toddlers.


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