Many people ask me if pregnancy has increased my appetite. I don’t feel as if it has, although I hear that might change in the ravenous third trimester. I was already a hearty eater, not a Diet Coke and salad girl, and I don’t think I’m eating much bigger lunches and dinners. Nevertheless, my weight’s been climbing as it should—about a pound a week—and I’m afraid I must be getting my extra calories from dessert instead of the recommended nutrition-packed nuts, vegetables, and whole grains. I’ve claimed here more than once to have my dessert-eating under control, but the time has come for me to stop lying to myself and to you: I’ve been eating sweets much more frequently than I did pre-baby.
It’s easy to convince yourself that ice cream is full of calcium, but I don’t know how to explain the bags of gingersnaps that have disappeared before my husband ever saw them. On a recent trip to Houston there was the beautiful cake my parents bought to celebrate my pregnancy, and how could I visit Texas without enjoying Shipley’s donuts and Blue Bell ice cream? Back home in New York I can’t stop baking cookies, so recently I decided I should at least experiment with a slightly healthier oatmeal raisin cookie.
The Well-Rounded Pregnancy Cookbook says that these cookies have pumped-up “nutritional value” thanks to the shredded coconut and sunflower seeds. Whether this is true I cannot say, but I feel slightly less guilty about eating them, and we all know guilt is not good for you. I worried that they would taste grim, what with the sunflower seeds and all, but they’re actually tasty enough to satisfy my dessert craving without being so overwhelmingly delicious that I feel compelled to eat four at a time. I'm glad I discovered this recipe, because seriously, I've got to stop buying those gingersnaps.
About the author: Robin Bellinger recently escaped a career in book publishing, which was cutting into her cooking time. Now she's a freelance editor and can bake bread on Tuesday afternoon if she feels like it. She lives in Midtown Manhattan with her husband and blogs about cooking and crafting at home*economics.
- Yield:3-4 dozen cookies
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cups packed dark brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 3 cups rolled oats
- 1 cup raisins (or combination of raisins and dried cranberries)
- 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
- 1 cup unsweetened dried coconut
- 1 cup chopped nuts or chocolate chips, or a combination, optional (I skipped this)
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat well.
In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Add to the butter mixture and mix until just combined. Stir in the oats, raisins, sunflower seeds, coconut, and nuts and/or chocolate chips (if using).
Drop the batter by rounded tablespoonsful onto an ungreased cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake until golden brown, 10-12 minutes. Cool for 1 minute on sheet and then transfer to wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container for up to one week.
The raw dough can be formed into logs, frozen, and then baked straight from the freezer when the urge strikes.