My friend Sandy, who owns Country Roots Greenhouse on Highway 18 east of Brainerd towards Garrison, gave me a huge buttercup squash that she had grown in her garden. If you've eaten a number of winter squash in your lifetime, you know that all squash are not created equal. If, when slicing a buttercup squash into two halves to prepare for baking, you are greeted with an intensely dark orange color indicating peak ripeness... well, that's the ultimate assurance that it will not disappoint you. Sandy's gift was just such a squash. After eating half of it a couple days ago, I dug out a recipe that I had torn from a November 2009 issue of tasteforlife. The free publication is commonly found at health food stores near the checkout. My daughter Heather had picked up this particular issue near her home in New York so, when I was about to catch a flight back home after Dick's and my recent visit there, she kindly shared it with me for reading material on the plane. These gluten-free (if millet flour is used) vegan Oatmeal Harvest Cookies, that I made last night to pack into Dick's lunch for a day trip with some buddies whom with he shares old car interests, came from the tasteforlife publication. They are so very tender, a powerhouse of nutrition, and such a pretty autumn color for these final days of November!
Oatmeal Harvest Cookies
2 tbsp raisins (I increased to 3 tbsp, plumped them, and added the plumping liquid to the dough.)
1 ½ cups oatmeal
½ cup whole wheat pastry flour, oat flour, or millet flour (I had all three kinds on hand, but I chose millet because I don’t use that flour often enough. Millet is a source of vitamin B2 which is also known as riboflavin. Also, the recipe already includes oatmeal, so I didn’t want to duplicate that ingredient by using oat flour.)
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp cinnamon
1 cup mashed baked winter squash (e.g., acorn or buttercup) or sweet potato
3/8 cup oil (1/4 c plus 2 tbsp) I used ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce + 2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp chopped nuts (I used walnuts, but raw sunnies would be very good.)
Preheat oven to 350°. Plump raisins by pouring a little boiling water over them in a small bowl. Let soak until plumped, about 15-30 minutes. Mix dry ingredients together. In a separate bowl, mix mashed squash or sweet potato, applesauce, and oil. Add to dry ingredients. Stir in raisins, raisin plumping liquid, and nuts. Drop by heaping tablespoon onto lightly oiled cookie sheet. Bake 15-20 minutes. Note: Millet flour, which is gluten-free, can be found in most grocery stores in the health food section. Arrowhead Mills is a common brand.