A Sweet New Year

Happy New Year!  In 2011, challenge yourself to think differently about dessert.  Many people believe a cookie made without butter or oil cannot possibly taste good.  Have you tried experimenting with applesauce, pumpkin, or over ripe bananas?  My favorite Pumpkin Oatmeal Raisin cookie recipe includes the following ingredients: Pumpkin, Oats, Raisins, Maple Syrup, Egg Whites, Vanilla, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Ginger, and Cloves.  (Sometimes I replace a bit of the maple syrup with an over ripe, mashed up banana.)

Pumpkin Oatmeal Raisin Cookies (made with  banana)

For a naturally sweet dessert, focus on fresh, cooked, or frozen fruit.  Baked apples (in apple juice, cinnamon, and nutmeg), poached pears (in cranberry or orange juice), and frozen bananas are quick, easy, and healthy.  Use dessert as an opportunity to satisfy both your sweet tooth and your nutrient needs.

Wishing you a very happy, healthy, and naturally sweet 2011!