Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Changing Momma's Recipes - Taking Out the Unhealthy, Keeping the Love

My mom was a wonderful cook.  I can’t count how many times she made everything in my life seem all better simply by cooking me dinner.  Now that she’s gone, I find myself clinging to her recipes.  When my house is filled with the familiar aromas of momma’s cooking, it's as if she is there with me.  I can almost taste her love.  When I cook her recipes for my children, I feel like I’m giving them memories of their Granny Jo that they will never otherwise have.

Many of the recipes were actually passed down from my mom’s mom - my granny.  So many times my kitchen is filled with the love of many generations.  It's such a comforting feeling.  The problem is, many of my favorite recipes don’t exactly fit into my plan of a healthier lifestyle - lots of sugar, gaggles of butter, white flour galore.  I am 100% committed to cooking healthy meals for my family, but I miss my mom and my granny too much to give up something that brings me so close to them.  What’s a girl to do?

Granny secretly started a cookbook for me, we found it after she died.

So, I promised my daughter we would make no-bake cookies tonight.  This is probably my most beloved of my granny’s recipes; I have been eating them since birth and making them myself for the past 15 years.  Best.  Cookies.  Ever.  Here is the recipe:

2 Cups Sugar
1/2 Cup Cocoa
1 Stick Butter
1/2 Cup Milk
1/8 Teaspoon Salt

In heavy pan mix well and over medium heat, bring to a boil stirring constantly.  When boiling good, turn heat to low and boil 1 1/2 to 2 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in:

Love reading recipes in their own handwriting.

1/2 Cup Peanut Butter
3 Cups Oatmeal (quick type)
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
1/2 Cup Nuts (optional; I usually leave this out.)

Line cookie sheets with wax paper and drop by teaspoonfulls.

Right when we were getting ready to make them, I realized I was all out of cows milk.  I did, however, have some coconut milk.  The thought of messing with this meticulously written recipe really freaked me out. It felt, somehow, disgraceful.  Not to mention I was worried they wouldn’t taste the same.  And even if they were still good, if they didn’t taste the same, well, it just wouldn’t be the same.  But a promise is a promise.  So we substituted 1/2 cup coconut milk for the cow’s milk.

They tasted EXACTLY the same! I was so excited I was literally dancing a jig of glee in my kitchen, with a mouthful of cookie.  And as I stuffed one cookie after another into my mouth, I was overwhelmed with inspiration.  I could do this to all my mom and granny’s recipes! It will take courage, patience, and a lot of trial and error, but I can keep on substituting ingredients until the recipes are healthy - or at least healthier.  The no-bake recipe will definitely need some more tweaking before it can be considered healthy - but hey, Rome wasn't built in a day.

This is what love looks like...

Healthy meals, wonderful memories, and still the taste of love.  You just can’t beat that. Happy dance!

***This post was originally written under my previous blog name, Zen and the Art of Cloth Diaper Maintenance.***


  1. Wish I knew your mom long enough to taste her cooking. Danley is lucky to have those recipes as a family tradition! (oh and for your mom's mac n cheese: i'm not sure what her recipe calls for, but I have added in purees of butternut squash and or summer squash for added fiber content, still tastes delish but that's prob because of the cheese :) Now if only i could find whole grain/wheat macaroni noodles! Good luck on your cooking adventures, I'll be waiting to hear!

  2. Angelica, it's crazy that you can add such healthy veggies without changing the overall taste of the dish. Where have you looked for the whole wheat noodles? I have found them at Wal-Mart (the generic brand!) and at Albertson's.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...