Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Day 81: Vegan Banana Cookies and Cooking Matters Teen Makeover Challenge

The end of our summer has proven to be a lot busier then I anticipated. Vacations, Out of town weddings (fun!), the start of soccer practices for the boys and gearing up for the dance team's first football games have occupied a lot of time. Working in time to blog has been difficult. But not to worry, The cookies are still being baked daily!

After attending the first Cooking Matters Blogger Event, I was sold on what a great organization this is. I vowed to help in any way I could. One of the classes Cooking Matters offers is geared towards teens. The teens learn about nutrition and basic cooking skills. Their final class is a team competition.

Each team was required to plan a menu that is balanced, prepare it and serve it. I was lucky enough be a judge for this event.

Immediately the teens impressed me. Most of the kids had NEVER cooked in their life. After a few short weeks they had great knife skills and were creating delicious, healthy well thought out meals.

I still have trouble creating the perfect omelet. However these teens mastered this breakfast favorite!

Each group did a wonderful job. The winning team made a Black Bean Veggie Burger (from scratch) and paired it with Homemade Sweet Potato Fries and A Sparkling Fruit Juice Beverage and for dessert, a Greek Yogurt Fruit and Granola Cup.
The kids were very proud of the meal. As they served us you could see the pride on their sweet faces.

This was a very special opportunity for me. It was once again a great way to see first hand the fantastic work Cooking Matters Michigan is doing in our community!!
This program's success depends on volunteers. So why not Share Your Strength and volunteer?
You can find opportunities on the Cooking Matters Michigan blog. To keep up to date on the fantastic work they are doing you can also follow them on twitter at @cmdetroit or "Like" them on Facebook

One of my friends from Cooking Matters Michigan, Vani, sent me a wonderful Vegan Cookie Recipe. It was quick, easy, and full of goodness!

(Adapted from Banana Date Oat Cookies by Jenny Mason)
3 Large Bananas
1 1/2 cup Raisins
2 Cups of Rolled Oats
1/3 cup of Olive Oil
1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
1/2 Cup Chopped Walnuts
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl, smash bananas.
Add raisins, oats, oil, vanilla and walnuts. Mix well.
Let the batter sit for about 15 minutes (I put it in the refrigerator to prevent bananas from browning).
Place spoonful of batter on to parchment lined cookie sheet.
Bake for 20 minutes or until brown.
Remove to a wire rack to complete cooling.
Store in a ziplock bag in the refrigerator.

Don't forget to like the Cookie A Day Challenge on Facebook and Follow @cookieaday on Twitter to keep up to date on the cookie of the day.

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