Hahahaha. So I'm sure like most of you, you find yourself gifted with various fruits and vegetables throughout the year. I am usually familiar with the gifted produce, but I was recently given some nice looking Fuyu Persimmons by a co-worker. Now, I am not familiar with persimmons, and I tried one raw, but I found the texture displeasing. I looked up some recipes online for what to do with the persimmons now that I wouldn't be eating them raw. There are a multitude of recipes for breads and muffins and all fashions of desserts. I was looking for something that I could do with the kids on a lazy Sunday afternoon, so it needed to be relatively quick, as we were trying to get it done before nap time, and something with easy steps that they could participate in with me. I came across a recipe for Chocolate Chip Cookies with persimmons. I wanted to see if I could modify the recipe and make it a bit healthier, so I made some alterations and jumped on in. What are your go to substitutions in recipes?
I started off by involving the kids in assembling the ingredients, so we passed them down the line and put them all on the counter. At this point, my youngest got bored so she started playing with the large magnets on the bottom half of the refrigerator. We let her be, and my son and I kept going. He got out his step stool and we assembled all the ingredients. He did a great job with our hand mixer and we didn't even make a mess....yay us! We got these cookies into the oven and waited....and waited....and waited. In Toddler Time it was F-O-R-E-V-E-R!!!!! But in real time, it was about 10 minutes. The cookies came out very soft, so I let them cool for about 5 minutes on the cookie sheet and then moved them to the cooling rack. I let them cool completely before giving them a try.
The verdict? They are delicious! I hope you enjoy them. I didn't take the time to figure out the nutritional facts as I was trying to get this done quickly, but I'm sure you could sort it out if you wanted to do so. I just tried to make the best substitutions as possible. The recipe I used it listed below. What changes would you make?
3 Fuyu Persimmons, washed and dried
1 TBSP Water
Cut the persimmons around the stem and core to obtain 4 pieces
Discard the stem/core piece from each persimmon
Cut the remaining persimmon pieces into smaller chunks for your blender
Add all the small pieces into the blender with 1 TBSP of water
Blend until completely smooth (aka, blend it about 1 minute longer than you think you need to)
Chocolate Chip Persimmon Cookies:
1 Cup Coconut Flour
1 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 Cup Butter or Margarine, softened
1/4 Cup + 2 TBSP Splenda
3/4 Cup Organic Pure Cane Brown Sugar, packed
1 tsp Vanilla
1 Cup Persimmon Pulp (see above)
2 TBSP Chia Seeds
12oz Semi-sweet Chocolate Chips
1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line cookie sheets with silicone liners.
2) In a large bowl, cream together butter, Splenda, brown sugar and vanilla.
3) Add eggs and beat well.
4) Stir in the Persimmon Pulp and Chia Seeds.
5) Add in the Baking Soda and Salt, mix well.
6) Add in the Coconut Flour and mix well. Batter will become lumpy.
7) Fold in chocolate chips.
8) Using a large spoon, make rounded balls of batter and place on cookie. Flatten by hand.
9) You can place the cookies close together as they do not spread. Leave room for even heating.
10) Bake for 10 minutes, or until lightly browned.
11) Cool on cookie sheet for at least 5 minutes.
12) Move to a cooling rack and cool completely.
Note: These are not sturdy cookies, they will fall apart readily. Allowing them to cool properly will help them stay together.
* A note about some of the substitutions that I made from the original recipe. I have made these substitutions based on what ingredients I had on hand and my personal preferences. Please consult a dietician if you have concerns or questions about any of the ingredients.
1) I decided to go with Coconut Flour instead of All Purpose Flour. This change in flour will account for why the batter is lumpy, and why the cookies are delicate, but it also has some health benefits that I prefer. Coconut Flour is gluten free and grain free. Not that anyone in my family has a gluten allergy, I just assume that it is better to reduce the amount we take in, when it is feasible. In addition, Coconut Flour is also high in fiber, and a good source of protein. The higher fiber content also helps with satiety (making you feel full).
2) I used Margarine in this recipe since it is what I had on hand, but I have heard that margarine can be better for your heart health than butter. You can review the studies and make your own decision.
3) Why Splenda you ask? Well, I bought a bag of this a little while ago because it was on sale, and I had heard some good things about baking with it. I found that you only need a fraction of the amount of Splenda as compared to regular sugar, it is a no-calorie sweetener and if used properly, you cannot tell the difference in flavor.
4) Organic Pure Cane Sugar versus granulated sugars. The organic versions are supposed to be healthier as they do not contain the pesticides that others sugars may have, and they are not refined like the regular sugars, so they retain more of the nutrients from the cane juices, including amino acids, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
5) Chia Seeds. These little guys have no flavor, and will not alter the taste or texture of your cookie, when used in small quantities. Although they are black, I could find them when mixed with the batter and chocolate chips. They are a whole grain, and naturally gluten and non-GMO. They are loaded with fiber, protein, omega-3 fatty acids and various micronutrients. Beware though, they do add calories to the overall count.
If you have any questions, please feel free to Contact me or post on the Community Forum. Thank you and Be Well!