Weekend Cooking: Make a Whole-Grain Treat Today, Snack on Leftovers Next Week

If there's extra time to bake this weekend, make a whole-grain snack and save the leftovers for the busy workweek ahead.

Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Photo by: Tara Donne

Tara Donne

We’re teaming up with fellow food bloggers and healthy eating advocates to host a Healthy Every Week Challenge, a month-long initiative to develop healthy eating habits. The plan an is to develop a manageable healthy habit each week that will carry through the new year. Join us here and share what you’re eating on Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag #gethealthy.

There's generally more time on weekends for bigger cooking and baking projects -- a Tuesday night isn't usually ideal for experimenting with homemade pasta or learning to make ice cream from scratch. So when you do have extra time on the weekend, pick something that's maybe a bit more adventurous or time-consuming, but that also makes great leftovers for the busy week ahead. If you make pancakes or waffles this weekend, make a few extra and stick them in the freezer. If you make a pot of soup or chili, freeze single servings in freezer bags; move a portion from the freezer to the fridge at night and by lunchtime the next day it'll be ready to heat and eat. If you're in the mood for something sweet, make a whole-grain-packed treat that will satisfy your cravings this weekend, and that you can eat for a snack during the busy week to come.

Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies (above): These cakey cookies are made with whole-grain flour and oats; they're moist and flavorful thanks to the addition of apple butter, which also acts as a butter substitute. Make a batch today and freeze the extras in a freezer bag; homemade oatmeal cookies in the freezer beats store-bought packaged cookies in the cabinet.

Fig and Walnut Energy Bars: Granola and energy bars are a common item on grocery lists (kids love them and they're easy to stash in a backpack, purse or gym bag for on-the-go snacking) but have you tried making your own? They're easy to make and less expensive than the supermarket kind. Ellie uses oatmeal, bran cereal and whole-wheat flour in her recipe; they're sweetened naturally with figs and honey. Store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days, or wrap individually and freeze up to three months.

Magic Fruit and Veggie Cupcakes: Cupcakes made with whole grains, fruit and vegetables? That is magic. And, they taste good. Melissa's kid-friendly cupcakes are made with whole-wheat flour, wheat germ, bran cereal (or oats) plus shredded vegetables (choose zucchini, carrots and/or spinach) and fruit (fresh or dried apples, pears, pineapple and/or raisins) which help make these cupcakes extra moist. They'll keep in an airtight container for up to three days or in the freezer for up to three months.

What are your cooking/baking plans this weekend?
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