Sacramento public schools and even local farmer’s market spaces need more classes in how to substitute healthier ingredients for traditional, familiar foods that are not so healthy when eaten in excess. How would you like to set up a cooking class outdoors this summer at a farmer’s market or under an outdoor tent in a public space?
Obtaining a permit is one task. But you could offer to conduct a class within a food market’s conference room where cooking classes already have been offered.
If you contact schools, public libraries, and food markets in Sacramento, you can set up an appointment to conduct a class or several classes in culinary therapy for health, that is cooking with families or kids and teachers. Your first step is to write to the teachers of nutrition in the Sacramento schools.
The art of substituting healthier ingredients for familiar ones is the basis of nutritional anthropology. The goal is optimal nutrition for the individual at any specific age. Here’s how to set up a class in Sacramento and what to show your students–children, parents, teachers, or seniors.
Childen can learn to cook along with parents and teachers by helping to prepare foods modifying familiar recipes with healthier ingredients. For example, young children can be taught to select and modify what goes into preparing meals. You can start with Sacramento schools, libraries, farmers’ markets, and food stores when they conduct classes in conference rooms or talk with various houses of worship on forming a class to help people of all ages choose healthier ingredients instead of traditional, familiar foods that go into daily cooking “on automatic pilot.”
You also can do this with houses of worship and their social halls, libraries, outdoor farmers’ markets, food stores, and even shopping malls. Just contact management and write a plan for what kind of a class you’ll be teaching. People usually gravitate to food ingredients they became familiar with in early childhood. But some of those ingredients might not be healthy for specific individuals. The question is should you go with ancestral foods or eat what your body really needs?
A one-time class might focus on substituting healthier ingredients. If you have a suburban or urban garden or farm, you could set up an outdoor class and invite the neighbors or even show a video and distribute recipes with healthy food and ingredient substitutions.
You can ask to be invited to public schools, libraries, and natural food store’s cooking classes to teach kids how to substitute healthier ingredients for sugar and white flour in baking.
Instead of white flour, substitute bran or meal such as oat bran, almond meal, flax meal, rice bran, wheat germ, buckwheat meal, or mix a little of each with two cups of coarsely ground oat bran. Then bake cookies or pie crust using the oat bran mixed with flax seeds (about two tablespoons of ground flax seeds) and a 1/2 cup of almond meal.
You also can substitute other ingredients for example, liquids and fats. Instead of sugar use fruit to sweeten, such as a handful of raisins, a half cup of dried goji berries, or a stevia leaf. For milk, grind soaked shelled nuts in water or cooled decaf green tea and use as a milk substitute when baking.
Here’s how to bake cookies with pureed pumpkin and/or sesame seed tahini as a substitute for milk or other liquids in any type of cookie, cake, or brownie baking. As an alternative to milk products, use sesame seed tahini, a puree of sesame seeds ground either in your blender with some water, or buy it from a health food store, whole foods grocery, or supermarket. See the egg-free baking article in PDF format. Learn how to modify recipes.
Here are some food substitutions for traditional cooking and baking ingredients
Instead of fats, you can substitute lecithin granules and mashed prunes. Instead of eggs, substitute tofu liquefied or pureed. Tofu (liquefied in a blender) is a substitute for eggs. Lecithin granules and mashed prunes are substitutes for oils or fats in baking.
If you’re feeding children, the eggs and good fats such as nut oils or coconut oil should be balanced–a blend of omega 3, 6, and 9 helps. Chia seeds pureed in a blender makes a good balance of omega 3, 6, and 9 oils. Feel free to add a peeled avocado with the pit removed to liquid to add some omega 9 oils to your baking dough or batter.
A great-tasting brand, found in health food stores is Artisana raw, organic tahini. For vegan vegetarians, a substitute for eggs can be tofu. Or a mixture of prunes and lecithin may substitute for fats and oils.
If you want a vegan cookie without eggs that still holds together well, substitute flax meal (ground, milled flaxseed), powdered soy lecithin, soft silken tofu, GF soy yogurt, pureed fruit such as prunes mixed with two tablespoons of lecithin per cup, or Ener-G Foods “Egg Replacer”. Also see a copy of Carol Fenster’s book, Special Diet Solutions. It also provides guidelines for changing recipes to exclude eggs (and other common allergens).
It’s high in calcium and iron. Use it instead of milk in all your baking. Any brand of tahini also works. It’s a nondairy alternative that’s used instead of milk or liquids in baking. Also, it can be used as a topping or sauce for savory dishes such as fish or crab cakes when mixed with lemon juice or apple cider vinegar.
Want a cookie with no eggs, no sugar, no milk, and whole grain meal instead of flour, and lecithin granules instead of fat? Try my no-salt added and natural fruit sweetening cookie recipe.
Use oat bran, flax seed meal, and oatmeal instead of flour. No eggs, baking powder, soda, or dairy products. Instead of eggs and fat or oils, in cookies and cakes, substitute 1/2 package of tofu (or about a half cup) blended with water or any other liquid, such as fruit juice or a banana.
Liquefy in your blender. Instead of fats or oils, substitute ¼ cup to ½ cup of mashed or pureed prunes, either soaked or cooked and two to three tablespoons of lecithin granules.
Tofu, when liquefied with water or juice takes the place of eggs. Lecithin granules and prunes takes the place of oils and fats, and at the same time sweetens cookies and cakes with a tart, yet sweet dried fruit flavor. And it’s rich in potassium.
1 scoop rice bran powder (about 2 tablespoons)
2/3 cup sesame tahini paste
1/2 tub tofu made with calcium sulfate instead of magnesium chloride (about a half-pound) substitutes for eggs.
Or if you’re not vegan use three egg whites, beaten until in stiff peaks like meringue 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of apple juice concentrate.
1 cup chopped walnuts
½ cup almonds
½ cup frozen blueberries
½ cup frozen strawberries
1 cup oat bran
1 cup oat meal-old fashioned rolled oats uncooked
½ -2/3 cup flax seed meal
3 tablespoon of lecithin granules
½ soaked, pureed, cooked, or mashed prunes
Place in a bowl the oat bran, protein powder, lecithin, and flax seed meal, stir, then finally the oat meal, then add all the fruit and nut ingredients. In a blender blend the apple juice concentrate and tofu. Add sesame seed paste. Pour into the large glass bowl.
Stir everything. Pour all ingredients into the bowl and mix with a large spoon.
If you need more sweetness, consider fruit, but please go lightly here. You don’t want sugar to raise those insulin levels. The fruit juice concentrate and the banana sweeten it.
Use pieces of fresh dates, chopped apples, or figs to sweeten more, if you require a sweeter taste. You can serve the cookies smeared with with almond butter, peanut butter, or other high protein or nut butter topping if you wish.
The addition of the Omega-3 oils in the form of flax seed meal, is helpful, and at least helped me. This is a nutritious nut and fruit cookie that can supplement a meal on the run.
Brush two or three of your cookie sheets with the extra virgin olive oil. I use glass cookie sheets. Bake in a 350 degree F. oven for 40 minutes or from 30 to 45 minutes, until the undersides of the cookies are a light brown.
Use a metal spatula to lift the warm cookies and place into a cake dish or other glass bowl. Cover and let cool. The world’s most nutritious cookie is served warm. It’s delicious. The key ingredient is the rice protein powder and the absence of granulated white sugar, fruit juice concentrate, or dairy fat.
Garbanzo bean flour, Flax Seed, Oat Bran, Raice Bran, and Almond Meal Cookies
Bake a more nutritious cookie using garbanzo bean flour, flax seed meal, raw oat meal, or oat bran, rice bran, and almond meal. Instead of oils, use 2 tablespoons of lecithin and two handfuls of chopped, uncooked prunes.
If you’re vegan, substitute for eggs 1/2 cup of tofu blended with an equal amount of water to form a thick paste. If you want to substitute the oil for another type of ‘fat’, try two or three tablespoons of lecithin granules mixed with pureed prunes. It takes the place of ‘fat’ or ‘oils’ in a cookie.
Serve cookies made of whole grains and legumes and sweetened only with chopped dried fruit, ground nuts, and if you really need more sweetness, a tablespoon of apple juice concentrate or a 1/4 cup of mashed, ripe banana. The healthier recipes are great for children to bake with parents or students with teachers by learning how to make substitutions of ingredients.
For example, prunes and lecithin may be substituted for fats. Or tofu pureed with pumpkin may be substituted for eggs for vegan vegetarians. Children can mix the ingredients to taste by adjusting the pureed dried fruit or pumpkin, or add chopped organic stevia leaf to sweeten the batter, or turn pumpkin brownies browner by adding two tablespoons of carob powder to the batter.
Friends can be invited to birthday parties to try out recipes for healthier snacks such as cookies or brownies made with flax seed meal and almond meal or oat bran, oat meal, rice bran, dried fruit, pumpkin puree, stevia, or and carob powder instead of flour and sugar.
Most people of various ages can learn the secret of some chefs: how to substitute pureed prunes and a tablespoon or two of lecithin granules for butter, oils, or fats in making cookies, cakes, or brownies. Or substitute pureed tofu in a blender with a little pumpkin and/ or other liquid instead of using eggs to hold cookie dough together.
Another idea, instead of white flour, use garbanzo bean flour. The slightly nutty taste is one way of adding legumes to a cookie, brownie, or cake. Or go flourless by using meal or bran in a cookie or brownie instead of flour.
You even can add sprouted grains and legumes to your meal or bran. Or mix garbanzo bean flour with flax meal and almond meal to make a cookie dough. Here’s the cookie or brownie recipe using meal, bran, garbanzo bean flour, nuts, and seeds.
Basic Cookie or Brownie Recipe
Mix these ingredients together:
• 1 half cup of flax seed meal
• 1 half cup oat bran
• 1 half cup raw oat meal
• 1 half cup rice bran
• 1 half cup garbanzo bean flour (such as Bob’s Red Mill available at many health food stores
• 1 half cup of almond meal (optional). Make your own by putting raw almonds in a masticating blender using the crush screen or blend with a small about of water in a regular blender and drain out the water. Or buy almond meal in most health stores.
It comes a package of almond meal. It’s cheaper to make your own almond meal. Just buy raw, unsalted almonds. Put the nuts in a blender with some water. Roughly grind. Pour out water and drain. Or grind the almonds in a coffee grinder.
2 egg whites or 2 whole eggs
• 1/4 cup of pureed prunes
• 3 tablespoons of lecithin granules
• 1/2 cup chopped prunes or other dried fruit
• 1/2 cup safflower seeds, cashews, or raw unsalted nuts of your choice.
• 1/4 cup of raisins or chopped pitted dates.
• 1/4 cup chopped dried nectarines or apricots (or any other dried fruit)
• Use pureed or canned pumpkin to substitute for liquid, about a cup or small can of pumpkin to wet the meal until it forms a crumbly paste to shape into cookies. If too wet, add more meal to form a dough you can shape with your hands.
• Cookie sheet oiled with 1 tablespoon or more of olive or grape seed oil just to coat cookie sheets. Or spray the cookie sheet with your healthiest non-stick coating for cookie sheets. Instead of oil, you can line the cookie sheet with sesame seeds. Or bake on parchment paper. Choice is yours. A little grape seed oil is fine on the cookie sheet.
• One handful of sesame seeds
• One handful of shelled raw unsalted sunflower seeds.
Sunflower seeds go in the batter. Sesame seeds are sprinkled on top of each cookie just before baking. Optional: sweeten more if needed to taste with either some mashed ripe banana or a tablespoon of apple juice concentrate. Add 1/4 cup of olive oil or grape seed oil (optional) to the meal and also the two whole eggs or just the two egg whites, depending on whether you eat whole eggs or just the whites (as they do in a spa breakfast).
Optional: If the dried fruit isn’t making a sweet enough cookie for your taste, add a tablespoon of your favorite, healthy sweetener or a chopped stevia leaf to the batter. Vegans that don’t use eggs can use lecithin and prunes to substitute for oil or fat in the cookie and ½ cup of tofu blended with ½ cup of water, liquefied to a thick paste consistency to substitute for the eggs.
If you don’t like to make cookie shapes, bake as brownies by pouring the batter over the entire cookie sheet and cutting the dough paste into squares or diamond shapes before baking. Use the cookie recipes.
If you want brownies to be brown and taste somewhat like chocolate, but without the stimulants in chocolate, use two tablespoons of carob powder and two tablespoons of your sweetener such as a chopped stevia leaf or raw, organic creamed honey or chopped raisins to sweeten the cookie/brownie dough/paste.
You need either tofu or eggs to hold the cookie together as it bakes. Add water, almond milk, or fruit juice to make a paste. Bake at 350 degrees F. until cookies are light brown on the bottom and not wet on the top. Check the cookies after a half hour in the oven. The cookies should be chewy. Cool and serve.
Bran-Based Vegan Cookies
If you’re looking for a no-flour, bran-based vegan cookie that is low-sodium and contains only natural fruit sweetening…bake my vookie. A vookie is a vegan cookie. Use oat bran, flax seed meal, and oatmeal instead of flour. In one of the cookie recipes, there are no eggs, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, or dairy products, no transfats or saturated fats, and no white flour or sugar. If you want to go totally vegan and don’t use egg whites, substitute 1/2 cup of tofu puréed in a blender with enough water to make a thick paste.
This tofu paste substitutes for the eggs in letting the cookies hold together when baking. The cookie dough may be enriched with a scoop of protein powder as you mix the dry ingredients together before adding any liquid ingredients.
Add nuts of your choice or add two tablespoons of lecithin granules and two tablespoons of chopped or mashed cooked prunes instead of any fats or oils. Use extra virgin olive oil if you wish to add fat to your cookie. And sweeten with dried fruit and a little cherry juice because cherry juice helps to ease arthritis.
Instead of flour, you’re using bran. Also alternate flours in case you want to mix the different types of bran with a more nutritious flour could be flour made from sprouted lentils or much easier to obtain in most health food stores, Bob’s Red Mill garbanzo flour.
You can use only bran when making vookies (vegan cookies). But you can substitute flour or meal for any type of bran. Other flours could be oat flour, brown rice flour, or soy flour. What I like about using just bran is that the cookie has more fiber and people who don’t want to consume white flour or sugar can substitute flax meal or oat bran for the nutrition and fiber value.
Protein-fortified vegan fiber cookie:
1 scoop rice protein powder (about 2 tablespoons).
1 tub tofu made with calcium sulfate instead of magnesium chloride (about a pound) or three egg whites, beaten until in stiff peaks like meringue.
1/2 to 2/3 cup of pink grapefruit juice. Buy a freshly squeezed carton of juice or juice your own grapefruit.
1 cup walnuts 1/2 cup almonds 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil cold pressed and not rancid or old.
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
1/2 cup frozen strawberries
1 cup oat bran 1 cup oat meal–old fashioned rolled oats uncooked
1/2-2/3 cup flax seed meal
1 tablespoon of lecithin granules (optional)
Place in a bowl the oat bran, protein powder, lecithin, and flax seed meal, stir, then finally the oat meal, then all the fruit and nut ingredients. In a blender blend the grapefruit juice and tofu.
Pour into the large glass bowl. Stir everything. Pour all ingredients into the bowl and mix with a large spoon. If you need more sweetness, consider fruit, but please go lightly here. You don’t want sugar to raise those insulin levels.
You may like it without additional sweeteners. Use pieces of fresh dates, chopped apples, or figs to sweeten more, if you require a sweeter taste. Serve cookies with almond butter, peanut butter, or other high protein or nut butter topping if you wish. The addition of the Omega-3 oils in the form of flax seed meal, is helpful, and at least helped me.
This is a nutritious nut and fruit cookie that can supplement a meal on the run. Coat 2 or 3 cookie sheets with the extra virgin olive oil. (I use glass cookie sheets).
Bake in a 350 degree F. oven for 40 minutes or from 30 to 45 minutes, until the undersides of the cookies are a light brown. Use a metal spatula to lift the warm cookies and place into a cake dish or other glass bowl.
Cover and let cool. The world’s most nutritious cookie is served warm. It’s delicious. The key ingredient is the rice protein powder and the absence of granulated white sugar, fruit juice concentrate, or dairy fat.
Raspberry/Carrot Cookie Recipe with Rice Bran, Oat, and Flax meal.
Low-sodium and only natural fruit sweetening. No bleached flour ingredients.
Use oat bran, flax seed meal, and oat meal instead of flour. No wheat. No baking powder, soda, salt, or dairy products. Fruit and nuts sweeten the cookie. Lecithin granules and prunes substitute for any fats or oils. Or use extra virgin olive oil, macadamia nut oil, or sesame seed oil if you want to use oil in the cookie or to grease the cookie sheet.
2 scoops rice protein powder (about 2 tablespoons)
1 cup of unsweetened almond milk.
1/2 to 2/3 cup of frozen or fresh red raspberries blended with a cup of soy milk.
1 peeled banana 1 cup walnuts 1/2 cup almonds 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil cold pressed and not rancid or old.
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
1/2 cup frozen strawberries
1/2 cup peeled baby carrots
1 cup oat bran
1 cup oat meal–old fashioned rolled oats uncooked
1/2-2/3 cup flax seed meal 1 tablespoon of lecithin granules
2 or 3 egg whites.
Or if vegan substitute 1/2 tub tofu (blended to a creme) for eggs or 1/2 cup stewed prunes in their syrup and 2 tablespoons of lecithin granules if you don’t eat egg whites.
In a blender blend the almond milk and fruit. Add the peeled baby carrots. Liquefy. Taste it and it will taste like a rather tart soy milk product. Pour into a large glass bowl.
Add two or three egg whites to a bowl and add the soy milk and fruit blended to a thick smoothie consistency. Add to the bowl the oat bran, protein powder, lecithin, and flax seed meal, stir, then finally the oatmeal, then all the fruit and nut ingredients. Mix in bowl.
Or if you’re a vegan, substitute 1/2 pound tub of tofu or 1/2 stewed prunes in their syrup and 2 tablespoons of lecithin granules for the egg whites that will hold the cookie paste together. Stir everything.
Pour all ingredients into the bowl and mix with a large spoon. If you need more sweetness, consider fruit, but please go lightly here. You don’t want sugar to raise those insulin levels.
You can serve with almond butter or other high protein or nut butter topping if you wish. If you need additional sweetening, add a tablespoon of raw organic honey or a chopped stevia leaf if you want to sweeten the batter. Stay away from peanut butter because it’s too high in omega 6 fatty acids. Use almond butter instead.
When it comes to sweeteners, use common sense. Some chopped dried fruit such as dates or raisins can take the place of empty sugar calories. Don’t use refined honey. Stick to sweeteners that don’t allow your blood sugar spikes to rise too fast. The addition of the Omega-3 oils in the form of flax seed meal, is helpful, and at least helped me. This is a nutritious nut and fruit cookie that can supplement a meal on the run. Coat two or three cookie sheets with the olive oil. I use glass cookie sheets.
Bake in a 350 degree F. oven for 40 minutes or from 30 to 45 minutes, until the undersides of the cookies are a light brown. Use a metal spatula to lift the warm cookies and place into a cake dish or other glass bowl. Cover and let cool.
Serve this nutritious cookie warm. It’s delicious. You can bake the cookie as a brownie by pouring the batter over the entire cookie sheet and cutting the dough paste into diamond or square shapes before baking. The key ingredients are the rice bran and rice protein powder and the absence of granulated white sugar, fruit juice concentrate, or dairy fat.