No-Bake Cookies

My relationship with food has become very complicated during this pregnancy.  There are so many “guidelines” about what and when and how much pregnant women are supposed (or not supposed) to eat.  And don’t forget the cocktail of vitamins.

For instance:

  • I am supposed to get about 567% of the average person’s daily amount of iron and calcium.  But for optimal absorption, iron and calcium should not be consumed (whether in food or vitamin form) within two hours of each other.  So, if my breakfast cereal is fortified with iron but I eat it with calcium-rich milk, is it even worth counting the amounts of minerals in that meal?  And my three-times-a-day iron supplements, plus the regular prenatal vitamin…when do I take those?
  • Also, the midwife wants me eating 90 grams of protein each day.  Seriously?  Maybe I should consider this my free ticket to eat steak every day, but as much as I try to cram in dairy products and eggs and tofu and beans and reasonable (affordable) amounts of meat, I doubt I am anywhere close to 90 grams of protein.
  • Can we also discuss the fact that most protein-rich foods are also very high in calories?  Pregnant women only need 300 additional calories every day.
  • Don’t forget too the commandment to eat at least six servings of fresh fruit and vegetables.
Given these imperatives, it must be seen as a divine miracle that humanity has survived as long as we have without a mass proliferation of useless limbs, third eyes and missing organs.  And while I really do want a healthy baby and have worked very hard to follow these eating guidelines as much as possible, there comes the occasional moment when I just have to say, “Screw it.”  And then I make these no-bake cookies.  But only a half batch, because there’s no need to go overboard in indulgence 🙂

That's all I left for Hungry Husband.

No-Bake Cookies (makes about 3 dozen)

  • 1 3/4 c. white sugar
  • 1/2 c. milk
  • 1/2 c. butter
  • 4 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 c. crunchy peanut butter
  • 3 c. quick-cooking oats
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, milk, butter, and cocoa.  Bring to a boil and then simmer for 90 seconds, stirring.  (These 90 seconds are really the key…if you cook this for too little time, the cookies will not set, and if you overcook it they will be dry and crumbly.)
Remove the pan from heat, and stir in the peanut butter, oats, and vanilla until thoroughly mixed.
Drop by spoonful onto waxed paper (or, if you are like me and don’t have waxed paper, a regular plate/platter will do just fine) and let cool.

5 responses to “No-Bake Cookies

  1. My! It does sound complicated; I don’t know about you but if I have to analyze the food I eat, I don’t have fun eating it! Much better to take a bunch of pills and vitamins, and the rest is spontaneous eating! Lentils and rice is a good one, iron aplenty, make mujaddara every day.
    These cookies are very tempting! Love the way you cook the batter on the stove.

    • If I start thinking too much about trying to eat perfectly, I end up with cereal for every meal. Because it gets too overwhelming and annoying! But I have a high value for being healthy and good nutrition, so I try to find some balance of being conscious of my food needs that doesn’t turn me into a neurotic mess.
      The cookies are nothing fancy, but they’re so quick and easy…perfect for pregnancy cravings!

  2. We used to make those cookies when I was a kid and I LOVED them. We made them again last year and they were everything I remembered and lived up to every expectation.
    Also, I remember my midwife telling me to eat 70 grams of protein when I was pregnant and I doubt I ever did that or came close. I tried, but that’s a REALLY hard thing for a vegetarian. And my little one turned out just smashingly perfect. So, not to worry!

    • Yeah, I honestly cannot remember the last time I had these cookies (until recently, obviously). I guess I moved on to more “sophisticated” options. But these are like comfort food.
      The protein thing kills me more than any of the requirements. It’s just not gonna happen.

  3. I can understand how hard it is to get the protein. i’m always amazed by the requirement and I’m not even pregnant. Thanks so much for this post. I used to make these when I was in high school and forgot all about them. Maybe a good project for me and my kids this weekend.

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