Lowdown on Legumes and a Recipe for Peanut Butter Cookies (Podcast #47)

In this week’s Cooking with the Moms podcast, we dish on legumes.  If you’re not exactly sure what legumes are, you’re certainly not alone.  In a recent consumer survey, when asked if they know the definition of “legume,” over half said, “yes, I know what it means.”  But in reality only 40% were correct, making the percentage who “don’t know” much higher.  Some of the incorrect answers were pretty funny though not entirely surprising:

-  Body of water
–  Grassy swampy area (AKA lagoon)
–  Socks/Stockings (AKA leggings)

According to epicurious.com, legumes are any of thousands of plant species that have seed pods that split along both sides when ripe. Some of the more common legumes used for human consumption are beans, lentils, peanuts, peas, and soybeans. Others, such as clover and alfalfa, are used as animal fodder. When the seeds of a legume are dried, they’re referred to as pulses. High-protein legumes are a staple throughout the world.

The 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend we all eat 4 ½ cups of vegetables a day – that’s a total of nine servings.  As part of that recommendation, the Guidelines suggest that each week, we strive for three cups of legumes.  To help you achieve that goal, we serve up two recipes in the show.  The first is a recipe for Mexican Lasagna, featuring black beans, one of our favorite legumes.  The second is our brand new Peanut Butter Power Cookie recipe.  These cookies are packed with great nutrition thanks to the peanut butter, whole wheat flour, omega-3 eggs, and ground flaxseed that we use, and best of all, kids love them!

Peanut Butter Power Cookies
Makes 3 Dozen 2-inch Cookies

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup ground flaxseed
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 ¼ cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup 1% milk
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Lightly oil or coat two large baking sheets with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Whisk together the all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, chocolate chips, flaxseed, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl and set aside.
  3. Combine the sugar, peanut butter, eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla in a large bowl and beat on medium speed until well blended, about 2 minutes.
  4. At low speed, gradually beat in the flour mixture until just combined.
  5. Scoop the dough by slightly rounded tablespoons into 1 3/4-inch “blobs,” and place on the prepared baking sheets, about 2 inches apart.  Bake about 15 minutes, or until the bottoms are golden brown. Cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet before transferring to a wire rack and cool for 5 minutes before serving.  Repeat with the remaining batter.
Nutrition Information per Serving:  120 calories, 6g fat (1g saturated, 3g monounsaturated, 0.3g omega-3), 90mg sodium, 15g carbohydrate, 1g fiber, 3g protein

7 Responses to “Lowdown on Legumes and a Recipe for Peanut Butter Cookies (Podcast #47)”

  1. Pam on March 18th, 2009

    It took me a minute to figure out how the cookies served up legumes…duh! peanuts! They look great, I don’t bake much, but I’ll give them a try.

    Tonight I served up “one pot rice and beans”…but it took me three pots…I work a 12 hour shift at a hospital so I use the crock pot at least one night of my three shifts. So I had planned to make the rice and beans…but I was out of canned kidney beans…so last night I quick soaked and cooked a pound of dry beans. I also never stock instant brown rice because I am cheap…so I cooked up the rice. I added a can of diced tomatoes because I was out of mixed veggies, I added the salsa and some really good taco seasoning (Tastefully Simple Wahoo chili!) I stirred in cheese when I was done.

    The results were yummy, except my oldest, a carnivore missed some meat…and the biggest kid (the husband) noticed the texture difference between canned and dried beans(I never can get them quite as mushy). It was good, and I’ll eat more for lunch tomorrow.

    The best part…I did not have to cook tonight, and I pulled of a meatless meal…and I filled an entire crockpot full of nutritious and satisfying food for under $5! Which makes up for the $8 cut of lamb I used in the Irish stew last night!

    Thanks for all of your hard work! I’m off to give you great ratings on iTunes as well!

  2. Renata on March 19th, 2009

    You were reading my mind! I just came to your blog to check for some cookie recipes. I love your oatmeal chocolate chip and was wondering what else you had to offer.

  3. The Meal Makeover Moms on March 19th, 2009

    Thanks Pam! Love your improvising on the rice and beans. We agree about the texture of the beans we soak and cook ourselves (though we admit we have not done it in years because the canned beans are so convenient and yummy). Lamb stew also sounds like something we should try. Janice made corned beef and cabbage for St. Patrick’s Day but the Irish stew sounds so good. Maybe you could send us the recipe?

    Hey, Renate, let us know what you think of our new PB cookie! Our Favorite Cookie on our website is a favorite of our kids so you may want to give that a try.

  4. Pam on March 22nd, 2009

    My Irish stew cooks much like my standard beef stew. I used half lamb and half beef round steak, as lamb is rather rich and an unfamiliar taste for my kids. I’ve found that blending familiar and unfamiliar tastes for my kids works well. I cubed the meat, browned it in some olive oil, topped with water, let it simmer with some chopped onions and celery for an hour or so, then added cubed carrots, potatoes and a parsnip near the end of my cooking time. I added a bit of flour at the end to thicken things up.

    I served it with a loaf of traditional Irish Soda bread (very little sugar or butter) and I used half white flour and half whole wheat flour…not a crumb was left…as a matter of fact my twelve year old was picking up crumbs and eating them as he cleared the table!

  5. Liz on March 27th, 2009

    Pam, your recipes sound fantastic. Next week, Janice and I will be testing a lamb burger recipe to share with our podcast listeners in a few weeks. Can’t wait to try it out on all of our kids.

  6. Colleen on March 29th, 2009

    My son and I made the peanut butter cookies this afternoon…what a treat! Thanks for a great recipe!

  7. Janice on March 29th, 2009

    Hi Colleen, I had hoped to make these today but never got around to it. Hopefully tomorrow- my kids will be happy. Glad you liked the recipe!

Leave a Reply