Fountain of Youth Cookies

SMART BAKING

by Jane Kinderlehrer

You can live it up and live longer if you give your body optimum nutrition, with more vitamins and minerals which, as you light more candles on your birthday cake, your body needs more but utilizes less.
How do you do that? By addition and subtraction. Subtract the foods that add only empty calories. Add the foods that give you important nutrients, and you will multiply your chances of enjoying all your years in the best of health.
The cookies in this article are fortified with ingredients that have been shown to sharpen the mind, lower LDL cholesterol (the bad kind), improve circulation, and promote restful sleep. The taste? Your whole family will label them winners.

Fruit and Nut Lifesavers
To stay young and vital, you should eat each day something which, if put into the ground, would grow. Sprouts, sunflower seeds, and sesame seeds would grow if planted, and this no-bake confection bring their vitality to you. The lecithin granules contribute to a sharp mind and a good memory.

12 dried apricots, soaked overnight
1/2 cup raisins, soaked overnight
apple juice (for soaking the apricots and raisins)
3 tablespoons almonds, lightly roasted
3 tablespoons rolled oats
3 tablespoons lecithin granules
3 tablespoons wheat germ
2 tablespoons bran
1 tablespoon dry milk powder
2 tablespoons wheat or rye sprouts (optional)
2 tablespoons unsweetened shredded coconut
2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
3 tablespoons sesames seeds and toasted filberts for garnish

Soak the apricots and raisins overnight in apple juice.
Drain, and reserve the juice for fruit salad or drink it. (It's delicious.) In a food processor, blender, or food mill, puree the dried fruit, then blend with nuts, oats, lecithin, what germ, bran, milk powder, sprouts, coconut, and sunflower seeds. If the mixture is too sticky to handle, refrigerate for about an hour, or if you want to get on with it, add more oats.
Pinch off pieces the size of small walnuts, roll each into a ball, dip in sesame seeds, then press a filbert in the center.
Yield: 2 dozen.
Approximately 40 calories each.

Tranquility Tahini Fig and Nut Cookies
The tahini, oats, wheat germ, figs, and milk powder in these crisp and crunchy cookies provide bountiful calcium and magnesium, which have been shown to improve mental and physical functioning and promote restful slumber. They are an excellent bedtime snack.

1/4 cup tahini
2 tablespoons vegetable oil (preferably olive)
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup oat bran or wheat germ
1 tablespoon dry milk powder
4 dried figs soaked for at least an hour or overnight in
hot water, then drained and cut into small pieces
1/4 cup sunflower seeds or chopped walnuts

In a mixing bowl, combine the tahini, oil, and honey. Stir in the oats, bran, milk powder, figs, and seeds or nuts.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Drop the batter by teaspoonfuls on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or greased with a mixture of a few drops of liquid lecithin and oil. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until cookies are a delicate brown.
Yield: 20 to 24
Approximately 45 calories each.

Apricot Walnut Shortbread Squares
You'll find it hard to believe that anything that tastes so scrumptious can do so many wonderful things for you - lecithin for your arteries and your memory, wheat germ for that great vitamin E, fiber for good digestion, apricots for iron, nuts for magnesium. Invite your best pal and enjoy them with a nice cup of tea.

BASE
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
2 tablespoons wheat germ
2 tablespoons bran
2 tablespoons lecithin granules
2 tablespoons vegetable oil (preferably olive)
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon frozen apple juice concentrate
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

FILLING
1/2 cup dried apricots soaked in 1/2 cup boiling water
or Lemon Soother tea for at least an hour or overnight
2 tablespoons frozen apple juice concentrate
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Soak the apricots in boiling water or Lemon Soother tea for at least on hour, or overnight.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
To make the base, blend together in food processor, blender, or mixing bowl all the ingredients, from the flour to the vanilla. Press 3/4 cup of this mixture into an 8-inch-square pan lined with parchment paper or greased with a mixture of a few drops of liquid lecithin and oil. Bake for 15 minutes or until edges begin to turn brown.
To make the filling, combine the apricots with their soaking liquid and the apple juice concentrate in a saucepan, and cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes. Puree in food processor or blender, then add the chopped walnuts.
Spread the apricot mixture over the cookie base and top with the remaining 1/4 cup of the crumb mixture. Return to oven for 10 to 15 minutes. Cool, then cut into 1 1/2-inch squares.
Yield: 25 squares Approximately 55 calories each.

From The Smart Baking Cookbook-Muffins, Cookies, Biscuits, and Breads, by Jane Kinderlehrer. Copyright 1998. by Jane Kinderlehrer. Excerpted by arrangement with Newmarket Press. $21.95. Available in local bookstores, or by calling 212-832-3575, or click here.