Kindergarten starts in only 30 days! My daughter is excited. I am excited because she is excited. Just a few months ago we were attending her preschool graduation. All the parents were talking about how quickly their kids are growing up, how much they are going to miss having them at home, and how in a few short months they are starting kindergarten. Maybe I’m a bad mom, but I was standing on the sidelines having a panic attack because I’d been racking my brain thinking about what I was going to do with my two kids all summer. Kindergarten was the furthest thing from my mind. But now, it is right around the corner.
I am a person who likes to be prepared. Some may say I take it to the extreme, but I would disagree. The other day I pulled out the school supply list provided by our public school system, which was somewhat lengthy and very specific. Pencil boxes need to be a particular size, folders need to be laminated and without brads (I don’t even know what or who that is), and pencils need to be yellow. My daughter is convinced she can take her favorite owl pencils to school. We will have to deal with that situation when it arises. As much as I loved to buy new school supplies as a kid, I was geeky like that, I don’t remember ever being required to do so. But we are ready and checked school supplies off the list.
Then we were having lunch the today and it hit me. I will need to pack her lunch. Now granted I have some experience packing lunches… my lunch, my husband’s lunch. When I used to pack his lunch, before he told me that he didn’t like the way I did it. I would write secret messages in mustard on his sandwich. I’m still a little bitter about that. But packing lunches for a kid is different.
We talked today about what she might like to take in her lunch and biscotti made the list. Yeah! In fact, biscotti are great lunchbox treats, especially when made with nutrient rich foods. So, today we made one of our favorite energizer biscotti. Our biscotti, because we use no butter or oil, are already a very healthy treat. So describing them as healthy seems redundant. Energizers can be packed with whole wheat flour, flaxseed, oat bran, walnuts, cocoa nibs, chai seeds, and a variety of foods that nourish the body and mind. I’m not sure how we came up with the word energizers, but it stuck. And I am warning you, they are very addictive!
Whole Wheat Goji Berry, Walnut, and Cocoa Nib Biscotti
YIELD: approximately two dozen
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup finely ground cornmeal
½ cup packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons double-acting baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons ground flaxseed
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
¼ cup agave nectar
4 tablespoons cocoa nibs
3 tablespoons goji berries
1 cup roughly chopped walnuts
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and place the rack in the middle of the oven.
2. In a large flat bottomed bowl, whisk together the whole wheat flour, cornmeal, light brown sugar, baking powder, salt, and flaxseed.
3. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the eggs and vanilla extract, and agave nectar.
4. With a rubber spatula, stir the egg mixture into the flour mixture until the dough just starts to come together. Dust your hands with flour and knead the dough in the bowl until all the ingredients are incorporated and the dough is slightly tacky.
5. Add the cocoa nibs, goji berries, and walnuts and knead the dough until incorporated, about 10 to 20 times.
6. Separate the dough in half. Form two logs, approximately 3 inches wide and 1 inch high on a parchment lined baking sheet. Leave several inches between the logs, the dough will spread as it bakes. Firmly press the top of each log with light brown sugar.
7. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes, or until the tops begin to crack or split. Transfer logs to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
8. Transfer biscotti logs to a cutting board. Slice the biscotti on a diagonal and place cut side down on the same parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for an additional 20 minutes, turning the biscotti once halfway through. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.
What to do with the ends #3: Eat them of course!