It’s been two weeks since I’ve been home in the US and I already miss making treats. Cookies, bars, cakes, granola, cobblers… there was always something to be concocted and it was a breeze, or should I say piece of cake ;) in our—thanks to my lovely mother—well-stocked pantry and well-equipped kitchen. How I took that all for granted! Whipping up a batch of after dinner peanut butter cookies isn’t quite as simple when my current pantry has zero ingredients, and my kitchen not a spatula, mixing bowl nor cookie sheet. I know, poor poor me… :) Continue reading
One of my first posts was my adapted version of Nikki’s Healthy Cookies from 101 Cookbooks, a “classic” healthy cookie of the blog world. Butter-less, flour-less, egg-less, and sugar-less, these continue to please as my go-to healthy cookie and friends still ask me for “that banana cookie recipe you always made.”
Well with time after time of baking these and my unending obsession with changing up recipes, I have for you my new and improved healthy banana cookie. It’s peanutty, banana-y, coconutty, puctuated with drops of creamy chocolate (or carob), and to me the flavors never get old. Substantial + healthy enough to eat for breakfast, ideal for a midday snack, and decadent enough to satisfy my sweet cravings…. what more do I need to say? :)
Get baking and have yourself some guilt-free deliciousness! Continue reading
It’s been a while since I’ve made a good, wholesome, nutritious cookie — one that I can feel good about snacking on for a boost of energy first thing in the morning, or as a perfectly sweet treat after dinner.
As a self-professed cookie monster, I’ve embraced the art of “healthy cookie” making so I’d always have something slightly more nutritious than a box of nutter butters when the monster decided to come out. But lately my cookie baking has been less-than-healthy, and I’m longing for those guilt–free goodies of my past….
Some may laugh at cookies for breakfast, but to that I say simply compare the ingredients & nutrition facts to a your typical banana-nut bakery muffin and thennn we’ll see who’s laughing….
These pack serious protein from the egg, protein powder and nuts, a modest amount of healthy fat from almond butter, coconut oil and hazelnuts, slight sweetness from agave nectar, vanilla protein and cherries, and antioxidants from the cocoa nibs.
And in terms of taste, the sweetness contrasts with a peppery kick and tart cherries, nuts and nibs provide bits of crunch, the whole wheat and oats lend a dense and hearty chew, and the gentle scent of vanilla reminds you that you’re nibbling on a delicate little cookie. (For breakfast).
A cookie as balanced in nutrients as it is in texture and flavor. What more could a cookie monster ask for?
Cherry Hazelnut Power Cookies, adapted from the 17-Day Diet Book. Thanks Janet!!
makes ~18 cookies
- 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 2 T almond butter
- 1 T flaxseed or coconut oil
- ¼ cup agave nectar
- 1 egg or 3 ½ T egg whites
- ½ t vanilla extract
- ½ t almond extract
- ¾ cup whole wheat flour
- ½ t baking soda
- 1 t cinnamon
- ½ t salt
- ¼ t ground white pepper
- ½ cup vanilla protein powder (I use tera’s whey bourbon vanilla)
- 1 ½ cup rolled oats
- 1 cup dried cherries
- ¼ cup chopped hazelnuts
- ¼ cup cocoa nibs (optional) Continue reading
Not often does one get offered a giant bag of coconut flour because someone has just too much of it. So when my uncle offered me an extra bag he had lying around (my gluten-free aunt orders online in bulk because it’s cheaper), I was glad to take it off their hands :)
I left their home after dinner with arms full of goodies— coconut flour and bunches of collards and lettuces fresh from their garden. It’s been nice living close to them for 4 years of college; I never left without something yummy, usually homemade applesauce or jarred South Carolina peaches. mmmm.
Anyway, with more coconut flour than I ever thought I’d have in my possession (that stuff can be expensive!) I was dreaming up all the recipes I could add it to. And what did I settle on first? The classic chocolate chip cookie, of course. Except this one’s not so classic…
I knew my aunt had been on a search for the best tasting gluten-free cookies, so I thought I’d add a homemade recipe to the competition. And it’s not only gluten-free, but grain-free, vegan, refined sugar-free, and very low in sugar overall. The baked cookie certainly has a different texture than the classic—a bit more dense, soft, and dough-like—but delicious in its own way.
I absolutely love these cookies and could easily just eat balls of the raw dough as well. I know my aunt enjoyed them, and even if you’re not avoiding gluten you should give them a try! A soft, dense, chocolatey, coconutty, just-sweet-enough treat, without any of the guilt ;)
grain-free coconut flour cookies, adapted from girl meets life.
- 1/2 cup coconut flour
- ¼ cup almond meal/flour
- 1/4 t baking powder
- 1/4 t salt
- 1 banana, mashed
- 1 T agave
- 1/2 T coconut oil
- 1/4 t vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup almond or soy milk
- 3-4 T dark chocolate chips (I use grain-sweetened or dark mini chips)
- other options: cocoa nibs, coconut flakes, chopped nuts Continue reading
I try my hardest not to buy processed snacks—both for the processed factor as well as the ingredient factor—because even “health food” companies and organic snacks from Whole Foods use lots of added sweeteners, fats, and refined flours. But I simply don’t have the time to bake fresh granola bars and healthy muffins every time I reach for a snack.
My lack of time for baking has led me to experiment with a quick-to-make, easy-to-eat, and sweet-tooth-satisfying treat. After a few attempts (eh ok.. maybe like 6 in the last two weeks ;) I’m proud to give you my new favorite go-to treat: bliss balls.
I can put them together in 5 minutes tops (and I’m especially slow in the kitchen so this is incredible for me), they don’t get dried out or stale since they live in the freezer, and they leave you with one (just one!) dirty bowl. But best of all… the dense, peanut buttery flavor interspersed with bittersweet chocolate bits is exactly what my sweet tooth craves. Plus I’ve always been a dough girl… who needs the oven when you can eat spoonfuls of the gooey dough?! (egg-free, Mom!)
Oh, and I almost forgot – not only is this a guiltless recipe, it’s a very nutritious one. Whole grains, a good boost of protein and fiber from the peanut flour, antioxidants from cocoa, just a bit of healthy fat, a touch of fruit, and no refined sugar to be found.
…Bliss in a ball :)
Freezer bliss balls, inspired by these
- ¼ cup peanut flour
- ¼ cup whole wheat flour (gluten free options: use oat flour, coconut flour or almond meal)
- 2 T erythritol, or other granulated sweetener of the unrefined variety (depending on your tastes you may want to add more – I don’t like mine too sweet)
- dash n’ a half of salt
- 1 T smart/earth balance, softened (or coconut oil)
- 1 T unsweetened applesauce
- ¼ t vanilla extract
- ¼ t maple extract
- 1-2 T vanilla soy milk
- 1 t honey (optional – I added this at the end for a bit more sweetness and to help bind the dough)
- ¼–1/3 cup grain-sweetened chocolate chips (or try mini choc chips, chopped chocolate, cocoa nibs, carob chips..)
Whisk together flours, sweetener and salt. Add butter, applesauce + extracts and combine with spatula to form thick dough. Gradually add milk til you have the right consistency. Batter should be thick and hold up well. If you add too much milk, add an extra spoonful of peanut flour. Mix in chocolate chips.
Spoon into balls/blobs, flatten, sprinkle with sea salt, & freeze for on-the-go-goodness. They’ll thaw in about 60 seconds into a sweet dough ball of bliss.
Makes 12 small cookies. (Since I made these several times to perfect them, I kept the batches small. Feel free to double or triple the recipe :)
*Update Sept 2013: I now usually triple this recipe (so that they last me more than 2 days!). I use 1 cup peanut flour and 1/2 cup coconut flour (omitting the wheat flour altogether) and about 2 T coconut sugar along with enough stevia to make it sweet. Coconut flour is very absorbent so if you use it, you may have to add another Tbsp or two of applesauce.
I don’t know why I’m still surprised when I bake a dessert with beans… and it comes out amazing. I mean I already showed you my success with the beet-bean brownies and the deep dish cookie pie, but somehow the concept never fails to fascinate me. Beans?! Not only are they what I often consume for protein in my meals—being low in fat and super high in fiber—but they can be used to replace a majority of the flour and butter in baked goods! I think what gets me most, though, is that they’re not simply a healthy substitution; beans make things like cookies and brownies so incredibly rich and fudgey and moist. I may never bake without beans again!
….I just won’t tell people this until after they taste my goodies :]
These rich chocolate cookies remind me of these double chocolate fudge cookies my mom used to make from a mix when we were kids. Everyone looved them, especially straight from the oven, all warm and full of gooey chocolate chunks. These bring me back to that same eye-rolling indulgent taste of fudgey bliss, but with a grown-up twist of spicy chiles, cinnamon, tart dried cherries… and of course our healthy little secret ;]
I also gave each cookie a generous sprinkle of coarse sea salt, which really brings out the richness and leaves you craving more sweet after each bite.
chili-chocolate-bean cookies, from My New Roots
- 1 ½ cups black beans, or one 15 oz. can
- 2 T coconut oil
- 1/3 cup organic cocoa powder
- 1/4 t coarse sea salt, plus more for sprinkling
- 1/4 t cayenne pepper
- 1/4 t cinnamon
- 1/3 cup maple syrup, honey or agave
- 2 eggs or 6 T egg whites
- 1 t vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup chopped bittersweet chocolate, or chocolate chips
- 1/4 cup chopped dried cherries
I showed you the magic of beets and beans in brownies, and now I give you a decadent deep dish cookie pie….. made with chickpeas!
The use of beans in desserts is becoming more common to me so I was not too skeptical about this recipe. And the beans proved themselves once again. Mom and I made this one night while watching the Biggest Loser (nothing like eating a decadent dessert while watching people lose weight… but hey, at least this pie is somewhat healthy!) and I think her more skeptical taste buds were impressed as well.
We made half the recipe since there were only two of us, and put it in a smaller round pan (about 8-inch). Remember this is a pie rather than a crisp cookie, so it may seem gooey and under-baked – just let it be :] Then let it sit for 10 minutes after baking, seriously testing your willpower while wafts of sweet cookie aroma float past your nose. I know it’s hard. But then you can dish it up with vanilla ice cream and indulge in this dense, moist, half-baked fudgey cookie. Guiltlessly, of course!
healthy deep dish cookie pie, adapted from Chocolate-Covered Katie
this is the halved recipe that we made in an 8-inch round pan. Our pie was not too deep-dish as you can see in the photo, so use a smaller pan if you wish. If you want more servings, double these measurements and use a 10-inch round cake pan or springform pan, as called for in the original recipe.
* this is also gluten free if you use gluten free oats, and vegan if you use dairy-free chocolate!
- 1 can chickpeas or white beans (drained and rinsed well)
- ½ cup old-fashioned or quick oats
- 2 T unsweetened applesauce
- 1 ½ T canola oil
- 1 t vanilla extract
- ¼ t baking soda
- 1 t baking powder
- ¼ t salt
- 3/4 cups brown sugar **we used slightly less than ½ cup brown sugar, and ¼ cup erythritol [a natural calorie-free granulated sweetener] but I found it to be very sweet, so next time I’ll use ½ or 2/3 cup sweetener.
- ½ cup chopped dark chocolate (we used Scharffen Berger 70%) or chocolate chips
Blend everything (except the chips) very well in a food processor. Mix in chips, and pour into an oiled or parchment-lined round pan. Cook at 350F for 20-30 minutes, or until edges are crispy and golden. Let stand at least 10 minutes before removing from the pan. Best served warm with cool and creamy vanilla ice cream.
This post is linked to Allergy Free Wednesdays