There is a refreshing quality to the air these days, a longer slant to the afternoon light as the sun quickens the day’s end, and a quiet tranquility in town as children start back to school. All of it makes me want to root, roast, and bake.
Since starting back to school means going off to college for my son, I thought I’d bake up a batch of healthy, teen-approved delicious, cookies and send them off in a care package.
Not only are these healthy – full of fiber, protein, anti-inflammatories, anti-oxidants, polyphenols, and spices to boost digestive while reducing blood sugar – they are quick and easy to make. If you have all your ingredients on hand, the batter comes together in about 10 minutes. As it’s all mixed in the blender, cleanup is easy.
And, they are gluten-free, dairy-free, processed sugar-free, so really they are good for anyone.
Maybe I should call them a muffin cookie – Muffie? Muffkie? They do come out a bit fuller and more textured than the flat, crisp cookie so many have come to love. So think of it is a luxurious breakfast or a healthy snack, and then I think your tongue will get the point and fall in love.
One last note: I definitely add the pecans and coconut flakes. It really makes a difference in taste. However, as so many people are allergic to nuts, I wrote it in as an option. I would not consider it optional if you do not have nut allergies.
The Healthiest Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes 24-36, depending on the size
1 c almond milk
2 T lemon juice
8-10 dates, soaked
1 apple, cored
1 c almond meal
1/2 c almond butter
3-4 T coconut oil (or ghee)
1 T maple syrup, optional
2 T flaxseed meal
1 t psyllium husk
1 t vanilla
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t cardamom
1/2 t baking powder
1/4 t pink salt
1 c, or the whole bag, semi-sweet chocolate chips
optional: 1 c pecans, 1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds, shredded coconut, raisins
Mix the almond milk and lemon juice together in a small bowl and set aside for ten minutes to allow it to clabber.
Set the oven to 350F. Mash the dates in an electric blender. Add the rest of the ingredients except the chocolate chips (and optionals) and blend until well mixed. Toss in the chips, and optionally nuts, seeds, coconut and/or raisins. Pulse gently to lightly mix. Pulse enough to break up the nuts and some of the chips so some of the chocolate mixes into the batter. But don’t pulse too much that you lose the integrity of all the chips.
Spread a piece of parchment paper out on a large baking tray. Using a spoon, scoop the batter into individual cookies on the parchment. The cookies will mostly hold the shape you set, so shape or flatten if you like. Place the baking tray on the middle rack of your oven and bake until the aroma beckons you, usually about 15 minutes.
Want to make them even healthier? Add half a teaspoon of turmeric and turn them orange.
Want to make them crispier? Add ghee instead of coconut oil, increase the amount to 2 T, and cook a little longer.
Want to make them sweeter without compromising health? Add two more dates, or another tablespoon of maple syrup.
Want to make them even more delectable? Melt a bar of very dark chocolate in a small saucepan. Add a small pinch of cardamom or cinnamon, and a tiny drizzle of maple syrup, then pour it over each cookie as a kind of icing. It’s sumptuous!
Please tell me how you like these cookies, and if you do like them, I’d be honored if you’d share. Post your photos with #myfoodlovestory so we all can see and enjoy. When I see your photos of food-alovestory recipes it makes me feel like we are all in the kitchen together enjoying our “mother’s” love.
Thank you & Namaste!