Chocolate Coconut Almond Cookies (GF, DF with vegan substitution)

GF DF coconut almond chocolate cookie.jpg

Chocolate Coconut Almond Cookies (GF & dairy free with vegan substitution)
Ingredients:
• 1 ¼ cup almond flour
• 1 Tsp. cacao powder (I used Viva Naturals)
• 1/3 cup coconut sugar (or light brown sugar)
• 1/2 tsp. baking powder
• ¼ tsp sea salt
• 1 Tsp. unrefined coconut oil
• ½ tsp. vanilla extract
• 1 Tsp. pure maple syrup
• *1 egg
• ½ cup shredded unsweetened coconut
• ½ cup almond slices
Instructions:
1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F
2. In a large mixing bowl (or stand mixer bowl) stir in almond flour, baking powder, cacao powder, light brown sugar, and sea salt
3. Add in vanilla extract, maple syrup, egg, and coconut oil. Mix on medium speed in stand mixer until dough clumps together (it will be like 2 clumps)
4. Add in shredded coconut and almond slices and mix in on low speed.
5. Shape dough into approx. 1” balls and place on baking sheet with a silpat mat or on parchment paper. Press down to flatten the balls to about ½” thickness.
6. Bake until edges begin to brown. Took about 10 minutes in my oven.
7. Remove and let cool.
*Substitute the egg with 2 Tsp. chia seeds soaked in hot water to soften

Its “resolutions” month

Its that month when so many people are dieting and going to the gym .  I don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions.  Now its not that I don’t believe in bettering yourself or making a change to do less or more of something, it’s just that I don’t believe in waiting until New Years to make that decision.  If you want to make a change, as Nike slogan says, Just Do it!

 With that said, it’s been awhile since I was at the gym.  The last time I was at the gym was in early November (I’m so glad my old trainer isnt reading this). The holidays always make getting routine things harder to get to or get done.  Or at least I’m using the excuse of the holidays.  Truthfully, the gym is a love hate thing.  I love it when I am routinely going but hate it when I am going.  So, the holidays were just a good excuse.  Now that the holidays are over I have been thinking that I needed a new reason to not go back to the gym (like I was just going to be content with being overweight – yah right) or I had to start going.  Lucky for me a friend helped me make that decision.  Out of the blue this friend called me asking me about the gym I go to.  She wanted to know if I liked it.  I told her I did and I admitted that I had not been to the gym in some time.  I invited her to go with me as a guest.  So, we met at the gym this morning.  It was nice and so far I am still able to get up and down the stairs in my house without crawling.

After she called me it got me thinking about including healthy recipes on my blog.  One that immediately came to mind is a cookie recipe I used to make.  I can hear you all thinking “healthy cookies?  this woman has to be crazy!”  I am serious though.  For a cookie these are about as healthy as you can get.  They taste pretty good too!  My kids loved them.  So, I started digging through my recipe box  (I really should make a “resolution” to organize it better) and I could not find it.  I searched several times making sure I wasn’t over looking it.  Nope, it wasn’t there.  So, I set off on an internet search to find something like it.  I came up with something close but not exact.  This meant I was going to have to go it without the recipe.

After a quick trip my local grocery store for a few items yesterday, I put myself into baking mode yesterday afternoon.  I came up with something really close to the original recipe.  My family loved the cookies.  In fact all 40 are gone as of this morning.  I am going to tweak the amounts on the ingredients a bit next time I make them.

So, if you are one of those that are trying to make healthier choices as a New Year’s resolution, or you would like to eat healthier but you don’t want to give up all the good stuff, like cookies, here is a recipe for you.   These are kid approved. Kids won’t know these are good for them.  They will just think you are super mom (or dad) for making them homemade cookies!

 I have not included the “tweaks” I plan to make. Likely I would add a bit more applesauce.    These cookies have almost no fat (less than a gram each) and are loaded with fiber!  So, these are very heart healthy!

Whole Wheat Raisin Cookies

  • 2 cups White Whole Wheat Flour (I use King Arthur)
  • 1  cup unsweetned applesauce
  • 3/4 cups light brown sugar (or use Splenda Brown sugar for even less calories)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup of raisins

Soak raisins in hot water for about 30 minutes or until they nice and plump (like me – lol).  Drain and set aside.  Pre-heat oven to 375.  Mix ingredients by hand.  Adding raisins after everything else is mixed.  Dough will be slightly wet but will stay on a spoon if you turned it upside down.  Drop dough balls onto cookie sheet lined with parchment paper (you don’t have to use parchment paper if you don’t have it – you can spray a little non-stick spray on the pan). I use two spoons to drop the dough balls.  Bake for about 10-12 minutes.  My oven takes 12 minutes for these.  Cool on cooling rack.

Other items you could add to batter

  • Dried Cranberries(soak in water like raisins)
  • Chopped dates
  • Dried cherries
  • Dried apricot pieces
  • Walnuts
  • Pecans
  • Chopped pistachios
  • Almonds (try adding almond extract instead of vanilla)
  • Dry rolled oats (may have to add a little more applesauce)
  • Wheat Germ
  • Flax
  • Finely shredded carrots and/or zucchini
  • Chocolate chips (ok so this would take it out of the healthy category and it would be like eating a burger on treadmill)

Try these.  They are EASY to make and your heart will thank you!  Let me know if you make them, and what you think.  I have a few more recipes to share that make it easier to eat healthier.  Of course, I have plenty more that would make your doctor cry.

Happy Baking!!

IMG_20130107_182112_402