Thursday, June 19, 2014

6-Ingredient Nutty Chocolate Chip Cookies (Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Egg-free, Soy-free)

When I first decided to cut out meat and dairy from my diet, desserts were one of the hardest things to pass up. While I didn't eat tons of sweets during my pre-vegan days, I definitely would say I had a sweet tooth. When I went vegan, it took a while for my body to stop craving sugary things and there were a few times at social events where I caved, mainly because my body felt deprived...oh, and I saw everyone else eating something I still really loved: sugar!

Throughout the first months of my new diet I did a lot of reading on what vegans eat and found warnings against becoming a "junk-food vegan." Basically a "junk-food vegan" is someone who eats mostly chips, french fries, non-dairy ice cream, faux meats, processed snacks etc. They miss out on a major point of being vegan: eating more plants! I wasn't too worried that I would resort to lots of vegan convenience foods, but early on in my new diet I would often seek out vegan dessert shops whenever I traveled to different cities. If a dessert was vegan then I considered it "healthy." Man was I wrong. 

As I continued to experiment in the kitchen and research different ingredients, recipes and blogs, I began to realize that there is a huge difference in what I once considered a healthy, vegan dessert. Just because a sweet doesn't have dairy or eggs in it doesn't mean it's healthy. Processed white flour plus loads of sugar and oil are still often the main ingredients in many vegan desserts. 

Yes, I know. "Healthy" and "dessert" shouldn't even go together. Desserts are for pleasure and enjoyment. Yes I agree, but if I can kill two birds with one stone, having a dessert that's delicious AND healthy, then I'm going to try and do that! My sweet tooth will get it's fix and my body will be grateful too.

So, since my new-found knowledge of "healthy" (a.k.a. whole foods vs. processed flours and sugars) I've done lots of experimenting in the kitchen. I've made quite a few nasty desserts trying to over-healthify something (yes, I just made a word up). But, the more I practice and learn different techniques, the better my healthy desserts have turned out. I've even had a few turn out so well that I'm not afraid to serve to my friends! Now that's saying something. 

These cookies are an example of a success story. They are quite similar to a Lara Bar, which means they don't have a ton of extra ingredients and are chalk full of nutrition. All you need is a good food processor and you're good to go. Oh and as a side warning make sure you pit your dates or else this might happen...

Nutty Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 1/4 cup pecans*
  • 3/4 cup almonds*
  • 1 cup dates, soaked in warm water then drained
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 flax egg (1 tablespoon ground flaxseed + 3 tablespoons of water)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup dairy free chocolate chips + plus extra for topping
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line 1-2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Prepare your flax egg by whisking together 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed with 3 tablespoons of warm water. Set it aside to "gel."
  3. Place the nuts in your food processor and process them until you get a fine meal. Remove them from the processor and set aside.
  4. Next place your soaked dates into the processor and process them until as smooth as possible. You will have to stop a few times to scrap down the sides of the processor bowl.
  5. Add in the flax egg, salt, vanilla, cornstarch and nut meal and process until a fairly smooth dough forms.
  6. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  7. Drop the dough onto the lined baking sheets in a bout 1 1/2 - 2 tablespoon portions. Slightly flatten them with your hands and press in any extra chocolate chips if needed.
  8. Bake for about 12 minutes until the bottoms begin to brown and the outsides start to harden. They will firm up a bit more after cooling.
  9. Enjoy your healthy dessert!

Start by processing your nuts until you get a fine meal.

Then process your dates until you get date paste.

Add in the remaining ingredients and process some more. Then fold in the chocolate chips.

Drop portions of the dough onto your baking sheet and press slightly to flatten.

Bake for 12 minutes until the bottoms and outsides begin to brown.

Eat Consciously,


1 comment:

  1. Oh my gosh these look so yummy!! I've had dates in bars and stuff but I've never actually eaten a plain date. I really need to buy some. I need a food processor too!!


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