Hands down my favorite "naughty" treat is a chocolate chip cookie. Remember the 80-20 rule? That's 80% healthy plus 20% naughty is 100% right on! I really like that because, well heck, we all need a little naughty every once and a while, right? Inspired and adapted from Pamela Salzman's recent Quicker Than Quick cookbook (love it!), these yummy cookies contain zero refined sugar, zero gluten and refined carbohydrates, and zero animal products, yielding a cookie that contains more nutrients, anti-inflammatory ingredients, and will give you more energy without the usual post-sugar crash.
Oats are an excellent complex carbohydrate, credited for helping to lower blood sugar. They trigger insulin production which allows our cells to use blood sugar for energy. The high fiber content allows the sugar to burn slowly and avoid a crash. Oats are also rich in melatonin, which helps the body relax and fall asleep. Oats are also a low cost food item and this makes a large and satisfying batch so it will go a long way. I even roll some of the dough into a log, wrap in parchment or wax paper and store in the freezer to bake later.
We recommend buying "organic" oats because non-organic varieties have been found to contain very high levels of glyphosate (see previous post) which can cause damage to the digestive track and is believed to cause cancer as well as other health problems.
Cinnamon has been appreciated since ancient times for it's many benefits. From preserving meat to repelling bugs, cinnamon was once valued 15 times more than silver! It what I call a "super-spice" because it offers incredible benefits (along with amazing flavor) and has been shown in studies to reduce blood sugar, reduce inflammation, boost cognitive function, slow tumor growth, and even help regulate the menstrual cycle. If you enjoy this spice in abundance, stick to Ceylon variety, as it contains less coumarin (a natural blood thinner that can be toxic when consumed in large doses).
Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
Equipment Needed: Food Processor (like a Cuisinart), cookie sheet, parchment paper, wire cooling rack. Ice cream scoop optional but handy.
2 1/2 cups rolled organic oats, divided*
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp sea salt
1 cup almond butter (unsalted, no sugar or oil added), or sub cashew, tahini, peanut or a blend of whatever you have on hand.
3 TB softened coconut oil (can be refined or unrefined)
3/4 cup pure maple syrup
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup chocolate chips (I like this brand)
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. (you will need two cookie sheets if you plan to bake the whole batch rather than freeze some for later).
2) Add 1 1/2 cups oats to a food processor and pulse until it becomes close to the consistency of flour (voila, you've just made oat flour!). Add the baking soda, cinnamon, and salt and pulse once or twice to to combine.
3) Add the almond butter, coconut oil, maple syrup, and vanilla to the food processor and mix just until combined. Do not overmix or the dough may become too hard..
4) In a large bowl, mix the dough with 1 cup oats and 3/4 cup chocolate chips. Stir with a spoon until combined.
5) Using a small 1-2 inch ice cream scooper, scoop balls of dough onto the cookie sheet and flatten a bit with your fingers.
6) Bake for 10 minutes, more or less. If you want them more crispy, wait for them to brown a bit. For chewier texture, remove once they just start to turn brown but are firm enough to remove with a spatula. Allow to cool on a wire rack...Enjoy!
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