Hi guys! It’s Christine with this week’s edition of Sweet-Tooth Friday, Oatmeal Raisin Cookies! I have been craving this cookie all week, especially after my 30-Day Challenge workouts. In the comments I noticed that a lot of you guys are taking a break from sugar and flour for your challenges, so I decided to work on a recipe that we all can enjoy.
My 30-Day Challenge Update
A quick update on my 30-Day Challenge: The week has started off on a great foot! I have been hitting the gym each day and going through my cardio and stretch routines. I feel really great and energized. This week coincided with the day I quit smoking last year and it was pretty awesome to see how far I’ve come. I’ve never belonged to a gym before and I made a couple of bonehead “newbie” mistakes:
a) They change the direction of the track each day, which took only a couple dozen glares and giggles for me to realize I was circling in the wrong direction.
b) I thought all the machines were broken and went from station to station trying to find one that would turn on. Eventually I figured out you just have to start pedaling first to get them to turn on!
c) If you’ve never done a lot of spinning or cycling, a good idea is NOT to go see the new Harry Potter movie the same day as that workout. My butt was so sore I was fidgeting the entire time!
On the food side of my challenge, drinking the 64 oz of water has been a snap. I got a 4 cup water bottle that I take everywhere I go. It’s easy to fill it up twice during the day, especially without being distracted by coffee in the morning. Speaking of coffee, I have had a wicked headache for the past 3 days. I’m assuming that’s caffeine withdrawal. (Is peanut butter withdrawal a thing?) Oh yeah, I didn’t realize it, but by eliminating peanut butter and dairy from my diet I lost two of my go-to quickie meals: the pbj and the grilled cheese. To compensate, I made a BIG salad in the beginning of the week and it has been super convenient to just grab a bowl and snack away. The dairy has been easy to steer clear of since I don’t buy much prepared food but I was surprised to see they snuck some into my taco seasoning! No matter though, I found the rest of the spices listed in my cabinet and my red bean tacos turned out better than ever!
The Perfect Oatmeal Cookie
The cookie I’ve been craving is chewy and a little bit crisp, salty and sweet, and full of yummy nut and raisin chunks. All that criteria and also something without animal products, flour, AND sugar? It seemed impossible, and a couple of internet searches for vegan oatmeal cookies were frustrating (almost all called for a boatload of soy margarine and brown sugar.) Finally I stumbled upon two promising recipes, one for raw oatmeal cookies and one from VegWeb for banana based “best oat cookies that ever existed.” I combined several elements from these recipes, like using dates as a binder as well as the banana.
For the flour in this recipe, I decided to make my own! You don’t have to be a slave to wheat; you just need a coffee grinder or good processor. I chose to grind down whole grain steel cut oats and dry chickpeas. You can buy these flours at natural stores, but it’s a lot cheaper to just grind yourself. Chickpeas may seem weird as a flour, but just check out the back of your Barilla Plus pasta box! Also it is common in other parts of the world, like India’s Besan Ladoo cookies. Because the chickpeas are raw, the cookie dough does not taste yummy until after it’s baked- don’t freak out, that taste will go away!
Here’s what I came up with.
Vegan Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Recipe
2 tbs ground flax seed mixed with 1/4 cup warm water
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup packed (8 oz) chopped dates
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 cup whole grain oats, ground
1 cup dry chickpeas, ground
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tbs cinnamon (2 sticks ground)
1/2 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp cardamom
1 cup old fashioned oats
1 cup raisins
1 cup chopped walnuts
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Mix the flaxseed and water together and set aside to thicken.
Combine the dry ingredients, set aside. (For the flours, make sure to pass through sieve to remove any unground bits.)
Combine the wet ingredients including the flax paste and mix until the banana is mashed and uniform.
Stir in the dry ingredients. Stir in add-ins to your taste (I used all three).
Line cookie sheet with parchment, spray lightly with pam. (Mine burnt on the bottom without the parchment.)
Use a quarter cup ice cream scoop to put dough onto the cookie sheet. These cookies don’t spread in the oven, so flatten to about 3 inches across or desired size. Bake for about 10 minutes for flat cookies, 12 minutes for thicker ones. Makes about 15 cookies.
These were delicious! You may notice that the ingredients overlap a lot with the energy bars, but these definitely have more of a cookie flair! And they are also the perfect after workout snack that I had been craving. No one will believe that they have no wheat flour, sugar, or added fat! Plus using alternative flours adds almost 3.5 grams of protein to each serving: that’s unheard of for a cookie!
Enjoy these yummy and healthy oatmeal cookies! And keep it up with those 30-Day challenges!
See you next Sweet-Tooth Friday!