By Abra Pappa for NutritiousAmerica.com
What is more delicious than warm chocolate chip cookies fresh out of the oven? Not much I tell ya, not much. We all should have a reliable, delicious chocolate chip cookie recipe in our back pocket to wow impromptu guests and convince our kids that we are, indeed, super mom.
Trouble is most cookie recipes begin with ingredients that need..well.. pimping! I encourage you to push beyond your baking comfort zone to try this nutrient dense, crazy delicious treat. The ingredients here should easily be added to your arsenal of real food, health promoting pantry staples.
So let’s pimp that recipe!
As we move toward a whole food diet, white flour and white sugar have to be replaced. White flour is a heavily processed ingredient that will promote blood sugar spikes and dips and increase your body’s propensity toward processed food cravings. In this recipe it is replaced with almond flour. Almond flour is a staple ingredient in my kitchen. It may sound fancy but it is nothing more then ground almonds (you can make your own by grinding almonds in a food processor, just don’t over process or you will end up with almond butter.)
Almonds, as you may already know, are potent nuggets of nutrients, protein, and healthy fat. Studies have shown that eating almonds actually helps your body decrease cravings and eat LESS at the next meal. Almond flour also happens to be gluten free (convenient for those of you living a gluten free lifestyle). From a culinary perspective almond flour has a very different mouth feel than white flour, so I like to mix it with another flour. My pick for this recipe is oat flour, which is nothing more than ground oats. I love the nutty flavor. I make my own at home by throwing rolled oats (which should be a staple in your pantry) into a blender, spice grinder or coffee grinder and whirling away until they are pulsed into a flour.
The next cookie culprit: white sugar, the ultimate empty food. As a matter of fact, white sugar could be called a depletion food. When you eat white sugar, which is stripped of all nutrients and minerals, your body has to pull from its own reserve to process it. Depletion indeed.
Sugar “substitutes” are a much debated topic in the nutrition world. There seems to be a new miracle sweetener on the market each year and after its 15 minutes of fame comes a flood of reports on all that is wrong and evil about said sweetener (agave nectar is the perfect example).
In an effort to condense a very complicated topic my thoughts are as follows: reduce white sugar, NEVER use chemically derived sweeteners (you know, those little colored packets), and opt for minimally processed sweeteners that potentially have added health benefits. This brings me to my current favorite – Coconut Palm Sugar, which is high in nutrients like potassium, low on the glycemic index (hello! no blood sugar spike here!) AND super, duper high in flavor. Coconut palm sugar lends a rich molasses-ey note, exactly what these cookies need.
As for fat, this part is of great interest to me and I hope you, dear reader, will digest this above all. Fat is typically seen as the big culprit in recipes and the first thing that is removed or replaced, BUT fat is essential if for no other reason than this: If there is healthy fat in a baked good you will feel more satiated and EAT LESS. Reducing fat is fine; eliminating it in a baked good, in my opinion, is not. That’s why I used coconut oil in this recipe. I think it’s the perfect luscious compliment and a wonderfully healthy option.
So here it is, a chocolate chip cookie to add to your arsenal of recipes. Be prepared if you bring these to a party, you will forever be asked to bring them to EVERY party. They are that good.
- 2 cups almond flour
- 1/2 cup oat flour
- 1/4 cup applesauce
- 1/2 cup coconut palm sugar
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 3/4 cup dark chocolate chips
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. In a large bowl combine coconut oil, palm sugar, applesauce, and vanilla. Using a wooden spoon to “cream” together until well combined.
3. In a medium bowl combine flours, baking soda, and salt.
4. Combine dry ingredients into wet ingredients. Stir well.
5. Add chocolate chips; stir well to combine. The batter will seem a bit dry, this is OK.
6. Using a tablespoon or small cookie scoop drop batter onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Alternatively, form the dough into 1/2 inch balls.
7. Press the dough down to achieve flat cookies. This dough will not spread out like a traditional cookie dough. The thickness of the cookie placed in the oven will be nearly identical to the finished product.
8. Bake for 12 minutes.
9. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before eating.
For you number crunchers… this serving size is 2 cookies, the protein is a bit higher, and the calories are a snip less then a standard cookie. But the real “pimping” benefit is the added micro-nutrients that will leave you satisfied and satiated. This, above all other elements, is the fundamental difference between this pimped recipe and your run-of-the-mill processed baked good.
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September 28th, 2012