Monday 3 June 2013

Healthy Cookies

An important element in the healing process, whether after having a baby, surgery, or some other life altering event, is to feed your body optimal nutrition. As I've been dealing with sleep deprivation lately, I've noticed a remarkable difference on the days where I eat for health, and exercise for energy - honestly, it's like night and day! The days where I follow a clean diet are smoother because I have even blood sugars, consistent energy, and a steady supply of the nutrients my body needs to continue the healing process. Throw in a heavy lifting session or interval training on the treadmill, and I am smiling! 
In my quest to keep all food healthy and clean [if you're wondering what it means to eat 'clean' foods, here's a handy site to get you started] I've developed a new cookie recipe to satisfy my sweet tooth, and feed my body essential nutrients. Sound too good to be true? It probably is; but either way, these are delicious cookies chock full of goodness, and void of guilt laden ingredients. These cookies are high in protein, have healthy essential fats, and contain enough sweetness to make them absolutely fabulous. And did I mention they won't leave you bloated or craving more like a traditional cookie? Yeah, these are awesome - Enjoy!

Healthy Cookies
an original recipe, developed by me

2/3 cups water
1/3 cup quinoa
1 cup coconut oil
1 1/3 cup coconut sugar
3 large eggs
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups fresh ground quinoa flour*
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 1/4 cups rolled oats
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/3 cup sunflower seeds, unsalted
1/3 cup fresh ground flax seed
1/3 cup hemp hearts
1 cup unsweetened raisins

Bring the water and quinoa to a boil in a small saucepan. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 10 minutes. Turn the heat off and leave the covered pot on the stove for an additional 6 minutes. Remove the lid and fluff the quinoa with a fork, then set aside to cool.

Preheat the oven to 350*

Cream the coconut oil in a mixer, then add sugar and continue to mix until fluffy and fully incorporated. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix thoroughly.

In a separate bowl, combine the quinoa flour down through to the hemp hearts and mix well. Once fully blended, add to the coconut oil mixture and blend well. The mixture will pull away from the sides of the bowl when it's ready for the next step. Add in all the raisins and mix until incorporated.

Roll into 1 1/2 inch balls and place 2 inches apart on a baking sheet. Flatten slightly, then bake in the oven for 7-10 minutes until the bottom of cookies are golden brown [my dark pans took 7 minutes, while my light pans took 8. Every oven and pan is different, so watch your first batch of cookies closely.] Let cool on pan before transferring to a cookie rack. These store best in the fridge, or if you want them to last even longer go for the freezer. 

Since the recipe yielded about 5 dozen cookies, I put half in the freezer, and the other half in the fridge. Both Darius and Eli LOVE these, and will eat a few at a time for a snack, or as an addition to breakfast [these definitely fit the bill of a breakfast cookie!] I hope you enjoy them as much as we do!

*I ground my quinoa flour in a coffee grinder, but it can also be ground in a blender or grain grinder. I also grind my own flax in a coffee grinder - it's a really handy tool! Just remember that if you do drink coffee, don't grind your grains and seeds on the same grinder as your coffee - you need separate grinders for these.

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