Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites

If Halloween coming around tomorrow had you craving some sweets, but not wanting to sacrifice any newfound health goals this year, today we are sharing some tasty treats that won’t leave your body feeling depleted.

To start things off, here here’s a recipe from our nutrition educator Katie Mae.

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Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites

Ingredients
  • 1⅓ cup raw cashews
  • 1⅓ cup raw walnuts
  • 1⅓ cup gluten-free old fashioned oats
  • 24 soaked dates*
  • 2 teaspoons date juice
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons mini vegan chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. In a food processor, combine cashews, walnuts, oats, and salt and pulse for about 30 seconds until fine. Place in a large bowl and set aside.
  2. In a food processor, add dates, date juice, and vanilla extract and pulse for a few seconds. Using a spatula, push dates down from the sides of the processor and pulse a few more seconds (dates will be chunky).
  3. Add date mixture and chocolate chips to nut/ oat mixture and stir until well combined. Roll dough into 1-inch balls and place onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Run hands under water if you experience dough sticking to your hands. Chill for at least 20 minutes before serving. Extra bites can be frozen.
Notes
* To soak dates, place in a small bowl and add enough water to cover dates. Allow dates to soak at room temperature for 24 hours.
(original recipe can be found at http://www.sproutd.me/chocolate-chip-cookie-dough-bites/)
Other sweet-inspired recipes from around the internet:
(she also has a nut free version)

Reconnecting

Before we even dive into this post together, let’s take a moment, close your eyes and connect with where you are at today. We probably get asked the question “how are you” about a million and a half times a day, but how often do you  respond honestly? Or think about the question? Or, even more so, do you take the time to check in with yourself and truly notice how you are feeling? How can you be honest and aware of what’s going on inside? I know I have a lot of trouble with this. It seems so obvious that we should be aware of what we’re feeling, yet sometimes it is easy to get so caught up in life that you forget to “tune-in,” or “take-stock” of what’s happening.

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So, as a means of reconnecting, close your eyes, take a few deep breaths, and allow yourself to recognize what’s going on inside. Our culture is so attached to the idea that more is better, but there is so much beauty in stillness.

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As another means of reconnecting, I’ve been trying to become more aware of what I’m putting in my body. I heard a quote the other day that really hit home with me, “Our body’s are the only thing we truly have.”

Sometimes it is easy to get wrapped up in wanting to look a certain way, that you loose sight of the amazing vessel you are within. Our bodies are so freaking amazing. They are capable of so many wonderful things. There is so much happening inside: cells, tissues, muscles, organs, all working and functioning in a beautiful symphony to carry you each day. When you start to think about how you can better help all these internal functions, and not worry so much about external appearance, suddenly making healthy food choices doesn’t seem so difficult. When we think about “dieting” as a means of loosing weight, eating healthy can sometimes start to feel like a bit of a chore, something you are doing because you have to, not because you want to.

If you start to think about food as something that is becoming part of you, the fuel which is going to energize and carry you, eating healthy just sort of makes sense. When you eat to support yourself, to support your body’s natural functions and to sustain you, then you can connect with your food and yourself on a deeper level. Then eating healthy isn’t a chore, it isn’t about looking like someone from a movie or a cover of a magazine, or impressing the people around it. Then it is about allowing yourself to become the very best version of yourself. It is about allowing yourself to feel sustained, alive, and beautiful. And every single one of us deserves that.

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Creamy Berry Smoothie

(serves 2)

1 cup almond milk (you can add more or less depending on your desired thickness, I tend to like really think smoothies)

2 cups mixed frozen berries of choice (I used a mixture of strawberries , blackberries, and blueberries; but feel free to use whatever fruit you enjoy most)

1 avocado

1-2 tablespoons almond butter (or nut butter of choice)

(optional, but really fabulous) 1-2 tablespoons raw cacao powder

(also optional) a few shakes of cinnamon

Add ingredients to blending (start first with the almond milk), blend until creamy. The cool thing about adding the avocado is that they add a really creamy texture as they blend, but if this idea kind of freaks you out, you can replace the avocado with 1-2 frozen bananas. Another cool thing to try to add in place of the almond milk is coconut yogurt, which makes the smoothie feel really indulgent.

Before you dive in to this smoothie (or your next meal) take a deep breath and think about what you are about to put into your body, and have gratitude that what you are about to eat will be fueling your actions and activities.

Enjoy! Let us know what you think! Hope your week is going beautifully.

Wheat-Free Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

If you joined us last Friday for our weekly Potluck, you may have gotten the chance to try out this cookie. It’s free of wheat, dairy, and eggs. It does, however, still taste delicious. We adapted these cookies from this recipe from Angela at Oh She Glows (a really great resource for ahhhmazing vegan recipes!). So, as you’re semester starts to pick up (how can there be midterms already!?) you can make yourself, and maybe even your roommates, a little pick-me up. Perfect for a little home-comfort when life is becoming a little out-of control. What can we say, who doesn’t love homemade cookies?

Best of all, feel free to enjoy the dough, no salmonella to fear here! Enjoy!

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Wheat-Free Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients:

1 flax egg ( 1 Tbs ground flax seed, mixed with 3 Tbs warm water, set aside for 5 minutes to thicken)

1/2 cup natural peanut butter (look for one with little to no added sugar or salt if possible)

1/2 cup lightly packed brown sugar

3 Tbs Agave (can omit for more brown sugar, or for another liquid sweetener, or an extra banana)

1 banana, mushed (preferably ripe)

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup oats, blended into flour (or 1 cup oat flour)

1 cup almonds, blended into flour (or one cup almond flour/almond meal)

1/3 cup chocolate chips

1). Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

2). Combine ground flax seed with warm water in a small bowl, set aside for at least five minutes to thicken. The consistency should become gel-like, similar to an egg.

3). Combine peanut butter with brown sugar, agave, vanilla extract and banana using either an electric mixer, or blender, or really good arm strength, and blend until combined.

4). Place oats and almonds in blender and grind until a flour-like consistency forms. Time may vary depending on blender, be sure to use a high-powered blender, the almonds might harm one that isn’t powerful. Otherwise, skip this step.

5). Add baking soda, baking powder, salt, oat flour, and almond flour one ingredient at a time to the wet mixture. This might take some time to mix everything together. Add the flax-egg , and mix well. If the dough seems too dry, add a little almond milk to thin everything out, or even add another banana if you would prefer.

6). Fold in chocolate chips.

7). Shape dough into balls and place on cookie sheet. If the chocolate chips are having trouble sticking to the dough (which is common), simply press them into the dough with your fingers.

8). Bake for 8-12 minutes, or until golden brown. The cookies with be pretty soft, allow them to cool 5-10 minutes on baking sheet before transferring them off.

9). Enjoy! Share them with your friends!

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What is your favorite kind of cookies??? Is there a recipe you would like to see transformed to a vegan, or whole-foods version? Let us know!

Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Ingredients 

2/3 cup plus 1/2 cup oat flour (140g) (for all substitution notes, see nutrition link below)
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
4 tbsp brown sugar or brown coconut sugar (or Sucanat)
4 tbsp xylitol or white sugar (or evaporated cane juice)
1/4 to 1/3 cup chopped macadamia nuts (or sub another nut)
3 tbsp to 1/2 cup chocolate chips (I never bother to measure.)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 tbsp vegetable or coconut oil
3-5 tbsp milk of choice, as needed

Directions: 

  1. Preheat oven to 380 degrees.
  2. Combine all dry ingredients and mix very well.
  3. Add wet, and form into a big ball.
  4. Now make little balls from the big one.
  5. For soft cookies, refrigerate until cold (otherwise, just bake right away). Bake 7 minutes, or until they’ve spread out and look just a little undercooked. Remove from oven when they’re still a little undercooked, then it’s important to let cookies cool at least 10 minutes before trying to remove from tray, as they’ll continue to cook while cooling. For soft cookies, store in a lidded plastic container.
  6. For crispy cookies, store in a lidded glass container.

Brought to you by Chocolate Covered Katie 

Mexican Hot Chocolate Snickerdoodles

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Featured at SSU Nutrition Potluck (2/22/13)

Ingredients 

1/3 cup sugar (turbinado or other pure cane crystals)

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

For the cookies:

1/2 cup canola oil

1 cup sugar (turbinado or other pure cane crystals)

1/4 cup pure maple syrup

3 tablespoons almond milk (Or your preferred non-dairy milk)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon chocolate extract (or more vanilla extract if you have no chocolate)

1 2/3 cups whole wheat flour

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon cayenne

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Mix the topping ingredients together on a flat plate. Set aside.
  3. In a medium mixing bowl, use a fork to vigorously mix together oil,  sugar, syrup, and milk. Mix in extracts.
  4. Add in salt, spices and baking soda. Sift in remaining ingredients, stirring as you add them. Once all ingredients are added mix until you’ve got a pliable dough.
  5. Roll dough into walnut sized balls. Pat into the sugar topping to flatten into roughly 2 inch discs.
  6. Transfer to baking sheet, sugar side up, at least 2 inches apart (they do spread). This should be easy as the bottom of the cookies should just stick to your fingers so you can just flip them over onto the baking sheet.
  7. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, they should be a bit spread and crackly on top.
  8. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely. Enjoy!

Brought to you by Post Punk Kitchen 

Banana Blueberry Bars

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Featured at SSU’s Community Potluck (2/22/13)

 

Ingredients:
1 c dates
1.5 c apple juice
1 c oat flour
2 c rolled oats
¾ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg
3 bananas
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ c blueberries, frozen
½ c walnuts
Directions: 
  1. Cut dates in half, remove the pits and soak them in apple juice.
  2. Lay a piece of parchment paper in a 9 x 9 in baking pan, making sure the sides are covered. Cut slits in the corners of the paper so that the paper overlaps and is flat.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  4. Combine flour, oats, cinnamon, and nutmeg into a bowl. Mix and set aside.
  5. Put the bananas and vanilla extract into a blender. Add the strained apple juice to the blender, set dates aside, and blend until creamy.
  6. Then add the dates. Pulse a few times, so the dates are in small pieces.
  7. Pour the banana mixture into the dry ingredient bowl. Mix until blended evenly. Stir in the blueberries and walnuts.
  8. Pour the batter into baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
  9. Test for doneness, by poking bars with a fork. If it comes out clean then remove pan from oven.
  10. Let cool for 5-10 minutes before cutting and serving.

 

Brought to you by Katelin Mae’s Recipes

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bonbons

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Featured at SSU Nutrition Potluck (2/8/13) 

Ingredients

4 large Medjool dates, pitted

3/4 cup raw cashews

2 tablespoons mini dark chocolate chips

2 tablespoons cacao powder (optional)

Directions 

  1. Place pitted dates and cashews in food processor and process for 1-2 minutes until completely pureed.
  2. Add the mini dark chocolate chips and pulse a few times, just until combined.
  3. Remove dough from food processor and form into 12 balls.
  4. Roll bonbons in cacao powder (optional)

Note: You can refrigerate the bonbons to harden them but it is not entirely necessary. An alternative is to simply replicate the original Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Larabar by forming into bars. To do that I suggest you form the dough into a ball, flatten out into a rectangle, refrigerate until hardened, then cut into four bars.

The moisture content of the dates you use will impact how well the bonbons stick together. The ones I used were very large, fresh and moist so I ended up with a moist final product. If the dates you use are drier, I suggest you try adding a VERY small amount of coconut oil to the food processor. You could also try heating the dates with a small amount of water in a microwave for a few seconds before adding them to the food processor.

Brought to you by Paleo Spirt 

 

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bars

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Featured at SSU Nutrition Potluck (2/8/13)

Ingredients: 

1/2 cup spelt flour (or white flour, oat flour, etc.)

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1 “egg” of choice- I used 1 tsp ener-g powder, but 1 tbsp ground flax would work.

5 tablespoons brown sugar, or agave.

1/2 cup canned pumpkin (or cooked, pureed pumpkin)

2 tablespoons milk of choice

2 tablespoons applesauce (oil will also work)

1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Directions: 

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Combine dry ingredients, then add in wet.
  3. Spread into an oiled 7×5 pan (or double the recipe for an 8×8) and cook for 14-15 minutes.

Note: You can sub agave for the sugar; they’ll just be fluffier/cake-ier. For a sugar-free version, you can use xylitol. Subbing applesauce for is fine or coconut oil is really good, but veg oil is ok too. You can, if necessary, omit the egg completely.

SSU Note: To use more whole food ingredients we substituted Katie’s frosting with the frosting from Straightup Food’s carrot cake recipe. Or use the one below.

Frosting 

Ingredients: 

1/2 cup silken-firm tofu (I use Mori-Nu)

2 tablespoons plus 2 tsp Tofutti non-hydrogenated cream cheese

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract (or more)

stevia (or other sweetener to taste)

cinnamon as desired

Directions: 

  1. Blend the tofu until smooth.
  2. Then add the other ingredients and blend again.
  3. Then spread over bars

Note: You don’t need to frost the bars. You can also add apple butter, vegan butter, or nut butter as a makeshift frosting.

Brought to you by Chocolate-Covered Katie 

 

Dark Chocolate Crunch Bars

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Sometimes you just need to have some chocolate, a little something sweet to make you feel better or just to sedate your sweet tooth. Now you can have that chocolate and eat it too, and all in 5 minutes!

Ingredients:

1/4 cup rice crispies (brown or white, or gf) (30g)

1/2 cup cocoa powder (50g)

1/4 cup virgin coconut oil (60g)

Sweetener to taste (date paste, sugar, pure maple syrup)

tiny dash salt (makes the flavor pop)

Directions:

  1. Combine coconut oil and sweetener.
  2. Stir, then add cocoa powder and rice crispies (If needed, add 3 tbsp water or milk of choice, only if using stevia.).
  3. Stir until it gets thick.
  4. Pour into any flat container (or candy molds, or smush between layers of wax paper or in ziploc bags). Freeze until solid, and store in the freezer.

(Note: if you can’t eat [or can’t find] coconut oil, you could always just melt chocolate chips, mix with rice crispies, and freeze for super-quick homemade chocolate bars sans any coconut whatsoever. You can also try to substitute granulated sugar or stevia for the sweetener.)

 Brought to you by Chocolate-Covered Katie 

Carrot Cake

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This carrot “cake” can be made 3 different ways, maybe more if you really put your mind to it. This is a delicious dessert you can enjoy as a donut, a cake or cupcakes. Feel good about satisfying that sweet tooth and get creative!

Ingredients: 

5 Medjool dates, pitted and chopped
1/4 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup water

1 3/4 cup rolled oats
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground clove

1/2 of a ripe banana, diced
1 cup almond milk
1 1/2 cups grated carrots
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped

Directions: 

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees with rack in center position. In a small bowl, combine the 5 dates, 1/4 cup raisins and 1/2 cup water. Let soak while you prepare the other ingredients (at least 15 minutes).
  2. Grind the rolled oats in a high-speed blender until it resembles flour; transfer to a large bowl. Add to this the baking powder, soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and clove, and mix with a fork.
  3.  Transfer the soaked dates, raisins and water to a high-speed blender and blend until smooth (about 30 seconds).
  4. Add the banana and non-dairy milk and blend further until everything is smooth. Add this wet mixture to the bowl of dry ingredients and gently fold together using a big spoon; now fold in the carrots, raisins and walnuts. (The batter should be somewhere between a cake batter and cookie batter in consistency.)
  5. Using a soup spoon, spoon batter into a non-stick donut pan, filling to the top and smoothing batter flat. Bake for 20-25 minutes (Note: 20 produces a moister cake). If you press on the cake lightly and it bounces back a bit (instead of staying indented), it’s likely ready. These continue to set up as they cool.
  6. Remove from oven and cool for 5-7 minutes before removing the donuts from pan (if left in too long it will be hard to get the donuts out). Using a plastic fork, gently go around the donuts (outside and inner circle) to loosen them from the pan. Even though we’re using a non-stick pan, we are not using any oil so we need to help them out a bit. After loosening the edges, invert onto a cutting board (shake a bit if still not coming out the first time) and let cool at least 5-10 minutes more before serving plain or with the below frosting.

Frosting 

Ingredients: 

5 dates, pitted and chopped
1/2 cup raw cashews (not salted or roasted)
3/4 cup water

3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons tofu (silken or firm)
1/4 cup water (plus 2-3 more tablespoons as needed)

Directions: 

  1. Soak the dates and cashews in 3/4 cup water for 15-30 minutes.
  2. After soaking, drain off the soak water into a bowl.
  3. In a high-speed blender, combine all ingredients (measuring out the 1/4 cup water+ from the soak water) and blend until very smooth, adding more water as needed to reach desired consistency.
  4. Frost donuts, muffins or cake just before serving them. (Since there is no oil or sugar in this frosting it will not harden up like regular frostings.)

Note: Frosting will keep refrigerated for 3-5 days.

Prep time: 25 minutes (donuts), 15 minutes (frosting)
Cooking time: 20-25 minutes (donuts)
Makes: 10-12 donuts or muffins; 1 cup frosting

SSU Note: This can be made into donuts, muffins (just put in muffin tin), or an actual cake (put in a cake pan).

Brought to you by Straight Up Food