Healthier cookie dough (GF, V)
I just realized that I first started experimenting with a plant-based “raw food” diet almost 18 years ago. That’s EIGHTEEN as in almost two decades! Wow, so much has changed in the world of food since then. No longer do I receive odd looks for drinking a salad, my daily green juice aka “green cappuccino” that I literally can’t live well without. My body craves it daily and it feels like I forgot to breathe when I don’t have it. It’s a blessing that being healthy isn’t considered weird or hippy anymore. Instead it’s an environmentally-conscious decision and more aligned with our biochemistry than most of the packaged convenience foods that line our grocery store shelves today.
Truth is I existed on a total plant-based diet (well 99.9%) for three years. Previous to that I had been vegan for about a decade and I wanted to take my health to the next level. I had some residual regret for the way I treated my body and digestive system, okay quite a bit. And my old roommate went “raw” with her boyfriend and well, she looked amazing so I was intrigued. And that jump-started my journey but that’s for another time (and chapter in the book).
Okay, okay you really want to know about this cookie dough concoction, right? Let me share with you the inspiration. As a child, one of my favorite things was eating my mom’s homemade raw chocolate chip cookie dough. Struggling to wait for the cookies to bake, I had to nibble on the dough sneaky-sneaky style while the lovingly watchful eye of my mom was distracted. Ah, fond food memories...
Later in life I would perk up when my UGA nutrition teacher said, “consuming raw eggs can lead to a biotin deficiency.” I immediately flashed back to my past as well as that scene in Rocky. Yup, Rocky Balboa had it all wrong cracking those raw eggs and blending into his protein shake! Turns out the avidin in raw egg whites binds to biotin (B7) and can deplete B7b in the body. Oh, PS: this also holds true for Caesar dressing containing raw eggs so not the best ever either (I’ve whipped up a soaked cashew Caesar before that was pretty good). Basically you can recreate most recipes with a plant-based twist. And it’s good- my palate prefers natural so I don’t miss the old flavors.
Back to THIS recipe. It’s a non-biotin binding version of my childhood OG (original). Something somewhat shameful to know about me... I don’t like to measure things, even when baking. Yes, darling it’s true. I realize this is clearly nothing to brag about but the reality is I just prefer to experiment and play around with food. Some things are wins, others are more of a "lets just chalk this up to eating it because it’s healthy and the ingredients are not (Hnat) cheap" kinda situation.
Today I experimented with the following unsponsored products in my pantry:
1 Tablespoon coconut manna
1 Tablespoon maple cream (Kroger sells their Simple Truth brand - it’s like super sweet kiddy crack to me)
1 Tablespoon brown rice protein (Sprout Living is my fav)
½ - 1 teaspoon powdered maca
½ - 1 teaspoon powdered lucoma
1 teaspoon raw cacao nibs
I usually use a 1:1 ratio of the manna + maple cream to mirror the butter/sugar cookie dough combination: about 1 Tablespoon of each, perhaps more. You could also use regular coconut oil and agave or maple syrup. The manna worked well because it was thick and my coconut oil is currently liquid (but could solidify by placing in the refrigerator for a couple of hours if I wanted).
The maple cream had crystallized after sitting in the pantry since the Christmas holidays and formed a sugar top coating that I had to break through. Clearly that did HNAT deter me. I added the manna and maple cream to a bowl and mixed them together before adding the powders: protein, maca and lucoma. My default is adding protein powders to recipes since I typically don’t eat enough regular “protein” foods (I stopped eating red meat, pork and chicken two decades ago and depending on my mood might eat fish, turkey or eggs occasionally so it’s important to get protein from other sources).
Personally I like the taste of maca since it kind of mirrors cookie dough to me, and lucoma lends a sweet, maple flavor (which is why it pairs nicely with the maple cream). Lucoma’s bonus is that it’s a low GI sweetener so it doesn’t spike your blood sugar and insulin levels like regular sugar, agave, maple syrup or other sweeteners do. It also may decrease inflammation in the body (study on lucoma nut oil here).
Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to let mixture solidify before enjoying. I only need a teeny spoon of this to feel satisfied when the sweet-tooth kicks in. It’s pretty rich in healthy plant-based fats so a little goes a long way.
I’ve also experimented with another cookie dough recipe that is higher in protein, fiber, because it uses white beans or chickpeas as the base.
Here’s the bean-based cookie dough recipe below to experiment with:
1 ½ cups white beans or chickpeas (rinsed and drained well to reduce sodium)
1-2 Tablespoons plain or vanilla protein powder
3-4 Tablespoons maple syrup, agave, brown rice syrup, honey or ¼ cup coconut sugar or 1 cup pitted delget dates*
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Pinch of fine sea salt
¼ cup nut butter of choice*
⅓ cup chocolate chips or raw cacao nibs
1-2 Tablespoons of milk or milk alternative, optional to create desired consistency
2 Tablespoon rolled oats or ground flaxseeds, optional to create desired consistency
*I tend to default to dark liquid sweeteners since they don’t send my blood sugars on a loopy ride the way white table sugar does so the consistency will vary between using liquid or powdered sweeteners. PS delget dates have less natural sugar than the medjool variety. Also I’m a fan of Trader Joe’s unsweetened sunflower butter since I don’t like the taste of peanut butter #notsponsored
For me, this is a healthier version of the raw cookie dough I use to sneak from days gone by. But without the guilt. Actually, no food should cause guilt. If you experience guilty feelings related to your food choices, amounts or the way you eat, then check out my 30-Day Mindful Eating Challenge to help you create a healthier relationship with food and your body. You deserve it!