If you've been reading my blog for a little bit than you know I'm a sweets whore. I even wrote a recent post on conquering those sweet cravings!
When it comes to baking and making sweets, I have tried my best to stop from baking/cooking with refined white/brown sugars. It's been a difficult adjustment to adjust recipes and what not, especially when I am adding liquid ingredients like maple syrup. Baking is such a science, and different measurements of something (like a liquid) can definitely alter the way a recipe turns out.
To top it off, I have recently tried to start baking sweets with natural sweeteners, instead of the other alternatives like stevia, honey, etc. I've been pureeing sweet fruits and other ingredients like crazy, and I can tell you that I have failed many many many times.
Many times.... :)
There has been a lot of trial and error, and I can definitely say that I am pleased with the result! :)
One of my favorite alternative sweeteners are dates. I don't necessarily enjoy dates by themselves, but pureed into my sweets I am totally okay with! It's really easy to make your own puree, and you can add it to anything you want a little sweeter. Just a few Tablespoons to your oatmeal for example can be a great alternative to some honey or agave.
Homemade Date Puree
Makes about 1 c. date puree
1 c. packed dates (Really pack em' in there!)
1. Add your dates into a deep bowl or glass, and pour water on top, just enough to where the dates are all covered and soaking in water. Let sit out overnight. The next day, dump out the water and puree the dates in a food processor or blender until creamy.
If you don't have dates or a food processor, you could probably substitute overly ripe bananas mashed or blended until creamy and lump free.
Ok, now for those cookies! Not only are these sugar free*, fiber full, good source of protein and healthy fats, but they secretly have BEANS in them...Yup! I went there...
Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Bean Cake Cookies
Makes about 24 cookies
Sugar free (see note below), vegan, whole grain
3/4 c. melted coconut oil
3/4 c. date puree
1 TB. vanilla extract
1 Chia egg-2 1/2 TB water mixed w/ 1 TB. chia seeds, set aside until gel forms. (or one egg)
1/4 c. non dairy milk
1 can navy beans, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 c. spelt flour
1/2 c. oats
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
2 cups. chocolate chips*
*These cookies can be sugar free if you use "chocolate chips" w/o sugar. This means you could use cocoa nibs, or chop up 1-2 bars of 100% pure dark chocolate, or even raisins. I, however, used dark chocolate chips in mine, which DID have sugar in them. I was serving them to Baby Boo and the Hubby, so I had to give them a little something. :)**
1. In a mixing bowl, mix together melted coconut oil, date puree, and vanilla. Next add in chia egg or regular egg, milk, and beans. Mix a little bit on low until the beans start to kind of break up. You don't want them pureed, just not a bunch of whole beans either.
2. In a separate bowl mix the dry ingredients; flour, oats, baking soda, and salt. Add dry ingredients to mixer and stir until combined. If mixture seems too dry, add a few TB. of milk. Next, stir in chocolate chips.
3. Place a golf sized cookie dough onto baking sheet and press down dough a little. Bake in a pre-heated oven of 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes. (Side note: My oven just broke, and it was acting funny a few days before. So I am kind of nervous to see if the cooking time is different considering my po-dunk oven. Check cookies every so often, and when they are starting to turn golden brown, you know they are done. Don't let them overcook, you want them soft and chewy!)
One thing I love about these cookies is they are a perfect 'treat' to give Baby Boo if she is asking for a cookie. I don't deprive her, but when lil' miss asks for a cookie every 15 minutes I don't care if she has one of these...or two!
I also love to freeze them, heat them up in the morning, and top with peanut butter.
Yes. I love food...
Oh, and many of you asked what kind of cookie dough I was using to top of my morning yogurt...
Well, here it is! Instead of making all the cookies, I saved some of the cookie dough in the fridge (because I made mine w/o eggs), and have been crumbling it over lots of things...and snacking on it multiple times a day.
You caught me! ;-)
Be back later this week for some super totally awesome Easter Treats...
That is, if my oven get's fixed. If not...Can I come over?