On top of wheat and gluten, I’m one of those people who can’t eat oatmeal either. Not even the oatmeal that has been processed in a dedicated gluten-free facility. Luckily, I discovered the crunchy, chewy texture of quinoa flakes. They remind me a bit of the oatmeal peanut butter chocolate chip cookies I used to enjoy.
A seed, related to spinach, quinoa is a complete protein grain. It contains all of the essential amino acids, which is great for those who don’t eat any animal products. It’s also very versatile. It can be used in place of rice, as a breakfast cereal, or ground into flour.
In a side-by-side comparison with both oats and wheat, quinoa has a higher percentage of protein and is lower in carbohydrates. It’s also higher in fiber and many vitamins and minerals (than wheat) – including: calcium, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium and iron, copper, and zinc.
And as with the recipes in our Sweet Treats and Healthy Eats dessert eBook http://sweettreatsandhealthyeats.com/- I’ve used a much smaller amount of sugar than found in many traditional recipes. Of course, you can always add more to your taste.
There’s also no extra added oil in these cookies, so they’re not at all greasy. What they are is a soft, pillowy treat, particularly when they first come out of the oven. And the healthy fats found naturally in peanut butter lend some of the moisture to these cookies, making for a healthier cookie. (But remember, they’re not calorie free!) =)
Not that everything I make is considered healthy. But…I do try…most of the time.
(Okay, I confess. We do enjoy totally decadent treats too!) =D
But you can enjoy these without feeling too guilty.
- GF flour mix - 1 cup
- Quinoa flakes (or old-fashioned gluten-free uncooked oatmeal, if you prefer) - 3/4 cup
- baking soda - 1 teaspoon
- sea salt - 1/4 teaspoon
- coconut sugar (Sucanat or organic cane sugar) OR *1/4 cup agave, honey or pure maple syrup - 1/2 cup
- dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips - 3/4 - 1 cup
- unsweetened applesauce - 1/4 cup
- Natural peanut butter - 1/3 cup**
- 1 egg or 1/4 cup egg whites or 1/4 cup egg alternative*** -
- milk (your choice) - 1/4 cup
- pure vanilla extract - 1 teaspoon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a cookie sheet.
In one bowl measure and whisk together the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, measure and whip the liquid ingredients together. Then combine. Scoop the size cookie you'd like onto the prepared cookie sheet and flatten slightly with your fingers or the back of the spoon since they won't spread as they would with butter.
Bake 10 - 12 minutes, but no longer or they might dry out!
Makes approximately 20 - 24 cookies (depending on the size). Cool on a rack and place in an airtight container. They're also yummy if reheated slightly in the microwave.
I've been asked why I like to use coconut sugar when I bake. For one thing, coconut sugar has a lower glycemic index than many other sugars (particularly white sugar), so it doesn't affect the blood sugar level the way white sugar does. It also has a prebiotic fiber called Inulin, which feeds the probiotics in your tummy. And it's a rich source or potassium, magnesium, iron and zinc and contains 16 out of the 20 amino acids!
* If using the liquid sugar, add to the liquid ingredients
** If using a peanut butter that already contains salt, you may omit it from the recipe!
*** If using an egg alternative, be sure and prepare it before adding it to the liquid ingredients. An egg alternative may be made by mixing 1 Tablespoon Chia seeds or ground Flax seeds and 3 Tablespoons hot water and allowing to sit until they form a thick gel.
Note: Peanut butter does contain some saturated fats, but as the Harvard Health Publications explains: So do many other foods, but it's the whole package of nutrients, not just one or two, that determines how good a particular food is for our health.