Meatout Mondays: Grain-free chocolate chip cookie bites

Grain-free Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls. Photo by Bethany Fehlinger

Desserts might seem like a bad idea, especially if you eat healthy, but treats in moderation is my motto. I like sweet stuff, and really need to break my sugar habit.

So, when I stumble upon a healthy dessert that can give me a fitness boost, too, then it is a winner in my kitchen for Meatout Mondays.

To me, cookies should be easy. I have a favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe that my friends and family love to eat. However, they aren’t the healthiest. When I found this protein-filled cookie recipe by Texas Erin, I just knew I had to try. Training for a half marathon and lifting in the gym have my body craving more protein, and the more ways I have to creatively incorporate it, the better. Plus, this recipe is veg-friendly!

The only modifications I made to this recipe were to substitute maple syrup for honey, almond extract for vanilla (I was out of vanilla!), and I used vegan chocolate chips from Enjoy Life.  Erin notes to only use natural peanut or other nut butters, because regular is too oily. Also, she said that some bakers have used agave nectar with success, so try that if you don’t eat honey.

You might not guess what makes them so protein packed, but each cookie is 4 grams of protein!

I put two per baggie, and now they are all prepped for the week.

Grain-free Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls

Servings: 14 cookie dough balls

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cups canned chickpeas, well-rinsed and patted dry with a paper towel
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons natural peanut butter, almond or other nut butter
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • a pinch of salt if your peanut butter doesn’t have salt in it
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F. Combine all the ingredients, except for the chocolate chips, in a food processor and process until very smooth. Make sure to scrape the sides and the top to get the little chunks of chickpeas and process again until they’re combined.
  2. Put in the chocolate chips and stir it if you can, or pulse it once or twice. The mixture will be very thick and sticky.
  3. With wet hands, form into 1 1/2″ balls. Place onto a Silpat or a piece of parchment paper. If you want them to look more like normal cookies, press down slightly on the balls. They don’t do much rising.
  4. Bake for about 10 minutes.
  5. Let cool for a few moments before moving.

Find more dessert recipes on Texas Erin’s blog.

Do you have a veg-friendly recipe to share for Meatout Mondays? Email bfehlinger@ydr.com. 

About Bethany Fehlinger

Bethany Fehlinger is a journalist in the Design Center at the York Daily Record. She is a graduate of Penn State University, is a York City dweller and has been vegetarian and geek for more than five years. Twitter: @Wonder_veggie
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