I love my memories of baking cookies with my mom to give to friends and family. Although my diet has changed drastically, my love of baking for others hasn’t waned. I know cookies aren’t the healthiest of all foods, but it is the holiday season, and they are a lot of fun to make–and eat! As long as your diet doesn’t consist of them, cookies are a fun indulgence, and these have some healthier swaps for “bad” ingredients.
Most vegan cookie recipes call for flour, vegan butters, and egg replacers. This version is gluten free, and a bit healthier, without the added preservatives. Coconut oil is actually quite beneficial in small amounts when compared to hydrogenated vegan butters , though the best source of dietary fat will always be from unrefined whole plant sources, like avocados, and actual coconuts themselves. I don’t typically cook with oils, but coconut oil is a healthier alternative when it comes to baking, and can be used topically as well. It can be utilized as a moisturizer for the skin (avoiding the facial area if you have oily skin–I use food-grade grapeseed oil on my face instead, and it has changed my life), as a leave in conditioner, and some people use it for Ayurvedic oil pulling which promotes healthy teeth and gums. There are a million uses for coconut oil besides these, and here’s a link to 105 uses for coconut oil.
Oats, on the other hand, are high in fiber, gluten-free, and may help prevent heart disease. Pecans have anti-inflammatory qualities, and are also high in fiber. Cloves, which give this recipe a distinct flavor, are high in antioxidants, are a good source of vitamins, and are antibacterial!
I’m not by any means claiming this recipe as the epitome of healthy cookie recipes, but it does provide a better alternative to many out there. Give or take, these are cookies after all 😉
Spiced Snickerdoodle Bites (Makes about 15)
1 and 3/4 c oats, blended into a fine flour
1/4 tsp fine bolivian rose salt
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp raw vegan cane sugar–be VERY wary of refined white sugars, because often animal bones are used in the process
2 1/2 tsp pure maple syrup
1 1/4 tsp natural vanilla extract
3 tsp melted, cold-pressed and unrefined coconut oil
7 tsp raw pecan milk (You can make this by using a 3:1 ratio of water to nuts and blending. You may strain this mixture for a lower fat milk.)
5 tsp sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp allspice and nutmeg, respectively
1/2 tsp cloves
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Combine all dry ingredients and mix well.
3. Add in wet ingredients, putting in the pecan milk last and slowly adding as needed.
4. You now have a sticky dough! Roll it into bite sized balls and gently coat it in the cinnamon sugar spice mix, you don’t need to use all of it to get a good coating on each cookie.
5. Place in oven for 10-15 minutes or cooked thoroughly, the bottoms will turn a golden crisp brown. They will be soft on the inside and slightly firm on the outside.
6. Eat, but make sure to share! These are especially yummy with your favorite vegan no-egg-nog 🙂
The inspiration for this recipe came from this blog (http://www.oatmealwithafork.com/2013/10/14/82-calorie-oatmeal-snickerdoodles-vegan-gluten-free/).
Yay more cookies! Gloria’s No Bake Cookies by Samantha Lester
Sweet Holiday Sugar Cookies by Kate Coffey
Also: Crunchy Raw Chocolate Coconut Cups by Ilene Godofsky
Photo: Jessica Ferguson