By Karen Tran; First Year Project Manager
Our bodies function and create energy off the food that we choose to fuel our bodies with. With all the mouth-watering food the American diet creates daily, it can be hard to consciously think about the nutrition we’re receiving with each meal but, if you’re not aware, nutrition, or what foods we’re putting into our bodies, is highly connected to our health. Often, better nutrition is linked to better health. Making the switch from non-nutritious foods to those that provide you with many benefits doesn’t have to be hard! It’s all about balance. One first step can be to try and swap out ingredients for those that offer more health benefits. (You can check out previous posts from our AIMRx members about the health benefits of popular foods).
Today, I’m providing you with a recipe for cookies that pack an extra punch. We all know everyone gets those sweet cravings but eating those cookies we picked up from the store bakery might not be the best for us, and they’re likely not nutritious. So, today’s cookie recipe tries to give you a more nutritious cookie by swapping out your usual ingredients for some filled with a bit more health benefits!
Try these next time you’re craving a cookie and let’s see if healthy can’t be tasty!
- 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
- 1/4 cup coconut sugar
- 1 medium banana, mashed
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 1/4 cup flaxseed meal
- 1/2 cup almond meal/flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 and 1/4 cups rolled oats
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- 1/2 cup frozen or fresh blueberries
- Optional: 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
- Optional: 2oz 72% dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
- Preheat oven to 350 ° Line baking sheet with parchment paper to prevent sticking.
- In a large bowl, mix together melted coconut oil, coconut sugar, mashed banana, and vanilla and almond extracts until smooth and creamy.
- Fold in flaxseed meal, almond meal, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Mix until a thick dough forms.
- Next, add in oats and chia seeds and gently fold into the batter until evenly distributed.
- Lastly fold in blueberries, walnuts and dark chocolate if using.
- Use a cookie dough scoop or 1/4 measuring cup to scoop dough onto prepared cookie sheet. Make sure you tightly pack the dough into a ball before putting it onto the sheet.
- Gently press the top of the dough down just a little to flatten the tops.
- Bake for 13-16 minutes until edges begin to turn slightly golden brown. Allow cookies to cool for 15 minutes before removing from pan and transferring to a wire rack to finish cooling.
Makes 10 big cookies.
You can substitute:
Coconut oil for any other oil on hand
Coconut sugar for brown sugar or white sugar
Walnuts for pecans or almonds
Dark chocolate for any other chocolate you have on hand
Chia seeds offer a great source of fiber and omega 3s. They also contain protein, iron, magnesium, calcium, and zinc.
Bananas are rich in potassium, fiber, vitamin C and B6. They support heart health and the potassium especially helps muscles to contract, and can help keep the heart beating regularly.
Oats provide a specific type of fiber, beta glucans, which can promote healthy digestion, lower cholesterol, and improve the immune system. They’re a whole grain that also provide vitamins, minerals, and high levels of antioxidants.
Flaxseed is boasted for providing omega 3s, vitamin B and fiber.
Blueberries are well known for being packed with antioxidants, fiber, vitamin C and manganese. Plus, they’re low in calories!
Walnuts are packed with omega 3s, protein, fiber, and magnesium. They’re said to improve bone health, prevent heart disease, and aid in metabolism. Also, they have anti-inflammatory properties.
Dark chocolate might seem like it wouldn’t offer any benefits but chocolate, specifically of the dark variety, contains antioxidants and flavanols. When eaten in moderation, it is said that dark chocolate may help lower blood pressure and reduce inflammation.