2014 will be a healthier one for me. I hope that you've noticed my recent healthy raw dessert efforts in my last few posts on Baking Backwards -- what with the healthy raw milkshakes and raw donut holes and all. Yes, healthy.
I'm not writing this to pull your leg, I really am on a mission to transform my desserts into more wholistic super-desserts. If you are too, then I think we're going to get along just fine for the next few months! My goal is to share a lot of minimally processed dessert recipes that feature whole food ingredients and no refined sugar. I know that sounds a whole lot like what I normally do on Baking Backwards, but I'm going to try to push even my own boundaries on what can be called desserts for a little while. Instead of sugar you'll see fruits, instead of flour maybe beans or coconut, instead of oils maybe coconut oil, pear sauce or bananas. I'm leaning more and more away from grains and refined everything.
The simpler my recipes are to make the better in my mind so you'll find a lot of no-bake delights for awhile on my blog. Take these Raw Chocolate Chip Cookies, for example. No baking, no refined sugar, no grains. They come together in minutes and taste to die for. They are loaded with healthy ingredients like dates, figs and coconut and they will squash even the biggest cookie craving.
There are some desserts that I find hazardous to have around the house. In highschool my dad often bought big containers of fresh baked chocolate chip cookies from the supermarket to have on hand for snacks and dessert. Let's just say I got really used to that. One, two, three-a-day used to that. As a very active young woman I had a huge appetite and I ate unhealthy snacks all the time and I don't think it did my body any favors. The cookies my dad bought were packed with bad fats like shortening that really aren't good for anyone to eat.
In University, when I began to watch what I ate more closely, chocolate chip cookies became more of a once-in-awhile treat that I'd only enjoy out at a cafe or at a party, or when the guy I was dating (who worked at an on-campus cafe) handed me one on the house. Special occasions, ha. Fast forward to today and I rarely bake or buy cookies. Does baking healthy breakfast cookies count?? Good thing these ones are raw...
...Because I've made them about four times over the past couple weeks! They are seriously addictive but luckily for me, seriously virtuous too. These chewy little cookies are full of healthy fruit and fiber, are grain-free, vegan, paleo, and naturally sweetened. The only sinful ingredient is the small amount of mini chocolate chips in the recipe. If you're really trying to eat better this year, I recommend swapping them for raw cacao nibs or chopped cacao paste to get that chocolate chip experience without the sugar.
Don't confuse these raw chocolate chip cookies with raw cookie balls. By pressing them flat with a fork I find they set in a totally different way than cookie balls do. They firm up more throughout the cookie when refrigerated than the often super soft-on-the-inside cookie balls I've eaten.
The dried figs in the recipe work really well. They neutralize the sometimes too sweet flavor from the pitted dates and they are incredibly dense and chewy so they add amazing texture to these cookies. Holding them once they have set firm you might be tricked into thinking you're holding a real baked little cookie! Biting into them you might be even more convinced as they ooze chocolate chip cookie flavor and their texture is very reminiscent of a chewy baked cookie. So yes, press these little balls flat for the best raw cookie experience.
As I mentioned above, I made several batches of these cookies and began 2014 with a four-cookie-a-day habit that was hard to shake. One of my batches was not like the other ones, it just wasn't the same. It was better! I transformed these little babies into Peppermint Chocolate Chip Cookies! They are insanely delicious but you'll have to visit Baking Backwards next week to snag that recipe too. For now, I present the recipe that is slowly changing my rules about keeping cookies in the house -- Raw Chocolate Chip Cookies.
Raw Chocolate Chip Cookies (no-bake, grain-free, vegan, paleo, no sugar added)
Add to food processor and blend until it forms a dough.
Add and blend well to dough consistency.
Add and blend until well distributed. Scoop dough and roll into balls (1 tsp dough per ball). Place on parchment lined plate or cookie sheet and flatten each ball with a fork. Store in fridge or freezer for 10-20 mins before eating for best finished cookie texture. Or eat immediately if you like cookie dough texture.