Valentine’s day is silly – I should get flowers every day of the year. But I recognize that giving back to my loved ones is also important, so I got into the spirit of Valentine’s the only way I know how to show true love: food. I baked again, and with a vengeance. The recipe for these insanely delicious cookies comes from Caroline Dupont’s book “Enlightened Eating” (same as the muffin recipe). They are healthier than your typical chocolate chip cookies, and even contain fiber and healthy fats! They can be made vegan too. Some of the ingredients may require you to take a trip to the health-food aisle of your grocer, or natural food store, but unless this is the first time you’re reading my blog, you’ve probably noticed that I’m not the biggest supporter of white flour. Get into the alternative whole-grain flours people; they actually have flavour and (gasp!) nutritional value.
And you may not have heard of Sucanat, but it is minimally processed sugar cane that contains the vitamins, minerals and trace elements found in the original sugar cane plant. It has a rich molasses flavour and can be used 1:1 in all recipes that call for sugar. It’s also great for sweetening coffee, tea, warm breakfast cereals, like oats, but the possibilities are endless. It is still sugar, which I would encourage anyone to reduce or eliminate from their diet, but it is better than the dreaded white stuff that is just empty calories.
This may also be a good opportunity to try carob, which has been coined the “healthy alternative to chocolate”. Carob is free from the stimulants caffeine and theobromine found in chocolate. It is also naturally sweet, so carob products generally contain substantially less sugar than their chocolate counterparts. Carob powder can be substituted for cocoa powder in any recipe and carob chips can replace chocolate chips. Carob has less fat and fewer calories than chocolate, but of course, those are the things that make chocolate taste better. Choose what suits you best.
Fudgy Multigrain Cookies
1 cup quick oats
2/3 cup spelt flour or whole grain whole-wheat flour
1/3 cup hemp, barley or soy flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 cup nut butter (organic natural peanut, cashew, soy or almond butter)
2 Tbsp. soft butter or coconut oil
1 cup Sucanat
1/2 cup milk (soy, almond, or dairy)
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips or carob chips
1/3 cup coarsely chopped walnuts (optional, but SO delicious!!!)
1. Preheat oven to 325F. Grease several large baking sheets
2. In a large bowl, mix oats, flours, baking soda and salt.
3. In a small bowl, mix nut butter and butter until well blended. Stir in sucanat, milk, and vanilla until combined.
4. Add wet to dry ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon just until combined. Gently fold in chocolate or carob chips and walnuts. For tender cookies, do not over mix the dough!
5. Drop dough by large spoonfuls onto prepared baking sheets, spacing 2 inches apart. Bake 13 to 15 minutes, until set and tops look dry. Let cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely.
I somehow managed to mold the warm cookies into cute, little heart shapes, but don’t bother doing this. Considering the time it takes, you can kiss your social life goodbye.