The Perfect Healthy Cookie
These cookies are made without butter, sugar, or flour, and yet they are incredibly delicious and a hit with kids and adults alike! Chocolate and bright pink goji berries pair up to create the perfect flavor and color combination for Valentine’s Day, but these cookies are good any time. They’re obviously still a sweet treat, but you will feel great about the fiber and micronutrient content the ingredients in this recipe offer.
What Makes These Cookies Great for You?
One serving of almonds provides 60% of the daily requirement for vitamin E, which can improve skin health and delay aging. Almonds are high in fiber, antioxidants, and monounsaturated fatty acids, all of which have been tied to improved metabolic and cardiovascular health.
Oats are naturally gluten-free (although in the case of a gluten allergy you’ll need to seek out certified gluten-free oats as cross-contamination often happens with wheat crops), rich in minerals, and high in soluble and insoluble fiber, which in combination can improve digestion and stabilize blood glucose levels. It’s a great grain to use in sweet recipes as the fiber content can help to offset the blood sugar spike caused by desserts.
Flaxseeds are one of the most affordable and easily accessible superfoods. They’re high in fiber and antioxidants (are you noticing a trend?), they’re naturally gluten-free, and they’re one of the best plant food sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s have been tied to improvement in almost every health condition, from arthritis to infertility. Omega-3s should be a part of everyone’s daily diet.
Goji berries, unlike most other fruits, are a good source of protein and essential amino acids, and the benefits only begin there. They’re rich in antioxidants, vitamin A, and vitamin C. Some studies have shown that they naturally boost energy and decrease anxiety. They’re a portable healthy snack – and a great addition to other baked recipes and trail mixes – that is worth keeping in your pantry.
Celebrate Good Health this Valentine’s Day
Valentine’s Day is yet another holiday on which, despite our best intentions, we tend to go overboard with sugar and other indulgences. If you feel like the holidays have become one blow after another to your health, take back control this Valentine’s Day and treat your family to healthy, nourishing desserts made with pronounceable ingredients at home. These cookies are a great place to start. Pack them into your family’s lunches on Valentine’s Day along with a sweet note or serve them after a home cooked candlelit dinner. You just might start a new tradition!
Almond Butter Goji Berry Oatmeal Cookies (Makes twenty cookies)
1 cup creamy natural almond butter
½ cup wild honey
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 cups old-fashioned oatmeal
½ cup ground flaxseed (grind your own in a coffee grinder or buy pre-ground)
2 teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup dark chocolate chips
1 cup goji berries
- Preheat the oven to 350º F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper (or spray them with coconut oil baking spray).
- In a large bowl, stir together almond butter, honey, and vanilla thoroughly.
- Add oatmeal, flaxseed, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon and stir again until no dry patches remain. Ingredients will form a thick, cohesive dough.
- Stir in chocolate chips and goji berries last, ensuring that these mix-ins are distributed evenly.
- Using a ¼ cup size cookie scoop or your hands, scoop dough onto prepared pans, spacing cookies two inches apart. Wet the palm of your hand and use it to slightly flatten each cookie before baking.
- Bake cookies for 12 minutes, rotating the pans top to bottom and back to front halfway through baking time. Cookies will be golden brown and just set in the center when done.
- Cool cookies on pans for 10 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
- Cookies will keep in an airtight container for up to four days at room temperature or up to two months in the freezer.
- If you don’t have goji berries, substitute any dried or fresh berries. Dried cranberries are the ideal substitute.
- Be sure to use certified gluten-free oats for a truly gluten-free cookie – they’re now available at most major grocery stores.
- Peanut butter will work in lieu of almond butter if you don’t have the latter, or try cashew butter or pecan butter.
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