Oil- and sugar-free chewy chocolate chip cookies [vg]

A month of being vegan seems like a 31-day kitchen research experiment, a recipe testing and eating galore. In the past fortnight since being home from South Africa, I have conjured up a new hummus recipe and devised some porridge creations for breakfast; the kitchen seems to be my new workplace, a refreshing alternative to the dreary library from a few months ago.  The bake-off is back on our screens, and the perfect way to celebrate is through a Wednesbake; this was a term coined by my first year flatmates at university.  We were fans of #GBBO during its early days and dedicated Wednesday afternoons for baking.  Some people did sports, we ate cakes.

As a seasoned home-baker, I love experimenting with recipes, primarily using cupboard staples.  These chocolate chip cookies are perfect for those days when you just cleared your pantry/kitchen cabinets and are looking to use ingredients you have plentiful of.  At home, I always find dried fruit, nuts, seeds and coconut anything in high abundance, however, they do not seem to go further than my stepdad’s bowl of home-made muesli.

I solved the problem by combining the trifecta of coconut, nuts and dried fruit in a delightful parcel in the form of cookies. This recipe uses no oil or sugar (apart from the natural sugars in the fruit, and as for the chocolate chips, use cacao nibs or carob for a truly sugar-free treat) making it perfect for those trying to eat healthily during the holidays.  Heck, I’d even eat these for breakfast.  These are also gluten-free friendly. 

Whilst I am not a calorie-counter, the 100% natural ingredients used in making these will prompt you to create your own batch ASAP, allowing you to gladly ignore those Maryland cookies on offer.

As a certified bananaphile, the fruit features in this bake, as per.  I have previously harked about the merits of using bananas as a binding agent, acting as an excellent replacement for both oil and eggs in many recipes.  Though, I understand many dislike its flavour; I am looking to develop cake and cookie recipes using another base ingredient to keep them oil- and sugar-free, so watch this space.

Chewy chocolate chip cookies

Inspired by many banana-based cookies, such as this four-ingredient gem from the Simple Veganista.

Makes 12 medium-sized cookies

Ingredients.

1 + 1/3 cups of oats (use GF oats, if required)

¼ cup raw almonds

¼ cup coconut chips (unsweetened)

½ cup sultanas

2 very ripe bananas

1 tsp vanilla essence/extract

½ tsp baking powder

½ tsp baking soda

¼ cup cacao nibs/ dark chocolate chips/carob chips

Method.

1. Pre-heat your oven to gas mark 4/180 (Celsius).  Line your baking tray with some baking parchment.  Set aside.

2. In a food processor: blitz the almonds and coconut chips until coarse.

3. Add the sultanas, bananas and vanilla essence/extract together, until they have formed a sticky mixture. Add the oats and process until well-combined.

4. Transfer the cookie dough mix to a bowl; add the remaining oats (1/3 cup), baking powder and baking soda.

5. Once mixed, fold in the chocolate chips.

6.  Using a tablespoon, scoop the cookie dough mix into the lined baking tray.  It should yield about 12 cookies.  Space them evenly on the sheet, and smooth and flatten using the back of a spoon.

7.  Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the cookies feel firm and the outside is golden.

8.  Cool for 30 minutes – 1 hour before peeling from the baking sheet.  Eat immediately – enjoy!

I baked a batch for my current trip to Florence and boy, was I thankful.  I used cranberries and additional coconut flakes instead of chocolate chips – it was a great pick-me-up after a day of delays and cancellations we faced!

Peace and love, Julia | themorningbowl.

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