This week I participated in a festive cookie swap. Each lady brings her own cookie dough to the party, and at the party, you are able to sample a variety of cookies. At the end, you trade your cookies, package them in a beautiful assortment, and leave with finished gifts (and new recipes!). You never know what dietary requirements come up at group events so I thought I would create out a dairy-free, gluten-free, refined-sugar-free, vegan cookie recipe. Being free of flour, eggs and butter you would think the cookies would be kinda ‘meeh’ but thanks to almond butter they have the cookie goodness we are looking for. The oats create the base of these healthy holiday cookies, and maple syrup is a great low glycemic index sweetener that prevents those post cookie blood sugar spikes. These Easy Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies are one of my new favourites, and will be a life-saver recipe when catering for multiple dietary restrictions.
“Almond Butter, as in these chocolate chip cookies, can be used in place of peanut butter in most recipes. Almond Butter contains nearly three times as much vitamin E, twice as much iron, and seven times more calcium than peanut butter.”
Almond butter, like all nut butters, is high in monounsaturated fat. The research is very clear to state that those who regularly consume nuts or nut butters in their diets are less likely to develop heart disease or type 2 diabetes compared to those that don’t eat nuts regularly. We also know that regular nut consumption does not contribute to obesity despite their caloric content. Although almond butter is slightly higher in some vitamin and minerals compared to peanut butter, the studies that showed cardioprotection and prevention of diabetes showed benefits with all nuts at 5 servings per week (1oz serving of nuts or 1 tbsp peanut butter).
On Vancouver Island, we are so lucky to have our own nut butters processed right here. Island Nut Roastery started as a small kitchen operation and now has expanded all across the Vancouver Island and Lower Mainland. All their nut butters are made in small batches and roasted by hand. They pride themselves on using only the best quality ingredients (no rancid nuts thank you!). What I really love is that they don’t add any preservatives to their products, AND their nut butters do not separate. We all know how much of a pain it is when you purchase a ‘natural’ peanut butter and have to take it home and stir it with a butter knife because there’s a layer of oil on the top. Well, Island Nut Roastery nut butters do not do that. If that isn’t the convincing factor to switch over, I don’t know what is.
So how do you make a gluten-free, dairy-free, refined-sugar-free, vegan chocolat chocolate chip cookies taste delicious? First, use good quality almond butter (or any other nut butter, peanut butter is so good too!) and you won’t even miss the butter. Second, use traditional oats in place of flour (organic is best, see What’s In Your Bread Thats Making You Sick ). Third, flax-eggs are a thing and work great as a binder in cookie recipes (see here). Lastly, use good quality maple syrup. Careful, you may end up eating the chocolate chip cookie batter before they end up in the oven.
Easy Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies - Vegan, Gluten-Free, Refined Sugar-Free
- 2 tbsp flaxseed ground*
- 5 tbsp water
- 1 cup Island Nut Roastery Almond Butter
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2/3 cup traditional oats organic
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 100 g block dark chocolate
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- To make the flax-eggs start by mixing the ground flaxseed with the water in a bowl. Set aside for about 5 minutes.
- In a separate bowl combine the almond butter, maple syrup and vanilla and mix until smooth and well combined. Add the flax-eggs and combine.
- In another bowl combine the dry ingredients except for the dark chocolate. Mix the dry ingredients with the wet and stir until well combined. The mixture will be very thick.
- Chop the block of chocolate to make chocolate chip sized pieces and stir into the batter.
- Drop 2 tbsp of batter onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. It is best if you do two trays of 6 cookies each because they will spread.
- Cook for 11 minutes. Once done let cool on a cookie rack before storing.
Rachel Dickens, The Conscious Dietitian, is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator. She graduated with her Masters in Nutrition and Dietetics in 2010 from Griffith University. She strives to provide evidence-based nutrition information with a focus on plant-based nutrition, and share some of her favourite seasonal recipes and sustainable eating tips.