Oatmeal Chocolate Cookies

Sugar is not the devil, but it’s no secret that most of us overindulge in it – sometimes without even realizing. In moderation, sugar can (and likely will) be included in a healthy diet. The problem is that most of us get our sugar from processed foods like candies, cookies and soda. True, homemade treats aren’t necessarily as convenient as store-bought, but 9 times out of 10 they’re better for you and your family. These Oatmeal Chocolate Cookies take it to the ‘alternative’ extreme of gluten-free and vegan, but even a homemade batch of buttery chocolate chip cookies is a healthier options than Chips Ahoy. Take baby steps first if you’re kicking a processed sugar habit before making your way to the wild side of chia seeds and raw coconut sugar in your baked goods. For those of you that are already on the natural foods path, these cookies are a tasty treat that you can get away with eating for breakfast every now and again. That’s right, chocolate for breakfast.

Oatmeal Chocolate Cookies

Vegan Oatmeal Chocolate Cookies

{makes 12 cookies}

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 medium banana (really ripe)
  • 1/4 cup apple sauce
  • 2 Tbs almond butter
  • 1 cup gluten-free rolled oats
  • 2 oz 100% cocoa dark baking chocolate
  • 2 Tbs coconut palm sugar (or 1 Tbs raw cane sugar)
  • 2 Tbs chia seeds
  • 2 Tbs dried, unsweetened cherries (optional)
  • 2 Tbs unsweetened, finely shredded coconut (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

How to Make Them:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a baking mat and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, add wet ingredients and mix until smooth. In the same bowl (no need to make two messy for this one), add your dry ingredients and mix until well-combined.
  3. Roll 1 Tbs of the mixture into 1″ balls and place onto prepared baking sheet, using your finger to press down the center of each one. Make sure there’s at least 1″ of space between each cookie.
  4. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5-10 minutes before transferring to a baking rack to cool completely.

Store in an airtight container counter-top for up to a week, in the fridge for up to two, or in the freezer for up to three months.


Pumpkin Spice Bread for your Meatless Monday (DF)

If you missed my last Meatless Monday post for Vegan Pumpkin Soup, then you also likely missed me gushing over this fall gourd’s health benefits. Pumpkins get their orange hue from beta carotene which your body converts into vitamin A–essential for good eye sight and a healthy heart–as well as disease fighting vitamin K and powerful antioxidants. Like last week, the recipe I’ve created for you today uses canned organic pumpkin. According to  Greatist, one cup of  the canned stuff has 7g of fiber and 3g of protein—that’s more than two times the fiber and 50% more protein than pulling it fresh from the pumpkin patch. Mixing in a hearty portion of raw pumpkin seeds will add a powerful dose of essential minerals including zinc, potassium and magnesium—great for muscle recovery and healthy bones, hair and skin!


I don’t have to tell you how tasty Pumpkin Bread is, but mine amps up the health factor without compromising on texture and flavor. I made some simple swaps, including coconut oil and apple sauce instead of butter, to make it dairy-free and more figure-friendly. The result is a moist, seasonal bread that can be treated like dessert or a special breakfast treat.


What You’ll Need:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup raw cane or coconut sugar
  • 1/3 cup molasses
  • 1/2 cup liquid coconut oil
  • 4 oz apple sauce
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cans (15-oz each) pureed organic pumpkin
  • 3/4 cup toasted pumpkin seeds

How to Make It:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 F.
  2. In a large bowl, thoroughly mix the flours, spices, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together.
  3. In your mixer’s bowl, beat together the sugar, molasses, coconut oil, apple sauce, eggs, and vanilla. Add the pureed pumpkin and mix until combined. Lastly, add the dry ingredients a little at a time, whipping until smooth.
  4. Fold in the toasted pumpkin seeds by hand then transfer the contents into a non- stick 8.5″ x 4.5″ loaf pan and 4 small ramekins or 12 cup cupcake pan, filling two-thirds of the way in whichever pan(s) you choose. If your pan is not non- stick coat it with butter and flour.
  5. Bake for 1 h 20 min, at which point a toothpick stuck into the middle of the loaf should come out clean. Let cool for at least 20 min before slicing. If you went with muffin tins, up the temperature to 325 F and bake for only 35 min (the same clean toothpick test applies).

Raspberry Rose Water Popsicles

Many moons ago, I was having afternoon tea in Paris with one of my dearest friends. This particular cafe was known for its incredible desserts so who was I to turn down a golden opportunity for indulgence? The treat I selected was an oversized raspberry macaroon filled with rose water cream and adorned with fresh ripe raspberries. It has lingered on my palette in some small way ever since, bubbling up into my memory from time to time and bringing a smile to my face and hankering to my stomach.


Years later I am finally honoring that moment of gastronomic bliss with a healthier nod to my all-time favorite. My Raspberry Rose Water Popsicles are packed with antioxidant-rich raspberries and are gluten and dairy-free. Summer is winding down so enjoy these chilled delicacies before fall settles in!

What You’ll Need:

  • 2 tbs rosewater
  • 6 oz plain unsweetened coconut yogurt
  • 4 oz coconut milk
  • 1 heaping cup frozen rasberrries
  • 1 really ripe banana

How to Make Them:

Blend all ingredients together and pour into popsicle molds. Leave in your freezer overnight and enjoy!