Almond Butter Chocolate-Chip cookies – from Oh She Glows

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Photo credit: Angela Liddon (Oh She Glows cookbook)

Ingredients:

1 Tbsp ground flaxseed
1/4 cup coconut oil or vegan butter
1/4 cup almond butter (I like Justin’s Maple flavor)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup gluten-free rolled oats*
1 cup almonds (unsalted)*
1/4 to 1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips

*Put oats and almonds into a food processor and grind into a flour.

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350. In a small bowl, combine flaxseed with 3 Tbsp water and set aside to thicken.
In a large bowl, beat together coconut oil and almond butter. Add sugar and syrup and beat an additional minute. Then beat in the flaxseed mixture and vanilla. One by one, beat in the baking powder, soda, salt, and oat/almond flour. Fold in the chocolate chips.

Form into 1-inch balls (I use a small melon baller) and place on a cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake for 12-14 minutes. They will be very soft. Let cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack. Makes about 2 dozen.

Now, the challenge — try not to eat them all at once! Take them to work or put some in the freezer so you’re not tempted. Enjoy!

New product review: Raw Revolution

Today, I am reviewing a bar I just tried for the first time. It’s an exciting day! (At least for me!)
Generally, I’m not the type of person to choose a bar over, say, nuts or fresh fruit as a snack. I also don’t insist upon gluten-free, since I don’t have celiac disease and there’s little evidence to support a gluten-free diet otherwise. However, I also cannot resist a good bargain, so when I saw these on one of my discount shopping websites, I had to try it.

raw revolution

Initially, my inner skeptic thought, “it’s vegan, raw, gluten free, and on sale, so it probably tastes terrible.” I am pleased to report that I was proven wrong. It was both chewy and crunchy with nice chunks of almonds. The raspberry flavor was perfectly balanced with the chocolate. It was pretty amazing, really.

Here’s the breakdown:

What I liked:
1) The flavor, obviously. You can’t really go wrong with anything called chocolate truffle. This particular brand comes in other flavors, too.
2) There are exactly eight ingredients: cashews, sunflower seeds, agave, dates, cocoa, almonds, raspberry powder, and flax (all organic!). I’m big on simplicity and pronounceability, so they got major points for this.
3) It actually filled me up. I’m known for being kind of a “bottomless pit”, so this is impressive. It’s been an hour since I’ve eaten it and I still feel satisfied.

What I didn’t like:
Honestly, there wasn’t really anything I didn’t like. I’m not sure how much these cost in retail, but I’m willing to bet they’re quite a bit more than what I paid. (I got them at http://www.zulily.com for about $10 for a box of 12.)

Basic Nutrition Facts: 220 calories, 5 g fiber, 7 g protein, 11 g unsaturated fats (including omega-3s from the flax, bonus!)

The bottom line: Worth it! If you can find these at a reasonable price, go for it. (Or go for it anyway if you don’t care about price!)
I look forward to trying some of the other flavors if I can find them on sale.

The chocolate lover’s dilemma

chocolate

As a dietitian, I am under significant pressure to set the perfect example for how one’s diet should be. If I am spotted eating chips, or — God forbid — some cake, people say, “You’re a dietitian, you’re not supposed to eat that!” What people forget is that I am, in fact, human, and have the same cravings as everyone else. Granted, I follow a vegan diet 90% of the time and probably eat things people would consider strange (kale chips, anyone??), but I like a good cupcake every once in a while, too. Chocolate is a particular vice. My day is not complete without it. Do I feel okay about this? Absolutely!

Case in point: Myself and the other two dietitians I work with all decided to give up chocolate for Lent (also known as 40 days of suffering). At the end of Lent (Easter Sunday), we all found ourselves with some major cravings. We began to indulge said cravings, eating chocolate chips right out of the bag and concocting desserts that even a stoner would envy. Then came the guilt-stricken dialogue that we dubbed “Confessions of Crazy Dietitians.” (Watch out, this could become a regular blog theme!) “What is wrong with us???” we lamented after one particular episode, “it’s like crack!” Which got me thinking. There are a lot of bad habits one could have, and if chocolate is the worst vice you have, then I’d say you’re doing okay.

The bottom line: Go with the dark chocolate — less fat, more antioxidants, and the rich flavor is more satisfying. Antioxidants fight cancer and promote heart health, so this is a perfect excuse to indulge. The dietitian approves!