Oatmeal Raisin Cookies – Overt Fat Free

I need to write a post about the current state of my diet, but long story short, I’ve gotten a handle on my moving + holiday eating frenzy and feel like I’m in a good place right now. Basically, I’m eating within a ration of 80% carbohydrates and 10% each fat and protein. And while my diet is high raw, it is not all raw, so it’s not the 80-10-10 of The 80-10-10 Diet – just the ratio.

Back to why we’re here today…I made cookies!

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Yup. Delicious, nutritious, overt-fat-free Oatmeal Raisin Cookies made with only four ingredients (five if you count the optional cinnamon) and sweetened only with fruit. 80-10-10 for the win!

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Oatmeal Raisin Cookies (Overt Fat Free)

2 c old fashioned oats

1/2 c super thick date paste

1 medium banana, mashed (about 1/4 c)

1/4-1/2 c raisins (soaked if dry)

1 tsp cinnamon (optional)

First, make date paste by blending soaked dates. Try not to use any of the date soaking water, so the paste is extra thick and sticky. Then, mash the banana using a fork (or pulse it in a mini-chopper). Don’t blend it because the liquid banana will add liquid to the dough.

Add oats and cinnamon to a bowl. Stir to combine. (Optional: Add a dash of salt.) Add mashed banana and date paste. Stir to combine. Add raisins. Stir to incorporate. [If  dough is too dry, add more date paste.]

Scoop dough onto a parchment or Paraflexx lined dehydrator tray. [I used an ice cream scooper.] Use the back of a spoon to flatter the cookies into desired thickness. Shape edges for prettier cookies (and so no little bits dry and fall off).

Dehydrate at 145F for about 30 minutes to quick set the cookies. Reduce heat and continue to dry at 110F for about 60 minutes. Flip cookies and continue to dry for 60-90 more minutes.

Makes 10 cookies at about 160 calories and 1.5 grams of fat each.

NOTES:

EFA’s: If your diet is a little low on EFA’s (essential fatty acids 3-6-9), try adding a flax “egg” (1 TBSP flax meal + 1-2 TBSP water). You might need to cut back on the date paste if you.

Baking: If you don’t have a dehydrator or don’t feel like using one, you can try baking the cookies. Try a low oven of around 200F and check on the cookies every 5 minutes. I’m guessing it will take somewhere between 5-10 minutes to dry out the cookies. (Be careful; without fat, these cookies will go from not-quite-done to burnt in the blink of an eye.)

Storage: Completely cool the cookies and store in an air tight container. You can probably store these outside of the frig, but I like to keep all of my goodies in the frig. [Remember, glass will help keep baked goods crispy, and plastic will help keep them soft. So, store according to texture preference.]

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Vegan MoFo: My Favorite Thing is…Oat Flour!

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Ok, so my MoFo’ing is off to a slow start. Here we are at day 6, and this is my first real post. At this rate, I won’t get to share very many of my favorite vegan things :-/

Regardless to my pace of posting (posting pace?), I wanted to get this month rolling with one of my very favorite ingredients…oats! And, more specifically, oat flour. Why oat flour versus the whole oat? Sometimes I react to whole oats, specifically oat meal. I use make a point to purchase organic, gluten free rolled oats (or steel cut/oat groats), but sometimes, when I eat oat meal, I almost feel asthmatic. I would probably feel the same if I ate an entire batch of whatever it is I make with the oat flour, but I’m usually able to control myself. Usually 😉

Back on track…Why do I love oat flour so much? It’s crazy versatile! I’ve had great luck substituting it one-for-one for in everything I’ve tried. (Given, I haven’t tried it with every recipe.)  But, I’ve great luck with pancakes, muffins, and…cookies! Yummy, yummy cookies.

Peanut Butter & Jelly Oatmeal Cookies

1 1/2 c oat flour

1/2 c rolled oats

1 c peanut butter

1 c fruit spread/jelly

1 flax egg (1 TBSP flax meal + 1-2 TBSP water – combine and allow to gel)

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking powder

Splash vanilla (about 1 tsp)

Sprinkle salt (if peanut butter is unsalted)

Combine dry ingredients (oat flour, oats, salt, baking soda, baking powder) and stir to combine. (I do this with a fork, but a sifter would work wonderfully. Just add the whole oats secondary.) Add wet ingredients (peanut butter, jelly, vanilla, flax egg). Stir just to combine ingredients. Scoop by large scooper (I used an ice cream scooper.) onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Flatten a little after scooping.

Bake at 350F for about 10-12 minutes. (Check after 8 minutes if your oven runs hot.) Time will depend upon your oven and thickness of cookies. Remove cookies from cookie sheet right away (the oat flour will draw moisture and make the bottom of your cookies soggy), and cool on a wire rack.

My batch of dough made 16 large cookies, but don’t let that stop you from making them; they freeze well and reheat great too!

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Notes:

I thought these cookies are naturally sweet from the sweetness of the whole fruit spread, but if you’re feeding these to people who eat ‘traditional’ cookies, you might want to add a little liquid sweetener or your favorite non-nutritive sweetener. Additionally, if you want to turn these soft, cake-like cookies into muffins, try thinning out the batter with a little non-dairy milk. Mix-ins would be good too! Try crushed peanuts, diced pieces of whole fruit, chocolate chips, etc. Go crazy!

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Recipe Review: Strawberry Shortcake

It’s strawberry season here in Ohio – heck, it’s strawberry season just about everywhere in the US – and I’ve been eating more than my share of red, ripe berries lately. But, there are only so many naked berries a girl can throw down, and last night, I couldn’t get the thought of strawberry shortcake out of my head. So…a little Google’ing later, and I found this grain-free, vegan strawberry shortcake recipe from Healthful Pursuit. (Note: Not all of Leanne’s recipes are vegan. In fact, many are not, but she does have quite a few plant-based recipes posted, and those that are not can usually be easily modified.)

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I decided I had to make these shortcakes around 8 pm, and by 830, I was eating a giant plate of berries on top of a fresh-from-the-oven shortcake. Yum!

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As with any recipe, I have to put my own spin on things 😉 For this recipe, I omitted the cinnamon and added a splash of vanilla extract instead. I also used coconut oil instead of Earth Balance because that’s what I had on hand. The shortcakes didn’t rise much, but that could have been my old baking powder – or the coconut oil. Regardless, I didn’t mind my more cookie-like shortcakes. The taste was great, and I loved that the recipe is grain free.

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My recipe made four very large shortcake cookies. I ate one and put the other three in the freezer. Ok. I ate one with strawberries, then ate half of one on it’s own, then put the remaining two and half shortbread cookies in the freezer 😉 Strawberry season will be with us for a couple more weeks; those remaining shortbreads won’t go to waste! (Although, they might go to my waist. Sigh)

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Recipe alteration ideas: This recipe doesn’t make a very sweet shortbread cookie. It’s not supposed to. The berries and additional topping more than make up for the lack of sweetness in the cookie. But, I couldn’t help thinking these would be great a little sweeter – as more of a true cookie than a shortbread cake. So, I think the next time I make these (Yes; there will be a next time!), I’ll go ahead and add the cinnamon and a little more coconut sugar, then roll the dough into balls and roll the balls into a cinnamon sugar mixture ala snickerdoodles. Or, add a little more sugar and the cinnamon to the batter, then top the unbaked cookies with coconut sugar before baking for a more traditional sugar cookie. These would also be great frosted or as cookies in a cream or ice cream filled cookie sandwich. Yum!

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Join our Raw Fusion Rest group on Facebook for this month’s challenge – lowering the fat in your high-raw, vegan diet.

 

Orange Gogi Berry Better Than Newtons

I’m back with another Low Fat Raw Vegan dessert recipe 🙂

Remember my Better Than Newton cookies from last year? No? Well, check them out; they’re delicious! And, they were so well received, I’ve considered selling them. I just need to do the costing and figure out packaging and labels and talk to some people, and, and, and. Sigh. That’s why I’ve only considered it.

Ok, onto this week’s LFRV recipe.

Orange Goji Berry Better Than Newtons

1 1/2 c chopped dates (pitted)

1 1/2 c chopped figs (stemmed)

1/4 c goji berries

2 – 4 TBSP orange juice, fresh squeezed

Start by juicing half of a medium orange. Juice will be roughly 1/4 c. Either put juice aside or use it to soak goji berries if they’re hard.

Add dates, figs and orange juice to bowl of food processor. (If you’re using the orange juice to soak the goji berries, remove the berries from the juice before adding to dates and figs.) Process until coarsely incorporated. Add goji berries and process until mixture forms a ball.

Use a small ice cream scooper to scoop balls of cookie mixture. Place cookie balls on a teflexx dehydrator sheet and flatten to desired thickness. Place teflexx sheet on mesh dehydrator sheet lined tray and dehydrate at 145F for an hour. Reduce heat to 105-110 and dehydrate three more hours. After three hours, cookies should be firm enough to peel off of teflexx sheet. Flip cookies and place onto mesh dehydrator sheet and dehydrate another 3-4 hours. Cookies should be firm to the touch, like an under-done oven-baked cookie. The outside will not be sticky, but the inside will be warm and gooey.

Store cookies in the refrigerator or freezer. Great cold/frozen or warmed in the dehydrator.

My batch made about 9 cookies at about 150 calories each.

I reluctantly shared one of these cookies with a friend, and the first thing she said was, “Wow! These are better than Newtons!”  I. Know!

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Raw Oatmeal Cookies/Balls/Oatmeal

I tried something the other day. I soaked and dehydrated some oat groats and then ground them into flour. Woohoo! Raw oat flour!

I have quite a few ideas for my new found discovery, and to begin my adventure, I started with oatmeal raisin cookies. Or balls. Or oatmeal.

Raw Oatmeal Cookies/Balls/Oatmeal

1 c ground oat groats

3 T maple syrup

1 T water (if needed)

1 T chia seeds + 2 T water (to make a chia egg)

1 T vanilla

1 T raisins

1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

1 tsp cinnamon

Dash salt

Combine the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. Add chia egg, vanilla, and maple syrup. Stir to combine. Add raisins. Then, either shape into balls and freeze, flatten into cookies and dehydrate (1 hour at 145F and then 3-4 hours at 115-105F or until dry enough to make you happy), or just eat like oatmeal. I did all three!

No oat groats? No problem. Coarsely grind rolled oats or even steel cut oats into flour.

Don’t like raisins? No problem. Leave them out or use your favorite dried fruit (date bits, craisins, cherries, etc)

No maple syrup? No problem. Use your favorite liquid sweetener. Adjust for stevia.

Dough not sticking together? No problem. Try adding more chai seeds, more oats, or don’t add water to your next batch.

Don’t care for the flavors of pumpkin pie spice and/or cinnamon? No problem. Use whatever spices you like. Or don’t use any.

 

Better than Newtons

I have a serious thing for figs. Always have. Always will. Ok, maybe not always will, but I can’t imagine what would happen to make me not love figs. Case in point: I used to give tours to temporary workers at a local manufacturing facility that makes Fig Newtons. Seriously. After a day at the factory (jewelry-less and covered in hair nets), everyone left smelling like figs. Most people found this sickening. Not me. I relished in it. I looked forward to my Thursday tour group days. That was the only thing that got me through those long three months of employment with that company. (“Why only three months?,” you may be wondering. I got fired. Thank God for small favors!)

My obsession with Fig Newtons (small, squarish fig cookies for those of you not familiar) started in childhood; they were one of my dad’s favorite treats. And, being a fairly obese child, a cookie was cookie; bring it on! Luckily (unluckily?!), I loved the flavor and Fig Newton’s quickly became one of my favorite cookies, too.

Fast forward a couple of decades, and I still love figs, and I still love Fig Newton’s (Newman’s makes an awesome version too!), but I don’t love the preservatives, HFC, gluten, and whatever other nasties are floating around in a bag of Newtons. What to do, what to do…I know, make a healthier, vegan version of my childhood figgy treat! Enter, Skinny Figgy Bars ala  Fat Free Vegan Kitchen (which can also be found in the awesome cookbook  Vegan Holiday Kitchen by Nava Atlas), which I made a few (dozen) times last year. But that was last year. This is this year, and this year I’m eating a bit higher on the raw spectrum, so I went back to the drawing board food processor, and this is what I came up with.

Better Than Newtons

1/2 lb figs, de-stemmed (I use Turkish figs)

1/2 lb dates, pitted (I use Medjools)

1/4 c raw almond slivers (or raw almonds, crushed)

1 lemon, juiced (about 2 TBSP)

Optional: 1/4 tsp almond extract and/or pinch of sea salt

Place everything in a heavy-duty food processor and process until mixture begins to form a ball. Scoop giant tablespoons of mixture out of the food processor and roll into a ball. (Note: Mixture will be VERY sticky!) Then, you have a couple of options: either (a) place cookie balls on a dehydrator teflexx/paraflexx sheet, flatten, place on dehydrator tray, and dehydrate for one hour at 145F; then, reduce heat to around 110F and dehydrate another 2-4 hours or until desired firmness/tackiness; store cookies in the freezer or refrigerator, or (b) place cookie balls in a container and store in the freezer or refrigerator. Either option is delicious!

I shared one of these cookies with a co-worker who can’t eat chocolate, so I make a special point to share chocolate-free goodies with her, and she said the cookies were the best treat I’ve never shared with her — and she’s even paid for some of my treats before!

Sharing is caring…Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays, Allergy Free Wednesdays, Raw Food Thursdays, Vegan Friendly Fridays, and Wellness Weekends.

Tropical Trail-Mix Cookies & My First Guest Post!!

Guess what…my first guest post is up over at Laura’s Gluten Free Pantry! Woohoo!! Check it out. Right now. And read about Tropical Trail-Mix Cookies. Go! Ha ha!

I’m having a rockin’ few days. First, yesterday was Virtual Vegan Potluck. If you haven’t check out the blog circle, please do so. The participating bloggers shared some seriously awesome recipes. There are some many of them I want to try, I need the next few weeks off just to cook! Coincidentally, I have the next three weeks off. Yes! I’m also rockin’ it today with my first guest post, and Tuesday is my first community presentation. It’s a Veggie V kinda week. Get on board, people. It’s a crazy, fun ride!

Virtual Vegan Potluck: Coconut Butter Cookies with Mix-Ins

It’s here! It’s finally here! Woohoo!

Welcome to the Virtual Vegan Potluck – brainchild of Annie from An Unrefined Vegan.

When I first saw Annie’s posting for the potluck, I was intrigued, but too busy to do much more than sign up to “bring” a dessert. With Plants 2 Plate, my community presentation, quickly approaching, I’ve been buried in reading, researching, and PowerPoint! But, I couldn’t resist participating in this fun event. In real life, when I attend a gathering, I usually have to rely on whatever fits in my purse to feed myself. I would be ecstatic to attend a non-virtual vegan potluck. Wouldn’t that be awesome?! But, until I can convince a handful of my friends to sync their schedule AND make Veggie V approved goodies, I’ll settle for a gather of my virtual friends – whose food is not only Veggie V approved, but drool worthy!

I came up with the idea for potluck dessert kind of on accident. A couple of weeks ago, I tried to make blueberry muffins with coconut butter and coconut flour. Fail! I’ve never worked with coconut flour. I’m thinking an established recipe is going to be required. Stay tuned!

OK, back to my accidental recipe. The first thing I did to assemble my failed muffins was make coconut butter. I’ve made homemade coconut butter before in my old food processor, but I’d yet to make it in the Vitamix. Success! Two bags of desiccated, unsweetened coconut made about one cup coconut butter. After adding a couple flax eggs to the coconut butter and stirring it in, I couldn’t help thinking, “I bet this would make good cookies.” Guess what…it does!

Coconut Butter Cookies

(vegan, gluten free, grain free, oil free, refined sugar free, nut/seed free, soy free)

IMPORTANT: Use room temperature ingredients! If your coconut butter comes in contact with something cold, it will seize up. If this happens, just heat it up for a few seconds in the microwave or in a warm water bath.

1 c coconut butter (make your own by blending (in high-speed blender or food processor) 2 bags unsweetened, desiccated coconut)

2 flax eggs (2 TBSP golden flax meal + 5 TBSP water)

1/4 c maple syrup (or other liquid sweetener)

1 TBSP vanilla extract (I use alcohol free)

4 pks stevia (I use Nu-Naturals brand)

dash salt (less than 1/8 tsp)

Preheat oven to 350F.

Combine ingredients and stir to incorporate.

If your mixture is a little too wet and you don’t have any more coconut butter, try adding a little coconut flour. You want the consistency of the dough to be like play-dough: a giant, pliable lump.

Scoop small amounts of dough and place on parchment lined cookie sheet. Bake 10-12 minutes. You want to see a little, golden brown on the top of the cookies. Remove from cookie sheet immediately and cool on wire rack. (You want the bottoms to be exposed to air so they’ll cool and firm up.)

Mix-Ins

Add your favorite flavors to the mix!

Almonds + chocolate chips + splash almond extract

Chocolate chips + splash peppermint extract

Currents + Coconut flakes + dab coconut cream or a splash of extract (vanilla, coconut, banana, chocolate)

The ideas are endless!

3 Ways to Eat

Baked @ 350F for 10-12 minutes

Raw: Cold from the fridge or freezer

Raw: Warm from the dehydrator

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Thanks for coming to the potluck! Be sure to check out the other participants by clicking through the blog circle.

Check out Heather from veggie4ayear’s Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes. Delicious combo!

Go to the original Virtual Vegan Potluck post for a list of all participants – links included!

Grain Free Double Chocolate Mocha Cookies

I love coffee (decaf – caffeine free since ’95, baby!). The aroma. The flavor. But I always forget to put it in things. Why? Why do I forget?! It’s soooo good with chocolate. Guess what…I remembered this time!

Grain Free Double Chocolate Mocha Cookies

Grain-Free Double Chocolate Mocha Cookies

(vegan, grain-free, gluten-free, oil free, refined sugar-free, soy free, peanut free)

1/2  c almond butter

3 TBSP cocoa powder

1/2 TBSP instant coffee (I used one full packet of instant decaf granules)

1 flax egg

1/2 tsp baking soda (add more if you want fluffier cookies)

1/4 c maple syrup

1/4 c chocolate chips

1 tsp vanilla

dash salt

Preheat oven to 350F

Mix everything together until combined. Drop by small cookie scoop or teaspoon onto a parchment or silicone mat lined baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until cookies begin to firm. Remove from the oven and allow to sit on hot cookie sheet for a few minutes (up to 5). Remove parchment or silicone mat from baking sheet and allow cookies to continue to cool for an additional 10 minutes or so. Remove cookies when firm enough to do so and allow to completely cool on a wire rack.

Makes about 16 medium-large cookies

Notes:

These cookies are chewy. Like stick to your teeth chewy. I love that! But, if you don’t get them off of the parchment/silicone mat as soon as they’re transferable, they’ll stick a little. You can still release them by sliding a knife under each cookies, but you’ll lose some of the cookie as it sticks to the knife. (Which was A-OK to me…I thought of it as ‘cookie paper’ [think ‘cheese paper’ from those back-in-the-day fast-food runs].)

If you’re almond butter is dry (Why is my almond butter always so dry?!), heat it up for a few seconds in the microwave. This is a tremendous aid in string!

I made my flax eggs with 1 TBSP water + 2 TBSP water. I also use golden flax for its milder taste.

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I’m sharing this recipe with the readers of…

Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays @ Simply Sugar & Gluten Free

Allergy Free Wednesdays @ Whole New Mom

Wellness Weekends @ Diet Dessert and Dogs

Allergy Friendly Lunchbox Love @ Allergy-Free Vintage Cookery

Allergy Friendly Fridays @ Cybele Pascal – The Allergy-Friendly Cook

Recipe Review: Grain-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

I thought I already posted this. I can’t believe I didn’t. I’ve made this recipe three times. Yes. Three times. I hardly ever make desserts more than once let alone three times. So yes, they are that good!

I found this recipe through Pinterest.  I love Pinterest, by the way. Love, love, love it! I keep finding all of these wonderful recipes. (Along with fitness, fashion and decoration inspiration.) The original recipe isn’t vegan, but it easily converted to vegan. All I had to do was sub out the egg for a flax egg. I used golden flax so it matched the peanut butter, and it was totally undetectable. Plus, without the egg, you can worrilessly lick the spoon and bowl 🙂

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip CookiesAside from replacing the egg with a flax egg, I also reduced the liquid sugar to 1/4 cup of maple syrup. With the chocolate chips, the cookies are plenty sweet enough.

The first time I made these cookies, my batch only made nine cookies. The recipe says it makes 24, which I thought was weird. Until I pulled the cookies out of the oven. Surprisingly, they expand! The cookies from my first batch were total peanut butter fest. Wowza! Talk about rich. So, the second time I made them, I used my cookie scoop (love my Christmas gift from Mr. M!) for the first time and made 20 much smaller cookies. Ah…much better. I also shared some of this batch with a friend, who raved about them!

Because I had such success with the first two batches, I tried this recipe again, but switched up the nut butter and added some walnuts (because the friend I made them for loves walnuts in chocolate chip cookies). I had a jar of TJ’s sunflower seed butter hanging out in the fridge annoying me (I didn’t care for it – weird), and there was about a cup left, which was prefect. Again, I used golden flax for a flax egg and 1/4 c maple syrup, which was plenty sweet. I ended up using about 1/2 c of toasted walnuts (I spread them out on the parchment paper covered cookie sheet and toasted them while the oven was warming – worked perfectly) and a heaping 1/2 c of chocolate chips since this batch was going to someone used to SAD cookies. The resulting cookies was delicious!

I didn’t think I’d like these cookies because I hate nuts in cookies, and I wasn’t a big fan of the sunflower seed butter in its natural state. But I thought wrong. I had to taste at least a bite of one to make sure they were edible, and I ended up eating two. Ha ha!

Another surprise about these cookies (besides their deliciousness) was the inside – it’s black! Apparently sunflower seed butter turns black when it’s heated?! Or maybe it was from some sort of reaction to the flax?? Whatever the reason, it was a little weird-looking, but it didn’t deter my friend from digging into the cookies, so no biggie.

The thing I love the most about these cookies is that they’re grain free. I’ve been trying more grain-free recipes, and I’m really enjoying them. And, being grain free, these cookies are also naturally gluten-free (if your flax isn’t cross-contaminated). Perfect!