Imagine biting into a delicious, moist, chewy cookie that tastes like peanut butter cookie dough. Ahhh. Now imagine that it is a treat that you can actually enjoy without feeling like you're indulging in a guilty pleasure. Let's face it, most of us have a sweet tooth. And I certainly do come by mine honestly.
Growing up in the Southern Appalachian mountains, I've had my share of rich home-made pound cakes, chocolate oatmeal cookies. fresh coconut cream cakes, banana pudding (with home-made custard) and the list goes on and on. Consequently, I was on a diet for much of my youth to deal with all those calories... Over the last few years, I have completely rid my kitchen and diet from white processed sugar, however I still get a craving for dessert. Most of the time, fresh fruit in season can cure that desire but sometimes, it calls for a little more. And it is not that difficult to adapt your favorite family recipes to a healthier version.
This week, "Food for Healing" explored healthy alternatives to sugary sweets. We also studied healthy recipe substitutions and sampled antioxidant rich teas from around the world. Our tasting menu included home-made granola, fresh fruit with yogurt cream, trail mix bars and cookies made with avocado, applesauce, and bananas. Each recipe started with whole food and had a low ratio of honey or grade B maple syrup as sweetener. Not one ounce of processed sugar.
Or white flour. Or artificial anything!
There was one cookie that took the prize for taste and texture...the overall favorite. And the secret ingredient that is SUPER healthy and SUPER surprising........CHICKPEAS!!!......No Really!
Enjoy this recipe! And look for other featured desserts here.
Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Bites
1 1/4 cups canned chickpeas, drained, rinsed and patted dry
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup + 2 TBSP all natural peanut butter (with no added salt or sugar)
1/4 cup local raw honey
1 tsp. baking powder
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup high quality dark chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350.
Combine all the ingredients, except for the chocolate chips in a food processor and pulse until very smooth. Make sure to scrape the top and sides to get all the little bits of chickpeas blended and incorporated well.
Mix in the chocolate chips by hand. The mixture will be very thick and sticky. With wet hands, form 1 1/2 inch balls and place on parchment.
Bake for 10 minutes. Yield about 14.
(Make 1 inch balls for a smaller portion size and reduce the bake time ever so slightly. A little goes a long way)
Monthly “Food for Healing” meetings are designed to help cancer survivors, and others stay motivated to eat well and learn new healthy eating habits to last a lifetime. Open to EVERYONE and FREE of charge. Food for Healing is presented by Cheryl LeCroy of Creativejuicesconsulting.com in partnership with Wind River Cancer Wellness Retreats & Programs
Monthly “Food for Healing” meetings are designed to help cancer survivors stay motivated to eat well and learn new healthy eating habits to last a lifetime. Open to EVERYONE and FREE of charge. Food for Healing is presented by Cheryl LeCroy of Creativejuicesconsulting.com in partnership with Wind River Cancer Wellness Retreats & Programs
During 24 Hours of Booty, I meet both cyclists and survivors. And part of the fun at our Wind River booth is creating new smoothie recipes on the spot. In years past, we have developed such drinks as, "Embrace the Booty" and "The Booty Shake" Not only is this fun but it is also so important because each body has its own individual & nutritional needs...especially during intense exercise on hot days. This year, with temps soaring in the 90s, we focused on light, frothy, cool, refreshing drinks with lots of fruits and veggies...and as always, every drink began with fresh, organic and whole colorful foods. We created several new recipes but my favorite; "Robert's Recovery Drink" Robert sampled several of our drinks throughout the day and had such an interest in wholesome healing foods. After riding many laps, Robert stopped by our booth parched and requesting a drink for recovery. As we discussed how he was feeling, we hand picked the ingredients for his smoothie....orange juice for the sugars, vitamin C, potassium and vitamins..........banana for B6, potassium, fiber.....carrot for added vitamins and fiber......kale for antioxidants, vitamin K, low calorie fiber.... lemon, mint and ginger for vitamins and pure thirst quench....oats for sustaining fiber....whole soy for protein...coconut water for vitamins, sodium and fiber...and cinnamon because it just felt right! Intuition is often an important part a body's nutritional decisions.
And Voila, a new super charged recovery smoothie was born! Thanks again Robert, and happy cycling! And Thank you 24 Hours of Booty for supporting the cancer community!
Robert’s Recovery Drink
10 ounces Orange Juice
16 ounce bag frozen pineapple
1 handful organic kale
2 slices lemon, peeled
1 orange peeled, with pith
4 leaves mint
6 green grapes
¼ cup organic oats
1 inch candied ginger
1 scoop Whole Soy® Protein powder
5 ounces coconut water
1 dash cinnamon
Place all ingredients in VitaMix® and blend until smooth. Enjoy Robert’s RECOVERY after vigorous exercise. This drink was developed at 24 Hours of Booty® after Robert had completed MANY Booty laps and helped me choose ingredients based on the Recovery his body needed….Thanks Robert!