Vegan, Gluten Free Peanut Butter Surprise Chocolate Cookies!

Yep, Vegan, Gluten Free Peanut Butter Surprise Chocolate Cookies. Holy moly: what a mouthful (literally! bah!). I was inspired by Smitten Kitchen’s recent post about peanut butter balls delightfully hidden inside delicious chocolate cookies and decided that I needed to do a natural sugar, vegan, gluten-free version of these tasty morsels as soon as possible. I also happen to be enrolled in an amazing gluten-free baking course that is teaching me how to *actually* be good at gluten free baking, so I used some of those tricks to help make these cookies.

So, before I get to the recipe, I have a lot to say about these gems. First, they are filling. I can’t remember the last time I made a batch of cookies and didn’t eat at least 2 immediately. I couldn’t do it with these guys. I’m gonna attribute that to the fibre in them. More on that in a minute. Second, eat them cold (I would argue that about most cookies though). That said, I know you’ll want to try them straight out of the oven. Sure, do it if you have to, but promise me that you won’t judge them until you’ve tried them cold. Bonus points for eating them frozen. Third, they are labour intensive. Please don’t let that stop you from making them. But, be forewarned that if you have little kids who are not interested in baking, who are demanding your attention, this might not be the recipe for you….until nap time.

As usual, a few notes about ingredients:

  • insert my usual peanut butter rant: use a brand with only salt and peanuts in it.
  • coconut palm sugar: it has trace minerals, has some fibre and isn’t quite as empty as white sugar. No, I wouldn’t call it a health food. But we are making cookies, right?
  • psyllium seed husks: we usually need an egg to bind gluten free cookies (or any cookies…) together. Since this is a vegan recipe, I used psyllium husks. They clump up in water, are FULL of fibre, and aren’t heat sensitive like chia and/or flax ‘eggs’.
  • brown rice flour: a gluten free baking staple
  • oat flour: made from ground oats 🙂
  • arrowroot powder: helps to bind everything together and has a super mild flavour.
  • cocoa powder: to make them rich and chocolatey!
  • gf baking powder: yep, lots of baking powder has gluten in it. If you are trying to avoid gluten, make sure to get the gluten free version.

On to the recipe! Hope you love them <3.

Vegan, Gluten Free Peanut Butter Surprise Cookies

These are just sensational. Really sensational cookies. 

Course Dessert
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 12

Ingredients

Peanut Butter Surprise!

  • 1/2 cup natural peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup coconut palm sugar
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

Chocolate Cookies!

  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup natural peanut butter
  • 3/4 cup coconut palm sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla powder
  • 1 tbsp psyllium husk
  • 3/4 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/3 cup oat flour
  • 1/4 cup arrowroot powder
  • 2/3 cup cacao or cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp gluten free baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • up to 1/3 cup warm water (1 tbsp at a time)
  • 1/4 cup chocolate sprinkles (for topping)

Instructions

Peanut Butter Surprise

  1. Mix all ingredients together until well incorporated. Spoon into tablespoon sized balls, place on a parchment lined baking sheet, and freeze until the cookie dough is ready.

Chocolate Cookies!

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. 

  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  

  3. Put the sprinkles in a separate bowl and keep them for later.

  4. Using a food processor fitted with the 's' blade (or by hand!), mix the coconut oil, peanut butter, palm sugar, and vanilla powder until uniform.

  5. In a separate bowl, mix the dry ingredients together, ensuring they are well blended. 

  6. Sift the dry ingredients into the food processor (make sure you sift!) and mix until a dough forms.

  7. If your dough is dry and crumbly (like mine was!), then add warm water, 1 tbsp at a time to the food processor until a soft dough forms. Do this quite carefully!

Assemble the cookies!

  1. Once you have a nice dough, put it in a bowl for easy access. Take one tablespoon at a time, flatten it in your palm and put a ball of peanut butter filling in the middle. Make another cookie disc and cover the top of the peanut butter ball. 

  2. Pinch the edges together to seal in the peanut butter. 

  3. Roll the cookie in the sprinkles. 

  4. Lay on the cookie sheet and flatten slightly.

  5. Bake for 9 minutes.

  6. Let sit on the pan for 10 minutes before moving them to a cooling rack.

  7. These cookies are DEFINITELY better when they are cool. In fact, I think they taste best straight out of the freezer. So freeze them fast so you can eat them sooner. 

 

 

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Five Reasons Why I am Not Interested in Helping You Lose Weight

It’s true – I am not interested in helping you lose weight. As my client, I am passionate about helping you to feel your best, get your glow back, heal your relationship with food, and solve health problems. I am not, however, interested in making you skinny. Here are the five reasons why:

  1. Weight is not an indicator of overall health. This is a huge misconception. Instead, studies indicate that weight cycling (losing weight, gaining weight, losing weight, gaining weight) is a much stronger indicator of poor health and can actually lead to cardiovascular and blood sugar issues.
  2. Focussing on weight loss will trap you in the dieting mentality, keeping you in a restrict/binge cycle that only perpetuates dieting for a lifetime.
  3. Your focus on weight stops you from learning to sense your body’s hunger and fullness cues. Instead, you focus on external cues that tell you how, when, and what to eat. How will you ever stop dieting if you can’t tune into your own body’s cues?
  4. Focusing on losing weight stops you from enjoying your life right now. Your life isn’t waiting for you to lose weight.  Waiting to buy clothes until you lose 10 pounds means you live uncomfortably now, feeling bad about yourself. Waiting to fall in love, or have babies, or live your best life, or do anything until you lose weight robs you of the life you have right now.
  5. Trying to lose weight is consuming. It takes willpower, energy, determination, drive, perseverance, and laser focus. All of that energy, focused on making your body physically smaller, takes everything from you, leaving you with nothing for your big dreams.

I want to put all of this out there because most of my clients come to me looking for ways to be “healthy.” However, when we start chatting, most of them begin to reveal that what they really want is to lose weight. That’s because for most women, thin is synonymous with “healthy.” That is a misconception that I will spend my career fighting. So what actually makes you healthy? Let’s have a look:

  1. Implementing stress reduction techniques
  2. Moving your body for fun (and not for punishment)
  3. Having healthy relationships
  4. Staying socially connected
  5. Following your heart and your intuition
  6. Getting enough sleep
  7. And, of course, eating your veggies 🙂

Yep, those are the biggest indicators of longevity, healthy living, and happiness! Those are the things that will help you find happiness in your life, wake up energized, be comfortable in your skin, and feel satisfied with your amazing life.

Not coincidentally, these are the precise habits that I am passionate about helping my clients implement in their lives. Oh! I almost forgot: these habits are not necessarily correlated with size. You can live the life you dream of; the one where you have the courage to follow your heart, where you don’t allow anything to get in the way of your success, and where you wake up every morning excited by the possibilities that lie ahead, without reaching a certain number on the scale.

Wanna get started? Email me (jess@jesshartnutrition.com) today!

Cheerful young funny woman dancing and singing with ladle while having leisure time in the kitchen at home

 


References:
Bacon, Linda, and Lucy Aphramor. “Weight Science: Evaluating the Evidence for a Paradigm Shift.” Nutrition Journal 10 (2011): 9. PMC. Web. 14 Mar. 2018.

Buettner, Dan. The Blue Zone: Lessons for Living Longer from the People Who’ve Lived the Longest. Washington, D.C: National Geographic, 2008. Print.

Robbins, John. Healthy at 100 The Scientifically Proven Secrets of the Worlds Healthiest and Longest-Lived Peoples. Paw Prints, 2010.

STROHACKER, KELLEY, KATIE C. CARPENTER, and BRIAN K. MCFARLIN. “Consequences of Weight Cycling: An Increase in Disease Risk?” International Journal of Exercise Science 2.3 (2009): 191–201. Print.

Tribole, Evelyn, and Elyse Resch. Intuitive Eating: A Revolutionary Program that Works. St. Martins Griffin, 2012.

 

 


Amazing Herb Sauce for Everything!

This amazing herb sauce tastes great on everything AND will keep your immune system boosted. It is cold and flu season in my house (I am pretty sure it has been for about 3 months…) and it seems like once my 3 year old catches a bug, it is just a matter of time before the rest of us get it. However, I have a remedy – this herb sauce!

Garlic, ginger, and onions are incredible for fighting off germs. Sure, you can make a medicinal tea (and try to make yourself drink it) and you can eat raw cloves of garlic (yikes!), but I have a better idea. Make this delicious sauce/dip/spread instead. It is full of all of those immune boosting foods, and it tastes amazing too.

I seriously made this yesterday and pretty much finished it off already. I put it on my roasted cauliflower, on top of a fried egg, on a bean burrito, and even on rice crackers with goat cheese! If you’re a carnivore, I imagine it would also be amazing on any kind of meat.

A few notes re: the endless versatility of this recipe:

  • This recipe features cilantro, which I personally LOVE. But I know lots of folks abhor it. No problem, use fresh parsley instead. The flavour profile will be completely different, and you’ll probably appreciate it more :).
  • Wish it was sweeter? Add a tablespoon of maple syrup or honey.
  • Love spicy food? Add a seeded, roughly chopped jalapeno.
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Amazing Herb Sauce for Everything!

A bright, fresh, delicious herb sauce that tastes great on everything AND will boost your immune system.

Course sauce
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch washed cilantro (or parsley) :just chop off the lower stems and add the whole bunch!
  • 1/2 white onion, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 1" chunk of peeled ginger root, roughly chopped
  • 1 lime (just the juice) :feel free to sub with lemon or apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp sea salt

Instructions

  1. Place all ingredients in your food processor.

  2. Pulse together until you have a rough, sauce-like consistency.

  3. Eat on everything!!!


Chewy, Gluten Free Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip COOKIES!

I found my new cookie staple: chewy, gluten-free peanut butter chocolate chip cookies. Yes, I married everything great about all the cookies. No, I don’t feel bad about it. These gems are the perfect chewiness (is that a word!??!) and are completely satisfying. Plus, I didn’t even need my mixer to make them! It was simple enough to mix up by hand in about 5 minutes.

As usual, I keep the sugar to a minimum because that helps me stay emotionally stable and my hubs feels better without gluten, so we try and keep as many things around here as gluten-free  as possible.

Some notes on ingredients:

  • I used gluten free rolled oats, but use whatever works for your family.
  • Use Adam’s natural peanut butter. Public service announcement + helpful tip: please stop using peanut butter with sugar and trans-fats. If you love sweet peanut butter, sweeten your own with maple syrup!
  • Coconut palm sugar is the perfect replacement for refined sugar. You can sub it 1:1 in any recipe. It adds a delightful caramel flavour, as well as minerals that you won’t find in refined sugar.
PB cookies 1

On to the recipe!

Chewy Gluten Free Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

The only cookie you'll always want to have on hand. 

Course Dessert, Snack
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 12 cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup coconut palm sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla powder (use 1/2 tsp if using vanilla extract)
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup natural peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350

  2. Line a large baking pan with parchment paper

  3. Mix oats, palm sugar, baking powder, vanilla, and salt together in a large mixing bowl.

  4. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the egg, peanut butter, and honey.

  5. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.

  6. Scoop into cookies and place on the baking sheet. Flatten them just a little with your hand or the spoon. 

  7. Bake for 8 minutes, or until they are just barely set.

  8. Allow to cool on the pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

  9. Enjoy!