It’s December – which means the holidays are officially kicking into high gear (although I’ve secretly had my tree up since before Thanksgiving). And with the holidays comes tons of fun activities – cheerful reunions and extra time with loved ones, feelings of nostalgia, twinkling lights, and my favorite – lighting those winter-scented candles on a cold night.
But for many of us, the holidays also signal an uptick in stress – from time constraints to tight wallets and the stress of finding the perfect gift (and wrapping it!), to trying to navigate the increase in unhealthy foods in every direction. I think we can all agree we’ve got a few more things on our to-do lists this time of the year than normal.
So let’s kill two birds with one stone with these healthy cookie recipes. They are all whole-food based and gluten-free, and take less than 30 minutes to whip up – so you can partake in the festivities while sticking to your goals and still have plenty of time left to wrap that last-minute present you picked up on your way home.
Almond Flour Sugar Cookies
• 1 cup Almond Flour
• 1 ½ Tbsp. butter, melted
• 2 Tbsp. applesauce
• 1 Tbsp. chia seeds
• ¼ cup maple syrup
• 1 Tbsp. cinnamon
• 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
• Pinch sea salt
• Pinch baking soda
1. Preheat oven to 325 F. Cut parchment paper to size on a small-medium sized cookie sheet.
2. Combine dry ingredients (flour, chia seeds, cinnamon, sea salt, and baking soda) in a medium mixing bowl and stir to combine.
3. In a small mixing bowl, add butter and maple syrup. Heat in the microwave in 15-second increments until butter is melted and maple syrup is runny.
4. Add wet ingredients to the medium mixing bowl, along with the applesauce and vanilla extract. Knead with your hands until the mixture forms a sticky dough.
5. Scoop mixture into 1 inch balls and place on parchment paper, then flatten until about ¼ inch thick. You should have enough dough to make about 10 balls.
6. Place cookies in the oven and bake for 15-18 minute. Remove from oven and enjoy!
Makes 10 Servings | Prep time: 10 minutes | Cook time: 20 min
Nutritional Info | Calories: 70 | Protein: 1 | Fat: 3 | Carbs: 8 | Sugar: 5 | Fiber: 1g
No-Bake Coconut Bites
• 1 ½ cups shredded unsweetened coconut
• 5 dates
• 2 Tbsp. coconut oil
• 1 Tbsp. pure vanilla extract
• 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips
1. Line a small cutting board with wax or parchment paper.
2. Combine coconut, dates and coconut oil in a food processor until slightly sticky, about 3 minutes.
3. Using a tablespoon, press the mixture into the spoon to shape into 12 equal-sized bites. Gently slide out of spoon and place on parchment paper.
4. If you prefer Mounds bars, leave as is. If you prefer Almond Joys, press one almond in the center of each coconut mound.
5. Freeze for 15 minutes.
6. While the bars are firming up, melt the chocolate chips in the microwave (20 seconds at a time to prevent burning).
7. Dip the coconut mixture into the chocolate to top them. Pop them back in the freezer for another 10 minutes to firm up.
Makes 12 Servings | Prep time: 10 minutes | Cook time: 25 min
Nutritional Info | Calories: 125 | Protein: 1 | Fat: 8 | Carbs: 11 | Sugar: 9 | Fiber: 2
Nut Butter Buckeyes
• 1 1/2 cups nut butter of choice (almond, peanut, cashew, sunflower seed, etc.)
• 2 tsp. vanilla extract
• 1 tsp. almond extract
• 2 scoops (1 serving) Vanilla VeganMax Protein Powder
• 1/8 cup dark chocolate
• 2 Tbsp. coconut oil
1. Combine almond butter and extract(s) in a small bowl. Add in protein powder, and mix well together. Place mixture in the freezer for 20 minutes.
2. Remove mixture from freezer and form into tablespoon-sized balls. Place the sunflower butter balls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and place back into the freezer for about 1 hour or until hardened.
3. Melt the chocolate and coconut oil in a saucepan over the stove. Using a double boiler or microwave is fine as well.
4. Remove the sunflower butter balls from the freezer. With a toothpick, dip the balls into the chocolate mixture. Use only one coat, and cover about ¾ of each ball. Repeat with each ball, and place each one back onto the parchment lined baking sheet.
5. Place baking sheet back into the freezer for about an hour to allow the chocolate shell to harden completely.
6. Store in refrigerator or freezer. Serve chilled.
Makes 15 Servings | Prep time: 20 minutes | Cook time: 5 minutes
Nutritional Info | Calories: 190 | Protein: 7 | Fat: 16 | Carbs: 8 | Sugar: 3 | Fiber: 2