The Best... Vegan Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Protein Cookies - EVER!

The Best... Vegan Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Protein Cookies - EVER!

Let's talk about the classic chocolate chip cookie for a second.  I actually didn't come from a home where my mom would bake fresh cookies for us.  For me, my grandma used to make these yummy almond cookies with the sliver of almond in the center.  *Swoon* Future recipe idea!

My love for the classic chocolate chip cookie came in high school when my friend's mom made these amazing chocolate chip cookies with bits of crushed sugar cone in them. They were SO good, and I still remember them to this day.  Being polite, I would only eat one or two, but if it was MY house, that jar would've been empty by the end of the day.

Nowadays it's hard for me to deny any cookie of any kind.  But now that I'm eating healthy-ish, I figured it was a good time to explore some other options.  I love taking classic recipes and turning them into something that is enjoyable by everyone regardless of whether they are vegan, gluten-free, or just trying to steer clear of processed sugar.  Plus, I wanted to try to sneak in some protein powder to satisfy those cookie cravings!

BEHOLD! The vegan gluten-free chocolate chip protein cookie!  I realize that that's quite a mouthful. ;)

It has nuttiness from the almond meal, sweetness from the maple syrup, sustenance from the protein powder and nut butter, and of course that gooey chocolately goodness from the dark chocolate chips.  I'm a chunk girl myself, but I had a mix of chips and chunks on hand, so I used both. ;)

*Note: TJ's chunks are NOT vegan, but the chocolate chips are.  Or you can buy a TJ's dark chocolate baking bar and chop it into chunks.

They look like the real deal, right?!  Trust me on this.  You've gotta try it. 

Once they've cooled down from baking, you'll get this slightly crunchy outside, and a soft crumbly inside.  The way a chocolate chip cookie should be.

It'll have you singing, "Come on down, you friends of mine!  We're wilderness girls, and it's cookie time!" (GOLD STAR if you know what that's from! And also, we should be friends.)

THE BEST VEGAN GLUTEN-FREE CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

Makes 1 dozen cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2  cup almond flour/meal
  • 1/3 cup pea protein powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup almond butter (or other nut butter)
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin coconut oil, melted and cooled to room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup and 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup vegan chocolate chips (I use Trader Joe's semisweet dark chocolate chips)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a baking pan lined with parchment paper.
  2. Combine almond flour, protein powder, baking soda, and salt into a mixing bowl.  Mix well with a whisk.
  3. Add the almond butter, coconut oil, and vanilla.  Mix until almost combined.  Add maple syrup, then mix until fully incorporated.
  4. Stir in chocolate chips.
  5. Take about 2 tablespoons of batter and roll it into a ball.  Flatten the ball into a cookie shape, about 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick.  The cookie will not spread out when baking.
  6. Put the pan of cookies in the freezer for 10 minutes.  Then remove them and bake for 12 minutes, or until you see slight browning on the tops and edges.
  7. Cookies will be soft when you first take them out.  Leave them on the pan to cool and slightly harden.

Full-Of-Greens Pea Pesto and Chickpea Pasta

Full-Of-Greens Pea Pesto and Chickpea Pasta

I'm a goal-oriented person. Most people would say "poo-poo" to setting New Year's Resolutions, but I LOVE setting new goals, no matter the time of year!  I embrace challenges and get very competitive with myself.  There's something SO satisfying about checking something off a list, amiright?

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie - with CAULIFLOWER!

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie - with CAULIFLOWER!

Rain has finally arrived here in the Bay Area, and it's starting to feel like autumn.  I used to hate the rain, but since we've had so little of it, I actually love and appreciate the rain so much more.  

Since fall is the season of all things pumpkin (Can I get an "AMEN!"), I decided to make a vegan pumpkin pie smoothie.  The secret ingredient to this creamy smoothie is...cauliflower!  A friend of mine told me she started putting cauliflower in her smoothies, so I had to try it.  

Now, I love green smoothies.  A lot.  But I'm also a person who eats with her eyes. Pumpkin with a handful of spinach just doesn't sound or look appetizing.  However, if you use cauliflower, it preserves the beautiful color of your smoothie while sneaking in those good-for-you veggies!  Plus, it doesn't alter the taste whatsoever!


Pumpkin Pie Smoothie with Cauliflower

Servings: 3

Ingredients

  • 2 cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin purรฉe
  • 3 medjool dates, pitted and chopped (optional: add 1 more date for added sweetness)
  • 1 banana
  • 2 scoops vegan protein powder (~44g)
  • 3/4 cup chopped raw cauliflower florets (I use the riced cauliflower from Trader Joe's!)
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients into your blender.
  2. Blend ingredients on your "smoothie" setting, or pulse for 30 seconds.

The cauliflower makes it so creamy that this recipe would make an amazing smoothie bowl!  Add your favorite toppings like cocoa nibs, hemp seeds, raw pepitas, granola, or banana slices! Yum!