With February being "American Heart Month" good heart-healthy recipes are all over. One doesn't necessarily think of cookies as being particularly heart-healthy so when I saw this recipe for "The Heart-Healthiest Chocolate Chip Cookies in the World" in my Vegetarian Times recipes email, I knew I had to try it. I love the fact that the recipe incorporates walnuts, which are made into a nut butter that replaces the normal butter and eggs. Walnuts have the highest amounts of essential omega-3 fats of any nuts, and omega-3's have been shown to help lower triglycerides and reduce plaque formation, among their other benefits. It also incorporates rolled oats and oat flour, a good source of fiber and antioxidants--great for heart health. Good for you sure, but the important test is texture and taste--would these healthier cookies still be soft, chewy, and good?
Vegetarian Times says: "When you replace butter and eggs with ground walnuts, and all-purpose flour with a blend of oat flour and oatmeal, you get a moist, chewy, vegan cookie that’s loaded with good-for-your-heart ingredients."
You can find the recipe from the February 2009 Vegetarian Times online at their website here.
The Heart-Healthiest Chocolate Chip Cookies in the World
Vegetarian Times, February 2009
(Makes about 30 cookies)
3 Tbs. canola oil
2 cups walnuts
1 cup light brown sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1½ cups oat flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
2 cups rolled oats
3 (3.5-oz.) bars bittersweet vegan chocolate, chopped, or 1½ cups vegan chocolate chips (12 oz.)
Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat 2 baking sheets with cooking spray, or line with parchment paper.
Blend walnuts in food processor 30 seconds, or until ground into a fine meal. Add canola oil, and blend 2 to 3 minutes more, or until mixture has the consistency of natural peanut butter, scraping down sides of food processor occasionally. Transfer to bowl.
Whisk together brown sugar and ½ cup water in small saucepan, and bring mixture to a boil. Pour brown sugar mixture over ground walnut butter, add vanilla extract, and stir until no lumps remain. Whisk together oat flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in separate bowl. Stir oat flour mixture into walnut mixture. Cool 10 minutes. Fold in oats, then chocolate chips.
Shape cookie dough into 2-inch balls, and place 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Flatten cookies with bottom of drinking glass dipped in water. Bake 8 to 10 minutes, or until cookies begin to brown and tops look dry. Cool 3 minutes on baking sheets, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.
Per Cookie: Calories: 173, Protein: 3g, Total fat: 10g, Saturated fat: 3g, Carbs: 21g, Cholesterol: mg, Sodium: 122mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugars: 12g
Notes/Results: Yum! A delicious oatmeal cookie, chewy. moist and full of chocolate. These are good enough that you wouldn't suspect they are a healthier option. The walnut nut butter is a great technique and makes the cookies dairy-free. I'll be experimenting with it in other cookie recipes. These cookies store well and remain soft and good, and are perfect with a cup of vanilla chai (as shown here) or maybe a soy latte. A better cookie choice for an occasional indulgence, I will definitely make these again.
I'll be back with some "Things I Am Loving" next week. ;-)