Soft & Chewy Chunky Monkey Cookies

Yet another healthy snack for your arsenal — these Soft & Chewy Chunky Monkey Cookies are high in fiber, healthy fats, and flavonoids (along with all the other good things) found in high-quality dark chocolate.

If you like crumbly cookies, these are not for you. If you love soft and chewy cookies, you will LOVE these! This recipe makes a big batch to get you (and friends) through a full week. We usually pack 2 per day for our afternoon snack, and we find they hold us over perfectly until dinner.

Ingredients:

  • 4 medium super-ripe bananas, mashed
  • 3/4 cup natural almond butter *See notes
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cup oat flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips, plus more for topping
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, plus more for topping
  • 1 medium less-ripe banana, for slicing on top

Instructions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350º F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper, and set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, add the mashed banana, almond butter, almond milk, and vanilla, and stir until smooth and well-combined.
  3. Next, add the oat flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Stir until well-incorporated.
  4. Fold in the dark chocolate chips and walnut pieces. Dough will be thick and sticky.
  5. Use a cookie or ice cream scoop to divide the batter into cookie-sized mounds on the baking sheets. Sprinkle with more chocolate chips and walnut pieces, and press a banana slice into the top of each cookie.
  6. Bake for 16-18 minutes, or until the bottoms are golden. Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes before transferring to a baking rack.
  7. Enjoy!

Notes: Almond butter should be the natural, drippy kind (AKA not the consistency of a processed Jif or Skippy peanut butter). Don’t use the hard, crunchy almond butter at the bottom of the jar.

Zesty Lemon Blueberry Balls (gf, df, vegan)

It’s no secret we like energy balls around here. I always make a big batch of some kind of healthy snack for us to have on-hand for the week, and that snack is usually either a: banana bread, muffin, or energy ball. (Have you tried my Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Energy Balls yet?) Dark chocolate chips somehow manage to find their way in almost all of those, but a couple weeks ago I decided I wanted a different flavor combo and started recipe testing these babies.

These energy bites are so soft and light that Ryan says they taste like cookie dough. I would call them somewhere between a blueberry muffin and a lemon poppyseed muffin. The lemon is zesty and bright but understated. It’s not overwhelming and is the perfect compliment to the blueberry muffin flavor. I think you’ll enjoy these!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup oats
  • 1 ½ cup raw cashews
  • 2 tbsp. coconut flour
  • 1 tbsp. coconut sugar
  • ½ cup unsweetened dried blueberries
  • ½ cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice (~ the juice from 1/2 a lemon)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Dash of cinnamon
  • Pinch of sea salt

Instructions:

  1. In a food processor or high-speed blender, add oats and pulse until finely milled.
  2. Add cashews and pulse for 3-7 minutes or until you’ve achieved a thick, creamy consistency. (Be patient — this will take far longer than you think!)
  3. Add coconut flour and coconut sugar and pulse one more time — this time until just combined.
  4. Next, spoon the mixture out of your food processor blender and into a large mixing bowl. Add in almond milk, lemon juice, vanilla, cinnamon, sea salt, and stir.
  5. Add in dried blueberries and stir again.
  6. Dough will be sticky. You can either roll as is (wetting your fingers as needed to form the balls and preventing them from sticking), or you can chill batter in the fridge for 30 minutes – 1 hour and then roll.
  7. Roll dough into approximately 1″ balls, and enjoy!

Runners’ Power Granola

If there’s one recipe I knew I needed to have in my arsenal, it was a good homemade granola recipe. It’s the stereotypical “healthy crunchy” food, I know, but such a fun staple to keep in the house. I love it for breakfast as much as I do for afternoon snacks over yogurt.

We don’t eat cereal or granola regularly, because most brands you find in the supermarket are super processed, low in nutrients, and filled with sugar. I’m constantly amazed by how much sugar even the so-called “healthy” brands have.

But I love the crunch and heartiness of a good “real foods” granola, and so I was determined to make my own. My version is packed with whole grains, lots of nuts and seeds, and no-sugar-added dried fruit. This recipe is the result of lots of research and testing, and I can assure you — it was so worth the wait! This is my holy-grail granola recipe — great for hungry, active people who need lots of nutrients and good food on the go.

If you try it, let me know what you think! I’ve been giving this to everyone I know by the jarful!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • ½ cup quinoa, uncooked, rinsed
  • 1 cups raw almonds, chopped
  • ½ cup raw pumpkin seeds
  • ½ cup raw sunflower seeds
  • ¼ cup hemp seeds
  • ¼ cup ground flaxseed
  • 2 tbsp. coconut oil, plus more for greasing
  • ⅓ cup honey
  • ½ cup unsweetened dried cherries
  • ½ cup unsweetened dried blueberries
  • ½ cup almond butter

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325º F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine oats through flaxseed, and stir thoroughly so everything is mixed well.
  3. In a small saucepan, combine coconut oil and honey and heat until the coconut oil is melted. Whisk the mixture to form your “glaze.”
  4. Pour glaze over the grain and seed blend, and stir until all dry ingredients are evenly coated.
  5. Spread mixture onto the lined baking sheet, and place in the oven for 20-25 minutes until lightly browned and golden.
  6. While the grain and seed mixture is in the oven, lightly grease an 8 1/2 x 11″ rectangular baking tin with coconut oil and set aside.
  7. Remove mixture from the oven, let cool a few minutes, and then toss with dried cherries and blueberries. Next, stir in the almond butter and mix thoroughly — again, making sure nearly all ingredients are coated. Use your hands if needed.
  8. Press mixture into the baking tin and let sit covered for a few hours or overnight, until hardened and all the flavors have melded together.
  9. Enjoy!

Perfect Gluten-Free Blender Pancakes (gf, df)

What are your qualifications for the “perfect” pancake? Sometimes I like a thicker, more hearty, and “cakier” whole grain pancake with lots of texture. I do like an ultrathin, crepe-like ‘cake. But if we’re talking holy grail, you-can-only-eat-one-for-the-rest-of-your-life kind of pancake, mine, hands down is: lightly browned and crispy on the outside, but where the inside melts in your mouth.

Today I’m sharing my go-to “perfect pancake” recipe. You can whip these up on a weekend morning in a snap, thanks to an easy trick — you combine all ingredients in a blender and can spoon onto the frying pan directly from the canister. You only dirty one blender and one pan, so clean-up is super easy.

These pancakes are naturally gluten-free, but: 1) They’re so tasty and light that I’m not sure anyone would notice the difference, and 2) They’re so wholesome and clean that everyone would benefit from eating them.

They’re also extremely customizable! The recipe base uses bananas, which not only lends natural sweetness but also provides a vehicle for some amazing flavor combinations. Some ideas:

  1. Blueberry and Dark Chocolate Chip – Pictured, from this past weekend. Add fresh or frozen blueberries and dark chocolate chips to your batter.
  2. Blueberry Lemon Cake – Add blueberries, a squeeze of lemon, and some fresh lemon zest to the batter, with more zest and blueberries to top.
  3. Strawberry Shortcake – Add sliced or freeze-dried strawberries to the batter, and drizzle the cooked and cooled pancakes with either a cream cheese or melted coconut butter frosting.
  4. Salted Dark Chocolate Chip – Add dark chocolate chips to the batter. Top cooked pancakes with thick, flaky Maldon sea salt for a salty-sweet flavor combo.
  5. Banana Walnut – Add a handful of raw walnuts to the batter and pick up on the mashed banana flavor already in there.

Recipe serves 2 people, or 1 hungry athlete.

Ingredients:

  • 1¼ cups gluten-free rolled oats
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • Coconut oil for greasing the pan
  • Real maple syrup for serving

Instructions:

  1. Combine all ingredients except coconut oil and maple syrup in a high-speed blender. Blend for 2-3 minutes, or until smooth and creamy.
  2. Meanwhile, grease a frying pan or griddle with coconut oil. Heat griddle until your coconut oil begins to shimmer and pop lightly. If your coconut oil begins to smoke, your heat is far too high!
  3. Stir in any mix-ins to your batter, then use a 1/2 cup measuring cup to spoon onto the griddle.
  4. Keep a close eye on the underside of your pancakes. Once lightly browned and crispy, flip! Don’t press down on your pancakes after you flip, as you want them to remain as light and fluffy as possible.
  5. Once cooked evenly on the opposite side, remove from heat, let cool, and serve with real maple syrup.

Raspberry Double Chocolate Muffins (gf, df)

I love Valentine’s Day. It might be my second favorite holiday behind Christmas. Is that a crazy thing to say? I can’t help it — I love red and pink, I love roses, I love the thoughtful gift giving and romance. I love seeing people in love. So — like the people who keep their Christmas lights up long after Christmas has passed, I’ll post another Valentine’s Day-themed recipe after February 14th.

These muffins are decadent and delicious but healthy enough that you can eat one (or two) for a daily mid-morning or afternoon snack. They have no refined sugar, are packed with whole grains, and are gluten- and dairy-free.

And really, I think those who love Valentine’s Day, those who loathe it, and those who only like it for the half-priced chocolate the next day can all agree… there’s really no bad time for fudgy chocolate-raspberry baked goods. Enjoy!

Dry ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups oat flour
  • ¾ cup Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free All Purpose Flour
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa poder
  • ½ cup coconut sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Wet ingredients

  • 1 egg, whisked
  • 1 ¼ cup almond milk
  • ¼ cup melted and cooled coconut oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ cup dark chocolate chips

For topping

  • 6 oz fresh raspberries
  • More dark chocolate chips
  • Coconut butter, warmed so that it’s nice and drippy

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a muffin tin and set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together all dry ingredients.
  3. Add wet ingredients one at a time and stir until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips.
  4. Fill muffin cups ¾ of the way full. Sprinkle extra chocolate chips and 2-3 raspberries on top of each muffin cup.
  5. Place pan in the oven and bake for 18-22 minutes. When ready, the muffins should have risen, and a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffins should come out clean.
  6. Let the muffins cool for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and drizzle with melted coconut butter.

Espresso Dark Chocolate Chunk Muffins (gf, df)

Espresso Dark Chocolate Chunk Muffins (gf, df)

It took me two rounds to perfect this recipe. I am picky with my baked goods, and having to bake gluten-free makes me even pickier. My goal is always to create a baked good that I could put down in front of someone, without telling them what’s in it, and not have them say it’s “pretty good for being gluten-free”, but that’s it “REALLY good”, period. I think I achieved that with this muffin.

Basically, this muffin is the perfect solution to your 3 PM energy crash. It gives you complex carbs and healthy fats to prevent the “hangry” from coming on, and the staying power to get you through till dinner. It gives you a little dose of caffeine with the ground espresso, and it has chocolate in it. Chocolate just makes everything better.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup
  • ½ cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tbsp. melted coconut oil, melted and cooled
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup gluten-free oat flour
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 3 tbsp. espresso beans, ground in a food processor, or 3 tbsp. instant coffee
  • ¼ tsp. cinnamon
  • ¾ tsp. baking soda
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ½ cup dairy-free dark chocolate chunks, plus more for topping

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a muffin tin with nonstick spray, or oil with a little olive or coconut oil.
  2. In a large bowl combine all wet ingredients (eggs through apple cider vinegar, above). Whisk until well combined — your batter should be smooth and creamy.
  3. Next, add in all dry ingredients (except for the chocolate chunks). Stir to mix, then fold in the ½ cup of dark chocolate chunks.
  4. Spoon your batter into 9 muffin cups, and top with a few additional chocolate chunks. Bake for 20-25 minutes.
  5. Let cool for about 5 minutes, and then enjoy!

Pumpkin Pecan Oat Scones with Maple-Almond Butter Glaze (gf, df, v)

Pumpkin Pecan Oat Scones with Maple-Almond Butter Glaze (gf, df, v)

I will preface this by saying I was not a scone person (before making these). I think I liked the idea of scones more than I actually liked scones — which I used to associate with being super dry, flaky, and not all that flavorful. If I was going to have something sweet, a scone was not going to be my first choice.

But the idea of scones…

Am I the only one who feels like when you’re eating a scone, you need to also be sipping coffee in one of those well-lit, white-washed “Instagram kitchens”, curled up in a chunky knit sweater with perfectly “I-didn’t-just-wake-up-like-this” hair? Or maybe you’re a fashionable upper-class woman who stops at the cafe every morning to sip espresso and eat a ~scone~ before work.

Scones are definitely the cool-girls of pastries.

I decided to give them a fair try, and tweaked and played with a few existing scone recipes to create this one — which is inspired by My New Roots and Cookie & Kate. My scone recipe is gluten- and dairy-free, as well as vegan. And I can confidently say it is the complete opposite of everything I used to hate about scones, plus everything I had hoped they would be.

These scones are crispy on the outside, but are wonderfully moist and soft on the inside. When you take a bite, you immediately get a great, creamy, pumpkin middle. The glaze, as well, is to-die-for, and I think a huge part of what makes this dish. I created my own glaze recipe from scratch, because I didn’t like that most scone glazes are primarily powdered sugar. Mine is refined-sugar-free, and just the right amount of sweetness. The trick is to pour the glaze over the scones while they’re only a few minutes out of the oven. They will soak it right up, and the glaze will fill every wonderful nook and crack in the scones.

Also – be generous. You’ll have excess glaze that will spill off the scones and onto the pan, but that’s ok. It lets the glaze seep into all sides of the scone, which makes it really delicious and fun to eat!

Pumpkin Pecan Oat Scones

  • 1 cup raw pecans
  • 2 cups oat flour
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder
  • ¼ cup coconut sugar
  • 1 tbsp. cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. ginger
  • ¼ tsp. nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp. cloves
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ⅓ cup solid coconut oil
  • ¾ cup pumpkin puree
  • ¼ cup unsweetened almond milk
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Maple-Almond Butter Glaze

  • 1/4 cup natural almond butter (drippy is best)
  • 1/4 cup real maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp. unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

Instructions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 425º F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, spread your 1 cup of pecans on top, and toast in the oven for 3-5 minutes. Keep a careful eye on them, as nuts do burn quickly. Once slightly cooled, chop the nuts into fine pieces.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the oat flour, 3/4 of the chopped nuts, baking powder, coconut sugar, and spices. Whisk together.
  4. Next, use either a pastry cutter or a fork to “cut” your solid coconut oil into your dry ingredients. Mix well.
  5. Stir in your pumpkin puree, almond milk, and vanilla extract. It should take a while to get everything incorporated, and your dough should be fairly dense and stiff. Don’t be afraid to use your hands to knead the last bits of the dough together.
  6. Form your dough into a circle that is about an inch tall all the way around. Cut into 8 even slices (like a pizza), and then place on your parchment-lined baking sheet.
  7. Bake for 15-17 minutes, or until lightly browned on the outside.
  8. While the scones are in the oven, prepare your glaze by whisking all ingredients in a small mixing bowl.
  9. After you take the scones out of the oven, let them cool for a few minutes, and then generously pour your glaze on top. Really let the glaze seep into all sides and cracks of the scone. While the glaze is still wet, sprinkle your remaining pecan pieces on top.