Imagine biting into a delicious, moist, chewy cookie that tastes like peanut butter cookie dough. Ahhh. Now imagine that it is a treat that you can actually enjoy without feeling like you're indulging in a guilty pleasure. Let's face it, most of us have a sweet tooth. And I certainly do come by mine honestly.
Growing up in the Southern Appalachian mountains, I've had my share of rich home-made pound cakes, chocolate oatmeal cookies. fresh coconut cream cakes, banana pudding (with home-made custard) and the list goes on and on. Consequently, I was on a diet for much of my youth to deal with all those calories... Over the last few years, I have completely rid my kitchen and diet from white processed sugar, however I still get a craving for dessert. Most of the time, fresh fruit in season can cure that desire but sometimes, it calls for a little more. And it is not that difficult to adapt your favorite family recipes to a healthier version.
This week, "Food for Healing" explored healthy alternatives to sugary sweets. We also studied healthy recipe substitutions and sampled antioxidant rich teas from around the world. Our tasting menu included home-made granola, fresh fruit with yogurt cream, trail mix bars and cookies made with avocado, applesauce, and bananas. Each recipe started with whole food and had a low ratio of honey or grade B maple syrup as sweetener. Not one ounce of processed sugar.
Or white flour. Or artificial anything!
There was one cookie that took the prize for taste and texture...the overall favorite. And the secret ingredient that is SUPER healthy and SUPER surprising........CHICKPEAS!!!......No Really!
Enjoy this recipe! And look for other featured desserts here.
Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Bites
1 1/4 cups canned chickpeas, drained, rinsed and patted dry
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup + 2 TBSP all natural peanut butter (with no added salt or sugar)
1/4 cup local raw honey
1 tsp. baking powder
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup high quality dark chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350.
Combine all the ingredients, except for the chocolate chips in a food processor and pulse until very smooth. Make sure to scrape the top and sides to get all the little bits of chickpeas blended and incorporated well.
Mix in the chocolate chips by hand. The mixture will be very thick and sticky. With wet hands, form 1 1/2 inch balls and place on parchment.
Bake for 10 minutes. Yield about 14.
(Make 1 inch balls for a smaller portion size and reduce the bake time ever so slightly. A little goes a long way)