I love when desserts are deceptively healthy.
I’m sure you’re asking yourself if you just read that right. The answer is: you did. Trust me, I love my desserts. If you put a bowl of ice cream in front of me, I’ll make it disappear in a matter of minutes. Chocolate cake? I’ll scarf it down. Cheesecake? Check. Pie? Gone. Brownies? Finished within seconds.
But I don’t necessarily always love how these desserts make me feel after eating them. I hate the feeling of being in a “sugar coma” for hours after indulging in a treat, so I’ve started making little swaps here and there to add a little nutrition to my sweets. I’ve made chocolate cake that’s entirely healthy, soft-serve ice cream by blending a banana in a food processor, made mousse using tofu, and exchanged apple sauce for sugar in a bunch of recipes that I’ve sampled. There’s nothing better than digging your spoon into a chocolate concoction that resembles a lava cake and knowing that you’re treating your body right by doing so.
That being said, I believe that everything can be enjoyed in moderation, so I’m not giving up old-fashioned butter ‘n powdered sugar frosting anytime soon!
Today I’m sharing with you a recipe that comes from the creative culinary endeavors of my friend Andrea who you might remember meeting a couple weeks ago in her guest post (she’s also starred on this blog in several other baking posts if that gives you any indication of her talents in the kitchen). I got a text from her today asking me if I wanted to attempt helping her create some sort of quinoa cookie. Of course, I said yes.
She got to work baking as we made dinner, quickly throwing together banana, chocolate, quinoa, and almond meal to whip up an irresistible batter. The ingredients mingled as we dined and then Andrea put the finishing touches on the mix after dinner. This is the recipe she came up with, and it’s outrageously delicious. Also, these cookies are so healthy they could almost be considered a superfood. Your mind and body can feel good about eating this treat!
In honor of the 100th anniversary of the Titanic, the fact that Andrea loves Leo and the Titanic movie, and the fact that it’s hard for me to get these cookies out of my hands, I’m naming them “Never Let Go Quinoa Cookies”.
Never Let Go Quinoa Cookies
1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
1/8 cup apple sauce
3/4 bar of chocolate
1/4 cup + heaping 1/3 cup almond meal
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder (+water)
A pinch of salt
1. Cook the quinoa according to package directions. Transfer cooked quinoa to a bowl and let it cool while you assemble the other ingredients.
2. Mash a banana very well in a medium mixing bowl. Add apple sauce, and quinoa. Preheat oven to 350.
3. Break chocolate into small chunks using a knife. Mix into mixture above. The chocolate should melt upon contacting warm quinoa, but if it doesn’t, pop the mixture into the microwave for a few seconds to melt the chocolate into the other ingredients.
4. Add almond meal, cinnamon, vanilla, and salt. Stir well.
5. In a small bowl or measuring cup, mix 1 teaspoon baking powder with a little bit of water and let the mixture fizz. Then add baking powder mixture and baking soda to the batter. Stir well.
6. Grease a cookie sheet and scoop batter onto the cookie sheet using a small spoon. Put the cookies into the oven for 20 minutes at 350 degrees, checking them to make sure they don’t burn. If you’d like a crispy exterior to your cookie, let the cookies broil on high for 1-4 minutes (depending on the strength of your oven and your desired level of crispiness). Be CAREFUL if you use the broil function on your oven.
7. Once your cookies are baked, take them out of the oven and enjoy a wholesome treat!
These cookies are great for dessert, as a snack, or even as breakfast! They’re packed with healthy ingredients that will fuel your body all day long. Try dunking them in some coconut milk for an extra rich snack packed with healthy fats. Thanks, Andrea for a great recipe!