Classic Chip Cookies

Notice that I didn’t title this post chocolate chip cookies?  That’s because the chip concept—a true Fresh Formula—lends itself to way more than just chocolate.  “Chips” can also include such yumminess as chopped nuts, seeds, dried fruit, candy, and even, shredded veggies (a la carrot cake, etc.).  Obviously, some choices are healthier than others.

Today, I’m making a classic chip cookie, inspired by a recipe from Thug Kitchen (you know I love these two vegan chefs!).  I’ve taken their chocolate chip almond butter cookie recipe and adapted it to a formula; not everyone likes chocolate, some people have nut allergies, etc.  You could even make these cookies gluten-free.

For my chips, I’m using dark chocolate covered ginger.  Travis bought me a bag of these ginger treats at the beginning of my pregnancy.  Ginger aids with nausea, just FYI.  🙂  Although tasty, they were the size of large malted milk balls; that’s just too much ginger for me to pop into my mouth at once.  I’ve been hanging on to them in hopes of thinking of some other way to use them.  So, I decided to chop them up and use them in lieu of traditional semi-sweet chocolate chips.

DSC_2083The “egg” in this formula is made possible with ground flax seeds, although chia will likely work as well.  I haven’t tried that, but let me know if you do!

I did, however, make two batches of my new formula, trying different mixing methods with the exact same ingredients.  The first time I made these cookies, I used an electric hand mixer to incorporate every single ingredient except the chips, which I stirred in by hand.  The result was a deliciously smooth batter that made for thin, crisp cookies.  The second time, I mixed the dough by hand, using the electric hand mixer only after all ingredients except the chips were mixed by hand, just to smooth it out a little.  What resulted was a slightly lumpier dough and fluffier cookie.

I also think that the density of the dough would differ if nut/seed butter were used in place of oil.  Experiment until you get the cookie texture that you prefer.  No matter what, these vegan delights promise to be delicious.  Enjoy!

FORMULA BASE:  CHIP COOKIES

Makes 24-30 small cookies

  • 1 ½ cups flour –> I’m using whole wheat.
  • ¾ cup unsweetened plant milk –> I’m using almond.
  • 2/3 cup sweetener –> I’m using turbinado sugar.*
  • ½ cup oil or nut/seed butter –> I’m using coconut oil.
  • 2 tbsps flax or chia seeds –> I’m using flax.
  • ½-1 tsp extract (depending on flavor intensity) –> I’m using 1.5 tsps homemade vanilla extract.**
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp pink Himalayan sea salt
  • 2/3 cup chips –> I’m using chopped dark chocolate covered ginger.

*See my cake formula for an explanation of this sweetener.

**Pictured below is the vessel that I use to bottle homemade extracts (another post, another day).

DSC_2084Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Combine all wet ingredients in a large mixing bowl.  Slowly incorporate the dry ingredients, mixing as you go.  Lastly, stir in your chips.  Grease 2-3 baking sheets or line with parchment paper.  Place heaping spoonfuls of cookie dough approximately a 1.5 inches apart.

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Bake 15-18 minutes, or until the cookie edges are slightly golden brown.

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Start Your Day with Super Foods

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When contemplating what to post about this week, the decision was made for me when my husband, Travis, came home with a new Vitamix. If you read my post on dessert smoothies, you know that I’ve wanted one of these highly coveted, seemingly superhuman kitchen appliances for some time now. While my Ninja is a high performing blender, it fails to completely purée seeds and tougher fruits and veggies like blueberries and kale. Ready to make the switch, I knew that I needed to try making my super food smoothie before anything else to really put my Vitamix to the test.

First, a word about some of the ingredients. Below, I’ve pictured ginger root, hulled hemp seeds, and turmeric powder. I first learned about the wonders of ginger when I was pregnant. This refreshing and crisp root aids with nausea and digestion. Turmeric is another amazing root, but not having any on hand today, you can see that I’m using powdered turmeric instead. Turmeric is an anti-inflammatory and is great for your skin. (I use a handmade facial soap loaded with turmeric.) When it comes to including roots in your smoothies—fresh or ground—start small. Their flavors are assertive and it’s better to err on the side of caution and add more later.

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As mentioned in my bio, I am not a culinary or dietary professional, so I am always learning about food. My sister works for a vitamin company and serves as one of my primary sources, but I do other research, too. Thus, I’ve amended my super food smoothie formula to include hemp seeds. I’ve heard the buzzing about these seeds for some time now, but they aren’t as easy to find as seeds like chia and flax. After visiting Bob’s Red Mill in Portland (you have to go!), I finally got my hands on a bag of them.   Hemp seeds are one of the highest in protein of all seeds and nuts, and are packed with Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids.

This smoothie is another breakfast (or lunch/dinner/snack) you can feel good about, and is easy to share with little ones, too. My son, Nolan, drinks one every day. Enjoy!

FORMULA BASE: SUPER SMOOTHIE

Serves 2

  • 1 cup fresh fruit –> I’m using two small bananas.
  • 1 cup frozen fruit –> I’m using a combination of blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries.
  • 2 cups fresh vegetables –> I’m using a variety of baby kale leaves.
  • ¼ cup fresh herbs –> None today. I only have cilantro and it isn’t my preference in a smoothie. 🙂  I suggest parsley or mint if you have some on hand!
  • 2 tbsp fresh cut wheatgrass
  • 1/4 cup+ seeds (e.g. chia, flax, hemp, pumpkin, etc.)
  • ½ inch turmeric root –> I’m using ½ tsp dried turmeric instead.
  • ¼ inch ginger root
  • Liquid* to achieve desired consistency (optional) –> I’m using approximately 6-7 oz of freshly squeezed orange juice.

*Most of the time, try to avoid using juice as it is lacking the fiber from the pulp, flesh, and skin necessary to assist the body in properly processing the sugars therein.  The occasional freshly squeezed juice, pack with as much pulp as possible, is fine.  Other options include unsweetened plant milk, water, or a moisture-packed fruit such as watermelon.  Depending on the quality of your blender and the types of produce you are including in your smoothie, you may not need to add liquid to the mix at all.

Place all items in a blender and blend until smooth. Consume immediately as some seeds, even when puréed, will continue to thicken the smoothie the longer that they sit in moisture.

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