One way that we're all collectively getting through this pandemic is by focusing on life's simple joys. New Taylor Swift songs. The softest loungewear. And comfort food galore—especially freshly-baked cookies.
Cookies have always been a classic American comfort food, whether they're straight from the oven or a Girl Scout cookie box. “Foods high in carbs and fats trigger a release of dopamine, endorphins, and serotonin, so they’re definitely triggering chemicals in the brain that make us feel good,” neuroscientist and Why You Eat What You Eat author Rachel Herz, PhD previously told Well+Good. Can cookies make you happy? Absolutely. Plus, they often don't take much effort to make. And according to healthy food blogger and Healthier Together author Liz Moody, eating cookies can also be an opportunity to eat more plant-based foods.
One tip Moody recently shared for Well+Good’s 2021 ReNew Year program is that desserts are a great opportunity for plant-based cooking (and eating). All you need is the right recipe—and Moody shares one here from her cookbook that took months to perfect. It's plant-based and both gluten- and dairy-free, and so good that Moody says she literally makes a batch at least once a week.
"These cookies are my go-to dessert. I eat them three to four times a week," she says. "I love that they're incredibly fast and easy, really blood-sugar friendly—which actually aids with sleep if you eat them at nighttime—and endlessly customizable." Crispy on the outside and gooey on the inside, they're everything you want in a chocolate chip cookie.
The stars of this gluten-free chocolate chip cookie recipe: almond flour, oats, walnuts, and almond butter—all of which provide enough fiber and protein that you *could* have these cookies for breakfast. Moody also encourages incorporating different warming spices in the recipe as another way to incorporate more plants. "Right now I love making them with a hefty shake of cardamom," she says. She also says that it's very simple to make this recipe vegan, too. Simply replace the egg with a flax egg. Ready to whip up a batch? Keep reading to get the full gluten-free chocolate chip cookie recipe.
Liz Moody's gluten-free chocolate chip cookie recipe
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup unsalted creamy almond butter (well-stirred)
1/4 cup almond flour
1/4 tsp fine-grain sea salt
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup dark chocolate chips or chopped dark chocolate
Maldon or flaky sea salt, to sprinkle (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl, beat together with a large spoon the egg, vanilla, and almond butter until combined. Stir in the almond flour, salt, coconut sugar, and baking soda until smooth. Stir in the walnuts, oats, and chocolate chips, working the dough a bit to get everything distributed evenly (the dough will be thick—that’s okay).
3. Scoop the dough into rounded teaspoonfuls and drop them onto the prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle with Maldon salt, if using. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until edges turn golden brown.
4. Remove the cookies from the oven and let them cool on the pan for 10 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely. While the texture of these is best on the first day (I like to eat small batches and eat them fresh), they’ll keep uncovered at room temperature for two to three days.
Bonus gluten-free cookie recipe! Check out the video below to see how to make a batch of gingersnap cookies:
Join Well+Good's Cook With Us Facebook group for more healthy dessert ideas.
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