Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The Heart-Healthiest Chocolate Chip Cookies in the World

Oh my! These vegan oatmeal chocolate chip cookies are surprisingly delicious! They are moist, chewy, and good for you!!! The recipe came to me via the February, 2009 issue of Vegetarian Times. Make them, and eat without guilt! I guarantee that you will not miss the eggs, butter, white flour or white sugar. One main ingredient is walnuts. The walnuts (which are ground into a walnut butter) are packed with more omega-3 fatty acids than any other nut. They lower triglycerides and reduce plaque formation. They also support brain function on a number of levels including boosting mood. There are compelling studies linking the consumption of omega-3's to low rates of depression! Walnuts may also be a great tool for weight management. A palm-full eaten before meals help alleviate hunger. They are full of fiber, protein, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and manganese (an important trace mineral that's essential for growth, reproduction, wound-healing, peak brain function, and the proper metabolism of sugars, insulin, and cholesterol).

The "Doctrine of Signatures" is a concept in herbalism that's been around for centuries and is based on the idea that God marked everything He created with a sign (signature). The signature is an indication of the item's purpose. According to the Doctrine of Signatures, since the walnut looks just like a human brain, its purpose is to support that organ! (From The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth by Jonny Bowden, Ph.D., C.N.S) The cookies are also made with oats and oat flower. Don't get me started! You all know oats are good for you!! Okay, just a short list of the benefits of oats: Immune health, cholesterol reduction, anti-inflammatory properties, they're heart healthy and high in protein and fiber . . .

The Heart-Healthiest Chocolate Chip Cookies in the World
  • 2 cups walnuts
  • 3 T canola oil
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 t vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups oat flour
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1 t salt
  • 1/4 t ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips (or 10 1/2 ounces vegan bittersweet chocolate, chopped)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat 2 baking sheets with cooking spray, or line with parchment paper.
  2. Blend walnuts in food processor 30 seconds, or until ground into a fine meal. Add canola oil in a stream with the food processor running, and blend for 2 - 3 minutes more, or until mixture has the consistency of natural peanut butter, scraping down the sides of the food processor occasionally. Transfer to a bowl.
  3. Whisk together brown sugar and 1/2 cup water in a small saucepan, and bring mixture to a boil. (Watch this, as when it starts to boil it can quickly boil over.) Pour brown sugar mixture over the ground walnut butter, add vanilla extract, and stir until no lumps remain.
  4. Whisk together oat flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in a separate bowl. Stir oat flour mixture into walnut mixture. Cool 10 minutes. Fold in oats, then chocolate chips.
  5. Shape cookie dough into 1 1/2 to 2 inch balls (I used a spring-type ice cream scoop, and I used 2 different sizes, varying the baking time), and place two inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Now the original recipe calls for flattening the cookies with a glass dipped in water. I forgot with the first batch that went into the oven, and they turned out just fine with a lovely cracked top to the cookie. They did take a little longer than the recipe called for when I made them this way.
  6. Bake 8-10 minutes, or until cookies begin to brown and tops look dry. Cool three minutes on baking sheets, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
  7. Enjoy with a tall glass of rice or soy milk!

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