Ah yes, the chocolate chip cookie. Who can resist the temptation (which, is usually followed by a feeling of guilt)? Are there any out there that both reach the ultimate level of awesomeness and are healthy? These particular chocolate chip cookies are absolutely healthy, naturally sweetened, vegan, and gluten-free. Not to mention, irresistible. Don’t be afraid to grab a handful, and no guilt.
My son, almost 3 years old, likes all kinds of homemade cookies, especially chocolate cookies. He also loves all kinds of nuts. One of his favorites is pistachio. Combining the two together into a healthy sweet treat should be easy, right? Sprinkling a pinch of sea salt on top will add an extra dimension to the sweetness. Creating a salty sweet contrast somehow allows the sweetness to stand out.
I made these cookies for another reason. As you know, I was taking a photography class this past winter (check out my previous post: Seeing Life through Camera Lenses). One of my assignments was stop-action photography. Adding action into food photography is both challenging and fun. It was something I had attempted in the past, but had never been very successful with, until I took this photography course.
Leo was wandering around my “photography work table” while I was taking these action shots. He continuously asked me: “ Mama, are you done yet? Can I have one now?” I was glad he had enough patience to resist swiping one and let me finish my photo shoot. As a reward for being a good helper, he got to enjoy a big cookie afterwards.
You’ve probably noticed there are many gluten-free chocolate chip cookies available in stores these days. Mainly due to their high sugar content, I rarely buy any. If you crave chocolate chip cookies with significantly more complex flavor, like me, and don’t want to consume much sugar, these hearty homemade cookies are your best choice.
These chocolate chip cookies are naturally sweetened from
Pure stevia extract powder
Loaded with vitamins, minerals, and fibers (both soluble and insoluble), Medjool dates, are a fantastic sugar alternative. The stickiness of the dates also helps to hold the cookie dough together. Instead of using sugar-rich chocolate chips, I chopped some unsweetened baking chocolate bar and stirred it into the cookie dough. Viola!
Having an endless supply of homemade, low sugar, gluten-free, and vegan chocolate chip cookies is no longer just a dream. You’ll enjoy the crunchy pistachio and strong bittersweet chocolate with every bite.
- 7 large Medjool dates
- 1-1/2 cups (225 grams) all-purpose gluten-free flour (see notes)
- ¼ cup special dark cocoa powder
- ¾ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ teaspoon pure stevia extract powder (“Now” brand)
- ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce or 1 large egg (for non-vegan choice)
- ½ cup vegan butter, softened at room temperature
- ½ cup chopped pistachios
- 3 oz unsweetened baking chocolate bars, chopped into chunks
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- Preheat oven to 350 °F. Line a baking sheet with an oven-safe baking mat or parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a food processor, blend the dates until it forms a big ball. Add the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and stevia. Blend until it forms loose crumbs.
- Transfer the loose crumbs into a large mixing bowl. Stir in with softened butter and applesauce until just incorporated. Mix in pistachios and chopped chocolate chunks. Use a spoon to form tablespoon sized balls of cookie dough. Place balls on prepared baking sheet and flatten the balls with clean palm. Set the cookies approximately 1 inch apart.
- Bake cookies for 14 minutes. Let cookies rest on baking sheet for 2 minutes before transferring them onto a wire cooling rack. Cool completely. Sprinkle sea salt on top if desired. Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.