JCF Lunch box of the week: Healthy Cookies

Healthy Cookies, say what?!

Hi Mamas, this week, how to offer kiddos a yummy and HEALTHY cookie. Sweet, gooey, fudgy, crumbly, who doesn’t love a good cookie?! While these treats are amazing, I try to make them just that, TREATS for once in a while. As much as I love a full butter and sugar gooey chocolate chip cookie, I think we all know this doesn’t qualify as one of the main food groups.

Equally, having your daily dose of something sweet is totally ok and HEALTHY when you choose wisely. My favorite thing to make is raw coconut macaroon balls. They are so versatile and can be combined with an array of ingredients. These sweet babies are a great way to jazz up your kids lunch box so they have have a treat without you worrying about unnecessary sugar and junk. The primary ingredients include coconut, which is super high in fiber and a low glycemic carbohydrate giving you sustained energy without feeling full, and almonds, which are extremely high in vitamins and nutrients (especially dense in vitamin E which we all could benefit from in the winter months for dry skin). Almonds also help to LOWER cholesterol and help towards a healthy heart (tip LEAVE SKINS ON and use RAW almonds for most health benefits).

Ingredients 

1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

1 cup almonds

4 tablespoons of nut butter of choice (I like sunflower seed or cashew because the butter is creamy and doesn’t alter flavor too much*)

5-6 large plump medjool dates pitted

2 tablespoons raw cacao powder (or bitter cocoa powder)

1 tablespoon coconut oil

Mix almonds and coconut in food processor until a dusty flour like texture is made (1-2min).

Add nut butter, cacao, oil and blend slowly. Add pitted dates one at a time and blend well before adding the next. Continue to blend until the mixture comes together in a sticky ball.

Remove from food processor, place mixture in refrigerator for about 1 hour or freezer for about 20minutes, it’s much easier to form into balls when mixture is cold. Use a cookie forming spoon and scoop into evenly sized balls. Roll ball in your hands to solidify shape and form, roll ball in unsweetened coconuts or dust lightly with more cocoa powder, store in air tight container in refrigerator for about 1 week.

**Alternate or additional options:

Use nuts other than almond (walnuts and pecans work equally well)

Use alternate nut butter *while I ADORE peanut butter, if used here it will completely alter the taste and when I am in the mood for that real true coconut taste I choose to use an alternative nut butter

Add seeds (chia, hemp, flax, poppy) for extra nutrient and vitamin boost (hemp seeds are particularly dense in PROTEIN)

Use plump large dried fig instead of dates

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