Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Healthy Dark Chocolate Avocado Cookies with Sea Salt



SINCE THE HEALTHY PB & J COOKIES WERE SUCH A HIT, I DECIDED TO POST MY NEW FAVORITE HEALTHY TREAT, DARK CHOCOLATE AVOCADO COOKIES WITH SEA SALT! SOUNDS WEIRD, I KNOW, BUT THEY ARE OH SO GOOD! 

ANYONE WHO KNOWS ME KNOWS THAT I AM OBSESSED WITH DARK CHOCOLATE. I HAVE A NEED AND IT'S REAL. =) SO AS I AM GOING THROUGH THIS HEALTHY EATING JOURNEY THIS YEAR TO FINALLY REACH MY ULTIMATE WEIGHTLOSS GOAL; I REALIZED I NEEDED TO FIND A HEALTHY WAY TO EAT DARK CHOCOLATE. I FOUND THE ORIGINAL RECIPE FOR THESE COOKIES ON THE SMOOTHIE LOVER BLOG AND TWEAKED IT A LITTLE BIT TO FIT MY PANTRY AND BUDGET.

THERE IS NO FLOUR, NO SUGAR, AND NO BUTTER! THE AVOCADO WORKS AS THE BUTTER AND TASTES SO GREAT! THEY ARE ALSO 70 CALORIES PER COOKIE WHICH ARE NOT EMPTY CALORIES. THESE ARE HEALTHY AND HEARTY CALORIES! =) THEY AREN'T LIKE YOUR TYPICAL COOKIES THOUGH. THEY HAVE A MORE BROWNIE LIKE TEXTURE AND ARE VERY LIGHT AND AIRY AND OH SO FUDGY! THEY HIT THE SPOT JUST RIGHT! TRUST ME =)










HEALTHY DARK CHOCOLATE AVOCADO COOKIES WITH SEA SALT

PREP TIME: 5 MINUTES
COOK TIME: 10 MINUTES

YIELD: 12 COOKIES
1 COOKIE = 70 CALORIES

NOTES:

IN MY OPINION THESE COOKIES TASTE BEST ONCE COMPLETELY COOLED AND CHILLED. THEY ALSO TASTE GOOD WHEN FROZEN! 

THE ORIGINAL RECIPE CALLS FOR 1/2 CUP COCONUT SUGAR INSTEAD OF THE BANANA BUT I DID NOT HAVE COCONUT SUGAR (IT IS PRETTY EXPENSIVE). THE RECIPE SAYS THAT YOU CAN SUB THE SUGAR WITH 1 BANANA AND THAT THE 1 BANANA IS ENOUGH SUGAR FOR ALL THE COOKIES BUT I FELT LIKE IT NEEDED MORE SWEETNESS DUE TO THE BITTER CHOCOLATE. SO I ADDED IN ORGANIC HONEY FROM NONE OTHER THAN THE AMAZING SWEET MEADOWS COUNTRY HOME AND GARDEN! TRY ANY OR ALL VARIATIONS USING WHATEVER SWEETENER YOU PREFER! 

THE ORIGINAL RECIPE ALSO DOES NOT CALL FOR SEA SALT BUT I AM A SUCKER FOR SEA SALT WITH CHOCOLATE SO I TRIED IT AND THOUGHT IT WAS DELICIOUS. FEEL FREE TO LEAVE IT OUT!

I ALSO REALIZE THAT TECHNICALLY THESE COOKIES AREN'T COMPLETELY FREE OF REFINED SUGAR DUE TO THE DARK CHOCOLATE CHUNKS. BUT HEY, DARK CHOCOLATE IS GOOD FOR YOU AND YOU DO NOT NEED TO USE VERY MUCH! AT THE LOCAL GROCERY STORE I FOUND A MINI GREEN AND BLACKS ORGANIC DARK CHOCOLATE BAR THAT WAS THE PERFECT SIZE- ONLY 1.2 OZ! THE COCOA POWDER I USED WAS UNFORTUNATELY NOT ORGANIC BECAUSE GOSH DARN IT, I COULDN'T FIND ANY ORGANIC DARK COCOA POWDER ANYWHERE, NOT EVEN AT THE LOCAL HEALTH FOOD STORE! I JUST ORDERED SOME FROM AMAZON (HOW DID I LIVE BEFORE AMAZON PRIME!?) AND I'M WAITING TO MAKE MORE OF THESE DELICIOUS COOKIES USING THE ORGANIC COCOA POWDER (JUST FOR MY SISTER WHO ONLY EATS ORGANIC, HAHA). THE HERSHEY'S SPECIAL DARK WORKS JUST AS WELL IN A PINCH! 


INGREDIENTS

1 AVOCADO (VERY RIPE BUT NOT BROWN)
1 BANANA
2 TBLSP HONEY
1 EGG
1/2 CUP DARK COCOA POWDER
1.2 OZ ORGANIC DARK CHOCOLATE (YOU CAN ADD EVEN MORE THAN THIS BUT I AM TRYING TO LIMIT MY SUGAR INTAKE) SEE NOTES BELOW.
1/2 TSP BAKING SODA
1 TSP COARSE SEA SALT (OPTIONAL)

INSTRUCTIONS

1. PREHEAT OVEN TO 350°

2. GET OUT YOUR TRUSTY FOOD PROCESSOR (I LOVE MY NINJA!) IF YOU DO NOT HAVE A FOOD PROCESSOR, YOU CAN ALSO USE A HAND MIXER. ADD THE AVOCADO AND BANANA AND PULSE TILL SMOOTH. ADD IN THE EGG AND REPEAT.
3. ADD THE COCOA POWDER AND THE BAKING SODA AND 1/2 TSP SALT. RESERVE THE OTHER 1/2 TSP SALT FOR LATER.
4. BREAK UP YOUR CHOCOLATE BAR INTO CHUNKS OR JUST USE CHOCOLATE CHIPS AND STIR THEM IN.
5. PLACE  DOLLOPS OF COOKIE BATTER (ABOUT 2 TBLSP WORTH) ONTO A COOKIE SHEET THAT IS LINED WITH PARCHMENT PAPER. YOU WILL NEED TO FLATTEN THE COOKIE A LITTLE MORE INSTEAD OF ROLLING INTO BALLS BECAUSE THESE COOKIES DO NOT REALLY SPREAD DURING BAKING.
6. BAKE FOR 8-10 MINUTES OR UNTIL THE SIDES OF THE COOKIES DO NOT STICK TO THE PARCHMENT AS MUCH AS THEY DID BEFORE BAKING.
7. COOL DOWN. COOL WAY DOWN! IT WILL BE VERY HARD TO GET THESE OFF THE PARCHMENT PAPER UNTIL THEY ARE COOLED OFF. WHILE THEY ARE COOLING SNEAK ONE INTO YOUR MOUTH BECAUSE THEY TASTE SUPER YUMMY RIGHT OUT OF THE OVEN TOO! (JUST A LOT MESSIER)
8. SPRINKLE THE REMAINING SEA SALT A LITTLE BIT ON TOP OF EACH COOKIE.
9. STORE IN AIRTIGHT CONTAINER IN THE FRIDGE. ENJOY!

I AM THINKING OF TRYING THESE WITH CRUSHED UP ALMONDS INSIDE OF THEM SOMETIME TOO! AGAIN, MORE CALORIES BUT THE GOOD KIND OF CALORIES! =) I HOPE YOU ENJOY THESE SUPER EASY AND HEALTHY DELICIOUS GOODNESS!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Healthy PB & J Cookies


RYAN AND I ARE ON A BET TO SEE WHO CAN LOSE MORE WEIGHT FIRST. WHOEVER WINS GETS A CHUNK OF THE OTHER PERSON'S ALLOWANCE! THOSE OF YOU WHO KNOW ME, KNOW THAT I AM VERY MOTIVATED BY MONEY! SO ONCE I DECIDED TO NOT DO THE JUICE FAST LAST WEEK (IT WAS DISGUSTING + I'M A WIMP) I DECIDED TO GO BACK TO NOT EATING SUGAR OR ANY STARCHY CARBS (BESIDES OATS) WHICH IS WHAT I DID WHEN I LOST A LOT OF WEIGHT LAST YEAR. RYAN ALSO DECIDED TO CUT OUT A LOT OF SWEETS AND JUNK FOOD TOO. I HAVE TO SAY FOR THE FIRST TIME IN THE 3.5 YEARS OF OUR MARRIAGE WE HAVEN'T HAD ICE CREAM IN OUR FREEZER FOR OVER 2 WEEKS. (I DEFINITELY FEEL LIKE WE SHOULD GET AN AWARD FOR THAT!) SO BECAUSE I AM SO PROUD OF MY HUSBAND FOR GIVING UP SWEETS (FOR THE MOST PART) I DECIDED TO MAKE HIM SOME HEALTHY PB + J COOKIES. RYAN LOOOOOVES PB + J AND WHEN I SAW THIS RECIPE ON SKINNYTASTE, I KNEW IT WAS PERFECT. THERE IS NO FLOUR OR SUGAR IN THESE COOKIES AND THEY ARE STILL VERY TASTY! 

BELOW IS THE RECIPE WITH ONLY 4 INGREDIENTS! I'VE ADDED LOTS OF PICTURES FOR YOU TO ENJOY. THE JAM THAT I USED IS MADE BY JOHANNA BROWN USING NONE OTHER THAN THE AMAZING BLUEBERRIES FROM THE INGALLS BLUEBERRY HILL FARM! ALSO YOU CAN SEE MY HANDSOME MAN ENJOYING THE COOKIES AT THE VERY END. =)  SO IF YOU ARE IN THE MOOD FOR A QUICK, EASY, AND HEALTHY TREAT- HERE YOU GO! ENJOY!

NOTE: 2 COOKIES = 91 CALORIES. THEY HAVE THESE ALREADY LISTED IN THE MY FITNESS PAL APP! I GOT PRETTY EXCITED WHEN I WENT TO PUT IN MY CALORIES FOR THE DAY. 


HEALTHY PB + J COOKIES:

YIELDS 16 COOKIES

INGREDIENTS:
- 2 MEDIUM RIPE BANANAS, MASHED (THE RIPER- THE SWEETER!)
- 1 CUP UNCOOK QUICK OATS (I USED HALF STEEL CUT QUICK OATS AND HALF REGULAR QUICK OATS)
- 2 TBLSP NATURAL CHUNKY PEANUT BUTTER
- 3 TBLSP JAM OR JELLY OF YOUR CHOICE

DIRECTIONS:
PREHEAT OVEN TO 350°F. EITHER SPRAY A NON-STICK COOKIE SHEET WITH COOKING SPRAY OR LINE IT WITH PARCHMENT PAPER. 
COMBINE THE MASHED BANANAS AND PEANUT BUTTER IN A BOWL. ADD THE OATS AND MIX WELL. DROP THE BATTER BY TABLESPOONS ONTO THE COOKIE SHEET, MAKING AN INDENT WITH YOUR FINGER OR THE BACK OF A MEASURING SPOON. 

BAKE FOR 15 MINUTES OR UNTIL GOLDEN BROWN. REMOVE FROM OVEN AND TOP EACH WITH 1/2 TEASPOON JELLY OR JAM AND ENJOY!