Immune Boosting Chocolate Chip Cookies

Makes 12–14 cookies

Help give Santa’s immune system a little boost with his chimney treats tonight! Given my kids total obsession with chocolate chip cookies, I wanted to make a healthier version that I felt actively good about giving them, rather than doing it begrudgingly so. These vegan, gluten-free cookies are only sweetened with dates. But instead of focusing what’s NOT in them, as is so often done these days; let’s talk for a second about all of the goodness that IS actually in them! They have the perfect combination of complex carbs from the oats and quinoa flour, healthy fats and anti-inflammatory Omega 3’s from the walnuts and crazy high amounts of immune-boosting Vitamin A from sweet potatoes.

The very first time I made a version of these, I was so excited, I did a victory skip around my kitchen whilst eating one! And not just because they were the most deliciously gooey chocolate chip cookies that I have ever made, but because the macros were so darn good! Each cookie provides 170 calories, 5g of plant-based protein, 4g of fibre and an enormous 56% of my daily Vitamin A requirement.

And if you want to up the deliciousness factor even more, then add a Tahini Salted Caramel drizzle once the cookies have cooled….it lasts for ages and once you’ve made it, you will find an excuse to put it on anything and everything — caramel carrots anyone?? Errrr, perhaps not!

INGREDIENTS

· 275g Mashed Sweet Potato

· 140g Dates (quick soaked for ½ an hour in boiling water)

· 60g Walnuts (20g to crush and 40g to make into Walnut Meal)

· 150g Mixed Nut Butter

· 25g Quinoa Flour (or any Gluten-free flour)

· 20g Gluten-Free Oats

· 30g Dark Chocolate Chips

· 1 tsp Vanilla Extract

· 1 Banana (the riper the better!)

· 1 tsp Baking Powder

· 1 tsp Baking Soda

· Pinch of Salt

· Optional — 20g Collagen Powder

For the Caramel Drizzle

· 2 Tbsp Tahini

· 2 Tbsp Maple Syrup

· 1 tsp Vanilla

· 1½ Tbsp Coconut Oil

· Pinch of Salt

METHOD

· Preheat oven to 180°C.

· Line 2 baking trays with non-stick parchment paper.

· Dice and steam the sweet potatoes for 10 mins or until tender. (TIP — No need to peel — the skins have a ton of fibre in. I used 1½ sweet pots but it obviously depends on their size.)

· Take 40g of walnuts and blitz them in the food processor to make walnut meal. NOTE — Any pre-prepared nut meal would work well here, I just didn’t have any to hand!

· Roughly chop the remaining 20g of walnuts to keep a bit of texture to the cookies.

· Set both aside.

· Put the steamed sweet potato, banana, soaked dates, vanilla extract and nut butter into a food processor and blitz until smooth.

· In a large bowl combine all of the remaining ingredients (quinoa flour, oats, walnut meal, chopped walnuts, baking soda, baking powder, collagen powder if using, chocolate chips and salt).

· Add the sweet potato mixture into the large bowl and mix well.

· Spoon the batter onto the parchment lined baking tray and flatten slightly.

· Bake for 10 minutes, remove from the oven, press down gently with a fork, sprinkle with some sea salt and return to oven for a further 10 minutes.

· Remove from the oven and leave them to cool and harden slightly for about 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.

· NOTE — I like mine crispy on the edges, but soft and gooey in the middle. Adjust cooking times according to how soft you like your cookies but remember that they will firm up more as they cool.

· For the Caramel drizzle — put all of the ingredients into a small saucepan and heat on a low heat for 5 minutes or until melted.

· Whisk together to fully combine. Drizzle on top of the cookies and store the leftovers in an airtight glass jar if they are going to eaten in the next day or so; or else freeze without the drizzle.

Macros

Calories — 170

Fat — 9g

Carbohydrates — 19g

Protein — 4g

Fibre — 3g

Vitamin A — 56%