Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Protein Monster Cookies (vegan)

It could be easy to overload on carbs and sugars even while focusing on eating a gluten-free diet. I think you may know what I mean...eating pounds of rice, corn, potatoes, and processed gluten-free products. It is part of the challenge when switching over to a gluten-free diet, or even more with combination of dairy-free or vegan. Your main challenge will be learning how to get more protein into your diet, without packing in meat and dairy. Protein is not just found in meat, yes, I know surprising for the over-fed-meat American diet. You can gain perfect proteins from whole grains, a plate of colorful vegetables and nuts, seeds and legumes. Really. You can. It may take some time to allow your body to adjust to more plant protein instead of mostly dairy and meat, but you can get the same combo of essential amino acid from a combo of rice and beans and you can from a slice of meat.

Protein is essential to the diet because it is the body's principle source of enzymes and hormones and is needed to maintain and build muscles, bones, hair and teeth. The reason why trying to gain more of your protein from plants is that you are also gaining the ability to digest better. Trying to go through a healing process while eating loads of meat and dairy will definitely slow down digestion and may make it a lot harder to feel energy and healing. I have gained a lot of this knowledge through personal experience and great authors and mentors as John Douillard, Mark Hyman, and also my local natural doctor Adrian Den Boer.

Personally, I know I feel my best when I get a balanced amount of protein daily. Add seeds and nuts to as many dishes as possible, and always eat whole grains. Also, add beans and hormone-free meat when possible, but not every meal or even everyday. Those are just some of the ideas I keep in mind when trying to add balance and variety in my protein intake. And I take this to heart now more than ever, considering my body is working overload with growing and building the baby inside of me.

But what's this about protein cookies...

These cookies are made with all protein rich ingredients and full of healthy fats, amino acids, and nutrients. So, eating a cookie like this will not only make you feel like you are cheating the system, but you will feel full, nourished and loved. I promise. It's not like you are eating a flavorless health cookie either. It is full of everything! Coconut flour is one of the binding ingredients, and I just love the flavor that comes from it, but also there is 5 grams of fiber, and 2 grams of protein in just 2 TB! Amazing. So, if you are going to indulge, this cookie is just as much as a protein boosted snack as it is a pleasure to eat. So, now to the recipe...

Protein Monster Cookies Recipe
dry ingredients:
3/4 cup of almond meal (grind whole raw almonds in a coffee grinder or high powered blender)
1/2 cup of gluten-free oats (I use Bob's Red Mill's)
1 cup of sucanat (unrefined cane juice) coconut palm sugar or beet sugar works too
1/2 ts. of baking soda
1/2 ts. of sea salt
1 ts. of baking powder

wet ingredients:
3/4 cup of almond milk (or other non-dairy milk)
1 TB of ground flax meal (or chia seed meal)
1/4 cup of raw agave nectar or raw honey

other ingredients:
1/4 cup of light olive oil or coconut oil
1/3 cup of organic peanut butter
1/2 cup of raisins
1/2 cup of chopped walnuts
1/2 cup of dairy-free dark chocolate chips

Mix the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl, and then mix the wet ingredients in a separate bowl together with a wisk (without the oil). Then mix the wet and dry together and combine the oil and peanut butter. Mix well and then finally add the extra ingredients of the walnuts, raisins, and chocolate. Use a spatula to fold it all together well and then use your hands to roll a hand-filled-sized ball and flatten it with your hands before putting on a parchment papered baking sheet. The cookies will not spread or rise much so you can flatten them before baking to create the size and shape you want. This recipe will make 18-24 cookies depending on how large you make them. Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes. Bake a few minutes longer if you like crispier cookies. Enjoy!
Most of all, remember that eating healthy doesn't mean you have to eat cardboard whole grains and boring cookies and treats. True whole grains have lots of flavor and texture, so don't be fooled, love. Try some new foods this week, perhaps coconut flour or raw almonds. I am so thankful for nutrient dense foods to make cookies with... Perfect protein little cookies that I fall in love with time and time again. So pour a glass of non-dairy milk of your fancy, and settle in for a lovely snack.

Much love to you, friends!


  1. These look absolutely wonderful, Stephanie. I have discovered as I've had a slow healing process that my body responds better when I cut back my meat intake - so I've been eating more high-protein plant products. Quinoa for breakfast is great, and I love nuts, seeds, and even fish is easier on my tummy. And these cookies. I definitely think I can fit these in!

  2. I want to eat these. Like, now! Seriously, your recipes are inspiring me to get back into from-scratch baking, which I've shied away from ever since the wheat intolerance diagnosis. Thank you!

  3. Hey Stephanie

    I just had to re-read your headnote: You're expecting!!! YAY - congratulations. That is so exciting:)

    Ok - tomorrow I am baking banana bread AND these cookies. Absolutely wonderful looking and so nutritious for a cookie.

    I can feel when I haven't had enough protein. For sure. I think I went 15 years without meat until very recently. (I have such a limited diet as I am nursing my daughter) I had to make the choice to add some protein back in. I feel ok - but I feel much lighter when I've eaten fish. (Boy, I sure miss beans tho).

    Thanks for such a yummy looking recipe.

    Have a wonderful weekend

  4. Hey Stephanie, You're getting adopted again! Must be all those awesome photos tempting everyone into their kitchen!

  5. These cookies are amazing! I have shared the recipe with at least a dozen "converts"! They are great for lunchbox treats. Thanks for such a great recipe.

  6. Just made these cookies today and they are WONDERFUL. Made a few changes based on what I had and our preferences/food issues. Basically I used almond butter instead of peanut butter, dried cranberries instead of raisins, and salted mixed nuts. We all loved these. I packed them up for lunchboxes!

  7. These are my favorite breakfast cookies, by far. They have a nice, light texture but chewy & filling. And they actually taste like cookies, unlike so many recipes I've tried. With a few tweaks (shredded coconut!), they are brilliant with my morning coffee. Thank you!

  8. Sherart- Thanks for the comments. You reminded me how wonderful these cookies are, and I think I should make them again :) Thanks for commenting.

  9. Wow! I have been looking for ways to get more protein in my children's diet and these are perfect. Who wouldn't love cookies? Also, these are great for lunchboxes! It is scary, because the recipe requires so many ingredients, but I have pretty much all of those..mommy staples, I guess. :)

  10. Anon- you can sub some of the nut type ingredients for ones you have on hand too...hope it isn't too difficult. Much love!

  11. I just made these and they are fabulous! I was diagnosed with Crohn's disease about 2 months ago, and have been on the lookout for a belly-friendly recipe like this! I will be making these again, very soon. Thank you Stephanie!

  12. Sara- So glad they turned out for you! Glad to hear you found some recipes to help you on this post-crohn's journey! Much love and light to you friend!

  13. These look a lot healthier than the gluten free dairy free recipe we are currently using, but I think my boys will still love them!

  14. These look really great and I want to try them. I can't have flax (or chia) so could I just omit it, or replace with an egg? In any case, would an egg make the cookies more moist and chewy (not that these don't look moist and chewy - it's just that's been my experience with egg-free recipes, particularly if they don't have flax in them)? Thanks for the recipe!

  15. Yes- you could definitely sub the flax/chia for an egg. I just chose to skip the egg and go with flax. But for those who can't do seed but can do eggs, that is a great option. Thanks for the question and hope they turn out moist and chewy!!! Much love!

  16. My son loved these cookies today! I used soy nut butter and macadamia nuts and they turned out so good. Easy to make for lunches. Thanks!

  17. hi what can i substitute coconut oil with ? :)

  18. As much as I would like to use coconut flour, I can't always afford it and I am eliminating coconut from my diet thinking it may be causing me some issues. Can I substitute with brown rice flour?

  19. MamaB- Coconut Flour is very fiberous and has more protein that is why I used it in this recipe, so iti s hard to sub out with a regular GF grain I would use a garbanzo bean flour first try and then I may try to use some rice flour... so it would be an experiment... if you try it out and it works, let me know! Much love!

  20. Love your website and these cookies are awesome for a quick on the go breakfast! Can't believe they are vegan, and the fact they aren't filled with the standard gluten free flours (starch!) is an added bonus. Thanks so much! Michelle

  21. I've made these cookies before and they are a delightful treat for my food sensitivity filled family! Thank you for the recipe! I pulled the recipe out again to make them today and remembered, just FYI, that when I pull up the "printer friendly" version of this recipe it drops the coconut flour out of the list of ingredients for some reason. The first time I made them I missed adding it with the dry ingredients and almost ended up with a gooey mess until I went back to the blog to look for my mistake. Luckily adding the coconut flour in at almost the end still worked deliciously!

  22. I've made these cookies before and they are a delightful treat for my food sensitivity filled family! Thank you for the great recipe! I pulled the recipe out again to make them today and remembered, just FYI, that when I pull up the "printer friendly" version of this recipe it drops the coconut flour out of the list of ingredients for some reason. The first time I made them I almost ended up with a gooey mess until I went back to your blog to look for my mistake. Luckily I was able to add the coconut flour in at almost the end and they still ended up delicious!


  24. So good, and I love that they are satisfying, it's a cookie you eat slowly ad enjoy all the indgredients and flavors, I subbed maple syrup for the agave/ honey, they came out perfectly! thank you,

  25. These are awesome! But I must have done something wrong - I could not find coconut flour, so I used garbanzo bean flour and a little soy flour. The taste was great, but the cookies flattened and spread out in a big gooey pool. The dough was way to wet to handle, so I used a cookie scoop. After the first batch, I added more flour and a little more sugar - just until I could handle the dough.

    I can see doing so many things with this! other dried fruits, carob, maybe a little white chocolate =)


  26. These are delicious and I have made them twice. For some reason they fall apart when handled. Any idea why?