Saturday, 26 May 2018

Arthritis Friendly Recipe: Healthy Cookie Dough Bites

I say healthy cookie dough bites but I think I should probably be honest and admit that they are 'healthier' rather than downright healthy! I hate it when recipes for claim to be more than they are - at the end of the day this is still a sweet treat and still high in sugar but it's a darn sight more nutritious than a spoonful of traditional cookie dough and everything in moderation, right?

There are lots of recipes on the internet for so-called 'healthy' cookie dough bites but most contain a lot of fat (usually from peanut butter) or coconut oil. Peanut butter is great in moderation but there are better, less inflammatory fats for arthritis out there. Equally, I'm not yet sold on the health benefits of coconut oil, I prefer rapeseed (canola) oil for cooking. So, I've used cashew nuts here and not so many as to make the bites a calorie-bomb. I've also added soy protein powder to make them a more sustaining snack. Feel free to substitute whey protein or use all oats instead (which is what I do when I am happy to share these with the kids) . Finally, I sometimes add inulin powder to these to increase the fibre content of the bites and act as a prebiotic. Totally optional but fun if you like tinkering with random ingredients like a mad (food) scientist.

Ingredients:
150g dates
30g cashews
30g soy protein powder (see notes above)
50g oats
1 tsp vanilla extract
25g 85% cocoa dark chocolate - finely chopped


Makes 9 bites

Soak the dates and cashews in cool water for one hour before making the bites. Drain them really well and then blend until smooth with the vanilla extract (I used a hand blender as I hate cleaning the food processor...).

Stir the oats, protein powder and dark chocolate. If the mix is too wet add a more oats and if it is too dry add a tiny bit of water.

Take walnut sized blobs of the mixture and roll into balls. You can eat them immediately or keep them in a cool place for up to three days. I stash some in the freezer so I can grab one whenever I fancy it for my handbag.

NB: these are gluten and dairy free if you use gluten free oats and dairy free chocolate (which almost all 85% cocoa chocolate is). Do check protein powder packets carefully if you have an allergy or intolerance as some have added ingredients that may not be suitable for your diet. If you need to make these nut-free, sunflower seeds are a good substitute for the cashews.

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