Sunday, June 2, 2013

Peanut Butter and Cacao Nib Quinoa Cookies

There's not all that big a gap between granola bars and healthy cookies, so I've decided to transfer my DIY granola bar efforts to back to healthy cookies. A quick search for healthy cookie recipes reveals myriad sources, but these quinoa cookies immediately stood out to me since I had just purchased a bag of cacao nibs. Cacao nibs are raw, unsweetened chocolate, so if you're looking for a Hershey bar fix, they are not the snack for you. But if you blend them with rich nut butter and coconut, sweet honey, and whole grains, they come out tasting like a peanut butter version of a Mounds bar with a nutritional bonus. They bake low and slow, drying out just slightly to help bind all the ingredients together and end up much like a no-bake cookie. I made a full batch and froze the extras, and although I ate most at room temperature, these cookies are a wonderful warm weather treat when still slightly frozen. A couple of these portable little nuggets are packed with enough whole grains, protein, and healthy fats to fuel you for a few hours on a long hike, but are also the perfect way treat yourself with zero guilt.

Peanut Butter and Cacao Nib Quinoa Cookies
adapted from Shape
makes about 24 cookies

2 c. cooked quinoa, cooled
1/2 c. natural salted peanut or almond butter
1/3 c. raw honey
1 c. rolled oats
1/2 c. dried, unsweetened, shredded coconut
1/2 c. raw cacao nibs

1. Preheat oven to 170 degrees. Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Flatten tablespoons of the mixture onto parchment paper and bake for approximately one hour.

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