Monday, January 28, 2013

Oatmeal raisin cookies, no baking required

Stripped Down Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
(raw, vegan, dairy free, gluten free)

There’s almost nothing better on a chilly winter night than a warm fire, a good book and a dog sleeping next to you. Enjoying it all with some milk and cookies by your side makes it even better.

I love a good granola or trail mix-like snack and I have also come to enjoy Larabars. The ingredients are simple. They are good for you and the flavor combinations are seemingly sinfully delicious. But, bars can be an expensive indulgence if you add up the price of them over time.

In the past, I’ve tried making my own Larabar combinations out of almonds and walnuts, dried cranberries, shredded coconut, fresh and dried dates and a few other fruits, nuts and flavors I have on hand in the kitchen.

Tonight I didn’t want to get up and bake. A bowl of oatmeal was too heavy to have after dinner and I wanted something quick and easy ­– stripped down oatmeal raisin cookies were the solution. I added everything into the food processor, adjusted the flavors of the spices and enjoyed some of the healthy bites with a glass of almond milk as an evening snack.

The spicy, sweet and slightly salty flavor combinations of these raw cookies pair well with the winter season. They also make a great breakfast food on the run or a pre or post-workout snack.

The mixture of rolled oats, almonds, coconut and raisins can be shaped into balls, flattened into cookies or pressed into the shape of bars. I took half of the “dough” mixture and pressed it into a wax paper lined baking pan. The mixture can be stored in the fridge and cut into bars or squares. It firms up after a few hours in the fridge.

The other half got turned into raw cookies. I took the mix out of the food processor and coated the balls with more rolled oats and raisins and then shaped them into cookies. An almond pressed into the center of each cookie makes a nice accent.

These can even be considered gluten free with the ingredients listed below. To be sure, you can use certified gluten free oats or an alternative like spelt flakes.

The ingredients are also easily interchangeable. Try adding in fresh or dried dates, dried cranberries or other goodies like a tablespoon of peanut butter or cacao nibs.

I split this recipe in half to make about 4 bars similar to the size of a Larabar and 4 medium-sized cookies.


Stripped Down Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

• 10 tablespoons rolled oats (plus more for rolling if you shape them into cookies)
• 1/2  cup almonds, or 1/2 cup nuts of your choice (plus more to press into the center of each cookie)
• 1/2 cup to 2/3 cup raisins
• 4 to 5 tablespoons unsweetened coconut flakes (I used Let’s Do Organic unsweetened flakes. They taste great.)
• 1 tablespoon brown sugar, or sweetener of choice like agave nectar or maple syrup
• 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
• 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
• 1/4 teaspoon ginger
• 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
• 1/2 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
• a dash of pumpkin pie spice (optional)
• approximately 2 tablespoons of water

- Place the oats, spices, coconut flakes, brown sugar, and salt into the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth. Don’t let the oats get too powdery though.

- Give the mixture a quick taste test to see if you need to add more spices, sweetener or salt.

- Add in the almonds, vanilla extract and raisins and process everything again. Next, add in the water one tablespoon at a time until the mixture just starts to stick together. The dough can get pretty sticky.

- Take your “dough” mixture out of the food processor and roll into balls or shape them into bars in a baking pan lined with wax paper.

- If  you want to make them into cookies, roll the dough in more rolled oats and raisins and then flatten them into rounded cookies. Press an almond in the middle of each cookie. Enjoy, preferably with a tall glass of almond milk.

- Store any additional dough, cookies or bars in the fridge in an airtight container. They can also be placed in the freezer.

No baking required!

No comments:

Post a Comment