Thursday, November 6, 2014

Trail Cookies (Sugar-free, Gluten-free, Milk-free, Bad Fat-free)



And they're not gross! They are tasty, even. I promise. My kids have all approved.

In hopes of seizing the forecast sunny (!!) day this weekend, I decided to try out an idea for a healthy but hearty cookie to take along on our excursions.  It doesn't have any weird unnatural sweeteners, bad fats, or ingredients that are hard to find or expensive. My recipe made about 60 cookies and cost about $6 to make. Not bad eh?

I used homemade date paste instead of refined sugar to sweeten them. You can find the tutorial for making your own date paste here on Chocolate and Carrots. These cookies aren't as sweet as a typical oatmeal cookie (more in the realm of a muffin's sweetness), and they are full of delicious texture and moisture.

I'm so excited to pack these up for our hike this weekend! Now we won't be tempted to stuff our pockets with Halloween candy! 



Here's the recipe: 


Trail Cookies
Makes 5 dozen

Ingredients:

1.25 cups date paste (see link above for how to make your own.)
1.5 cups natural unsweetened peanut butter
1/2 cup coconut oil
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
4.5 cups rolled (old-fashioned) oats--gluten free
1 cup dried fruit, chopped to raisin-size (I used cranberries, raisins, and blueberries)
1 cup finely chopped nuts (I used pecans because I love them)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Prepare baking sheets with parchment or silicone baking mats.
2. In a large mixing bowl, beat date paste, peanut butter and coconut oil. Add in eggs and beat well.
3. Beat in vanilla, sea salt, and baking soda.  Mix in remaining ingredients 2 cups at at time.
4. Use a medium cookie scoop to place on cookie sheet 1 inch apart. Press down to flatten slightly. Bake 9-10 minutes. Cool and store in refrigerator or freezer. 

Here's a glimpse of the hike we took these cookies on this weekend.  My only complaint: I should have packed more! We gobbled them up!