For those of you that haven't heard the GREAT news- Dark chocolate is extremely good for you and is something I delight in quite a bit these days :) Not only does dark chocolate enhance a relaxed mood, it also aids in weight loss, appetite suppression, increased focus, better sleep rhythms and the cocoa phenols have been proven to lower blood pressure. Dark chocolate is my go-to when I am craving something sweet and it hits the spot every time.
Nikos mentioned that I haven't made cookies in quite some time so I took the liberty in surprising him (AKA, Nikos the Cookie Monster) with cookies today. Of course, I always have to "healthify" everything, which means it is my ultimate goal to make every single meal healthy, in some form or another, without loosing taste, texture and appearance. This can be quite a challenge at times, but I love a good challenge.
I decided to make two versions of cookies: one version is light and the other ultra-light. The hope is to replace butter with applesauce, sugar with banana, and all-purpose flour with buckwheat flour, while still maintaining some resemblance of a cookie. This makes the bikini cookie a gluten, dairy, and sugar free cookie that is also low-fat and HIGH-fiber. The ultra-healthy cookie has dark chocolate with no added sugar while the light cookie version has a splash of chocolate chips, which do have sugar.
Bikini Season Cookies
3/8 cup applesauce
3/8 cup vegan butter (I used sunflower oil spread)
2 large ripe bananas, mashed
1 tsp almond extract
1.5 cups buckwheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp cloves, ground
1 cup oats
1/2 cup raw walnuts, chopped
1/3 cup raisins
70 g of dark, dark chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup chocolate chips (omit this for ultra-light version)
1. Cream butter, banana and applesauce till fluffy. Then add egg and almond extract.
2. Mix dry ingredients (except for nuts, raisins, chocolate and oats) in a bowl and add to wet mixture.
3. Fold in nuts, raisins, chocolate and oats.
4. Chill in refrigerator for 1-2 hours. If you are on a time constraint 30 minutes will do.
5. Drop small spoonfuls on to wax-paper/greased baking sheet and bake in preheated oven- 190C for 15 minutes.
I was curious to see which cookie Nikos liked more and it turns out he liked the ultra-light version better. I preferred the ultra-light version too, as the dark chocolate, raisins and walnuts added plenty of divinity for me. If you wish to omit the walnuts, raisins and chocolate or switch these ingredients for others (such as cranberries, dried cherries, nuts, seeds, etc) it should still produce a great cookie for you and your figure.