Monday, July 30, 2012
0 Recipe #316: Coconut Oatmeal Rum Raisin Cookies
|These cookies are dark brown because they're made with organic, blackstrap molasses instead of refined sugar. :)|
You might've been wondering why a lot of the recipes I've been posting lately are vegan or contain vegan-friendly modifications, including this one. :) Well, that's because I've been writing recipes (and shooting photos) for the upcoming publication, The Vegan Athlete, by Ben Greene and Brett Stewart, which is now listed on Amazon and Barnes & Noble and is currently available for pre-order. :) Still pinching myself because it feels so surreal that our book title is now listed there! We're all super-excited about this book, and of course, have been working very hard on it to make it the best it can be! :-D
Both Ben and Brett are multi-talented -- they are both certified personal trainers and amazing athletes, which only begins to describe everything they are and can do :) -- and have been a lot of fun to work with from the start. You might recognize Brett's name from his popular 7 Weeks to Fitness series (i.e., 7 Weeks to Getting Ripped, 7 Weeks to 300 Sit-ups, 7 Weeks to a Triathlon, and many more titles!). Both Ben and Brett have been featured in various fitness magazines: Ben's been interviewed by Triathlete magazine and the Miami Dade Health Department for their Healthy Stories series, which was made into a book, and he'll also soon be featured in The Huffington Post. Brett's been featured in a multitude of magazines (Men's Health UK, Fitness Magazine, etc.), and most recently, in the August 2012 issues of SELF and Max Muscle magazines. Pretty freakin' cool, eh?! :)
The Vegan Athlete is part of the 7 Weeks to Fitness nutritional and fitness lifestyle series, "The Athlete's Cookbook" (from Ulysses Press). In keeping with the tone of previous 7 Weeks to Fitness books, The Vegan Athlete takes a practical, no-nonsense approach to addressing the fitness and nutritional needs of the vegan athlete. The book not only covers the benefits and specific dietary needs of the vegan athlete lifestyle, but also provides a detailed program that covers everything from how fuel for training and events, tips for scheduling/timing meals and grocery shopping, and even a guide to vegan entertaining, to a 3-step guide on how to go vegan, a nutritionally balanced 4-week meal plan to help maximize athletic performance, and three separate, multi-level training programs that correspond to three different goals (weight loss, strength, and endurance). There's also a maintenance section at the end, as well as a training log and section on stretching, warm-up, and injury prevention. And, oh yeah, my recipes are in that section too. :) The recipes are not only super practical and busy-athlete-friendly, but they can be plugged directly into the 4-week meal plan. How's that for user-friendly?! :) Plus, there's a heck of a lot more to this book too! In future, I'll be sharing more news about this book as well as other titles from this series that I'm part of too. Some of these upcoming titles include 7 Weeks to 10 Lbs. of Muscle, Paleo Fitness, and The Athlete's Cookbook. If you'd like to read more about these titles, you can always check the "books" tab of this site for information and updates.
Many of the recent recipes you see on this blog, including this one, are a preview of some of the recipes that will be featured in The Vegan Athlete. Gee, that provides the perfect segue into a brief culinary and nutritional overview of these cookies. :)
Moist and chewy, and crisp around the edges, these vegan coconut oatmeal rum raisin cookies are loaded with lots of healthy, yummy ingredients. The coconut flour, oil, and flakes lend a wonderful nutty flavor to the cookies and make them extra chewy and delicious, not to mention these ingredients have got some excellent health properties too. To enhance your guilt-free enjoyment, here's just a small sampling of their health benefits:
- Coconut is excellent for athletes, because it provides an immediately usable but sustainable source of energy. Coconut oil contains lauric acid, a medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) that actually helps the body to rapidly burn fat. Since the body cannot readily store MCTs, it must burn them, thus resulting in an increase in fat oxidation and energy expenditure. And when coconut oil is ingested in moderation, that can lead to weight loss.
- Both oats and raisins are rich in antioxidants, and provide many other excellent health properties as well. Raisins are one of the best sources of boron, a mineral that’s essential to bone health, and have been shown to provide protection against osteoporosis. Oats are a decent source of fiber, protein, and carbohydrates, and have very strong anti-inflammatory properties. It also stabilizes blood sugar, lowers cholesterol, protects the heart, boosts the immune system, and lowers the risk of Type-2 diabetes.
- And lastly, organic, unsulphured blackstrap molasses, which is what gives these cookies their distinct dark brown color and rich flavor, is actually good for you, unlike refined sugar. It contains a variety of minerals -- iron, calcium, copper, magnesium, manganese, potassium, selenium, and vitamin B6.
And the kicker?! These yummilicious cookies contain ZERO refined sugar and only healthy, energy-burning fats that help you to lose weight versus packing it onto your rear end. Yep, that's right. You heard me correctly. It's a cookie that not only tastes good but is good for you too. I'm not making this stuff up, people. (Except for the recipe. Lol.) Cookies like this DO exist. :) OK, so now what are you waiting for? ;) Get into that kitchen and start making some of these cookies NOW. Hahaha.
Coconut Oatmeal Rum Raisin Cookies
2 c. extra virgin coconut oil, plus more for buttering cookie sheet (or unsalted butter, at room temperature)
1 c. organic, unsulphured blackstrap molasses
3 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/2 c. rum
2 c. coconut flour
1 tsp. salt
3 tsp. baking powder
3 tsp. baking soda
1 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 1/4 tsp. ground clove
1/4 c. ground cinnamon
3 c. oats
1/2 c. shredded coconut, unsweetened
1/4 c. ground golden flaxseed + 3/4 c. water (or other egg replacement like Ener-G Egg Replacer; if you aren't vegan, just use 4 eggs)
2 c. dark seedless raisins
Directions: Preheat oven to 375°F. Pour ground flaxseed into a small bowl, add water, and stir until well combined. Allow mixture to sit for about 10 minutes, or until it puffs up a bit and forms a gel. Set aside. (This mixture replaces eggs as the binding agent for the cookie dough.) In a large mixing bowl, mix together coconut oil, molasses, vanilla, rum, and flaxseed mixture (or 4 eggs if you're not vegan) until well-combined and smooth. Set aside. Next, mix together all dry ingredients -- minus the oats, raisins, and shredded coconut -- and then gradually incorporate the dry into the wet ingredients and mix well, until combined. By hand, fold in oats, coconut, and raisins until well combined. Drop about 1/4 c. of cookie dough onto an ungreased, parchment-covered cookie sheet. Flatten dough slightly using a fork. Repeat with remaining dough. Bake at 375°F for 12 minutes, or until light golden brown. Cool completely on wire rack. Store in an airtight container (to keep cookies soft and chewy).
Yield: Makes about 3 dozen cookies.