When my younger cousins are over, they always ravage my kitchen in search of “snacks”. And when I say “snacks”, I’m talking about Chips Ahoy, Oreos, Goldfish, you name it. They say they don’t like coming to my house because we don’t have any “food”.
It actually saddened me that they associate the desirability of “food” with being processed junk, and saw the fruits and vegetables I have in my home as undesirable. I know I am going to offend some people in what I am saying, but this is my honest opinion. In my belief, what we put into our bodies should only be what nourishes and vitalizes it. I want the best for myself, so that I can live out of my body in the most lively, healthy and vibrant of ways. What I aim to do with my little cousins is educate them in this perspective. Processed products now a days are made with GMOs, chemicals and unpronounceable ingredients that honestly freak me out. I mean, did you hear about the Subway? Their breads were found to contain a chemical that was also present in shoes and yoga mats. Who in the heck would want to eat parts of a yoga mat or shoe? Maybe a dog I guess, but not me!
I know that their parents have different views, and I do not in any way forcibly teach these children new ways of life, but I simply introduce them to the possibility of change, the importance of health and the existence of a different perspective. I want to educate them on health and wellness through delicious plant-based foods that they had previously viewed with fear. A lot of kids hold one-sided minds towards a lot of things simply because it is all they have been exposed to in their lives so far, so I feel it is only right to broaden their minds and allow them something to make their own decisions on, even if still young.
This is how this recipe came about. I decided to bake chocolate chip cookies for my cousins with a plant based twist. They screeched with fear when the saw that I had a bowl of beans out with the rest of the ingredients, but I asked them to think of this as an experiment, and they were the mad scientists hoping to make a masterpiece. They helped me as though it was a game, which allowed within them more willingness to try the product at the end. And let me tell you, there weren’t any leftovers on my counter last night. I also should note that these are gluten-free, refined-sugar free, butter-free and egg-free!
Are any of my readers filipino, or tried the filipino dessert “hopia” ? My aunt and I came to the conclusion that these remind us of hopia, being that both contain beans.
Try these cookies out, seriously, give them a try. Challenge your opinion on plant based foods! You may love these, you may hate these, but you won’t know until you try them (but really, you’ll love these, I know it).
- 2 tbsp chia seed meal + 6 tbsp water
- ¼ cup organic coconut oil (I suggest Better Body Foods)
- 4 medjool dates, pitted
- ½ cup organic coconut sugar
- ½ cup white beans
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp aluminum-free baking soda
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ⅛ tsp cinnamon
- A pinch of salt (if desired)
- ½ cup brown rice flour
- ½ cup buckwheat flour
- ¼ cup coconut flour
- ½ cup vegan chocolate chips
- ½ cup hazelnuts (or nuts of choice)
- Preheat oven to 350F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
- If you do not have chia seed meal, first grind some chia seeds. I would grind 1.5 tbsp to start.
- Mix the chia seed meal with water, and set aside to thicken for at least 15 minutes. As it sits, prepare the rest of your ingredients.
- Place all of the ingredients from the coconut oil to the vanilla extract into a food processor (or high-speed blender). Add in the soaked chia meal, and process until smooth. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the rest of the dry ingredients and stir until uniform. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until combined. I found that this was most easily done with a wooden spoon and then my hands to make sure it is all mixed very well.
- Stir in the chocolate chips and hazelnuts.
- Roll the dough into balls about 1.25" wide, ¾"thick, making sure to squish it down a little flat when placing on the baking sheet. These cookies do not expand, so please keep that in mind when forming the cookies. I made 15 cookies total.
- Bake for 11 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes before serving*.