Chewy Oatmeal Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies (refined sugar free)

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It’s snowing!!! This is the first decent sized snow Boston has gotten and it’s so pretty. I always love how streets look so tucked in after it snows. And everything feels so calm and quiet. So it’s inspired us to hunker down and bake some cookies right after breakfast. Actually we’ll probably go outside and walk around in it for a while, but for now, it’s cookie time. Update – we did go outside, in our pajamas no less!

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So as you know we’re not eating refined sugar for this month. And it’s going well so far! It’s been interesting. We’re finding new foods we like that are sweetened with unrefined sugar and realizing that some foods, especially bread, have a lot of strange ingredients in them and so we are finding new brands that we love that are more natural. We shared more brands and products that we’ve been into in our last post so you guys can see some of the options out there. For now we’re still learning, but we feel like we’re on a good track.

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Cutting out refined sugar doesn’t mean that we can’t still have our sweet fix every once in a while. Neither of us are nutritionists, but we believe eating a healthy dessert is okay, so we are still using unrefined sugars in baking so we can get that sweet fix. We are modifying recipes and finding new recipes in order to stick with this.IMG_9472

Of course it’s especially hard to live without a chocolate chip cookie. Ok, the chocolate chips are something we’re still figuring out. If anyone knows where we can buy better chocolate chips, let us know (otherwise we may have to try making some)! But for now we’re just using dark chocolate or not using chocolate at all. For this recipe we used dark chocolate chips, but you could use whatever you want! This recipe couldn’t be easier. Plus it only uses one bowl, which means easy clean up!IMG_9422

Prep time: 5 minutes; Cook time: 8-9 minutes; Yield: about 18-20 cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup of partially melted coconut oil (you want it to be not completely liquid but no huge solid chunks)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup agave (or maple syrup)
  • 1/3 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  •  a pinch of salt
  • 1/2 to 2/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 cup old fashioned rolled oats (not quick oats)
  • 1 cup whole wheat white flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

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Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together coconut oil, egg, vanilla extract, and agave.
  3. Add in coconut sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Stir to combine.
  4. Stir in shredded coconut, oats, flour, and baking soda.
  5. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  6. Spoon out dough onto lined baking sheet. We made about 18-20 cookies using about a tablespoon and a half of dough per cookie. These cookies do spread out, so leave at least a little room between them!**
  7. Bake for 8-9 minutes. The cookies will brown around the edges but still seem soft in the middle. If you leave them in the oven for too long the edges will start to burn and the cookies won’t be chewy. Let cool for 5 minutes. Enjoy!

**This dough can be refrigerated by covering the dough balls with plastic wrap for a few days (I wouldn’t leave it for more than 3 days).

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**Also, if you want to make fewer large cookies, just leave them for the oven for a few more minutes. If you want about 15 cookies, I would leave them in the oven for about 9-10 minutes.

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Update on cutting out processed sugar

Hello!

For New Years we decided to cut out any processed sugar from our diets. It has been about two weeks so we wanted to give everyone an update on how we are doing and some go to snacks and treats we have been enjoying. To begin with, we are healthy eaters in general and try and make good decisions in terms of what food we buy and what sweets we allow ourselves to eat. But, after doing some research and a few trips to the grocery store, we were both shocked by what we would normally deem healthy, actually have a lot of sugar.

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The item we were most shocked by was Greek yogurt. We occasionally have this for breakfast or as a mid-afternoon snack. But we hadn’t actually realized how much sugar is hiding in most Greek yogurts, mainly the flavored ones. They can have more sugar than a bowl of ice cream. We used to eat these for breakfast, which is to say we were basically going over our sugar limit first thing in the morning. Here is a website that we looked at that gave us better insight into what is in Greek yogurt and which brands/types are better for you. Instead of buying flavored Greek yogurt we now stick to plain and add fruit or a dash of honey to sweeten it naturally.

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Another food that we swapped with a healthier alternative is cereal. We switched to granola or muesli. Cereal again has a lot of sugar, but is worse at hiding it, as it was usually the second ingredient listed on the cereals we like (even the ones that claim to be healthier). We have been trying to buy granola that doesn’t have too many ingredients and is sweetened with agave, maple syrup, or honey. These are the ones we are currently enjoying.

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Lunch and dinner haven’t been much of a problem for us as we typically cook our own meals and use whole and natural ingredients. The one thing we switched was what bread we were buying to make sandwiches since some brands do contain processed sugar. We try and look for bread that is made with 100% whole wheat and that doesn’t contain any processed sugar (high fructose corn syrup, sugar). We’ve been eating the Ezekiel sprouted grain bread and have been enjoying the more natural taste it has. Here is another website that was helpful when choosing which bread to buy.

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The hardest part of this challenge was our love for an after dinner sweet treat. We haven’t exactly cut it out completely, but we have had fun in the kitchen experimenting with adding unrefined sugar (agave, maple syrup, honey, coconut sugar) to different cookie recipes. At the beginning of the new year, we gathered up any cookies, chocolate, and crackers that had a lot of sugar or used processed sugar and put them away in the closet. We haven’t dipped into the bag yet, and by making our own treats we have been able to satisfy out sweet tooth without breaking our resolution. It’s surprising that after doing this for a while, we’ve really stopped craving some of the processed snacks we used to enjoy.

IMG_4728You can check out my Pinterest board Sweets and Treats for some recipe ideas (not all of them use unrefined sugar so just be wary! We’ve been trying to sub in unrefined sugar) Our favorite has been these peanut butter and coconut cookies from My Happy Place.

Check back as the month goes on for more updates and possibly some recipes using unrefined sugar. We encourage you all to try out some recipes subbing out processed sugar for unprocessed, and to look carefully at the ingredient lists on your favorite foods– you never know what you might find. These past few weeks have really made us more critical in what we buy and snack on. We will continue to update you as we learn more!

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