09 January 2012

Banana Cacao Chip Cookies... or Cookie Dough Bites (High Raw & Nut-Free!)

I wanted to make a raw cookie that contains no nuts and isn't too heavy. I have some dehydrated, sprouted buckwheat in the cabinet, but I suspected it would lend too strong of a flavor, so I turned to my favorite go-to ingredient.... coconut.

 I'm not intending to imply that I'm some sort of innovator here.1 Maybe it's just that I can't stay away from coconut. I need to be careful about that, lest I give myself some sort of allergy - OH the horror!! But I digress.

Of course, a coconut-based cookie could be just as heavy as a nut-based cookie, so I made a little tweak. I used banana as the binder, and then went one step further; instead of using regular shredded coconut, I chose a reduced fat shredded coconut from Let's Do... Organic.
LDO reduces the fat using a steam method, so although it's not unpleasantly processed, the coconut is no longer raw.2

The result of using the reduced-fat coconut is a much lighter (and obviously lower-fat) cookie that dehydrates into perfectly crisp outside with a chewy inside -  the perfect cookie consistency, IMHO.
If you prefer a 100% raw cookie, use regular (un-reduced fat) dehydrated, shredded coconut. The cookies will be denser and richer.3

Banana Cacao Chip Cookies
(makes 6-8 cookies)

  • 1 Cup Shredded Coconut
  • 1 (120g)Large Banana (mashed)
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract or seeds from 1/2 Vanilla Pod
  • 1 tsp Coconut Nectar
  • 1/8 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1 Tbsp Cacao Nibs

In a blender (or mini-blender using the grinder attachment), process the coconut flakes into a crumbly paste. It should turn out almost like a coconut flour, but not quite. The goal is to pulverize the little coconut pieces into a fine powder.
If you're using regular coconut, it will turn out more like coconut butter; just try to get the mixture more on the crumbly-paste side.

Once your coconut is processed, add the mashed banana, vanilla, coconut nectar and salt. You can continue to use the blender, or just mash/mix the ingredients together with a fork. Your cookie dough should look like... well... cookie dough.
Stir in the cacao nibs, until they're evenly distributed.

Here is where you get to make a fun decision.4

#1. Roll the cookie dough into 1" balls*. Flatten them into a cookie-shape approx. 1/4" thick. Arrange the cookies on a mesh dehydrator sheet, and dehydrate at 110F for 2-4 hours.  If using regular coconut, increase the dehydrating time until your cookies reach the desired "crispness".

#2. If you don't have access to a dehydrator, or just really like cookie dough, you can roll the dough into little cookie dough bites, chill them in the fridge for 5-10 minutes and scarf down enjoy!

Create a Fabulous Day!

1. Didn't we go through this with the Raw Nut-Free Chili?... Whoa, deja vu.
2. Having been exposed to steam-high temps and all. 
3. I started to write "oilier", but that sounded gross and not quite accurately descriptive. I think it's more apt to say:  a more noticeable fat content.
4. Just like Choose Your Own Adventure books! I used to love those. 

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