Apple oatmeal chocolate chunk cookies

These apple oatmeal chocolate chunk cookies are soft, chewy, healthy and tasty. Low in granulated sugar and made with oats, apple sauce and fresh cashew purée, they’re great as a mid-day snack or to boost your energy before going to the gym.

For a decadent, yet nutritious treat, I’ve added dark chocolate (60-70 % cacao) chunks and teff flour to the recipe. However, if you haven’t got any teff flour, you can substitute with spelt, wholewheat pastry or white whole wheat flour.

Below you can see the difference between spelt and teff flour. Teff flour is slightly darker than spelt, although both flours are similar in texture.

Spelt flour (left) and teff flour (right).

My daughter and I discovered teff flour in an Ethiopian restaurant, where we shared an amazing Ethiopian meal platter served on injera — a spongy flatbread traditionally made out of teff flour. For centuries, teff flour has been a main staple in Ethiopia. Made from small grains that look like poppy seeds, the flour is gluten-free and highly nutritious.

Packed with protein, fibre, calcium, iron and other minerals and vitamins, teff flour has a light nutty taste and can be used for making all sorts of wholesome desserts, breads, galettes or pancakes. The only downfall is the price. Teff flour can be pricy, though the cost can vary depending on where you buy it.

In Switzerland, I found the flour in a biological health food store. It can also be found through online retailers. In North America, Bob’s Red Mill Teff Flour is a popular brand.

Next week, I will post a recipe on how to make vegan pancakes with teff flour.

Apple oatmeal chocolate chunk cookies

Ingredients

Makes 30 cookies.

Wet

  • 1/2 cup raw cashews (80 grams)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons (tbsp) light oil such as canola, vegetable or grape seed
  • 1 cup apple sauce, unsweetened
  • 1/2 cup organic sugar cane (granulated)
  • 1 teaspoon (tsp) vanilla
  • 1 tsp cinnamon* (see other options below)

Dry

  • 1 cup white teff flour (or another type of wholesome flour such as spelt, wholewheat pastry or white whole wheat flour)
  • 2 cups small-size rolled oats (no sugar; no salt added)
  • 1/2 teaspoon (tsp) baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup coarsely ground almonds
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 cup (150 grams) dark chocolate (60-70% cacao), chopped in small chunks

* You can substitute the cinnamon with 1 tablespoon of finely grated ginger root or orange peel.

Procedure

Oven 350 °F / 180 °C (standard oven)

Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.

First, you need to soften the cashews. Here are three ways:

Put the raw cashews in a bowl and cover them with water and allow to soften with a lid on overnight -or- for 2 hours in boiled water -or- for 3 minutes on high heat in microwave with a lid on. When done, with a fine mesh sieve, strain the water and rinse the cashews under tap water.

Now you can make some cashew purée with the first three ingredients listed above:

Put the softened cashews in the bowl of your NutriBullet blender and add 1/4 cup of water and 3 tbsps oil. Whizz for 2 to 3 minutes until creamy and velvety. This makes a heaping 1/2 cup cashew purée. Use a small rubber spatula or spoon to take out the purée. It will come out easily given the smooth texture it has.

Cashew purée

In a medium-size bowl, add the cashew purée, apple sauce, sugar cane, vanilla, cinnamon (or ginger/ orange peel). Mix with a fork until well combined and the sugar dissolves. Set this aside.

In a bigger bowl, sift the flour. Add the oats, baking soda, baking powder, ground almonds, salt and dark chocolate chunks. Mix the dry ingredients with a wooden spoon.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon until thoroughly combined.

Gather a tablespoon-size of dough and roll between the palms of your hands to form a ball (an ice cream scoop works well too). Place the dough balls on the sheet leaving 2 inches in between. With a fork dipped in cold water, press on the top of each ball to flatten it and form 1/4-inch (just under 1 cm) thick rounds.

Bake for 10 minutes in preheated oven on middle rack until the bottoms are light golden and the centre top of the cookies is still soft.

Take out and let the cookies settle for two minutes on the hot sheet. Then, with spatula, transfer cookies on a cooling rack. Allow to cool completely. Store cookies in a covered container (I like to keep mine in the fridge). They also freeze well. Enjoy!

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Julie Zimmer

Julie has extensive experience in nursing practice and education in a wide range of fields from intensive/coronary care, to medical-surgical to community and public health. Julie has Bachelor Degrees in Psychology and Nursing, and a Master’s Degree in Community Health Nursing Education. She has taught in faculties of nursing and in various communities in Toronto, Canada and in Geneva, Switzerland, and is a consultant to the International Council of Nurses (ICN). Julie also has years of experience teaching English as a foreign language (EFL) in addition to coordinating an English department in a Swiss private school.

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