Along with a bunch of other fabulous gluten-free bloggers, today I am kicking off a fun event we came up with to honor one of the most important organs in your body, the heart. What better time to celebrate than during this month of love!
Being preggers has turned me into somewhat of a cookie monster. After all, celebrations call for cookies and every day you feel that little miracle kicking within is a reason to celebrate, right? That’s what I keep telling myself. But this week I made cookies for another kind of celebration. Today, I’m kicking off a week of Gluten-Free and Heart Healthy recipes in honor of American Heart Month. Unfortunately, 715,000 Americans have a heart attack each year and 600,000 die from heart disease*. To raise awareness and encourage good choices, we are offering up delicious gluten-free recipe packed with heart-healthy ingredients. So, read on and take to heart that you can have your cookies and eat them too! * Source: http://www.cdc.gov/features/heartmonth/
Thank you Lexie for the beautiful badge!
Starring in these cookies is one of my favorite heart-healthy foods, the chia seed. Chia seeds are actually an ancient food making a comeback, and while some might deem them “trendy”, my not-so-humble opinion is that when even more folks start eating them, chia seeds will again become a staple in our diets. Hey, I hope so anyway. Chia seeds a jam-packed with essential omega-3 fatty acid, even moreso than other plant-based sources. We’ve probably all heard the buzz that omega-3’s contribute to reducing cholesterol and preventing heart disease, which is why I chose to feature the mighty chia seed in this recipe.
What else is there to love? These chewy little cookies have plenty of heart-protective, fiber-rich oats and they are held together with peanut butter. Natural peanut butter (read: the kind that only contains peanuts) contains high amounts of oleic acid, a type of fat known to increase your good cholesterol and lower the bad kind, and it’s another great source of fiber as well.
Now I’m not going to try to convince you that the only reason to eat a cookie is for your health, so I’ll also throw in that these ones are so easy that you won’t even need an oven, they’re the perfect sweetness for either breakfast or dessert, and studded with mini chocolate chips so you’re sure to get some of the good stuff in every bite. I hope that convinces you to try them out on your sweetie!
No-Bake Peanut Butter Chia Chocolate Chip Cookies
Yield: 18-20, depending on size
Chewy, no-bake peanut butter chocolate chip cookies made with healthy chia seeds and oats.
1 1/2 cups gluten-free plain oats
10 tablespoons ground chia seeds*
1/3 cup miniature chocolate chips
1/2 cup creamy, all natural peanut butter
1/2 cup honey
1/3 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1/4 cup peanut flour, such as PB2 (protein powder or cocoa powder would probably work too)
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, mix together oats, ground chia seeds, and chocolate chips.
In a small food processor, blend together the peanut butter, honey, almond milk and peanut flour until smooth. Pour the mixture over the dry ingredients in the bowl and mix well with a spoon or spatula.
Using a medium cookie scoop, drop balls of the cookie dough onto the parchment. Moisten fingertips and press down lightly on cookies. Refrigerate for several hours, then transfer to an air-tight container and keep refrigerated.
Cara Lyons, www.carascravings.com
*Grinding your chia seeds ensures that your body can absorb even more of the omega-3’s, fiber and antioxidants contained in these powerful little seeds. However, my favorite brand of chia seeds comes pre-ground, and contains even more nutrients than others on the markets. If you’d like to learn more, please visit my Mila page!
This recipe is shared with Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays, February 12th edition.