Sometimes, you just want a cookie. Comfort me with chocolate, if you want me to keep on keeping on. There are times for rich desserts, surely. But I like to have a little energy cookie on hand that I can nibble before a workout. Those times when you don’t need a full meal, but you need a little something to keep your blood sugar up.
That’s where my easy energy cookies come in. These Chocolatey Crispy Energy Cookies are perfect for tucking in my gym bag, so I can grab one after about an hour of hard cardio. When you are active, you don’t need to eat much, but if you want to keep going, you need some calories.
Rich, chocolatey cookies in my gym bag? They call my name, urging me on.
To make these, I relied on the old baker’s trick of a date puree. Sweet, fiber rich dates, steeped in boiling water, are blended into a smooth paste, and some coconut oil and flax seeds are whipped in. The resulting mixture replaces the sugar, butter and eggs of a conventional cookie.
Dates and Coconut Oil for Fitness
Dates are the preferred base for energy balls, bars and other snacks, because they are full of sweetness, to be sure, but also fiber and nutrients. The sugars are mixed in with slower digesting fiber, so it’s not the same kind of jolt that refined sugar would give you. Then coconut oil, the favorite fat of body builders, boosts metabolism and helps keep you satiated longer. It’s a wonderful fat for baking, because it is a form of saturated fat, which solidifies to a buttery texture once the cookies are cooled. Flax seeds are there to create a gel that helps bind the cookie, as well as deliver essential fatty acids and more fiber.
Energy cookies and other fruit based snacks are easy to make in the Vitamix. Whether you want to make a date puree, or use another fruit, like prunes or even raisins, you can rely on the powerful blender to make a smooth fruit sweetener. Then you can use it in all sorts of baking.
Of course, I threw in some mini-chips to add melty chocolate appeal. You can also chop some unsweetened chocolate if you really want to go sugar free, and experience the bitter side of chocolate.
I’ll be counting on these cookies to power me through my workouts this month. It’s the dark and cold time of year that makes you want to stay in a warm bed and skip the gym. So these cookies are just one of my motivating, energizing tricks to keep myself on track.
And yes, scroll to the bottom of the post and enter to win a Vitamix!
Chocolatey-Crispy Energy Cookies
Makes 18 cookies
1 cup pitted dates
1 cup boiling water
2 tablespoons ground flax
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup cocoa
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup rice crisps
1/4 cup mini-chocolate chips
1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Prepare a baking sheet pan with a light coating of oil or parchment. In the Vitamix Container, pour the boiling water over the dates, let stand for 10 minutes. Drain the water into a cup, then add back 6 tablespoons of the soaking water to the dates. Add the flax, coconut oil and vanilla and process to mix. In a large bowl, mix the cocoa, flour, and baking soda. Stir in the date mixture, and mix. Fold in the rice crispies and chocolate chips. Scoop heaping tablespoons and roll into balls. Place 2 inches apart on the sheet pan and flatten to 1/2 inch thickness.
2. Bake for 6 minutes, then reverse the pan and bake for 6 minutes. Cool on racks.