The next raw dessert recipe I’m sharing is my personal favorite. It’s one recipe that, if you let it, may change your convictions. I know so many people who think there’s no way healthy food can taste mind-blowingly amazing (and conversely, think anything that tastes good enough to make you pause, close your eyes, and sigh in delight can’t possibly be healthy). Well my friends, this dough is here to prove that healthy and life-alteringly delicious can happily coexist.
I calculated the nutrition stats per serving based on making the recipe with blanched almonds (as my nut of choice), 1 date (instead of brown sugar), and 2 TB skim milk (you may need more or less milk than this to reach the right consistency); here’s what I came up with: 290 calories, 17 g fat (with 0 mg trans fat), 0 mg cholesterol, 64 mg sodium, 32 g carbohydrate (with 18 g sugar), 5 g fiber, and 7 g protein. I think these stats are pretty good for a dessert that tastes as decadent as this! And let’s not forget the source of the fat (heart-healthy almonds and coconut oil), and the source of most of the sugar (dates, which contain vitamins, minerals, and fiber…of course the rest of the sugar comes from the chocolate chips, so be mindful of that when you choose your chocolate). I would absolutely rather get my fats from nuts and my sugar from dates, than from processed and heart-unhealthy foods like butter and sugar, which are both prevalent in regular chocolate chip cookie dough. (Don’t get me wrong — of course there’s a time and a place for full-fat, full-sugar indulgences too! But with healthier versions like this, indulgences can be a more frequent occurrence. ;) )
Next time you’re craving chocolate chip cookies, whip up this dough and tell me if it doesn’t blow your mind…or at least fully satiate your craving. ;)
(Yield: 2 small servings)
4 TB raw, unsalted nuts (I’ve found that any of the following work well: cashews, blanched almonds, or shelled sunflower seeds)
5 TB rolled oats
1 date, pitted and minced (or 1 TB brown sugar or date sugar)
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp coconut oil
Milk (any kind you like, such as cow’s milk, rice milk, soy milk, coconut milk, etc.)
Small handful chocolate chips (about 3 TB)
In a food processor, process nuts until they look like fine, moist crumbs. Add oats and process until oats are very fine; pulse in dates (or brown sugar) and salt. Pulse in vanilla and coconut oil, then while still processing, add a little milk at a time until it forms a ball of dough; stir in chocolate chips. Divide into 2 servings and chill 1-2 hours (so the flavors can blend).
A Note on the Oats: Oats are gluten-free, but if you have gluten sensitivities, you should be sure to purchase oats that are free from possible contamination while processing (such as Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free Oats).
Disclaimer: Even though this raw dough is much healthier than the regular, bakeable cookie dough that inspired it, I’m not saying that it’s a “diet” food. If you’re trying to lose weight, you should of course check with your doctor or nutritionist to see what foods will fit into your eating plan.