Protein Breakfast Cookies with Oats and Chocolate

I'm a big fan of breakfast cookies. They are so fun, and delicious. I love being able to eat a cookie at any time of day or night. I've seen various cookie and bar recipes that incorporate some beans or legumes for a healthy protein boost and have been wanting to try it. I finally did with these cookies. They start out seemingly like a pretty typical oat cookies, but then there's a little surprise; 1/2 cup cooked white beans! It's a nice little way to add some nutrition to your breakfast, but still make it feel like a treat. 

Once these cookies bake up, it really is hard to tell that there are beans mixed in. They do taste a little different than a "normal" cookie, but not at all in a bad way. They are delicious, and are a feel-good way to start the day. Enjoy!

After I made these cookies I had a sneaking suspicion that I may have accidentally doubled the coconut oil... Oh well! I couldn't remember for sure how much I put in but it may have been 1/4 cup instead of the 2 tablespoons I call for. I'm going to have to try them again and find out. What a problem!

 
 

Protein Breakfast Cookies with Oats and Chocolate
Adapted from Foolproof Living
Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 teaspoon chia seeds
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons water
  • 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons (70 grams) old fashioned oats
  • 3/4 cup (60 grams) oat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 can (120 grams) white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons (56 grams) coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons (56 grams) maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons (42 grams) Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips

Directions
Preheat the oven to 350 Degrees. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and set it aside. Mix chia seeds and water in a small bowl and let it sit on the counter for 10-15 minutes.

Meanwhile, process 1 1/2 cups of the rolled oats in a food processor until it turns into flour. Transfer it to a large mixing bowl. Stir in the rest of the rolled oats, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.

Place the white beans and coconut oil into the bowl of the food processor and process until creamy. Add in the chia seeds (with water), maple syrup, orange zest, applesauce, and vanilla extract. Pulse until everything is combined and it is smooth mixture.

Pour the white bean mixture over the rolled oats mixture. Add in the chocolate. Stir to combine. 

Shape the dough into 12 equal balls and place them on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 16-20 minutes, flipping the sheet halfway through the baking process.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

Homemade granola bars. You can never have too many recipes. I'm always trying out new variations, and new renditions. They're all yummy and wonderful to have on hand for (healthy-ish) snacks. This version is a winner because Chocolate!! When I add some nice dried fruit, or delicious nuts or seeds to a granola bar, they're always delicious, but I always want chocolate. Always.  :) 

This bar is a version of my cranberry walnut granola bars, but I replaced the almond butter with peanut butter, and then obviously used chocolate chips instead of the cranberries and walnuts. Both good options, but when that chocolate craving hits there's only one option!

 
 
 
 

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola Bars
Adapted from Delectably Mine
Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons (28 grams) butter
  • 2 tablespoons (28 grams) peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup (112 grams) honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups (160 grams) old fashion oats
  • 1/3 cup (38 grams) whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips

Directions
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 12x9 inch or 8x8 inch pan, or line with a parchment paper sling, and set aside. 

Place the butter, and peanut butter in a large microwave safe bowl and microwave until the butter melts. Stir until the well combined. Mix in the honey, vanilla and salt and give a good stir. Add the egg and stir the whole mixture until smooth and combined. 

Add the oats, whole wheat flour, and chocolate and stir everything together until well combined and there are no more dry pockets of flour. 

Transfer the mixture into the prepared  pan and pat down firmly into an even layer. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Allow to cool completely before cutting.

Yields: 14-16 granola bars
 

Brownie Batter Chocolate Oat Muffins

When it comes to breakfast, I love a good egg sandwich, avocado toast, or a delicious scramble full of peppers, mushrooms, sausage and cheese. However, where my heart truly lies, and what I really want every morning, is with a sweet breakfast. I just have a big old sweet tooth when it comes to breakfast (and really any time), and I will almost always choose a sweet breakfast over a savory one despite how good those savory breakfasts may be. (I usually just end up have a savory "breakfast" for dinner, problem solved!)

I especially love chocolate for breakfast. I don't think I really need to explain it any more than that. Chocolate. Breakfast. Enough said. But even though I love sweets for breakfast, I don't always feel good about eating them. These brownie batter muffins solve that problem. They are sweet and chocolatey, yet have some nutrition in them, and are not just empty calories. Yes, you can have the best of both worlds! 

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These yummy little brownie batter muffins are easy to make. Really just need one bowl and some simple ingredients. I cut down on the maple syrup from the original recipe from 1/2 to 1/4 cup to make them a little healthier and I thought they were just fine. So naturally sweetened with the maple syrup if that's your kind of thing. I'm sure honey would be fine as well, or just regular white or brown sugar if that's all you have, although I have not actually tried this I bet it would be fine. There is some protein and healthy fat from the almond butter (yes peanut butter would work just fine too). And you can go ahead and add in anything else that floats your boat; chocolate chips or chunks, cocoa nibs, any nut you like, even some fresh or frozen berries, or dried fruit. Customize away, and enjoy!

 
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Brownie Batter Chocolate Oat Muffins
Adapted from Running with Spoons
Ingredients

  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 cup (6 ounces) milk
  • 1/4 cup (75 grams) maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup (64 grams) almond butter
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups (160 grams) old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup (60 grams) whole wheat flour or whole wheat rye flour
  • 1/4 cup (20 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • Cocoa nibs (optional)
  • Chopped chocolate (optional)

Directions
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and prepare a muffin pan by spraying the cavities with cooking spray or lining them with parchment paper liners. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, lightly beat the egg. Whisk in the milk, maple syrup, almond butter, and vanilla, mixing until smooth. Add the oats, flour, cocoa powder, and baking powder, and mix until well combined. Add the cocoa nibs and chocolate and give one more good stir to combine. 

Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups, filling each until about 3/4 full. 

Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. Allow the muffins to cool in the pan for about 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely. 

Yields: 10 muffins
Approximate Calorie Count: 190 calories each
 

Decidedly Not Sweet Granola

I am a huge granola lover. I make my own granola every couple of weeks, and there are few days that go by that don't include any granola. I've made so many different recipes over the years it's difficult to keep straight. Lara got Allison Roman's new cookbook, Dining In, over Christmas and has been enjoying it for several weeks now. We've made a few recipes together and this was one of the first. It's a granola recipe, but a savory one, very different from my usual! It is also very heavy on seeds, with less oats than a traditional granola. I absolutely love the fennel and caraway seeds, they add so much unique flavor, and really help this granola stand out as truly savory. I wouldn't skip them as it would really change the flavor. 

I've been sprinkling this granola over pretty much everything and anything. It's great on salads instead of the usual crouton to add a nice crunch, or really added on top of any roasted vegetable. It's also good in yogurt just like traditional granola, I would just probably avoid sweetened and flavored yogurt. I really only eat plain yogurt myself and it's great in that. I have no doubt there are so many other places that would be enhanced by this delicious granola. 

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I halved the original recipe from the cookbook, just to make sure I liked it enough to use up a whole batch. I do. Because of this I ended up using one whole egg instead of egg whites (it would have been 1.5 egg whites which is just annoying). I also didn't have the nigella seeds it called for, I'm going to keep looking though! The recipe said to just replace these with a little more sesame seeds if you can't find them so that's what I did. This equals out to an additional 2 tablespoons seeds for the half of the recipe. 

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Decidedly Not Sweet Granola
Adapted from Allison Roman's Dining In
Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup (60 grams) oats
  • 1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 cup buckwheat groats
  • 1/4 cup flax seed
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons sesame seeds*
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seed
  • 1 tablespoon caraway seed
  • 1 tablespoon ground Aleppo (this is what I used) or Ancho pepper (this is what the original recipe calls for)
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

Directions
Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and toss to mix until everything is evenly coated. Season with plenty of black pepper.

Spread the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet and bake, stirring every 15 minutes or so, until everything is golden brown and toasty, 45 to 55 minutes. Let cool completely and break any large clumps into smaller pieces before storing in glass jars or ziplock bags.

*If you can find nigella seeds, use 2 tablespoons of nigella seeds, and just 1/4 cup total of the sesame seeds

Date and Oat Cookies

A few months back I bought a bag of medjool dates with plans to turn them into some sort of naturally sweetened dessert. I brought them home and placed them in my pantry where they have sat ever since. Occasionally I have thought, "I should do something with those dates" and then nothing would happen. Today I decided was finally the day to pull those dates out and make use of them. I decided on a cookie. There are about a million options out there for date cookies, so I just picked one and went for it. I made a few alterations along the way, but ended up with a sweet and flavorful cookie filled with wholesome ingredients that I can at least try to convince myself is a little healthier than the norm! 

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To suit my own preferences I made a few changes which included substituting almonds for pecans, olive oil for walnut oil, and omitted the honey which in my opinion is just added even more sugar to an already sweet cookie. I added a little milk to make up a little extra liquid. All these changes seemed to work out very well. I'm excited for snack time!

 
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Date and Oat Cookies
Adapted from Dishing Up the Dirt
Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup (90 grams) oat flour
  • 3/4 cup (60 grams) old fashioned oats
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 cup almonds
  • 1 cup (180 grams) Medjool dates, pitted- about 10 dates
  • 3 tablespoons (40 grams) olive oil
  • 1/4 c (55 grams) milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate chunks

Directions
Preheat the oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl combine the oat flour, rolled oats, cardamom and salt.

In a food processor grind the almonds, dates, olive oil, milk, egg and vanilla until a smooth ball of dough is formed.

Combine the date mixture with the oat mixture and mix everything together until well combined, adding in the chocolate chunks as things start to come together. Cover the bowl with a towel and place in the fridge for 15 minutes.

When ready, remove the dough from the fridge, form dough balls (about 50 grams each) and then lightly flatten the tops with the back of a spoon. The cookies wont spread while baking so you can keep them fairly close to each other on the baking sheet. Bake until the bottoms are lightly brown but the cookies are still soft in the middle, about 18-20 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool.

Yields: 12 cookies (approximately 205 calories each)

Chocolate Chunk Zucchini Cookies

Round two on the zucchini baking front. A simple and delicious recipe for moderately nutritions cookies that don't seem overly healthy - my favorite kind! Full of veggies AND whole grains it's all around a good idea. A touch of brown sugar for sweetness, a little coconut oil for the requisite fat. These little guys are perfectly sized for a little bite, just a snack. One is usually good for me, but if you need a little extra, eat two! They're soft, but not to the point of falling apart which sometimes can happen. The flour and egg hold them together nicely. Give them a go with that excess zucchini I'm sure your swimming in if you're anything like me. You won't regret it!

Like I stated above, I made these little guys bite sized, but feel free to make them bigger if that's more how you roll. You may need to add a minute or two to the baking time if you do, just use your good judgement. If you're feeling a little more indulgent feel free to increase the amount of brown sugar. I don't like my snacks to be too sweet so I cut back, but everyone is different. As written, these cookies don't spread a whole lot during baking. I pressed them down just a little before putting them in the oven so they'd be a little flatter. But again, however you'd like to roll. 

 
 

Chocolate Chunk Zucchini Cookies
Adapted from Little Dairy on the Prairie
Ingredients

  • 1 heaping cup zucchini, grated; approximately 1 medium, or 1/2 a large (I used 190 grams)
  • 1/3 cup (60 grams) coconut oil
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/4 cup (50 grams) brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 cup (40 grams) old fashioned oats
  • 2/3 cup (80 grams) oat flour
  • 1 cup (120 grams) wheat flour
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. nutmeg
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1/4-1/2 cup chocolate chunks (I used 35 grams, but you could certainly use more)

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together egg, oil and vanilla. Add brown sugar and mix again. Add zucchini and mix until everything is well combined. 

Add oats, oat flour, whole wheat flour flour, baking powder and soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg to a mixing bowl. Mix until mostly combined, then add the chocolate and mix until everything is combined and there are no more pockets of flour. 

Using a cookie scoop, drop 1½ inch pieces of dough onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Transfer to the over and bake for 14-15 minutes.

Yields: 21 cookies

Lavender Honey Buckwheat Cookies

Once again it's one of my favorite seasons; lavender season! I love lavender so much, the sight of the elegant little purple flowers, the fragrance that heralds early summer, and of course, the delicate floral notes that add a little extra something special to baking when lavender buds are part of the mix. Of course, you don't want to go overboard and add too much lavender which can make you feel like you're eating a mouthful of potpourri, but in just the right amount in the right thing, lavender can really make your baking a little extra special; especially when using your own home-grown or home-foraged lavender. Last year I made some fantastic lavender cupcakes. This year one of my projects was these yummy little buckwheat cookies. A perfect couple of bites of sweetness balanced with the bitterness of the buckwheat and the floral lavender, a perfect combination. 

If going gluten or wheat free is something you're into, these cookies are a great option. In case you're wondering, buckwheat is actually not wheat, they're not even related. Buckwheat is the seed of a flowering plant that is related to rhubarb and sorrel. It has an unique flavor, somewhat bitter, but in a good way. I personally have no problem with wheat in any shape or form, but I still love these cookies. They use oat and buckwheat flours, softened butter, a little sugar and an egg. And of course, lavender. Because, tis the season!!

 
 

Lavender Honey Buckwheat Cookies
Adapted from Dishing Up The Dirt
Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (60 grams) oat flour
  • 1/3 cup (2 1/2 ounces) butter, softened
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dried lavender leaves
  • 2 Tablespoons (42 grams) honey
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup (90 grams) buckwheat flour
  • pinch of kosher salt

Directions
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, set aside. 

Beat the butter and sugar together for a couple of minutes, until creamy and light. Add the lavender and honey and beat until well combined. Add the egg and mix well.

Add the oats, flour, and salt to the butter mixture. Mix until it forms a cohesive mixture. Divide the dough into 10-12 equal size balls. Place on baking sheet and press down gently with your fingers, or the bottom of a glass. (The cookies will not spread a lot when you bake them, so flattened them to the thickness you would like the finished product to be.)

Bake the cookies for 15-20 minutes. Rotate the pan halfway through baking. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Yields 12-14 small cookies, depending on how big you make them

Maple Oat Breakfast Bites

These snack bites are tasty little guys that are great to have on hand in case your last meal wasn't quite enough to keep you full and satisfied until the next one. They're full of whole grains, healthy fats and sweetened naturally with maple syrup, all things that make me feel good about popping one (or two, or three...) into my mouth mid-afternoon. I made them tiny so depending on how hungry I am I can decide how many to eat. I didn't want to call these cookies, because I think doing so might disappoint some people. They aren't super sweet or tender, they're a little on the "dry" side in texture, and are slightly crumbly, but not fall-apart crumbly. Overall nutty and satisfying, but doesn't make you think you're eating dessert, a good compromise!

These little guys are super easy to make. Just throw everything into the food processor and let it do the work for you. If you want something a little extra special try adding some mini chocolate chips, or drizzling with melted chocolate. You can also play around with the type of nut butter you use; almond, PB, cashew, I'm sure sunflower seed butter would be good too. Overall, yum!

 
 

Maple Oat Breakfast Bites
Adapted from The Clever Carrot

  • 2 cups (160 grams) old fashioned oats 
  • 1 cup (120 grams) spelt or whole wheat flour
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup (55 grams) coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 cup (64 grams) almond butter
  • 1/4 cup (75 grams) pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions
Preheat your oven to 375 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Add the oats, whole wheat flour, and baking soda to a food processor. Run the machine until the oats look like 'flour.' It's okay to have a few big pieces in the mix.

Add the egg, coconut oil, almond butter, maple syrup, and vanilla extract. Pulse until the mixture looks like cookie dough. If the dough is too wet or runny, just add a sprinkle of flour and pulse gently until it comes together, if it is too dry add a little extra coconut oil or maple syrup.

Shape the cookies into balls and place on lined baking sheets.

Bake for about 12-14 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool on the tray for 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.

Yield: 24 cookies