Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies, Vegan Style

“Awww, mom, really?  Do you have to make the cookies vegan too???”  The poor darlings.  I know it’s been a tough transition, converting to a vegan lifestyle, for them.  And, it’s true…nothing tastes exactly the same as it’s fat laden counterpart, but these cookies aren’t missing any of the taste of the “real” thing!  Although they are more cakey than the traditional Mrs. Fields’ cookie recipe – that’s baked with loads of butter – from which I’ve adapted it, this version is definitely kid-approved…exactly what I was aiming for!

Ingredients:

1 cup applesauce

2 tbsp. ground flax meal

1/2 cup warm water

1/8 cup rice milk (or other milk alternative)

1 cup raw sugar

1 cup dark brown sugar

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

2 cups whole wheat pastry flour

2 1/2 cups whole oats

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

1 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Instructions:

In a large bowl, combine ground flax meal and water, and let sit for five minutes.

In the meantime, blend whole oats into a fine powder, using a food processor or blender.

When the flax meal is ready, add the sugars, and blend together with a wire whisk.  Add the applesauce, milk,  and vanilla and whisk again.

In a separate bowl, combine the oats, whole wheat flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.   Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix well, then add chocolate chips and walnuts (if using).  Drop 1″ balls on cookie sheet, lined with parchment paper, and bake at 375 degrees for about 8-10 minutes.

As with all vegan cookies, these are best eaten fresh out of the oven.  But, they do make a nice breakfast treat, too, paired with some fresh fruit and ground barley coffee, or a tall green smoothie!

As I learn more about vegan cooking, it’s getting easier to tweak my favorite recipes.  I know that, when it comes to baking, whenever I see oil, butter, lard, or other fats, I simply replace it, 100%, with applesauce, and eggs are replaced with flax meal and water.  Sugar is a bit tougher for me to figure out, and I need to do some more experimenting when it comes to this.  The next time I make these cookies, I’m definitely going to experiment with cutting back on the sugars —  I think two cups is way too much!

What about you?  What tips do you have for making healthier versions of your favorite treats?

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