Aug 8, 2013

Chocolate Coconut 5 Ingredient Cookies


Confession: I'm on a diet. I know, I know...diets are awful. My crabby attitude and moody tendencies lately would have to agree (I need carbs, people!). I hate dieting. But I really needed something to kick my butt into gear after indulging in too many not-so-healthy things all summer long. I blame Germany. And cruising. But that's neither here nor there. Point is, about 4 weeks ago I decided to revamp my entire daily diet and really amp up my workouts to prepare for our next cruise in October. Lean up and slim down before more indulgence? You read my mind. Not only that, but as a nutritionist, I know what I SHOULD be eating. Problem is, I love food too much. I don't call myself a Foodie for nothing. So, I decided to buy into a diet & fitness program to kick start my new health journey and get me back into the groove of healthy living again. I figure, if I pay for something (that's not cheap, mind you), I'm more apt to use it and stick to it. Money does drive most human wants and needs, after all. 

So far, I'm LOVING how I feel. I'm seeing small changes in how I look, but I can really FEEL it. I know big changes are brewing and my outsides are gonna catch up with my insides soon enough, I've just gotta be patient. I wholeheartedly want this "diet" to become daily routine, so I haven't been following it 'to a tee', as they say. I've adapted it to fit my lifestyle, body type, and my health goals, keeping in mind that most diet programs are NOT maintainable for the long haul. Precisely why I knew it was going to be virtually impossible to cut out all desserts. I am my mother's daughter after all. After looking through my diet plan and trying to come up with a treat that incorporated some semblance to an actual dessert (not just fruit), I decided to consult the almighty Pinterest. I found lots of strange hemp seed desserts and vegan chocolate puddings made with what I can only imagine tastes like dirt (because it sure as heck wasn't chocolate), but then I stumbled across a 2-ingredient cookie recipe. Just oats and bananas all squished up together and baked in the oven for 12 minutes. I thought, hmmm. I like bananas. I like oats. But I need CHOCOLATE. Thus the Chocolate Coconut 5 Ingredient Cookie was born. It's like a tropical party in your mouth, people.


Why 5 ingredients? Well, if you like just bananas and oats, just stick with that. I added in a drop of pure vanilla extract just for sh*ts and gigs, and I liked it...so it stayed. Chocolate chips were always on my mind, so I dumped a couple of tablespoons of those bad boys in, too (you can use semi-sweet or dark, next time I'm going dark for an even healthier version!). After staring at the banana, oat, vanilla, chocolate mixture for 2 minutes, I remembered I had some leftover unsweetened coconut flakes hanging out in the freezer from my granola making experiment (side note: delish, I'll have to share that recipe another day), so I invited them to the party as well. Ta-da! 5 ingredients and 15 minutes later, I had myself the most delicious healthy cookies I've ever tasted. Wanna know what else? You can eat 4 COOKIES for only 180 CALORIES!! How many Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies can you eat for only 180 calories? One stinkin' cookie, that's how many. Not worth it. But 4 butter-free, flour-free, oil-free, egg-free cookies so totally are!


Now, you don't have to go with the combo of chocolate chips and coconut like I did. There are plenty of other add-ins you can substitute to make these 5-ingredient cookies reflect whatever flavors you're feeling that day.

Even more healthy add-in ideas?
-fresh peaches (full of Vitamins C & A)-
-pumpkin puree (perfect for fall & filled with fiber)-
-chia seeds (rich in Omega-3 fatty acids)-
-cacoa nibs (if you're brave enough to replace sweetened chocolate)-
-almonds (high in Vitamin E & lower 'bad' cholesterol)-
-goji berries (filled with antioxidants & Vitamin A)-
-unsweetened organic applesauce (lots of fiber and low in calories)-
-pistachios (lowest fat nut per ounce)-
-fresh strawberries (good source of Vitamin C & antioxidants)-
-raisins or dates (rich in iron & aid in digestion)-


Just FYI, you won't be seeing the 'before' diet pictures I took so awkwardly in my bedroom early one morning pre-makeup and hair styling. The internet doesn't need anything else to make fun of. But I am thinking about sharing more of my healthy living journey and nutrition knowledge on the blog as soon as I start seeing more defined results. Something you guys would be interested in? I hope so! Until then, give these cookies a go. They're just what you need to satisfy that dessert craving without sacrificing all your hard work. Coming from a girl who could eat spoonfuls of Nutella straight out of the jar, that's saying a lot. Would I steer you wrong? Never.


Chocolate Coconut 5 Ingredient Cookies
Yields: 16 cookies

Ingredients:
1 cup old-fashioned quick-cooking oats
2 ripe bananas, peeled
2 Tbsp. semi-sweet mini chocolate chips
2 Tbsp. unsweetened coconut flakes
1/4 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Mash bananas and oats together with a fork in a medium sized bowl. Add in vanilla, chocolate chips, and coconut flakes (or whatever 2 add-ins you prefer) and mix together. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper or spray with cooking spray (don't skip this or they'll stick!). Drop tablespoon sized dollops of the cookie mixture onto the baking sheet. No need to space them too far apart, they don't spread much during baking. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes. Place on cooling rack to cool. Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to a week (if they last that long!).

Serving size: 4 small cookies (although 2 is usually all I need)
Nutritional breakdown: 180 calories, 4.5g fat, 2g sat fat, 33g carbs, 12g sugars, 4g protein, 4g fiber, 240mg potassium, 8mg sodium (Keep in mind, nutrition values will change with substitution of various add-ins)


Enjoy with a tall glass of skim milk or almond milk for a healthy afternoon snack or after dinner treat!

(All nutritional info calculated via MyFitnessPal. Wanna follow along in my health & fitness journey? Find me on MyFitnessPal at username caseycote. I could use all the encouragement and accountability I can get!)

26 comments:

  1. Oh will def have to try this out!!

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  2. These look KILLER Casey! I love all of the random ingredients that you added- pumpkin spice, coconut, chocolate... dang, I am making these today!

    PS- your photos are awesome. Definitely worth the time spent photographing those suckers!

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    1. Thanks so much, girlie! I totally rewarded my hard photog work with a cookie or two afterwards. You can really work up a sweat photographing food! Who knew!? :)

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  3. yum! Thanks for posting...can't wait to try them...they look great!

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  4. I've come across several recipes lately using banana instead of flour that I've been meaning to try (pancakes are the other)...will definitely add this one to the list! YUM! Anything with coconut is a must try for me! Thanks for sharing and good luck with the new health journey! :)

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  5. Those look great! Good for you for trying to be healthier. Doesn't blogging about it make it feel like "ok now this is serious?" I always feel that way when I announce a lifestyle change on the blog. Good luck to you! I can't wait to read more! P.S. I just bought chia seeds this weekend and they are really good at keeping me full for longer. I have been putting them on everything.

    Shannon

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  6. These sound wonderful! And yes, diets are awful (I am currently on one, too) but experimenting with diet-friendly baking is fun!!

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  7. 5 ingredients?! this is right up my alley!!

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  8. These look amazing! I'll definitely be trying these as well as a pumpkin/chocolate chip version in the fall. Thanks for sharing this with us!

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  9. Yum, these cookies look awesome! I too have been indulging wayyy too much this summer and really need to buckle down and be healthy because it's true that you feel so much better when you stop eating junk! Xoxo

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  10. ah fantastic! I'm attempting to eat better as well (aren't I always trying?) so these will be added to my list of accepted treats :)

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  11. UM, YES! These look amazing and I love that you built on the banana and oat base for the your cookie. Also, thanks for including the nutrition info because you have no idea how much of a time saver that is. Love it and I'm going to get in on this tropical party for sure! :D

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  12. This is so great! I can't eat gluten/wheat, so these cookies are perfect! I'm always on the hunt for stuff like this because, well... this girl loves cookies.

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  13. These look delicious! I would have never thought of adding bananas as a substitute for flour and eggs in cookies before... pure genius. I'd love to hear more about your new nutrition plan and healthy lifestyle - I'm trying to do the same as I haven't even managed to recover from our Namibia trip at the very beginning of the year. And that's bad.

    xxx
    Jenna

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  14. I love how easy this is! Definitely will need to try this out!

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    1. Please do! And let me know what you think! :)

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  15. Who knew cookies could be so simple; I'm soo excited to use this recipe! AND the fact that you can eat so many for so few calories, jackpot!!! :) Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Yay! I know, right? So easy...and SO GOOD! Snack away, my friend!

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  16. Try this out: oat flour (oats ground into flour) mixed with cocoa powder, some honey and peanut butter. Not sure if peanut butter is off your list but you mix all these up. Roll into balls and place on wax paper in the freezer for about ten min. It always kills my sweet tooth off right away! Also, I am a huge fan of @jazzythings instagram. She makes the BEST desserts that are healthy and taste good. Check her stuff out :)

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  17. Oh forgot to mention pancakes as a good thing to make for sweet cravings that give you great fuel (good carbs) and energy. We eat them a lot and my base recipe is ground oats, egg whites, almond milk, banana (or applesauce), and sometimes coconut flour. Sometimes I add in different things like cottage cheese, fruit, or cocoa powder but can't go wrong with these. I made a frosting to go on top instead of syrup consisting of equal parts plain greek yogurt, cottage cheese, and pureed fruit.

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    1. Great suggestion! I make pancakes twice a week for breakfast with my vanilla vegan protein powder, bananas, almond milk, and egg whites...they're so good! I love the idea of the cottage cheese/fruit "frosting." Might have to give that a go! ;)

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  18. i'm obsessed! can't wait to make them.
    your blog is darling, we are kindreds!
    can't wait to follow along! XO
    the well-traveled wife

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  19. These look delicious and healthy too! Thank you for sharing the recipe. I'm going to make these ASAP.
    www.shannonheartsblog.com

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  20. These are brilliant! I can't wait to try them.

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I appreciate your feedback, friends! I read every comment and try my hardest to respond to each one, but if your email address isn't attached to your blogger profile, you might find my response in the comment thread instead. As always, thanks for reading!

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