Tag Archives: vegan

My Nutritarian Diary: Banana-Chocolate Chip Scones

Banana-Choc Chip Header

This Banana-Chocolate Chip Scones recipe is my third Lindsey S. Nixon, a.k.a. Happy Herbivore, recipe featured on my blog so far. The other two are Harvest Salad and Maple Vinaigrette and Chocolate Banana Ice Cream.

One reason she is one of my go-to gals for plant-based eating is that I love the simplicity of her recipes. She really uses minimal ingredients to get maximum flavor. This is such a timely characteristic in our land of processed foods where ingredient lists are as long as biblical genealogies. Another reason is because her recipes are generally quickly made, an added benefit for our “stuffed-with-too-many-things-to-do” schedules. But the main reason for me is that she knows how to make tasty low-fat, with minimally added sugar, plant-based treats! I think you can all agree that in our world of over-stimulated taste buds, this is a great quality.

While maybe not as nutrient dense as other recipes I’ve featured so far, these Banana-Chocolate Chip Scones are healthy enough for me to give to my daughter for breakfast. They are also about as easy to make as putting a Pop Tart in a toaster.

Go ahead. Give them a try. I think you will like them just as much as we do.

IMG_4126

Banana-Chocolate Chip Scones
(Recipe from Happy Herbivore Light & Lean by Lindsay S. Nixon)

INGREDIENTS:
• 1 c white whole-wheat flour (I used whole-wheat pastry flour)
• 2 tsp baking powder
• pinch of salt
• ¼ – ½ c of nondairy milk (I used unsweetened, vanilla-flavored almond milk)
• 1 spotted banana
• ¼ vegan chocolate chips

DIRECTIONS:
“Preheat oven to 400˚ F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt together in a mixing bowl. Break banana in half and add both halves to the flour, and then start mixing it together with your hands, squishing the banana into the flour until you have a bowl of flour balls. Add ¼ cup of nondairy milk and chocolate chips, and stir to combine, adding more milk if necessary (when in doubt, wetter is better). Drop similar-sized spoonfuls on prepared cookie sheet and bake 10-12 minutes, until the scones are firm and golden at the edges.” (Lindsay S. Nixon)

Makes about six.

MY NOTES:
You may be surprised to know that many brands of chocolate chips are vegan, using soy lecithin instead of milk lecithin in their ingredients. My preferred brand at the moment is Trader Joe’s semi-sweet chocolate chips. The package says there may be traces of milk, and that does not bother me personally. So I don’t mind incorporating them (very frugally, mind you!) into my low-fat, plant-based cooking.

And, for those who don’t like to get their hands “too” dirty cooking, you can easily use a pastry blender to combine the banana into your flour mixture in much the same way you would combine butter or shortening to any biscuit recipe.

My Nutritarian Diary: Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

cookie header

This recipe is not like the nutritionally-dense recipes I’ve posted on my blog thus far, but it is a healthier alternative to the delicious, but fat- and sugar-laden, chocolate chip cookie recipes many of us love.

Instead of granulated sugar, I use organic brown rice syrup that I can get in most local health food grocery stores (pic below, top right of collage). Instead of butter, vegan or otherwise, I use only 3 tbsp of canola oil. Instead of white flour, I use whole-wheat flour, and instead of instant oats, I use rolled oats. And finally, instead of eggs, I use baking powder to leaven the cookies.

What results is a healthy cookie that has a touch of sweetness and a cake-like and chewy interior with a crunchy exterior. They are not too hard or too soft; they are just right. Instead of adding chocolate chips like I do, you could certainly add ½ cup of raisins and a ½ cup of nuts of your choice instead.

And, if you would rather these be just plain chocolate chip cookies, you could replace the oats with whole-wheat flour. I haven’t done that yet, so I’m not sure what the resulting consistency of the cookie might be. If you give it a try, let me know how it turns out.

Personally, I really love how all these healthy-ish ingredients fit together to make a delicious plant-based (vegan) cookie that you can enjoy from time to time (emphasis mine!). And if you are anything like me, I will give away at least half the cookies to family and friends so that they lessen their impact on my own waist!

Oatmeal Choc Chip Cookie Collage

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
(Based on Christina Pirello’s Oatmeal Cookies recipe in Cooking the Whole Foods Way)

INGREDIENTS:
• 1 ½ cups whole-wheat pastry flour
• 1 ½ cups rolled oats
• 3 tsp baking powder
• 1/8 tsp salt
• ¼ tsp of cinnamon, optional
• 1 cup non-dairy chocolate chips
• 1 cup non-dairy milk
• 3 tbsp canola oil (or preferred oil)
• ¾ cup brown rice syrup
• 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS:
Preheat oven to 375F. Lightly oil baking sheet or use a silicon baking sheet liner (pic above, bottom right of collage).

Combine flour, oats, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon, if using, in a large bowl. Mix in chocolate chips. In a separate bowl (I used a 2-cup glass measuring cup), whisk together the milk, canola oil, brown rice syrup, and vanilla extract. Fold all ingredients together. The dough will be runnier than normal chocolate chip cookie dough, so don’t fret if it doesn’t look like a what you’re used to. With that said, let the dough rest a few minutes so that it thickens just a bit as the wheat flour soaks up more of the milk.

Drop cookie dough onto baking sheet with space between each cookie.

Bake 15 to 20 minutes, until golden and firm to the touch. Christina Pirello writes in her recipe to “not overbake, or the cookies will be tough. It is better to remove the cookies when they feel a bit on the soft side (they’ll firm up as they cool), rather than overbake them.” That is excellent advice!

Cool on the cookie sheet for a minute or two, then gently lift them from the cookie sheet with a spatula onto a cooling rack.

Recipe makes about 2 dozen cookies.