Personally, I consider myself one of the biggest cookie lovers on the planet. Chocolate chip, sugar cookies, white chocolate macadamia nut, chip-less chocolate chip—I love ‘em all. But, I also love cookies in their raw doughy form! Except…is it worth the risk of eating those raw eggs? Then, there are the refined grains to think about. And, what about all of those added sugars??
Don’t fret—chocolate chip cookie dough bars, to the rescue!
Traditional Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough: Delicious, But Not-So-Nutritious
Don’t get me wrong—that pre-made refrigerated cookie dough from the grocery store that’s ultra-processed and ultra-scrumptious? I LOVE IT. But, I’m not a huge fan of how it affects my body, so I choose to indulge in it pretty rarely. And, that’s why I choose to make health-ified options, like these chocolate chip cookie dough bars! The first ingredient in most cookies and cookie doughs is a refined, bleached, ‘enriched’ flour of some kind, followed by some kind of refined added sugar. And, although these make for a delicious treat, they can wreak havoc in our bodies.
Refined flours and added sugars offer lots of simple carbs that digest quickly, but no real nutrients, So, they cause major blood sugar spikes when we eat them, and putting our bodies through those spikes regularly can throw our metabolism out of whack. Plus, that excessive blood sugar response creates a toxic environment in the body because we can’t process all of those nutrient-lacking carbs. Not only can this lead to fat being stored on the body, but it also contributes to chronic inflammation.
Fill Up on FUEL with these Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bars Instead!
Nix that refined flour and loads of added sugar! These chocolate chip cookie dough bars are actually completely gluten free AND grain free. Seriously, no flour at all! Instead, this healthy dessert recipe uses a secret, fuel-filled main ingredient: CHICKPEAS! Their dense, creamy texture makes them an awesome healthy baking substitute for refined flours. And, they add a special kind of ooey-gooeyness to these chocolate chip cookie dough bars. Plus, they pack loads of fiber, slow digesting carbs, and essential nutrients into this healthy dessert!
Then, the other main ingredient in my chocolate chip cookie dough bars is cashew butter. It adds the perfect level of salt to this sweet treat, along with a creamy, luscious texture. And, it adds a satiating dose of dietary fats and plant-based protein, making this healthy vegan dessert nourishing and filling. Combined with the chickpeas, you get four grams of protein in each of these chocolate chip cookie dough bars!
Savor the Guilt-Free Sweetness
Best of all, homemade baked goods keep YOU in control of the sugar content. This recipe calls for a bit of natural, unrefined liquid sweetener, like maple syrup or honey. (Be sure to use maple syrup for a healthy vegan dessert!) But, there are still FAR fewer added sugars in this recipe than you’ll find in store-bought doughs and cookies. And, by weight, a traditional chocolate chip cookie dough has almost TRIPLE the sugar content of one of my chocolate chip cookie dough bars!
So, get to baking, get to munching, and be merry. Just be careful…they’re hard to put down!
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bars:
1 can (15 oz) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
½ cup cashew butter
⅓-½ cup maple syrup or honey
1 tsp vanilla
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
⅓ cup mini chocolate chips (dairy-free or 100% dark, if desired)
1-2 Tbsp additional mini chocolate chips (dairy-free or 100% dark, if desired)
1-2 Tbsp mini chocolate candies/M&M’s (dairy-free, if desired)
sprinkle of salt
Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).
Line a loaf pan with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray.
Combine everything in a food processor or blender (except for optional toppings) and blend to a batter consistency.
Stir dairy-free chocolate chips into batter.
Pour batter into lined loaf pan, then sprinkle on optional toppings like additional chocolate chips, mini M&M’s, kosher salt.
Bake 40 minutes, cover with foil, then bake another 20 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.
Allow to cool for 10 minutes in the pan. Gently remove from pan and allow to cool on a cooling rack for another 30 minutes.
Cut into squares and enjoy!
*Nutrition includes optional toppings & calculated using dairy free chocolate chips.