Have you ever messed up a recipe, seemingly beyond repair and thought “Well, that’s finished! Let’s just call it a day!” This used to happen to me all the time. Even now sometimes when I’m playing around with spices, I have to fight back the urge of tossing a meal because it’s incredibly too spicy; but a wonderful thing happens when you start to go Zero Waste. Your mind begins to change directions and ‘ok, this is done, let’s toss it’ becomes ‘how can I fix this’ pretty darn quick.
That’s what happened when I made these cookies. It was complete trial and error and it worked out greatly in my favor. It started as a good mood baking session that was supposed to result in chocolate chip cookies. One thing lead to another and I switched gears and wanted to try my hand at protein bars. Quick side note that protein bars were some of the biggest wasters in our house. We were never able to make them with enough protein (compared to the store bought kind). I didn’t want to keep buying protein powder in the big plastic containers, so I didn’t buy it at all… until now! Bulk Barn offers incredible options for protein powders (vegan options included). Our last trip over, we grabbed a jar and wanted to try it out in our baking.
Back to the cookies… chocolate chip cookies had evolved to protein granola bars and then ended with these incredible chocolate dipped protein cookies. They are full of amazing, whole foods. Full of complete nutrients, lots of protein and can be easily veganized. I hope you enjoy as much we did!
3 large ripe bananas
½ cup chopped pecans
¼ cup of roasted and salted sunflower seeds
½ cup pumpkin seeds
¼ raisins (your favorite kind)
½ cup of whole salted and roasted almonds (loosely chopped)
1.5 teaspoons of cinnamon
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
1 teaspoon of sea salt + 1 teaspoon to finish
1 cup of vanilla protein powder (your favorite type whether it be super high protein, vegan, etc.)
¾ cups of oats
½ cup of maple syrup (+ maybe a bit more depending how dry the mixture gets)
½ cup of darn chocolate chips
1 tablespoon of coconut oil
*For the cookies: I used my stand mixer for all of the mixing, but it could easily be done by hand*
Step 1: Preheat oven to 350 Celsius and line a baking sheet with compostable parchment paper.
Step 2: Mash the bananas.
Step 3: Add in the pecans, sunflower seeds, pumpkins seeds, raisons, almonds, cinnamon, vanilla and salt. Mix all ingredients until they’re well incorporated.
Step 4: Add in the protein powder slowly. You’ll notice that the dough begins to come together because the powder acts as a binder.
Step 5: Add in the oats and maple syrup, a bit of each at a time until the mixture becomes the same consistency as cookie dough. If you notice that it’s too dry, add a bit more maple syrup, if it’s too wet and sticky, add some more oats.
Step 6: Roll the dough into small 1 inch balls and place them on your lined baking tray. They won’t spread out, so you can put them relatively close together. Leave about ½ inch between cookies and they’ll do just fine. Bake at 350 for approximately 10 minutes. It won’t take long to cook these bad boys, so keep a close eye on them to avoid burning. Once they’re golden brown, remove them from the oven and let them sit for about 5 minutes. After they’ve cooled enough to touch, transfer them to a cooling rack. You can also just leave them on the tray if you don’t have a cooling rack. They’ll just need a bit more time to cool down.
I should note that steps 7, 8 and 9 are completely optional. The cookies are still hella delicious without the chocolate topping.
Step 7: Take a small pot and fill with about 3 inches of water and turn your stove burner on to medium high. Cover the pot with a heat resistant bowl. This is known as a double boiler. If you use one that’s heat conducting, be careful and be sure to use an oven mitt of towel when you need to manipulate the bowl. Add the chocolate chips and coconut oil to the bowl. Mix with a wooden spoon until it’s all melted and mixed together. Turn off the heat on your burner and start dipping the now cooled cookies into the mix.
Step 8: Dip half the cookie in the chocolate, leaving the other half nude. Return the dipped cookie to the cooling rack and allow the chocolate to cool. Repeat this on all
Step 9: Add a small pinch of salt to each cookie. I popped my cookies in the freezer to help speed up the process because frankly, I was too excited to wait to eat them!
Step 10: Enjoy!
These cookies seem to have a lot of steps, but it’s really quite simple. Of course all the ingredient quantities may vary based on what you have on hand. If you’re missing a tablespoon worth of pecans, it’s cool, don’t sweat it. This is a tactic I use often while cooking/baking in an effort to avoid food waste. I like to use up what I have fully. The same goes for if I have a couple of teaspoon extra of sunflower seeds. I’ll throw them into the batch! It’s still epic and now you don’t have to worry about 2 teaspoons of sunflower seeds sitting in your pantry.
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