Stressed? Never fear, Loaded Anti-Stress Chocolate Chip Cookies are here! They’ll help you stay calm, cool and collected through the election, holiday shopping and anything else that gets you crazy. They’re vegan, gluten free and sweetened without refined sugar!
Mom’s been telling me that U.S. stress levels are at an all-time high because of the upcoming election. She’s mentioned reading about it a few times, in articles like this one and this one and this one. The NY Times even did a piece about talking to your therapist about election anxiety.
I’m glad it’s not just me. This election has taken me on an emotional roller coaster I wish I wasn’t tall enough to ride.
And the holidays are right after this! OMG. I don’t think I can take any more stress in my life!!
Here’s my cookie intervention: a chocolate chip cookie recipe designed to reduce stress. It does this in two ways – one, by being made specially from stress-reducing ingredients – and two, by being mind-blowingly delicious.
It’s hard to feel stressed while I’m eating a cookie this good. It may be impossible. Between the deliciousness and the ingredients, I’ve been feeling lovely.
These Loaded Anti-Stress Chocolate Chip Cookies work because:
- They’re made with oats. Specifically oat flour you make by grinding up regular oatmeal in your food processor. Oatmeal is a complex carbohydrate that causes the production of serotonin, one of the brain’s feel-good chemicals. Calm, confident, happy, content…serotonin helps with all that. Serotonin is my jam.
- They’re loaded with dark chocolate, and I mean loaded. Dark chocolate reduces production of stress/”fight-or flight” hormones cortisol and catecholamine, and that kicks anxiety’s ass.
- They’re packed with walnuts. Walnuts don’t relieve stress in themselves, but help us cope with the stress we can’t avoid by significantly lowering blood pressure.
- They’re crammed with cranberries. Cranberries help lower blood sugar and blood pressure, both of which are likely to spike and hurt your health when you’re stressed. Like walnuts, cranberries help us cope with the stress we can’t avoid.
- They’re low in fat and sugar, and made from ingredients that don’t stress the body out. The only fats in them are healthy: a small amount of coconut oil, and the cocoa butter in the chocolate chips. There’s not much sugar, and what’s there is unrefined coconut palm sugar. No eggs. Healthy flax seed instead. Eating sugary, buttery, “traditional” chocolate chip cookies is stressful for your body and brain, even at the calmest of times.
You know what else I find stressful? Well almost nothing compared to this election, but in calmer times – holiday shopping! I’m going to talk about them more in upcoming posts, but have you noticed the awesome napkin in some of my pics? It’s from Kari, who blogs gorgeously at Beautiful Ingredient.
Kari’s offering these soft, luxurious, handmade napkins and other high quality, sustainable linens on her blog as well as her Food 52 shop. These would make amazing holiday gifts for individuals, families, men, women…anyone! I’m getting a set for Graeme’s sister and her wife, and I know they’ll LOVE them. These linens totally take the stress out of holiday shopping!
Also, food photographers: this napkin is as fun to work with as it looks. Thick, arrangeable, lovely color, beautiful texture, stylish and effortless. I’m treating myself to another set, or two.
**11/7 – Use coupon code HOLIDAYVB1012 to save 15% on orders over $25 in Kari’s Handmade Shop through November.**
What are we waiting for? Let’s get CALM. And cookified!
Yields 34 cookies
15 minPrep Time
30 minCook Time
45 minTotal Time
- 2 Tbs ground flax seed
- 6 Tbs water
- 1/4 c softened coconut oil
- 1/2 c unsweetened applesauce
- 1/2 c coconut palm sugar
- 2 Tbs maple syrup
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 2 1/4 c quick or old-fashioned oats
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- another 1/4 c quick or old-fashioned oats
- 1 c dried cranberries
- 1 c walnut pieces
- 1 1/4 c dairy-free dark chocolate chips (like Enjoy Life brand)
- a few extra cranberries, walnut pieces and chocolate chips (optional)
- Heat oven to 350. Line two cookie sheets with baking mats or parchment paper.
- Combine the flax seed and water in a cup and set aside.
- In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the coconut oil, applesauce, coconut palm sugar and maple syrup together.
- Beat in the vanilla and gelled flax seed.
- Grind 2 1/2 c oats into a fine flour in a food processor, about 2 minutes.
- Transfer the oat flour to a bowl and stir in the cinnamon, soda, salt and baking powder.
- Gradually add the dry ingredients into the wet and beat until well combined, about 1 minute.
- Stir in 1/4 c oats and the cranberries, walnuts and chocolate chips.
- Use a 2 Tbs cookie scoop or roll the batter into 2 Tbs balls and place 12 cookies on one sheet. They spread very little as they bake, so flatten them slightly. Press a few extra cranberries, chips or walnuts on top if you like.
- Bake 10 minutes. Prepare the other sheet with cookies while these bake.
- Let them stand for a few minutes on the sheet before moving to a cooling rack.
- Makes 34 cookies.
Your finished out flour should look something like this.
Replacing the walnuts and cranberries with other nuts and dried fruit should be fine.
Pin this soothing cookie deliciousness!
What do you like to do to relax? Baking is great for me, and I also love photography walks and good old strenuous exercise. The kind where you always push for “just one more” and blast loud music and generally have an awesome time.
Stay calm and powerful!
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