{Recipe Redux} Chickpea, Almond Butter, Apple and Oat Breakfast Cookies

Do you cook big batches of your favorite meals and freeze them? If so, you’re my hero! This is something I often vow to start doing and, for reasons that I am not entirely sure of, I just never get around to it. This month’s Recipe Redux challenge was all about freezer-ready meals–procrastination ends here.

I pondered the direction to take this challenge. Some of my favorite go-to meals immediately came to mind (turkey chili, curried chicken pot pie, and Thai-inspired lettuce wraps). Instead, I went with breakfast. Mainly because this is the meal a lot of people often eat-on-the-run, which means sometimes grabbing things that aren’t always the healthiest choices (I’m looking at you large caramel latte and muffin as big as a newborn baby’s head).

The inspiration for this recipe comes from two things–my penchant for Udi’s Gluten Free frozen muffin tops and an amazingly moist, rich, and decadent black bean chocolate cupcake.

Beans are showing up in the most unexpected places

While a muffin top is not the worst on-the-go breakfast choice, by mid-morning, I often find myself scrounging through the cupboards or in between the seats of my car looking for a snack. My hunch is that this is largely due to the fact that there is no protein and very little fiber in those (yummy) little rounds. Enter those black bean chocolate cupcakes I had at my friend Melissa’s house last Thanksgiving. If she never told any of us there were black beans in them, we would have never guessed.

There are so many reasons to add more beans to our lives. They are a healthy, inexpensive and filling high-protein alternative to meat and are amazingly versatile.

Plus…cookies for breakfast…what’s not to love! 

I toyed with lots of versions of these cookies, but with the very welcomed fall nip in the air, the combination of apples, spices and oats were the obvious choice. I’ve enjoyed one for breakfast for the last few days and have found them to be the perfect companion to a steaming cup of black tea. They are just sweet enough and full of warming fall spice and the perfect chew. While the beans are well disguised, if you’re not a fan of chickpeas, (or you’re one of those people who can always find the healthy slight of hand in any recipe), you may sense a mildly bean-y flavor. Like a lot of baking challenges, I’m pretty sure this can be overcome with chocolate chips. So, feel free to add a handful to the recipe if you have a food detective in the family.

This one is veritable who’s who of MVP ingredients–oats, beans, almond butter, and raisins. If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’ll notice the addition of coconut sugar, which is my go-to sweetener in most of the baking I do these days. It’s purported to have an edge over a lot of the more traditional sweeteners, largely due to the presence of nutrients and it’s low ranking on the glycemic index. But, don’t start putting it in everything  just yet–it’s still sugar! You’ll also notice that I included one of the latest trends in vegan baking—chickpea brine (also knows as aquafaba) as egg substitute. If you’re OK with eggs,  go ahead and substitute one egg for the 3 TBSP. of chickpea brine.

This recipe will make 12 large cookies. One of my favorite cookie and muffin baking tricks is to use a cookie scoop. These little gadgets are a surefire way to create equal-sized cookies and muffins and keeps the process quick and efficient. If you don’t have one, a 1/4 cup dry measuring cup should do the trick.

On freezing these cookies: wrap each individually and place in an air-tight freezer bag or covered container. Remove from freezer at least 20 minutes before serving, or pop in the toaster oven for a couple of minutes. They will keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

I would LOVE to hear from you! Let me know what you think and how you tweak these to make them your own.

{Recipe Redux} Chickpea, Almond Butter, Apple and Oat Breakfast Cookies

servings: 12 large cookies | time: about 60 minutes (prep and baking time)