One Bowl, No-Bake Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Protein Balls with Collagen – grain-free, gluten-free, paleo

paleo collagen nut butter bites

Welcome to Eat Well, Live Vibrantly! I’ve transitioned from my old blog to this spiffy new website and I’m excited! I’m still finalizing a few things, but in the meantime, I wanted to get back to some good old-fashioned blogging. Plus, I’ve literally made this recipe 10+ times and it’s time to share it.

These protein balls started as an experiment and have now become basically a staple in my life. I’m not sure I can live without them.

I found the original recipe for these on Healy Eats Real and I felt compelled to try them, mostly because they looked delicious and I had the ingredients in the cupboard. Also, I love things that taste and look like a delicious treat but are packed full of healthy, body-supporting nutrients. The quality of my snack actually enhances my enjoyment of it.

So I tested these out, made a few tweaks to get the recipe to work for me, and am now wondering how I lived before without these in my life. Hats off to Healy for devising this amazing collagen ball concept.

I like these protein bites for just this very reason. They make use of collagen, an animal-based protein that is immensely supportive of gut health, skin health, joint health, as well as general digestive health. It may also be beneficial for wound-healing and injury recovery, as well as for promoting quality sleep. You can read more about collegen’s benefits, which are many, with Dr. Axe here, Wellness Mama here, or Mark Sisson here. Do your research and try to find a collagen that is sourced from grass-fed animals, so that you can feel confident you’ve made a conscious and informed choice.

paleo collagen nut butter bites

The cookie dough protein balls are also grain-free, which can be a nice break for your digestive system and works for those who follow a paleo diet. I’ve tried them with peanut butter, almond butter, almond & hazelnut butter, and cashew butter and I’m not stopping yet. With the cashew butter? Really a strong resemblance to cookie dough. The collagen protein gives them a taffy-like chewiness (which makes sense, since collagen is derived from the collagen-rich parts of animals, like bones and cartilage) and the nut butter gives a nice richness.

I’ve been eating them everyday and I find them immensely useful as a quick snack, especially for those times (aka coming home from work) when I’m hungry, want to quickly feed the cats and then go out on my walk, and need something that feels balanced and filling. Having them in the fridge makes me so happy.

paleo collagen nut butter bites

You might need to play around with the recipe just a bit, depending on the liquidy nature of your nut butter. You know how the top half of the jar is always really pourable and then the bottom half is like nut cement? Bear that in mind. No harm though – if the texture isn’t coming together, add a bit more applesauce (just a bit). If it’s too soft, try another tablespoon or so of almond or coconut flour.

Oh, and bonus? For Christmas, try making these and then dipping them in melted dark chocolate. They’d be totally like those buckeye things people make around the festive season, but way healthier. Nom nom nom.

One Bowl, No-Bake Chocolate Chip Cookie Protein Bites with Collagen

  • Author: Original recipe concept from Healy Eats Rea; tweaks and edits by Emily Joldersma, R.H.N.
  • Recipe notes: gluten-free, grain-free, egg-free, dairy-free; paleo; contains nuts, animal products
  • Yield: about 10-12 balls

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup of your favourite grass-fed, organic etc, collagen protein (collagen peptides)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut flour
  • 2 tablespoons almond flour
  • 1/2 cup nut butter (cashew butter, almond butter or peanut butter work best)
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/8-/14 teaspoon finely ground himalayan pink salt or sea salt (to your taste preference)
  • Optional: 1 tablespoon of your favourite MCT oil for an extra brain and energy boost!

Instructions:

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together collagen, coconut flour, almond flour, and salt.
  2. Add nut butter, maple syrup, applesauce, and vanilla, and stir until mixed well.
  3. Stir in chocolate chips and finish mixing. The dough should look like cookie dough but with a more sticky/chewy/candy-like texture. It should roll nicely into a ball.
  4. Roll into balls (1 inch or a bit smaller) and store in the fridge!

Enjoy!

© Eat Well, Live Vibrantly

 


No-Bake Muesli Energy Bars with Almond Butter

no bake granola bars with pumpkin seeds

It’s a gorgeous day here – blue skies, breezy, warm but not hot, and no humidity. I’ve gone for a bike ride, bought strawberries at the farmers market, picked up my books from the library, walked about, and now I’m blogging and eating maca chocolate. In other words, utter perfection. Let all summer days be like this, says I!

I’m almost finished my program at the Canadian School for Natural Nutrition, and admittedly that’s why you haven’t seen many blog posts in recent months. But this beautiful day just sang to me and said, Emily, steal away a few moments and write something on the blog. So here I am.no bake granola bars with pumpkin seeds 3

This part of July is where summer really kicks into a higher gear. The farmers’ market is starting to show its colours – spring rhubarb is still available, but the strawberries are there, and soon I’ll see peaches, tomatoes, corn, and zucchinis overflowing on the tables. My own little farm here (I use the term ‘farm’ extremely loosely) has thus far produced 2 blueberries, 4 raspberries, and some purple podded peas. A tiny harvest, but a satisfying one. I can see the raspberries slowly turning from that light pinkish colour to the deeper red, so soon I’ll return to that glorious time when there are raspberries to eat every day when I come home from work.

It’s a nice time to be alive, isn’t it?

no bake granola bars with pumpkin seeds 2

To keep your energy up through the biking, walking, jam-making, hammock-reading, blueberry-picking, running, mowing, weeding, harvesting, swimming, kombucha-drinking, or whatever you have on the go this summer, whip up some of these energy bars (finally, I’m getting to the recipe!). They’re simple, offer protein, fibre, and healthy fat, and you can make them either as energy balls/bites or just press them into the pan and make granola bars. They’re best right from the fridge (structural integrity relies on the coldness of the coconut oil), but if you don’t mind eating them more as a melted crumble, tote them to the beach! Why not?

And of course, they require no oven, so the only breeze and warmth you feel will be that of the summer sun, wafting through your open windows.

Happy July!

No-Bake Muesli Energy Bites with Almond Butter

Recipe Notes: option for gluten-free (use gluten-free oats), option for plant-based (maple syrup instead of honey), dairy-free, egg-free, wheat-free

Ingredients:

  • 1 and 1/2 cups muesli (basically oats with a bit of dried fruit added – plain rolled oats are fine too)
  • 1/2 shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries or raisins
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 3 tablespoons raw honey or maple syrup
  • 1/4 coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup almond butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt or himalayan pink salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • optional: sprinkle of ground cinnamon

Instructions: 

  1. Whirl the muesli, coconut, seeds of choice, chocolate chips, and dried fruit of choice in your food processor until you’ve turned it into very small bits, or almost flour. The dried fruit will remain in larger pieces – this is totally fine. The chocolate might also stay in bigger chunks – also totally fine, and in fact, quite delicious.
  2. Dump this mix into a large bowl.
  3. In a small sauce pan and over very low heat, gently whisk together almond butter, raw honey, coconut oil, pink salt, and vanilla extract until smooth and a bit pourable.
  4. Pour over the dry mix and stir until all dry parts are well coated and mixture holds its shape when squeezed into a ball.
  5. Roll into balls or press into an 8×8 pan and store in an airtight container in the fridge. For best shape, eat right from the fridge or keep cool.

© Eat Well, Live Vibrantly


Tender Teff Peanut Butter Shortbread Cookies

tender teff peanut butter cookies

Wow, that title is a mouthful.

But then again, so are these cookies.

In keeping with the theme of using gluten-free flours in recipes that make them shine, these simple cookies take teff flour and let it sing. And they are certainly easy to make, straightforward, and made with simple clean ingredients.

Tender Teff Peanut Butter cookies require just six ingredients (or eight, if you add the raisins and chocolate chips and I definitely recommend that you do), and, while I haven’t tried them this way, I suspect they would be equally delicious with almond butter. Maybe even cashew butter or sunflower seed butter, if you are feeling particularly bold and wild.

tender teff peanut butter cookies

They’re tender, sweet but not too sweet, and just the right amount of crumbly. Gluten-free cookies are great like that. The whole goal of shortbread is to be free of gluten – it’s what gives shortbread that classic sandy texture. Gluten-free and shortbread are like two peas in a pod. And since lots of gluten-free baking turns out a bit crumbly/sandy anyways, why not say it was what you were aiming for in the first place?

Quite frankly, the first time I made these I ate too many of them. Plus, I put chocolate chips in them AND made those little cross hatching marks on them that make peanut butter cookies so much cuter. What’s a gal to do?

tender teff peanut butter cookiestender teff peanut butter cookies

But out of that snacking experience was born the freezer test. I usually bake things, eat a few from the oven, and freeze all the rest. It’s a system that works for me. These cookies freeze really nicely. Keep that in mind if you want to make a larger batch. The recipe is so simple it can be halved, doubled, etc.

So all hail teff flour! And nut butter. And whatever else you want to add. Hey-oh!

For more glorious teff options, try teff banana chocoate chip muffins.

Tender Teff Peanut Butter Shortbread Cookies

  • Author: Backyard Owl tweaks on this original recipe from Bob’s Red Mill
  • Recipe notes: vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, naturally-sweetened

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups teff flour
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon himilayan pink salt or sea salt
  • optional: 1/2 cup chocolate chips and/or 1/2 cup raisins

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. In a small saucepan and over low heat, whisk together peanut butter, coconut oil, and maple syrup, just until combined.
  3. Stir in vanilla.
  4. Take off heat and let cool for a minute or two
  5. Stir in teff flour and salt and mix until combined.
  6. Stir in raisins and/or chocolate chips, if using.
  7. Scoop by the spoonful and round into balls, before placing on a baking sheet.
  8. Cross hatch and flatten the cookie dough using a fork – this is where we get that classic peanut butter cookie look.
  9. Bake for 13-15 minutes, depending on size, and let cool.
  10. Enjoy!

© Backyard Owl


Chewy One Bowl Chocolate Chip Cookies (with Chickpea Flour) – v, gf

chewy chocolate chip chickpea cookies - vegan & gluten-freeSo who here thinks chickpea flour tastes gross? Show of hands. That’s quite a few of you, but I’m betting it’s from when you tried some adventurous gluten-free chickpea flour recipe and tasted the batter and thought, dear god, what monster have I created? Chickpea flour – un-baked – is kind of bitter. It does not taste good. Let’s just get that out of the way right now.

BUT – chickpea flour baked INTO things has no taste, really. That is to say, it loses the offensive taste. And, it keeps the protein, chewiness, and gluten-free fabulousness.

chewy chocolate chip chickpea cookies - vegan & gluten-free

My eyes have been opened recently to the joys of chickpea flour. It makes a delicious cookie, for one, and it’s so versatile! Other cultures have been baking and cooking with chickpea flour for centuries, but North American culture is just catching up. In the last few days alone I’ve seen recipes for chickpea flour flatbreads, quiches made with chickpea flour, french toast with chickpea flour, and blondies with chickpea flour, among others.

And, compared to many gluten-free flours, it’s relatively inexpensive. And, though this may be entirely psychological, it seems a little more “from a whole food” than say, potato starch (how do they get just the starch out of the potato?)

So if you are looking for a healthy treat that is high in protein and fibre, I’d encourage you to try these cookies. You could add raisins, nut butter, or perhaps some sunflower or pumpkin seeds. If you don’t find the batter sweet enough (they are JUST on the edge), feel free to also add an additional tablespoon or two of maple syrup, or, sprinkle the tops with some organic cane sugar.

Welcome to the chickpea flour fan club! chewy chocolate chip chickpea cookies - vegan & gluten-free

Chewy One Bowl Chocolate Chip Cookies (with Chickpea Flour)

  • Author: Tweaks by Backyard Owl; original recipe inspired by Oatmeal with a Fork’s Incredible Protein Chocolate Chip Cookies.
  • Recipe Notes: vegan, gluten-free, source of fibre and protein, soy-free, nut-free, naturally-sweetened

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup COLD/FROZEN chickpea flour
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • ¼ t. sea salt or himalayan pink salt
  • ½ t. baking soda
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted before measuring
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons (or as needed) almond milk
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 350F.
  • Whisk together cold chickpea flour, rolled oats, sea salt, baking soda, and chocolate chips.
  • Melt coconut oil over low heat, and measure out.
  • Add melted coconut oil, maple syrup, and vanilla to dry ingredients and stir. If needed, add the almond milk.
  • Scoop and roll into balls of your desired size.
  • Bake for about 12 minutes or until lightly golden.
  • Remove from oven, and gently press down with a fork. This step squishes the cookies and improves their chewy factor.
  • Cool, and store in an airtight container.

© Backyard Owl