Here is the conversation that happens in my head before leaving the house…
Brain: Do we have food?
Me: We’re not going to be gone long.
Brain: Okay, but what if we get hungry?
Me: We just ate.
Brain: But what if we get hungry again? We could run out of energy. We could get REALLY hungry. That would be really bad. What would we do?! [*mounting anxiety*]
…and I usually give in. This is especially true of hikes, even short ones. And we hike every weekend, so this is a frequent inner conversation. Because if you’re more than a 5 minute walk from the car, what happens if you start to get hungry and you can’t get back fast enough? There should be a word for this type of anxiety.
And then what kind of food do you bring? Carbs for quick energy? Protein, if it’s a difficult hike? Something salty to replace electrolytes? Something with chocolate, to keep me in a good mood?
The answer, lately (and I think forever, from now on) is these trail mix cookies. They happen to be gluten free and dairy free, and if you use sunflower seed butter, they’re nut free, too. You can make them vegan by replacing the egg with 1 tablespoon of ground flax + 3 tablespoons of water. They taste deliciously unhealthy, but there’s no refined sugar. These cookies have all of the energy-boosting components you’d want on a hike (or a picnic, or 3pm at your desk, or the office hours you’re forced to hold any other time). I’ve even grabbed them for breakfast in a pinch, and they do the job.
These cookies are a texture-lover’s dream: dense, creamy almond butter with rolled oats, pepitas, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, coconut flakes, and melty-good chocolate chips. Sorry, crispy cookie fans. These are for lovers of fudgy, chewy cookies.
Listen: if you’re the baker and you want to make sure you get a few of these, double the recipe and HIDE the other half when they’re finished. Or Ryan someone else might eat them all before you get your fill. It’s okay, I don’t mind making more.
Healthy gluten-free chocolate chip cookies with nut butter, maple syrup, pepitas, shredded coconut, rolled oats, sunflower seeds, cinnamon, and more.
- 1 cup nut or seed butter (I used almond, but any combination will work)
- 1 egg (or 1 tablespoon ground flax + 3 tablespoons water)
- 1/3 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
- 1/4 cup rolled oats, certified gluten-free if necessary
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup
- 3 tablespoons dark chocolate chips
- 2 tablespoons pepitas
- 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- 1 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
Preheat oven to 325F.
Mix nut/seed butter, maple syrup, egg, and vanilla in a medium bowl. When combined, add the sea salt and baking soda and mix.
Add the dry ingredients and mix to combine. The dough will be very thick--just go with it.
Bake at 325F for 8-10 minutes. Don't over-bake them! If the edges start to change color, take them out right away.
If you HAVE to eat one hot out of the oven, I understand. But let the rest of the them cool completely before trying to move them. They're fragile right out of the oven, but they firm up after a few minutes.