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Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

"These are about as healthful as a chocolate chip cookie could be and still taste really good." -John Beske (husband and taste tester)

Here's the thing: I am vegan for the animals, for my convictions about compassionate living, and I am gluten-free because my tummy feels a million times better this way. Because I am gluten-free, my recipes are going to be this way. These days, I am also limiting oil in my cooking and baking. As with being gluten-free, this has nothing to do with being vegan but is about my pursuit to feel my best. It worries me that there seems to be a trend toward conflating gluten-free or other personal health motivations with veganism and it's important to point out that they really are not connected.

All that said, I want to feel my best while still enjoying the occasional treats, and to me "treats" shouldn't taste like they came off a dehydrator from 1973. With the old trick of applesauce and a couple other cards up my sleeves, these Oatmeal-Chocolate Chip Cookies are modified from an old favorite recipe, and they are crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside, with hits of melted chocolate in every bite. In other words, they taste like the oatmeal cookies you might have loved in the past, but they are wheat-free and oil-free. These are also refined sugar-free, save for the chocolate chips. If you want to be truly virtuous, substitute raisins for the chocolate chips but a friend of mine once said, "I think raisins in cookies are mean," and I have to admit, I kind of agree. (Please note that while oats are naturally gluten-free, unless they are processed on dedicated equipment, there is a risk of cross-contamination with gluten-containing grains, thus those with Celiac disease would need to make this with designated gluten-free oats.) Anyway, enjoy!

Makes about 22 cookies

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or lightly brush with oil.

3/4 cup rolled oats

Process in a food processor or a blender until pulverized to a coarse flour.

1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup "no sugar added" applesauce
2 tablespoons non-dairy milk (I usually use unsweetened almond)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

In a small bowl, whisk together the above until integrated.

3/4 cup rolled oats
1 cup all purpose gluten-free blend (I use Bob's Red Mill in this variety) or regular flour
1 cup vegan, Fair Trade chocolate chips
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon allspice

In a separate, larger bowl, add the above and the ground oats. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until it is well incorporated.

Scoop out heaping tablespoons of batter onto the prepared cookie sheets. You can roll them between your hands for a neater cooker or leave them alone for a more rustic look.

Bake for 11 minutes, then rotate the cookie sheet 180 degrees and bake for 6 more minutes.

Cool and enjoy!

2013, 2014, Vegan Street

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