This post is sponsored by Orgain. All opinions are 100% mine.
I can’t make it through an entire holiday season without sharing at least one Christmas cookie recipe, right?
With next week dedicated to my annual Vegan Cookbook Giveaway ExtraVEGANza (I hope you’re ready for some free stuff!), now is as good of time as any to bring you my one and only Christmas Cookie recipe of 2017. Today I’m sharing these Triple Chocolate Pistachio Protein Cookies, a rich and brownie-like cookie exploding with chocolate chips and pistachios in every bite plus a kick of protein to fuel and energize you during this busy time of year.
I’ll be the first to admit that during the holiday season I am not the healthiest person.
Starting on Thanksgiving Day until New Year’s Day, I like to indulge. During the rest of the year I stick to a mostly whole foods diet limiting gluten, processed sugar, alcohol, and caffeine. But then as soon as Thanksgiving hits, I have that little voice screaming, “Indulge!” and that is exactly what I do.
However, as I get older and healthier the holiday season begins to take a toll on me. Too much decadence and I begin to feel sluggish. My pants start fitting tighter, I get winded with my normal yoga routine, and I feel constantly dehydrated. Usually by the time that New Year’s Eve roles around, I cannot wait to begin my 30 day cleanse. To prevent that from hapeening this year I’m trying a new concept: moderation while finding healthier ways to indulge in some of my favorite foods.
Enter these Triple Chocolate Pistachio Protein Cookies.
I took a classic chocolate fudge cookie and made a few alterations to make these cookies a delicious AND beneficial snack this holiday season.
First off, I gave them a protein boost with Orgain’s Creamy Chocolate Fudge Protein Powder. Orgain is a company committed to making wholesome protein snacks, drinks, and powders that are high in natural proteins, and lower in sugar. Committed to using the highest quality ingredients, all Orgain products are gluten-free, soy-free, non-GMO, and free of all artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives. Their plant-based protein powder is one of my favorites on the market because it doesn’t have the gritty, artificially sweetened aftertaste, is deliciously flavored, and contains 21 grams of protein per serving!
By adding 1/2 cup of Creamy Chocolate Fudge Protein Powder into these cookies, they become the perfect midday pick-me-up snack with a boost of energy that can will carry you through the rest of your day.
To add more benefit to these cookies, I substituted granulated sugar for maple syrup. Maple syrup, while still a sugar that ought to be used in moderation, is preferable to granulated sugar as it contains higher levels of antioxidants and nutrients and, because of it’s natural sweetness, can be used more sparingly. In addition to the protein powder and sweetener of choice, I also swapped out vegan butter for coconut oil.
Coconut oil has a variety of health benefits including:
- reduces inflammation and arthritis
- boosts the immune system
- improves memory and brain function
- improves digestion
- provides extra energy and endurance
Protein powder + coconut oil = the holiday boost you need!
And then, for some festive cheer (as well as some extra protein and many other benefits), I added my favorite holiday nut, the pistachio! If you can find your pistachios shelled, you’ll save a lot of time on this recipe. If not, no matter. It just gives you some extra time to listen to Christmas music while preparing your cookies.
In the end, you’ll have a fudge-y, brownie-like cookie that is sweet and salty, filled with chocolate and pistachios, plus little protein for the holiday energy boost you need!
Preheat the oven to 350. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicon baking mat and set aside.
In a medium bowl stir together flour, protein powder, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt.
In a second bowl combine apple sauce, coconut oil, maple syrup, and vanilla extract.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir together. The dough should be thick and a bit sticky. Fold in chocolate chips and pistachios.
Chill for 20 minutes to allow dough to harden.
Roll about 2 tbsp of cookie dough and place it on a baking sheet. Using the bottom of a glass or the palm of your hand, flatten cookie so that cookie is about 1/2" thick. Repeat with all the dough until dough is gone. Bake for about 10-12 minutes until slightly underdone. The cookies will continue to harden as they cool but this allows them to have a fudge-y center.
Remove from oven and let cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire cooling rack to cool completely. Store in air tight container for up to 5 days.
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