My name is Lisa Tsakos, Registered Holistic Nutritional Consultant, corporate speaker and author. This blog provides professional advice from a nutrition and weight loss expert (me!) about corporate and family health. Here you'll find recipes and articles that address work-related challenges like eating on-the-go and maximizing your productivity with the right foods. You'll also find out about how you can help your children develop strong immune systems and healthy bodies. As a nutrition instructor, I often found myself thinking, "When I have kids, this is how I will feed them." With two toddlers, I have the opportunity to practice what I have been preaching and to try out my theories. So far, they seem to be working! Follow me on my journey and also on Twitter @NuVitalityHW.

10 Feb 2014

Banana-Coconut-Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

Who doesn't love a good chocolate chip cookie? And when a cookie is jam-packed with superfoods (like dark chocolate, flaxseed and goji berries), doesn't it taste even better? 

The best part is, my kids LOVE these cookies and we make (and bake) them together almost weekly (they don't last very long!). It's a fun family activity for us and in my opinion, it's never too soon to learn about cooking and baking. I gush with pride when little Ben (only 1 year old) mixes the dry ingredients without spilling a crumb or when 3-year old Olivia fills the measuring cup right to the half-cup marker. Their favourite part, of course, is adding the dark chocolate. Somehow, their faces always end up covered in chocolate (1 for the mix, 2 for me). 

Benjamin caught red-handed!

The first time I made this recipe, I used 1 cup of organic white flour*, but since then I've gradually replaced all of the white flour with coconut flour and have recently added tiger nut flour (which is nutritionally similar to almonds). Even without any white flour, the cookies are deliciously chewy and rich thanks to 3 coconut sources: coconut flour, coconut oil, and shredded unsweetened coconut (my favourite part). If you don't have one (or all) of these at home, you can substitute butter or Earth Balance for the coconut oil, white or spelt flour for coconut flour, and leave out the shredded coconut. You can always add in other 'extras' such as walnuts or pecans, and replace the goji berries with another type of dried fruit (dried cranberries are fantastic!). 

*Why use organic flour? Read the surprising facts about the scary ingredients used in bread making.

Here is the recipe:
Dry ingredients:
½ cup organic white flour
½ cup of coconut flour (or ¼ cup coconut flour, ¼ cup tiger nut flour)
¼ cup rolled oats (not instant)
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. sea salt
1 tbsp. ground flaxseed (optional)

Wet ingredients:
½ cup brown sugar
2 ripe bananas, ripe
½ cup coconut oil or butter, softened
1 egg
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

½ cup dark chocolate chips (I chop up an extra-dark chocolate bar and mix in some raw cacao nibs)
¼ cup shredded unsweetened coconut
¼ cup dried goji berries (or dried cranberries)

1. Preheat oven to 350°C.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. In a bowl, mix all the dry ingredients.
3. Blend the bananas with the sugar until well mixed. Add the remaining wet ingredients and mix well.
4. Pour the wet mix into the dry mix and stir.
5. Add the chocolate, goji berries and any other extras. Stir until mixed.
6. Drop 1-tablespoon mounds of cookie dough onto the baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes until bottom of cookies are golden.

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