Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bliss Cookies

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These cookies are:

Equal parts crispy and chewy
Just the right amount of sweetness (in my moderately sweet cookie loving opinion)
Taste quite buttery in thanks to the peanut butter and almond flour combo
Too cool for processed cookies
Gluten-free
Can be oil-free (see instructions to use coconut butter instead of Earth Balance)
Addictive

Another reason why you should make these cookies: The peanut butter and almonds goodness! And by goodness, I mean my goodness, nuts (even peanuts!) are so good for you. You really oughta know how truly good for us they are!

It might seem counterintuitive, but studies also show that nuts and seeds promote weight loss. Big-time. Research shows that when an equal number of carbohydrate calories are replaced with nuts and seeds, weight loss increases. Scientists from Purdue University did a thorough review of all the research studies that looked at nut intake and weight loss. Guess what? They found a surprising inverse association between nut intake and body mass index. As you eat more nuts, your BMI decreases. All the calories in nuts may not be bioaccessible, meaning that while our bodies absorb the nutrients that benefit our hearts and brains, we don’t absorb all the calories. How awesome is that!? As a lover of almonds, walnuts, cashews, pistachio nuts, pecans, and, well, honestly, every nut under the sun, this news could not thrill me more!

Not only did the researchers find that nuts were conducive to weight loss, they also found that nuts and seeds are a rich source of nutrients and protect our hearts and blood vessels. Almonds in particular have a potent antioxidant effect, which decreases levels of bad cholesterol and helps to keep our arteries clear of nasty buildup. We can relish the rich and fatty creaminess of nuts without worrying about gaining excess fat on our hips. Woohoo!

Ingredients (makes 6-8 cookies):

2 tablespoons ground flaxseeds mixed with ½ cup water
¾ cup peanut butter
¼ cup Earth Balance or another vegan butter spread*
¼ cup maple syrup
¼ cup date sugar
½ cup almond flour
½ cup oat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup dark chocolate chips of choice

*Use coconut butter instead to make them oil-free!

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Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix ground flaxseeds and water together in a small cup and set aside. This will form a nice flaxseed gel.

Place all ingredients except oat flour (including flaxseed gel) in a food processor and process until smooth. Once completely processed, poor in oat flour. Process until you have a crumbly but soft dough. Scoop the dough out into a large bowl and gently kneed in the chocolate chips.

Gather a baking tray and either lightly grease it or line it with parchment paper. Take about 2 tablespoons of dough and roll it into a ball. Place it on the tray and using your palm, press them until they form nice flat cookies. Repeat this step for the remaining dough. You can make them thick or thinner, but remember that they will require less baking time the thinner you make them.

Bake for 15-20 minutes and let them cool completely before munching on them. This will allow them to attain ultimate crispiness! Use a spatula when removing them from the tray and be careful not to burn yourself!

These cookies are truly irresistible and next time I prepare them, I might double the batch and make 2x as many. They will store in the refrigerator for up to five days and the freezer for over a week. They are so delicious when you heat them up for a minute upon taking them out of the freezer. In fact, this is my favorite way to eat them! They become a delectable mixture of crispy and chewy and the dark chocolate melts into the cookies. It’s just so yummy!

Nutty for nuts scientific references:

1. Adventist Health Study; Iowa Women’s Health Study; Nurses’ Health Study; Physicians’ Health Study; CARE Study.
2. C. M. Albert, J. M. Gaziano, W. C. Willett, et al., “Nut Consumption and Decreased Risk of Sudden Cardiac Death in the Physicians’ Health Study,” Archives of Internal Medicine 162, no. 12 (2002): 1382–87.
3. R. D. Mattes, P. M. Kris-Etherton, and G. D. Foster, “Impact of Peanuts and Tree Nuts on Body Weight and Healthy Weight Loss in Adults,” Journal of Nutrition 138, no. 9 (2008): 1741S–45S.

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