#HealthyTreats: Vegan Peanut Butter Caramel + Chocolate Orange Cookies

Chewy guilt-free cookies

Many misunderstand veganism as a lifestyle of restriction and tastelessness, however, any vegan will testify that the reality is quite the opposite. Although this recipe is much easier than traditional versions, it is just as (if not more!) tasty. These cookies are low in fat yet naturally sweet and sticky to satisfy cravings. Though suitable for vegans, they can be enjoyed by almost anybody and can be easily modified to suit gluten-free diets. Although I made two different flavours – peanut butter caramel and chocolate orange – I’ve tried to leave space open for creativity, giving my choices only as an example, as you can experiment with almost any ingredient of your choosing such as nut butters, fruits and seeds. This recipe was inspired by vegan bodybuilder and YouTube star Jon Venus.

Ingredients (Makes 8–12 cookies):

  • 3–4 ripe bananas
  • 1–2 cups of oats (optional GF oats)
  • Almond milk (or similar dairy-free milk alternative)

Optional extras – get creative!

  • 1 ½ tablespoons of peanut butter
  • 1 handful of pitted dates, chopped
  • Cinnamon powder
  • ½ orange for zesting
  • Raw cacao powder and/or Sweet Freedom ‘Choc shot’ (this is a delicious sweetener entirely from natural extracts) or similar cacao-based sweetener
Close up of the cookies

Method:

  • Preheat your oven at 160C
  • Mash your bananas in a bowl
  • Mix in your oats until you reach a thick consistency (you want more oats than banana, which should mostly bind) and if your mixture gets too dry, add a dash of almond milk or alternative
  • If you are making multiple varieties, now would be the time to separate your mixture
  • In one-half mix, add the chopped dates, peanut butter and a generous sprinkle of cinnamon
  • In the other half mix, add the zest of half an orange and raw cacao powder until the desired colour is reached
  • (Optional) Add a few squirts of Sweet Freedom ‘Choc shot’ to counteract the rich cacao
  • Line a baking tray with baking paper or aluminium foil (no need for grease) and lay out your mixtures using a spoon
  • Bake in preheated oven for approx. 15–18 minutes (the cookies should be lightly browned and have a chewy consistency)
  • As always, share and enjoy with friends!

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