chocolate chip coconut cookies (vegan)

Ok, sharing my FAVORITE chocolate chip cookie recipe that just so happens to be vegan. When baked perfectly, they are slightly hard on the outside but super soft when you bite into it with a hint of cinnamon.  I remember making these for a birthday party and getting lots of people saying, “no way these are vegan!” I’ve tweaked the recipe a few times since finding it online from the Vegan Housewives blog.

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Chocolate Chip Coconut Cookies (V)

Ingredients

  • 1/2 c coconut oil (soft, not melted!)
  • 1 c brown sugar (you can do 1/2 c dark brown, 1/2 c light brown)
  • 1/4 c homemade hemp milk (or other non-dairy milk…rice milk works really well here!)
  • 1 Tbs vanilla extract
  • 1 c all-purpose flour
  • 1 c + 2 Tbs cake flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2/3 c chocolate chips (mixture of mini and regular chips work the best!)
  • 1/3 c unsweetened coconut flakes (optional)

Directions

  1. Cream oil and sugar very well in a mixer (or by hand.  If by hand, make sure coconut oil is softened first.)  Add in milk and vanilla, combine well.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients.  Slowly add dry into the wet sugar/oil mixture until just combined.  Fold in chocolate chips and coconut flakes if using.
  3. Set dough in the fridge for 30 min to 24 hours (longer is better.) When ready, preheat oven to 350° and line a couple cookie sheets with parchment paper.  Scoop dough using a 2 Tbs scoop and roll into balls, flatten slightly on baking sheet.
  4. When oven is properly preheated, bake 7-10 min until edges slightly brown and puff up a bit.  Remove from oven and let cool.  The cookies will continue to cook when out of the oven, so be patient!

Notes

  • Measure the coconut oil as a solid, if you measure it as a liquid, the cookies will turn out very oily.
  • Mix dark and light brown sugar!
  • You may also use only all-purpose flour instead of the mix of cake and AP.  Instead, use 2 cups all-purpose.

 

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trail food: vegan breakfast

Every time I look up vegan backpacking food, it is a compiled list of store-bought lightweight meals.  Or nut-heavy trail mixes. Or straight up candy.  Don’t get me wrong, nuts are a great source of energy and candy tastes EVEN BETTER in the backcountry, but sometimes, too many almonds and peanuts give me stomach issues and candy is not the best recovery food for hours of hiking and/or working.

There are so many options for healthy and satisfying food that you can take in your pack for up to 9 days (and that I myself have packed around while working on trails).  Some are a little heavier (those luxury items…but so good to bite into on day 6!), but all are backpacking friendly.

And those pre-packaged meals—they are so much cheaper if you just make them yourself!  Buy some rice and dehydrated beans, a pepper, onion, maybe even zucchini…add some hot sauce, a little spice, and avocado, wrap in a burrito.  Might be a little more effort than just warming up a packet, but it is REAL food.

I am starting a series to show easy meals that you can carry in the backcountry, taking minimal time or only one pot, and that are nutritious!  When hiking around, carrying a pack 20+ lbs (or closer to 60lbs…yikes) you work up an appetite and need serious calories that also are full of nutrients to replenish what you just burned off.

Let’s start out with the first meal of the day—breakfast!

Oatmeal

Ingredients (for one serving):

  • 1/2 cup oatmeal (instant or rolled oats, I prefer rolled oats)
  • 1 Tbs chia seeds
  • dash cinnamon
  • dash sea salt
  • 1/4 cup dried fruit (raisins, chewy banana bites, coconut flakes…whatever I’m feeling that week)
  • 1/4 cup granola of choice
  • 1 TBS peanut butter

Directions:

  1. AT HOME: Multiply the ingredients by the number of days on the trail.  Combine oatmeal, chia seeds, cinnamon, sea salt, and dried fruit, and granola in a bag. Mix to combine.
  2. ON THE TRAIL: Measure out ~1 cup of the oatmeal mixture in a bowl, add hot water and let sit for a few minutes.  Add peanut butter on top!

Homemade Protein Granola Bar

I prepare some granola bars before heading out, wrap them individually in plastic wrap or in a baggie, and top with peanut butter in the morning! My favorite is to make Running With Spoons’ soft & chewy protein granola bars, with a few modifications.  My modified recipe coming soon 🙂

Peanut Butter Breakfast Wrap

Ingredients:

  • Multigrain tortilla wrap
  • 2 Tbs peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup granola of choice
  • Handful of dried fruit or freshly picked berries, sliced apple, or random banana you may have thrown in your pack thinking just maybe it won’t get smashed

Directions:

  1. Take tortilla, spread with peanut butter, sprinkle granola in the middle with other dried and/or fresh fruit, and wrap!

 

And last but not least,

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COFFEE!

The most important part of the morning day.  To make my coffee on the trail, I bring a bag filled with ground coffee, a mug, and a MSR coffee filter. Boil some water, fill the coffee filter with coffee grounds (I add quite a bit to make extra strong coffee), place filled filter in mug, and pour hot water over grounds!  Let sit for a few minutes, remove filter, and drink up!

Pro-tip: for used coffee grounds, I bring a sturdy sealed plastic baggie that I can throw the grounds in after they have dried a bit.  Sometimes if we have a fire, I will burn the grounds so I don’t have to carry them.  Remember—pack it in, pack it out!