I have a nasty habit. I motivate myself to exercise with the promise of food. (I know you’re supposed to exercise for the “natural high,” the energy and mood boost, blah blah blah, but my tactics get me to the gym every day so something must be working.) I have a huge sweet tooth, so usually the food I promise myself is what my mom has always called a “sweet treat.” Of course, I don’t want to undo my last hour of sweat, so when I “indulge” in a post work-out treat, it’s always a secretly healthy one. Ever since discovering the wonder of frozen banana ice cream, that was my go-to snack. However, a few weeks ago, I stumbled across a few recipes for “healthy Oreo’s,” and I was immediately intrigued.
Healthy homemade Oreos are superior to their commercial competition because they are made primarily of almond meal, which means they are rich in Vitamin E, B-complex vitamins like riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B-6, and folates, healthy fats and protein. The cocoa powder provides antioxidants, fiber, and magnesium. Agave syrup adds natural sweetness to this already powerful duo.
Because most of these healthy Oreo recipes are also raw, they usually require a dehydrator. However, if you don’t have one, like myself, you can just form them into flat circle shapes on a cookie tray and bake at 350 degrees for about five minutes or simply put the tray in the fridge for a few hours. If you choose the oven option, the Oreos will have a consistency more similar to small “Whoopie Pies,” but they are still delicious. Also, if you happen to be making a vegan ice cream cake, the healthy oreo dough (before being baked) can be crumbled up into bits, which makes it just like the traditional cookie crumbs we all loved as kids.
Perhaps the most interesting (and expensive) part of these healthy Oreos is the filling. The traditional filling for these Oreos is coconut butter, which is different from coconut oil. I read somewhere on the internet that coconut butter was just solidified coconut oil, but this is not true. Coconut butter contains the meat of the coconut, while coconut oil does not. As Chocolate Covered Katie puts it, the difference is similar to that between peanut butter and peanut oil. Because coconut butter contains the meat of the coconut, it is way more expensive than coconut oil. One jar costs at least ten dollars (the one I bought from Whole Foods was thirteen!) However, if you’ve got more time than money, try making some homemade coconut butter!
If you’re allergic to coconut or just don’t want a lower cost option, you can substitute sweet cashew cream for the coconut butter. Yes, that’s an awful lot of nuts and the taste is different, but it’s still good. No matter what you decide to use as your filling, you can customize the flavor of it. If you add peppermint extract, peanut butter, or anything else you can think of, you can easily create various Oreo flavors. Although the recipe I used included a mint filling, I just went for a normal Oreo. Another note: all of the recipes say that you have to add agave nectar to the coconut butter but I forgot this step while I was making mine, and they were sweet enough for me. If you don’t have a huge sweet tooth, you may want to do that as well.
So if you’re ever in need of work-out motivation, just whip up a batch of these babies. Who says you can’t treat your body and tastebuds at the same time?