Cinnamon Coconut Protein Cookies
I love coconut. (As if you hadn't noticed.)
First there was the strawberry coconut kombucha smoothie; then coconut macaroons, coconut whipped cream, and coconut bacon.
I just can't get enough of the stuff. And you know why? Because coconut is a delicious, healthy way to get some good fats in your body. It has also been shown to aid in nutrient absorption in the body, improve digestive function, and protect against free radicals. Plus, its delicious.
Last week I finished reading Born to Run by Christopher McDougall. Read it, its truly excellent.
Without spoiling it, it centers around a tribe in Mexico called the Tarhumara who can run incredible distances, and do. I'm talking like 100 miles a day. And the cool part? Its not just some people in the tribe who can, they all can. And they do it almost barefoot.
Anyway, the Tarahumara eat a pretty limited diet made up of a lot of grains, but to prep for long runs, they drink an elixir of chia seeds fermented with sugar and lime juice. Chia is the superfood of their success.
After reading the book, I immediately bought vibrams and started adding chia to my oatmeal every morning. Coincidence or self-created placebo, my daily running mileage has almost doubled. I think I might even start training for a half marathon next month.
Now back to the cookies.
Since I've been doing so much more running, I've learned that I am not the kind of person who can eat a massive meal and perform. I have to eat very small, light meals continuously, or I get sluggish.
When I started whipping up these cookies (I hesitate to call them cookies. Health biscuits maybe?) I tried to create the perfect little snack I could eat before a run, or during a run, or after a run. The combination of protein powder, chia, hemp and coconut gave me the power I needed to start crushing my workouts and finally feel that runners high.
The cookies definitely tasted reminiscent of the vanilla protein powder I used, but I love the taste of my protein powder, so I didn't mind. The cinnamon and nutmeg also help to nicely disguise any chalkiness. Plus, they still taste light years better than any of those nasty gel packs ever could, I promise. And I know some of you are big fans of the gels, but I think there's something to be said for eating real, whole food.
What's your secret sweat-'till-you-drop power food?
1 cup gluten-free rice flour
1 cup vanilla protein powder (gluten-free)
3 tablespoons chia powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup homemade hemp milk
2 tablespoons sunflower oil
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees.
Combine the rice flour, protein powder, chia powder, salt, and baking powder in a large bowl.
In a seperate bowl, mash your 2 ripe bananas. Add the hemp milk & sunflower oil and give it a good whisk. Mix in the cinnamon and nutmeg; whisk again.
Pour the dry ingredients into the wet, using a wooden spoon to combine the two. Once the cookie dough has formed, add in the coconut flakes. Stir 'em in so the dough is uniform.
Wish your freshly washed hands, roll the dough into balls and place onto a greased or nonstick baking sheet. Use a fork to press down the dough (like peanut butter cookies).
Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes, or until cookies just begin to crack.
Remove from the oven, place on a cookie sheet to cool, and enjoy!