Okay, I’m just going to clear the air now… I don’t really care for chocolate. Please don’t hate me or judge me. I will eat it every couple months when I get an odd craving, but for the most part I just don’t like it. I find it bitter and it makes me feel almost nauseated when I eat it. That being said, I have a crazy sweet tooth. If you put a cheesecake (or any cake, TBH) in front of me, I will not stop eating it until I make myself sick. While I am not a fan of chocolate or many candies, give me any sort of baked good or pastry item and I am all over it. As someone who is gluten intolerant, having a sweet tooth has become my greatest weakness, because there aren’t many gluten free options AND most gluten free desserts really aren’t that great. On top of all of that, over the past month I have been trying to cut back on my sugar intake which makes having a sweet tooth even harder. I was watching a fitness vlogger the other day (Sarah’s Day, check her out!) and she mentioned raw vegan desserts. Knowing I had similar diet preferences to her’s, I immediately went to Pinterest to check it out.
First, for some background information, let’s talk about Raw Veganism. Veganism is obviously not eating any animal by-products (this includes eggs, dairy, and even honey and beeswax). Raw veganism is basically being vegan, but without cooking anything, except for heating to a certain, low temperature. The point is to be consuming the most natural food and to get the most nutrients out of everything you eat.
Of course, I immediately chose a raw vegan cheesecake recipe. I was slightly shocked to find out the creamy “cheesecake” was made with cashews, but I was very intrigued from the beginning. I tried this recipe, Raspberry Cheesecake Bars (which were amazing, by the way). As I was building the base for the cheesecake, I just wanted to eat the batter because it smelled so amazing (it contained oats, cinnamon, and dates, among a few other ingredients). After finishing the recipe and actually eating it, my favorite part was the base because it reminded me of one of my favorite desserts: Oatmeal Cookies. This lead me to create my own guilt free cookie recipe!
Let me tell you now, this is one of the easiest recipes I have ever made. You will need a food processor, but a blender might work as well. You can definitely adjust the ingredients to taste, but I included oats, apples, dates, raisins, pecans, and cinnamon in my cookies. You literally just throw everything in the food processor and blend until it becomes a consistency that you can form into balls or cookies. After it is blended, just form into the desired shapes and portion sizes that you prefer and store in an airtight container in the fridge! And now you can snack to your heart’s desire!
These cookies are wonderful as plain cookies, frosted cookies, or you can make bite sized balls for your pre-workout or to add to your morning cereal or yogurt. My one disclaimer is that these do have a lot of natural sugar which occurs in the dates, so if you are concerned about a spike in blood sugar you have to be careful, but these are ALL NATURAL with no added sweetener, just fruit, nuts, and oats. Also, if you happen to follow a paleo diet, you can add extra pecans or almonds in place of the oats. This recipe is extremely versatile so play around with it and find your perfect cookie!