Good morning friends.
Has all of the excitement of fall/winter entered your home as it has ours?? The girls have already requested making our hot cocoa mix, checked out Christmas craft books at the library, and cut and clued things from catalogs for Christmas wish lists.
And although we are spending more time in the kitchen with our check list of things to bake/make, I’m always wanting whatever we’re baking to be something healthier for them and for me.
I love pumpkin cookies and wanted to make something seasonal that had relatively few ingredients: lots of highly nutritional pumpkin, oats as super-star carbs for energy, nuts for protein, and a little sweetness. These pumpkin energy cookies offer:
- Protein: Walnuts have tons of protein (second only to almonds) with 18 grams of protein (in 1 cup of walnuts) for this total recipe!
- Carbohydrates: Slow digesting carbs offer longer-lasting energy when eaten before a workout or activity. Oats are the shining stars here loaded with macro nutrients like protein (44 grams of protein in this batch of cookies just from the oats!), fiber (24 grams), and a long list of other nutrients.
- Vitamins and other Nutrients: Pumpkin has 200% of the daily recommendation of vitamin A, lots of fiber to help with weight loss (feeling fuller longer), free-radical-neutralizing powers of the carotenoids, and pumpkin has more of the refueling nutrient of potassium over bananas, making them a better choice for real energy.
With this particular combination of protein to carbs, it is perfect for a pre-workout/running out the door for a full day. And as a post-workout, it provides a perfect balance of carb to protein ration to repair muscle and for recovery.
This recipe makes a big batch of these energy cookies with the idea that you’ll eat some (share some with the kids) and then store the rest to have on hand throughout the week. Package some in small containers or snack baggies in the fridge to grab as you head out the door for you or the kids.
(Recipe adapted from fitfabmommy’s healthy pumpkin oatmeal cookie.)
pumpkin energy cookies
Makes 30 large energy cookies.
- 1 large 29 oz. can of pumpkin puree
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp fresh ground nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp allspice
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp almond extract
- 4 cups old fashioned oats (you could use gluten-free oats as well)
- 1/2 cup coconut sugar (or brown sugar–coconut sugar adds to the flavor)
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large bowl, stir together pumpkin puree, vanilla and almond extract, spices, and sea salt until well blended.
- Mix in the oats, sugar, chocolate chips, and walnuts until well combined.
- Using a medium, spring-loaded ice cream scoop (or a metal spoon), drop batter by the tablespoon onto lined cookie sheets. Since these cookies aren’t necessarily going to rise in the oven, I flattened my cookies with a tall glass. I keep a little flour nearby for the glass when it begins to stick to the top of the cookies. (To keep these cookies gluten free, just use a gluten-free flour to help with the flattening.)
5. Bake cookies for 15-17 minutes until firm. They should be slightly brown on the bottom. Cool for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
You can store these cookies in an airtight container for up to 5 days on the counter or up to two weeks in the refrigerator. This is important because I like to grab one of these for some quick carbs before working out or for the girls before or after ballet practice. Instead of overeating a regular pumpkin cookie if it is around I love that I can refrigerate these and trea them as what they are: energy cookies. They last much longer that way.
As a side note, these are some hardy, heathy cookies for kids. (They really shouldn’t even be called cookies.) They are great for little hands and chocked full of good things. And with just a 1/2 cup of sugar in the whole double batch, they definitely are a better choice compared to other sweets. Rowan loves these with lunch.
the sleepy time gal