These pumpkin spice chocolate chip cookies make a healthier post-workout snack. This gluten-free recipe is not strictly low-fat or sugar-free; however, it is lower in fat and sugar – and higher in protein – than standard cookie recipes. A video lower within this article is included.
What You Need to Know about Sugar, Carbs, and Fitness Snacks
The fact is that, generally, sugar is not good for you.
However, if there is a time when sugar might be somewhat beneficial, it’s after a strenuous workout when a bit of sugar can help to shuttle protein and nutrients into dry, thirsty muscles (this is a trick that bodybuilders and professional athletes have known for half a century).
Eat Your Way to a Healthier Body
This recipe has far less sugar (and butter) – and more protein – than a standard cookie recipe. But what’s even better is that it’s gluten-free, plus contains apple, zucchini, carrot, and pumpkin.
Almost everyone I know is eating far fewer vegetables than they think they are, and far less than what they need to meet their micronutrient and health requirements. This recipe for healthier pumpkin spice chocolate chip cookies seeks to remedy that somewhat.
I came up with the idea for this fitness cookie recipe because I was tired of finding seed oils – particularly sunflower oil and safflower oil – in the ingredients list for protein bars. As someone who is more concerned with overall inflammation than arterial plaque, I would rather have a bit of butter in my cookie than seed oil.
While the standard cookie recipe has 2 sticks of butter, this recipe has only one stick – plus a bit of pecan butter and a touch of olive oil.
Is this cookie part of an advanced-level anti-inflammatory diet?
However, as a treat on heavy workout days, it’s a delicious reward!
Be advised, I do not enjoy foods that are sickly sweet. I played with this recipe several times until I found the exact amount of sweetness that makes it a tasty treat but without creating a blood sugar spike followed by an energy crash.
Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Chip Cookies: How to Have a Successful Bake
This recipe for healthier pumpkin spice chocolate chip cookies is actually quite easy, especially as you become accustomed to making them regularly:
- The most challenging part about the bake is remembering to set out the dairy butter and pecan butter ahead of time so that they are at room temperature.
- I typically keep my pumpkin puree in a glass food-storage container in the freezer, so – in my case – I have to remember to defrost that ahead of time, too.
TIP: use the wax paper from your stick of butter to lightly grease your cookie sheet. Typically, all you need is the butter grease that’s left on the paper after you drop the butter into your mixing bowl. (Alternatively, you can also use a nonstick Silpat liner inside your cookie sheet.)
When I’m at – or very near – my target body weight, I’ll make this recipe a couple of times a month and store the cookies in a glass food-storage container in the refrigerator. One batch produces 30 small cookies.
- 1 1/2 cups Birch Benders paleo pancake mix
- 1 1/2 cups Birch Benders gluten-free pancake mix
- 1 package Lakanto chocolate chips
- 3/4 cup pumpkin
- 2/3 cup carrot
- 2/3 cup zucchini
- 1/2 cup whey protein isolate powder
- 1/2 cup salted butter
- 1/4 cup diced (peeled) apple
- 1/4 cup real maple syrup
- 1/4 cup pecan butter
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon water
- 6 dashes cardamom
- 6 dashes cinnamon
- 6 drops stevia
- Preheat Oven to 350 degrees.
- Grate the carrot and zucchini and saute over low heat for 5 minutes. Set aside and let cool.
- Cream together butter, eggs, pumpkin, maple syrup, pecan butter, olive oil, water, spices, and stevia.
- Once creamed, begin to add in whey protein isolate and pancake mixes (flour) gradually.
- Finally, fold in carrot, zucchini, apple, and chocolate chips.
- Even if you're using an electric mixer, be sure to finish up by stirring the batter by hand with a spatula to make certain the ingredients are evenly distributed and that there are no dry spots of flour sticking to the sides of the bowl.
- Use an ice cream scoop to deposit dough onto greased (or non-stick) cookie sheet.
- Bake for 13 minutes.
Makes 30 small cookies.
After the ten-minute mark, turn on your oven light and keep an eye on how the baking progresses. Because of differences in ovens, altitude, egg size, etc., cooking time will vary slightly.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 30
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 150 • Protein: 5g