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Flourless Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

In my last post on making soy milk at home I mentioned that you are going to end up with soy bean pulp, which is known as "okara" in Japanese. It's full of soy protein and fiber as well as calcium, iron, and riboflavin, so it just seems such a waste to throw it away. Correction: it is a waste to throw it away!

Huge volumes of okara are left over from the commercial production of soy milk and tofu, most of which is fed to cows and pigs because for some reason people seem to prefer to eat okara only after it's been turned into the flesh of an animal. But we are not about to feed the okara left over from our soy-milk-making efforts to the pigs when it can curl our hair.

We have experimented with a few ways to use our okara - add it to oatmeal for breakfast, add it to soup, or substitute it for 1/3 of the flour in any recipe. But our favorite thing is to use it to make chocolate chip cookies. Is it any wonder when we are such chocoholics! The result is a healthy cookie, low in fat, flour-less and gluten-free if that matters to you, and full of protein and omega-3 fat.

Okara, right after making soy milk, is pretty moist, although if you squeeze it in the nut milk bag I recommended in my previous post, it will be a lot drier than if you just strain the soy milk through a sieve. The drier the better.

So, as promised, here is our secret recipe for okara chocolate chip cookies. Please note that there is nothing rigid about the ingredients and their quantities. Adjust anything to taste, vary the amounts, and substitute and play around with the ingredients. Basically, in the end you're after something that is like any other cookie batter. If it's too dry, add a little soy milk. It it's too wet, add a little oat meal. And since there are no eggs or animal products in the recipe, you can definitely "lick the bowl" without any concern for risking your health. Why, the cookies could even be eaten raw if that's your thing!

I have no idea how many cookies you are going to end up with since everything is approximate, and I don't want to be sued if you're one cookie short of a picnic. The dog probably ate it anyhow.

Start out by setting your oven to 350F/180C while you prepare the batter.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of okara (soy pulp left over from making soy milk) squeezed as dry as possible in a nut milk bag 
  • 1 Tbsp peanut butter (leave out if you or anyone in your family has a nut allergy)
  • 2 Tbsp ground flax seed 
  • 2 Tbsp cocoa powder (we always use this raw organic cocoa powder from Amazon - it's a two-pack and available on "subscribe and save" so you can get a discount)
  • 1/2 cup of dried fruit of your choice (we like the tartness of cranberries)
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup crushed walnuts
  • 1/2 to 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (depending on your level of chocoholism)
  • 1 Tbsp brandy (optional, depending on your level of alcoholism)
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup or other sweetener such as agave
  • Soy milk or oat meal at the ready just in case your batter ends up too dry or too wet

Method

  • Mix it all up. Pulse with your food processor if you're into that or have puny arms like me
  • Make balls with approx. 2 Tbsp of the dough 
  • Place them on parchment paper on a cookie sheet and flatten with your fingers or with whatever you can lay your hands on, just don't use a mallet
  • Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes using your convection fan (if you don't have a convection oven, add an additional 5 minutes cooking time
That's it! Easy peasy! Allow to cool if you can, and enjoy. They go great in your lunch box or mid-morning or afternoon snack, and remember, unlike a bought cookie or any other cookie you've ever made before, these cookies have the following health benefits:
  • 100% plant-based
  • high in protein and fiber
  • contain calcium, iron, riboflavin, omega-3 fat, and cancer-preventing lignans

Takeaway

Did you know that soy has been shown in several studies to extend the survival rate from breast cancer? Here's a video from Dr. Micheal Greger M.D. on the subject. The power of soy! Let food be thy medicine! -John 



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