Chickpea Chocolate Chip Cookies

I’ve come full circle on the idea of “sneaking healthy foods” into meals and snacks for kids. When my children were younger, I used to think, “what could be the harm?”.  It turns, quite a bit. When we sneak ingredients into the food we prepare for our children, we often teach them that:

  • we don’t trust them around food
  • vegetables, fruits, beans, etc. are not very tasty, so the only way you’ll eat them is if we disguise them
  • you can’t really trust that what I’m offering you is what I say it is

This is not to say that I don’t believe in substitutions and creativity. I just think that if we are in it for the long haul, openness, curiosity and patience might serve us better. I’ve often told the story of how when I first made a version of these cookies, I completely hid the fact that they were made out of  chickpeas. I thought it was brilliant. My unsuspecting children approached them with excitement only to frown upon discovering a whole chickpea in the cookie (pro tip: make sure your “batter” is fully blended!). They felt tricked and I was impressed at how much trust I had lost. I changed my approach quite swiftly. My kids have gotten used to substitutions and variations, I just don’t hide them anymore. We love a good lentil bolognese and tofu ricotta is the star of our lasagna.

I’ve made some adjustments in the recipe and now feature this incredibly hearty, nutty ingredient front and center in the title. My crew has come to enjoy them and they now trust me about absolutely everything (just kidding!). The only down side is that now I have to share.

1 15 ounce can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup peanut butter (feel free to sub a different nut butter)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
1/2 cup almond flour
1/4 cup chia seeds
1/4 cup hemp seeds
1 to 2 cups chocolate chips or raisins (depending on how chocolatey you want them!)

Preheat the over to 350F.

In a food processor, purée the chickpeas with the maple syrup, peanut butter and vanilla until smooth. Empty the purèe into a medium sized mixing bowl. Without bothering to clean out the food processor, pulse the oats until they are coarse (somewhere between whole oats and oat flour). Add the oats and remaining ingredients to the bowl. Mix until combined.

Using an ice cream scooper, place the dough on a parchment lined baking sheet, making 12 large or roughly 18- 20 smaller cookies. Gently press down to flatten. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes for larger cookies (and 8 to 10 for smaller) until cooked through and slightly golden. I prefer mine on softer side so take them out early. If you leave them in too long, they tend to dry out.