Gluten-Free Double Chocolate Chunk Peppermint Cookies & Superfood Hot Chocolate
Try these gluten and dairy-free double chocolate peppermint cookies with some superfood hot chocolate for a healthy twist on your favorite holiday treats!
Baking your own healthy desserts to bring to holiday parties or enjoy at home with family is a great way to balance out all the indulgences of the holiday season without feeling deprived. It’s surprisingly easy to make healthy versions of your favorite holiday desserts. Here’s how we did it.
Swap butter for applesauce for some extra fiber and nutrients, and less fat and calories. These gluten and dairy free chocolate holiday cookies are sweetened with 100% pure maple syrup instead of refined sugar to give them even more of a nutrient boost (check out the health benefits of pure maple syrup below).
Substitute cow’s milk with a plant-based milk (unsweetened almond milk and coconut milk are my favorites) for an easy way to make any dessert safe for friends and family with dairy sensitivities, lactose-intolerance, or milk allergies.
Recommended Reading: Is Dairy Causing your Breakouts
Add some almond butter to keep your cookies moist and add some heart healthy fats.
Making your own healthy hot chocolate instead of using a store bought mix takes just about the same amount of time to prepare, and it tastes way better, and is of course way better for you.
Your typical, store bought hot chocolate mix has a ton of added sugar and is made from refined cocoa, not cacao (the unprocessed, raw form). This superfood hot chocolate recipe is made from organic, 100% raw cocao, almond milk, pure maple syrup, and a few of my favorite superfood powders like maca and turmeric (check out the health benefits maca and turmeric below), and some warming winter spices like nutmeg and cinnamon.
Want to know why these ingredients are so great? Check out their nutrition facts below.
Cacao is made from ground, raw cocao seeds from cocao beans. Unlike the typical store bought hot cocoa, raw cacao is unrefined and doesn’t contain any additives or sugar.
Cacao has a ton of nutrients, but is best known for it’s potent anti-inflammatory properties which come from its high concentration of flavanoids (catechins and epicatechins).
Cacao is also a great source of magnesium, an important mineral that supports more than 300 biochemical processes in the body, including muscle and nerve function. Epidemiological and clinical research suggest that consumption of dark chocolate reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease and lowers blood pressure (1).
100% PURE MAPLE SYRUP
100% pure maple syrup is a great alternative to sugar because it contains more nutrients, antioxidants and other phytochemicals.
Unrefined maple syrup is made from the sap of maple trees, and has a lower glycemic index than sugar, which helps to minimize blood sugar spikes.
It’s also a good source of manganese, a trace mineral that supports your brain, nervous system, and enzymes throughout the body. The darker, grade B maple syrup contains antioxidants called polyphenols that help fight inflammation and free radicals (2).
Maca is a root vegetable that is native to Peru. Its root is dried, ground into a powder, and used medicinally as an adaptogen to balance stress hormones.
Maca is especially known for it’s ability to boost energy without the jitters that you might get from caffeine. Multiple studies have found that maca also balances female hormones and enhances libido in men and women (3, 4).
It’s also a great source of vitamin c, copper, and iron, and has a ton of health-promoting phytonutrients like glucosinolates and polyphenols.
It has a honey comb like flavor, and is a great addition to smoothies, baked goods, and even oatmeal.
Turmeric and its active substance curcumin is probably one of the most well researched and studied healing herbs. It’s known for it’s incredible anti-inflammatory properties that have been found to be effective in treating allergies, depression, high triglycerides, and arthritis (5, 6, 7, 8).
Turmeric is also being studied for it’s health benefits related to improved brain function and memory, and cancer treatment. To help its absorption, it is best to add a touch of black pepper in with it.
DOUBLE CHOCOLATE CHUNK PEPPERMINT COOKIES
(GF, DF, OIL-FREE)
Recipe by Gabriella Gavalas
Makes: 10 cookies
¼ cup of nut butter
¼ cup of 100% pure maple syrup
1½ tablespoons of unsweetened plant-based milk (almond, coconut, etc.)
2 tablespoons of unsweetened applesauce
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon pure peppermint extract
1 ¼ cup gluten-free flour
½ cup organic cacao powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ cup dark chocolate chunks
½ cup crushed candy canes
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper or spray with non-stick cooking spray (I like this coconut cooking spray for desserts).
Combine wet and dry ingredients (excluding the crushed candy canes) in two separate mixing bowls.
Combine the wet ingredients into the bowl with dry ingredients, and mix until well combined.
Take about 2 tablespoons of the mixture and roll into a ball, and place on the parchment paper, gently pressing down to flatten the cookies.
Continue with the rest of the mixture, making sure to leave about ½ an inch in between each cookie.
Sprinkle on top the crushed candy canes and then bake for 8-10 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Once finished, let cool, and if desired, dip the cookies in melted dark chocolate and the rest of the crushed candy canes.
SUPERFOOD HOT CHOCOLATE
Recipe by Gabriella Gavalas
½ cup of water
1 cup of plant milk (I used almond milk)
1 tablespoon organic cacao powder
2 teaspoons organic maca powder
2 tablespoons 100% pure maple syrup
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon organic ground turmeric
Pinch of sea salt
Home-made coconut or regular whipped cream
Shaved dark chocolate
Heat a small saucepan on medium heat.
Add in plant milk of choice, as well as the water, and let that heat up for about 2 minutes.
Add in the rest of the ingredients, and mix thoroughly to avoid clumping. Using a whisk works best.
Continue to stir occasionally over medium to low heat for about 2-3 more minutes.
Transfer to a mug, top with desired toppings, and enjoy!
Can’t wait to see you try it! Tag us on Instagram @allgreatnutrition and @healthnutgab.
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