After-school snacks are a must for many, but the majority of go-to pantry finds are loaded with salt and sugar (and who knows what else). Skip the processed goods and instead opt for homemade cookies. Even better, these cookies pack a punch with low sugar, plenty of fiber and even a secret veggie!
For the Chocolate Lover
They say you can find a substitute for any craving… with the exception of chocolate. Curb the craving with less guilt and a side of veggies in this cleaned up take on chocolate cookies. You’ll need:
- 2 cups of shredded and drained zucchini
- 7 prunes
- 1 egg
- 3 Tablespoons dark chocolate cocoa powder
- 1 ½ Tablespoons vanilla
- 1 tsp olive oil
- ¼ c. dark chocolate chips (optional)
Start by prepping your zucchini; shred it, then using a cheesecloth or thin kitchen towel, squeeze all the water you can get from it (if you have time, let it sit for 30 minutes or so, then do a second round). Next, add everything except the chocolate chips into your food processor and let it fly, processing until it forms a smooth batter. Stir in your chocolate chips, then spoon onto a baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Let them cool completely, then refrigerate (they’ll firm up).
For the Gluten-Free Family
Cookies shouldn’t be limited-access—but some kids don’t have much choice! And while gluten-free options are certainly more commonplace than they used to be, it’s hard to find more peace of mind than you can when you make something in your own kitchen. Here’s a recipe that delivers gluten-free, zucchini-loaded deliciousness every time:
- 1 ½ cups grated, drained zucchini
- ½ cup gluten-free oats
- 1 ¼ cups oat flour
- ¼ cup honey
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup melted butter (cooled)
- 1 egg
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup dark chocolate chips
Start the same way as the last recipe, grating your zucchini and squeezing the water out. Then, in a large bowl, mix together the cinnamon, salt, flour, and baking powder. In a separate bowl, cream together the butter, honey, brown sugar, and eggs. Add the dry ingredients and mix well. Then stir in the zucchini chocolate chips. Once combined, let the dough sit for at least 15 minutes at room temperature. Bake Tablespoon-size dough balls at 375 degrees for 12-15 minutes.
We wouldn’t exactly call them health food, but they are healthier food! And with veggies in every bite, it’s hard to turn down a kid who asks for a cookie or two. Enjoy!