There’s nothing better than your house smelling like freshly baked cookies (okay, maybe there are a few things. I’m a romance author after all). Finding healthier cookie recipes like my protein-packed peanut butter chocolate chip cookies that also taste amazing can be challenging. Many recipes containing refined sugar proclaim to be good for you, but it isn’t at the top of my health-conscious ingredient list.
This recipe took me a few tries to create because I wanted the cookies to be sweet enough to actually taste like cookies and healthy enough to eat guilt-free (I love them before or after a workout!).
The Whole 30 diet (which I never followed because I don’t believe in eliminating entire food groups) advises against SWYPO and advocates claim that replacing the “real thing” with healthy versions is setting yourself up for failure. I vehemently disagree.
I don’t view healthy food as a punishment or sacrifice. After you eat clean for a while, your palette changes and the sugary stuff you used to love gives you headaches instead (really!) and you no longer crave the food that was making you feel like less than your best self all along.
My favourite part? Tricking skeptics with healthy creations. Oh, you liked that? It’s made of beets #win.
Gluten has a bad reputation and if you don’t have celiac disease, then you can simply substitute the gluten free flour for all purpose. I personally avoid it due to my thyroid condition and I’m always on the hunt for baked goods that don’t taste “gluten free” (read: like dense, tasteless bricks). These cookies fit the bill!
Protein powder is my exception to eating unprocessed food. I love it and even crave it after a tough strength workout. It not only tastes great in baked goods, but can support your metabolism and help you build lean muscle.
Peanut butter tastes amazing and is loaded with fiber, protein and heart healthy fat. If you have a nut allergy, you can simply sub the peanut butter with sunflower seed butter.
Dark chocolate is a powerful source of antioxidants and may lower the risk of heart disease and even improve brain function. I used to think it was bitter, but now it tastes like an indulgence while milk chocolate just tastes like sugar.
Honey is a natural energy source, rich in antioxidants and a better sweetener option than sugar. We have even used it promote burn and wound healing for our little man, but that’s a story for another time.
Protein-packed peanut butter chocolate chip cookies
This lightened up cookie recipe is easy to make, packed with protein and has chocolate chips in every bite!
This recipe makes 18 cookies.
- 1 cup of all-purpose gluten free flour
- 1 scoop of vanilla protein powder (the brand I use has 25 grams per scoop)
- ½ teaspoon of baking powder
- ½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon of birch xylitol, coconut sugar or granulated sweetener of choice
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon of honey (or agave for a vegan diet)
- 1 cup of unsweetened applesauce
- ½ cup of organic peanut butter (or nut butter of choice. If you have an allergy, sunflower seed butter is a great alternative)*
- ¼ cup of mini dark chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 350º
- Mix the gluten free flour, vanilla protein powder, baking powder, ground cinnamon and granulated sweetener in a large bowl
- Whisk the vanilla extract, honey or agave, applesauce and peanut butter in a medium bowl until well combined and then pour into the dry mixture
- Stir in the mini dark chocolate chips
- Scoop dough by the tablespoon and flatten it with a fork to make a cookie shape (the cookies puff up, but they don’t spread). I recommend using a silicon mat to prevent any stickiness
- Bake the cookies for about 12 minutes (or until the bottoms are golden brown). Remove the cookies from the tray immediately and set on a wire rack to cool completely
*I love peanut butter, but peanuts are a dirty crop treated with scary chemicals. If you’re going to use it, I highly recommend organic.
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