If you asked me: What is better than eating oatmeal cookie dough?
My answer, without hesitation, would be: ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.
I have been known to make oatmeal raisin cookies quite often, only to have half of the dough mysteriously relocate to my tummy. How on earth does that always happen? 😉
But alas, bikini season is quickly approaching and I’m trying to do that whole eat-less-refined-sugar thing (since I’m insanely addicted and all), so I set out to make something that tasted just like oatmeal raisin cookie dough, but didn’t contain the potentially salmonella-y eggs, the fat-laden butter, the jaw-dropping amounts of sugar, AND was gluten-free. Packing in some protein and staying power was also a plus, if I could manage it.
Don’t pinch yourself — you’re not dreaming. I know — it’s hard to believe that such a healthy, gluten-free treat exists, but ohhh does it ever.
These little bites are packed with fiber, healthy fats, and protein — win, win, win — but taste preeeetty darn close to cookie dough. Or at least as close as humanly possible, considering it’s 100% healthy goodness.
I took a note from the LaraBar book, and turned to dates for the sweetness, which also adds lots of extra fiber — take that, refined sugar — and the pecans and walnuts provide just the right amount of richness and structure. Plus: protein! And it wouldn’t be an oatmeal raisin cookie bite without the oatmeal (high-fives for more fiber + yummy texture), cinnamon, and raisins.
Now, I know that when it comes to oatmeal cookies, people generally fall into one of two camps: the chocolate chip camp, or the raisin camp. I’m a raisin girl myself, but if you just can’t stand the little things — and you are certainly not alone — they are in no way a requirement for this recipe. Simply leave them out OR stir some mini chocolate chips into the mix instead of raisins.
These bites are my new go-to emergency snack (packed right along side my Cinnamon Nut Granola). They are so small but pack such a big punch — perfect for when you’re on the go. I love that I can carry a few in my purse, they take up virtually NO room, and after popping only one or two, I’m good for a couple hours. Yes, a couple hours. And this is coming from the girl that is hungry every 45 minutes.
Making these little cuties really is as simple as pitting the dates and letting them soak for a few minutes, throwing [almost] everything into your food processor, letting it whirl, folding in some raisins, and rolling into balls. Yes, bites that are not only insanely delicious, but insanely easy — 7 ingredients, 5 quick steps. HOLLA.
When it’s easier to make these than to whip up some cookie dough, there really are no excuses. AND you’ll never have to be hangry again!
- 12 medjool dates, pitted
- ¼ cup walnuts
- ¼ cup pecans
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon vanilla (gluten-free)
- ½ cup certified gluten-free oatmeal
- ⅓ cup raisins
- Place the pitted dates in a bowl, and pour boiling water over them. Allow the dates to sit in the hot water for 15 minutes, or until softened. Drain the dates well, and allow to cool for about 5 minutes.
- Add the dates to the food processor, and pulse a few times. Add the nuts, cinnamon, and vanilla, pulse a few more times, and then puree for 30 seconds to one minute*
- Add the oatmeal, pulse a few more times, and then puree for no more than 15 seconds.
- Transfer the dough to a bowl and mix in the raisins, until evenly distributed.
- Scoop the dough out, 1 tablespoon at a time, and roll between your hands until a uniform ball is shaped. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes for best texture.
- Cover, and store in the refrigerator.