Quinoa Cookies

I just tried this recipe for the first time this morning and these tasty treats are just too good not to share.  I love finding yummy new recipes that satisfy my sweet tooth AND are healthy at the same time.

I also love quinoa!  It is an ancient grain packed full of nutrients, originating in the Andean region of Peru some 4000 years ago.  The Incas, who held the crop to be sacred, referred to quinoa as chisaya mama or the 'mother of all grains'.

In contemporary times, this crop has become highly appreciated for its nutritional value, as its protein content is very high (12%–18%). Unlike wheat or rice (which are low in lysine), and like oats, quinoa contains a balanced set of essential amino acids for humans, making it a complete protein source, unusual among plant foods. It is a good source of dietary fiber and phosphorus and is high in magnesium and iron. Quinoa is gluten-free and considered easy to digest.

Once you have cooked quinoa on hand, you can eat it plain, throw it into shakes or smoothies as a thickening agent, use it as a cereal or substitute it for rice or pasta in your favourite dishes. My new favourite: cookies! 

4 large ripe bananas
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup cooked quinoa
1 cup uncooked quinoa flakes
1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
½ cup coconut sugar (lovely caramel flavour, mildy sweet, low glycemic index sweetener)
½ cup dark, unsweetened chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 380˚ F. In a large mixing bowl, mash bananas in bowl with a fork and add vanilla, quinoa, coconut and coconut sugar. Mix until well combined. Stir in chocolate chips. Line baking sheet with parchment paper and drop heaping tablespoons of batter on to cooking sheet. Bake for 25-30 minutes – until cookie holds together. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack.

Recipe courtesy of Peggy Kotsopoulos, from "My Yoga Online" (I modified by skipping the Maca powder)

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