VLGL pumpkin oatmeal cookies
☼ TL;DR / RECIPE
(makes about a dozen big cookies; about two dozen small)
- 1 c rolled oats
- 1 c oat flour
- 1/2 c almond flour
- 1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 7 1/2 oz pumpkin puree (half of one 15 oz can)
- 3/4 c agave nectar
- 1/4 c vegan butter or coconut oil (solid measure), melted
- 3 oz dark chocolate chunks (recommend chopping up at 90%+ cacao chocolate bar)
- 1/2 c walnut pieces
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Thoroughly combine the dry ingredients in one large mixing bowl, and the wet ingredients in another.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry, and gently mix together until a cohesive “dough” is formed (it will be wetter than your average cookie dough).
- Fold in the chocolate chunks and walnut pieces. Refrigerate the dough for 10 minutes, and preheat the oven to 350°F while it chills.
- Divide the dough onto the parchment paper into 12 large cookies or (my preference) 24 small. Turning halfway through, bake for 16 - 18 minutes for large cookies, or 11 - 13 minutes for small. Either way, check them periodically to ensure that the tops do not burn; every oven is a little bit different.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool until just warm; these cookies are quite dense and moist (apologies to anyone who hates that word) but will continue to “solidify” upon cooling.
- Serve with love and a big glass of almond milk.
I’m not usually a big “autumn person,” or much of a seasonal decorator, generally. Maybe it’s because I’ve spent most of my life in tropical or semi-tropical places where the poetic changes of falling leaves and crisp air are subtle or absent; maybe it’s because I am a creature of summer sunshine inclined to paddle, swim, and wear gauzy white sundresses until it’s a veritable health risk to do so. Either way, for some reason, this year had me putting out Halloween decorations, filling the house with cinnamon brooms, and transforming my morning beverage into a dirty chai as soon as the equinox passed. It’s still getting up to 90 degrees here in Florida, so it really has little to do with actual seasonal change (*though it is cooler and less rainy than the full flush of August). It’s the spirit of a season, simply put, and I hope these cookies — veritable lovechildren of pumpkin pie, oatmeal cookies, and chocolate (no raisins, here!) — bring the spirit to you, as well. I realize that I said I wasn’t going to do “styled” photos like this any more, but a seasonal spirit of such magic invites a magical aesthetic.
The inclusion of oats — any grain, really — is a departure from my previous recipe style, but crucial to balance the richness of the pumpkin. (*I may experiment with a grain-free dehydrator version; please let me know in the comments if this is something that you would be interested in.) With a glycemic load of 9 - 11, oats are a low-glycemic grain and on the low-end of “moderate glycemic,” generally. Rich in fiber and linked with lower “bad” (LDL) cholesterol, oats are a food with many benefits, and a superior choice to high-glycemic refined wheat or rice flour in baked goods. Plus, the inclusion of almond flour, walnuts, and fiber-rich pumpkin balances the glycemic load beautifully.
A note about sweeteners: I use agave nectar because it has a low glycemic load. This is due to the fact that it is primarily comprised of fructose, rather than glucose. In my body, I find that it does not give me the inflammatory response as does virtually every other sweetener (sugar, maple syrup — I have yet to experiment with health-haloed coconut sugar, as I find glycemic load reports to be inconsistent). However, agave nectar is still a high-calorie, processed sweetener, and there is significant doubt as to whether it may be appropriate for individuals with diabetes. Please consult your practitioner if you have diabetes or are on a blood sugar/weight management protocol. At any rate, I only use sweeteners in sweets — not in coffee, on my oatmeal or açai bowls, or in any “everyday” item — and I believe this approach could benefit many on our Coca-Cola planet…
I hope you enjoy these cookies and this magical season, generally. It is a pleasure to be cooking, baking, and writing about it, once again.