Almond chocolate cookies. {vegan} {gluten free}

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Today, altho quite sunny and hot, has been a lovely productive day for me indoors.  We had a swim meet last night which left us getting home quite late.  I gave myself an extra 30 minutes to sleep and then hit the gym to test out my new Mizunos.  I got in a lovely 8 mile run on the treadmill (5 more to go for my 25 weekly mile mark) and then came home to taxi to swim practice.  I walked while practice went on and then came home to start cleaning and whipped up this batch of cookies.  I’ll admit, I just started throwing things in a bowl and prayed it worked.  Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn’t!  Thankfully… this one was a winner.  These are NOT overly sweet.  Honestly, they don’t need to be.  The almond butter and maple syrup are the perfect amount of sweetness with no added refined sugars necessary.  Perfect, vegan and gluten free cookie.  You can actually see the goodness and ingredients right in each cookie.  I’m smitten.

Ingredients:

1.5 cups of raw almonds
1/4 cup of quinoa flour (or whatever other gluten free flour you prefer)
2 tablespoons of ground flaxseed
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
1/2 cup of creamy almond butter (I used Justin’s maple almond butter)
5 tablespoons of maple syrup
1 teaspoon of vanilla paste or extract
Vegan chocolate chips (optional) – use mini or regular size about 1/4 cup.  I used Enjoy Life vegan chips.

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line your cookie sheet with a Silpat liner.

Place your almonds in a food processor or Vitamix and blend until almond flour (avoid over-blending and releasing the almond oil).  Reserve.  In your stand mixer add the quinoa flour, flax, powder and salt.  Blend with your paddle attachment.  Then add your almond flour.  Blend again.  Finally, add your almond butter, syrup and paste.  Blend.   If using chocolate chips, add them now and blend.  Scoop out with a mini scoop and roll in your hands.  The dough will be thick and heartier than regular cookie dough.  I place the cookie ball down on the tray and push down a bit.  Repeat and then bake for 10-11 minutes or until golden around the edges.  Let cool and then serve.

Today I tried out my new Mizuno Wave Prophecy’s.  I ran 7 miles and then did one more for a cool down and to get to 20 miles for the week.  I need 5 more to finish out the week.  The sneakers were great except I think I need to lace them differently because my left foot had some pain where the sneaker creases when you bend it.  I need to play around with it.  I’m also thrilled that I found an old (new) pair of Mizuno Wave Rider 16’s on Amazon.  The box marked $50 were marked up nicely to a $120 price tag.  I don’t care… my knees are worth it!

Mile 1 8:36 warm-up
Mile 2 8:25
Mile 3 8:18
Mile 4 8:15
Mile 5 8:15
Mile 6 8:11
Mile 7 8:06

1.01 cool down at  8:43

I don’t normally run multiple days in a row ever especially with knee pain but I didn’t run Sunday because I rode my bike.  I have to have my 25 miles in by Friday because we have a swim meet Saturday.  Gotta do what ya gotta do 🙂  I did run slower today as I was a bit more fatigued.  I’ve also been averaging about 35-36k steps a day on my UP band because I’ve been walking while swim practice has been going on.  My poor legs are in need of a rest day soon.

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— Knead to Cook

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