Chocolate Coconut Protein Cookies for Blood Sugar Management

Vegan, gluten-free, refined sugar-free cookies that support hormonal health and blood sugar balance.

Baking (especially cookies) is one of my favorite self-care activities whether it is on my own, with friends, family, or kids. Both baking and cooking can be soothing for our mental state as it requires being mindful. Mindfulness is simply the act of paying attention to the present moment. When we are baking, we have to put our phones down and get our hands dirty! One study even found that baking easy, simple recipes can enhance focus, creativity, and happiness.

Vegan Gluten-Free Chocolate Coconut Protein Cookies

Plus, with the ingredients in these cookies, baking can be beneficial for our physical health! I’ve created a cookie with plant-based protein, antioxidants, and superfoods that our hormones and blood sugar will love. I also left out several typical cookie ingredients that can wreak havoc on our hormonal and metabolic health, like refined sugar, oils, and dairy.

Chocolate Coconut Protein Cookies

I used Nanopro vegan protein powder which is made from non-GMO yellow pea, brown rice, and chia seed. This combination provides all essential amino acids. It is particularly high in lysine which is important for calcium absorption and collagen production. The main sources of lysine in a vegan diet are beans, peas, and legumes.

Plant protein powders can often be difficult to digest. People often find they cause bloating or abdominal discomfort. Nanopro contains ProHydrolaseTM which assists the protein to break down, digest, and fully absorb.

Vegan Gluten-Free Chocolate Coconut Protein Cookies

Try out these cookies for yourself and tag me on Instagram @phruitfuldish!

Ingredients

  • 2 scoops vegan protein powder (Biopharma Scientific in vanilla toffee)
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 2 tbsp ground flaxseeds
  • 2 tbsp cacao powder
  • ¼ cup coconut flour
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ cup almond milk or water
  • pinch of salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Combine and mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Add more water or protein powder depending if the batter is too dry or wet.
  4. Place spoonfuls of dough onto a baking sheet.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes.
  6. Remove from the oven and let cool.
  7. Store in freezer for a cool treat.

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Vegan Gluten-Free Chocolate Coconut Protein Cookies

This post was sponsored by Biopharma Scientific.

For more healthy treats check out these recipes.

Disclaimer: As the sole author of Phruitful Dish, I have based my posts on my own experiences and personal knowledge regarding nutrition and PCOS; particularly that gained in obtaining my doctorate degree in obstetrics and gynaecology. The information in this blog is not intended as medical advice, and it is not endorsed by my employers or institutions I am affiliated with. Nutritional choices should be made in consultation with your health care provider. This blog is intended to inspire and encourage readers to educate themselves on how nutrition can be one important part of a healthy lifestyle. Therefore, please use the information at your own risk. Occasional links may be provided leading to third party websites. The existence of these links does not infer a responsibility or an endorsement of the linked site, its operator, or its contents.

Cocoa Black Bean Brownies (Heart-Healthy)

A rich, moist dessert with few of the typical brownie ingredients.

Did you know that cardiovascular disease is the greatest threat to the lives of women and men in the world?  Women with PCOS commonly experience metabolic syndrome which increases the risk of developing heart disease.  Metabolic syndrome is a combination of conditions including elevated triglycerides, high “bad” cholesterol, low “good” cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity, and increased belly fat.

Fortunately, each day most of us can help decrease our risk of developing heart disease. Nutritional intake is important with some evidence suggesting to decrease saturated fats and other evidence to decrease trans fats. Decreasing salt intake is also recommended while increasing phytonutrient, fiber-rich foods, like fruits and vegetables. Secondly, regular exercise can reduce body weight, blood pressure, “bad ” cholesterol and increase insulin sensitivity. In addition, sleep deprivation has been shown to increase the risk of heart disease and related conditions. Finally, quitting smoking is the single greatest change one can make to improve their heart and overall health.

Now you may be wondering where brownies fit into this heart-healthy lifestyle I speak of. Surprisingly, these delicious, fudgy treats are primarily made from black beans and unsweetened cocoa powder! Carry on to find out how these two ingredients can make a crowd-pleasing dessert that can support a healthy heart. PS. The trick is to not reveal the ingredients until AFTER your loved ones have tried the brownies. I promise they will be shocked. I would love to hear what you do to protect your heart!

Vegan Gluten-Free Black Bean Brownies

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups dried black beans (must pre-soak and boil)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (>75% real cocoa)

How to:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Blend all ingredients, except chocolate chips, in a food processor until completely smooth.
  3. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  4. Pour into an 8×8 pan pre-greased with olive oil.
  5. Cook for 15-20 minutes being careful not to overcook as this could dry them out.
  6. Let brownies cool before cutting. I popped these in the freezer to firm up even more.

Vegan Gluten-Free Black Bean Brownies

PCOS Powers:

  • black beans = high in protein, fiber, potassium, magnesium, folate, vitamin B6 and phytonutrients which help lower blood pressure, manage blood sugar levels and prevent cardiovascular disease, contains several flavonoids including quercetin which is anti-inflammatory and may reduce the risk of atherosclerosis
  • unsweetened cocoa powder = supports the cardiovascular system by enhancing vascular function and decreasing platelet reactivity, may help improve cholesterol levels, been shown to improve cognitive function, insulin resistance and blood pressure

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Heart-healthy Black Bean Brownies - Low-glycemic, Vegan, Gluten-free

Pink Lemonade Cupcakes (Dairy-free)

Cocktail-inspired, dairy-free cupcakes for your Spring celebrations (no artificial food coloring!).

I welcomed Spring Equinox with my first vegan cupcake experiment. Now, I’m not suggesting cupcakes are the next superfood but, for special occasions, this recipe is on the healthier side. Firstly, I replaced white flour with whole wheat flour. This increases fiber content which helps manage blood sugar spikes. Secondly, these are dairy-free which is beneficial for PCOS-fighters. Lastly, instead of using artificial food coloring, I added beet juice! I can proudly say the taste was unaffected and I avoided the toxic chemicals in food dye. Please leave a comment if you have a tip for coloring desserts naturally!

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Cupcake Ingredients (makes 12):

  • 1/2 cup Earth Balance dairy-free butter
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup soy yogurt
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour (or gluten-free alternative)
  • 2 tsp baking powder

Frosting Ingredients:

  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tbsp almond milk
  • 1 cup Earth Balance dairy-free butter
  • 2-3 cups of powdered sugar
  • 3 tsp beet juice, from canned beets

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Cupcake How To:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 deg F.
  2. Place 12 liners in a cupcake pan.
  3. Cream the butter and sugars until smooth.
  4. Mix in yogurt, milk, lemon zest, lemon juice, and vanilla extract until combined.
  5. Sift in flour and baking powder whisking until just combined.
  6. Scoop batter into cupcake liners filling up just past half full.
  7. Bake for about 18 minutes (check that a toothpick comes out clean).
  8. Cool cupcakes on a wire rack.

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Frosting How To:

  1. Refrigerate can of coconut milk overnight. In the morning a hardened top layer should have formed which you can scoop out (apparently the occasional can won’t do this).
  2. Mix the hardened coconut milk, vanilla, and almond milk in a small bowl. Set aside.
  3. Beat butter in a large bowl until smooth.
  4. Add 2 cups of powdered sugar to the butter in 1/2 cup batches.
  5. Once combined, add the coconut milk mixture.
  6. Whip on high for 3 minutes or until the mixture gets glossy.
  7. Add beet juice in teaspoons at a time until you reach the vibrancy you want.
  8. Add more sugar if the frosting is still runny or refrigerate frosting until it is firm enough to stay put.
  9. Pipe icing on cooled cupcakes. Note: The amount of frosting I used as pictured was very sweet so I will use less next time.
  10. Keep cupcakes in fridge until ready to serve to ensure frosting holds its shape.

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Notes: Lemonade cupcake adapted from Cheers to Vegan Sweets and frosting adapted from Delia Creates.

Pink Lemonade Cupcakes (Vegan)