Raw Peppermint Bites & Healthy Holiday Cookies

Raw Peppermint Bites from Carrie on Vegan | www.carrieonvegan.com

It’s so hard to stay healthy during the holiday season at any time of the year with all of the temptations around. One of my tricks to keep as reasonably close to my “nutritarian” plant-based diet of whole foods with minimal oil, salt and added sugars is to bring a dessert to parties or potlucks that I know I can eat. This strategy really helps me stay away from the more decadent desserts that almost always trigger overeating for me.

This version of a raw cookie is an adaptation of my Almond-Date Ball recipe that is available on Vegan Delish. The change is the addition of peppermint extract that makes these bites feel so seasonal.

Have you ever used peppermint extract? I am kind of obsessed with it right now and putting it into everything! The combination of carob or cocoa plus the peppermint reminds me of the old peppermint patties that I used to love, but can’t eat now because of all the sugar.

While this recipe isn’t truly “raw” in the strictest sense, the cookies are unbaked and come together in minutes. So, if you have a last minute gathering and want to bring a treat, I highly suggest these Raw Peppermint Bites (btw, who let Carrie run wild with the holiday photo edits? I can’t help it, it’s so fun!):

Raw Peppermint Bites from Carrie on Vegan | www.carrieonvegan.com

Here’s the recipe:

Raw Peppermint Bites
 
Author:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 1 cup almonds (preferably raw and unsalted)
  • 6 pitted Medjool dates
  • ½ cup dried currants or raisins
  • ¼ cup raw buckwheat groats that have been soaked, rinsed and dehydrated so they are crunchy (alternatively, you can use a crispy cereal or just leave them out)
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon carob or 2 teaspoons cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • ½ teaspoon peppermint extract
  • ¼ cup unsweetened dried shredded coconut (for coating)
Instructions
  1. Combine almonds, dates, currants, buckwheat groats, cinnamon, vanilla, carob and water in a food processor and process until ingredients are combined.
  2. Pour coconut onto a plate. Use your hands to form the dough into 12 balls and roll each one in the coconut.

I’ve made some other sugar-free treats that may also be appropriate for the holiday season including these Cranberry-Oat Cookies:

Cranberry Oat Cookies from Carrie on Vegan | www.carrieonvegan.com

Or, these Sweet Potato Cookies:Sweet Potato Cookies from Carrie on Vegan | www.carrieonvegan.comIf you’re looking for more traditional healthy holiday cookies, I suggest you check out the 12 Days of Christmas Cookies feature that Helyn is doing over at Helyn’s Healthy Kitchen. She is inarguably way more festive than me and doing an amazing job with creating a holiday spirit.

I also participated in a healthy cookie round-up over at Sandra’s blog so please do check that out:

Healthy Holiday Cookie Round-Up

Are you doing any holiday baking this year? One tip I just learned about is using apple puree in place of oil. I have tried applesauce in the past, but the idea of just putting uncooked apples in a food processor and using the resulting raw puree is a great one.

Share your tips in the comments, I’d love to hear them!

Lastly, if you need any stocking stuffers this year, may I suggest that you gift a copy of my recipe app, Vegan Delish? To do so, you go into the App Store on iTunes and search the store for the app. Then, where it says “Download,” just pick “Gift this App.” It’s a great way to share the 150+ whole food, plant-based recipes that I’ve put together there in a handy-dandy digital format.

Happy, healthy holidays and see you soon. Until then, connect with me on FacebookTwitterPinterestInstagram, or Google+.

Comments

  1. says

    I started making peppermint bark a few years ago as teacher gifts and little thank yous. I did make about 20lbs this year of bark but since I’ve been following a more plant based diet there are a few things in them that are off limits..unless you want to indulge a little. I jotted down a quick recipe for peppermint balls, which I ws planning on trying this weekend, after all the bark making is done, but it looks like I can give your’s a try instead. I was planning on still rolling the balls in crushed candy canes to give them that festive fell…. a little cheat but I wanted to keep that look. I was trying to come up with a better idea and keep coming back to the candy canes or maybe dusted with cocoa powder. But yes I love cooking with peppermint and espcially at this time of year..you can also put it in hot cocoa. I’ve been wanting to try doterra’s peppermint essential oil but I’m not sure if it’s edible. That’s one area I would like to experiment with more in 201 4 incorporating more food grade essential oils into my cooking. Happy Holidays!

    • says

      Thanks for the note, Kimberly! WOW, 20 pounds of bark!?! You go girl. :) I have also wondered if the essential oils you buy at the natural foods store can be used in foods. I’m not sure about that. For now, I just buy the organic Frontier brand because I know it’s food grade. I LOVE your idea of rolling these balls in crushed candy canes or cocoa powder. Happy holidays to you too! Xoxo.

  2. Michelle says

    I just found an awesome peppermint patty recipe from Oh She Glows. (I have no affiliation with the blogger – just enjoy her recipes). I made it two days ago and my husband claimed it tastes like a Pep bar! You can search Creamy Dreamy Peppermint Patties on the blog – it does call for 3-4 tbsp agave but honestly, I bet you could leave that out. I just wanted to share when you mentioned all the bars that you can’t eat now due to the sugar content as I’m trying to avoid sugar as well. It gives me a pain in my ear (how strange is that?).

    • says

      I saw that recipe, Michelle! I love Angela (got to meet her earlier this year, she’s so talented and sweet). I so appreciate your suggestion that you could possibly leave out the agave. I might just might have to try and make my own version, maybe using coconut butter instead of the oil.

  3. says

    Ha! The first thing I thought when I saw the first photo was, “Woha. Photo editing fun-time!” Way to be in the moment of the season :)

    I’m way more into peppermint this year than in previous years. I even made some dark chocolate peppermint bark (from vegan chocoalte chips and organic, vegan candy canes) for a work potluck, and it was delicious! It also stayed at work for eveyrone to enjoy – instead of coming home where only I would over-enjoy it!

    Merry Christmas, Carrie! Thanks for sharing with us.

    • says

      Thanks, Veronica! I think you’re right, the best place to leave decadent leftovers is at the office and not at home. Since I work from home, though, that means treats are always staring me in the face. :) I can’t complain, though, and I do indulge every once in awhile. Your peppermint bark sounds WONDERFUL!!!

  4. says

    Hi Carrie!:) Great recipe! I’m obsessed with chocolate and peppermint too, and actually use this combo daily in my CrioBru/coffee drink with stevia, plus, I add mint and chocolate to my smoothies, and to homemade truffles like this:) Paired with coconut, they truly are a magical experience:) So glad you’re having fun with photo edits! They look great!!

    • says

      I totally agree, Suzanne. What could be better? Maybe chocolate and peanut butter…that’s a tough call. Have a wonderful weekend and congrats on the end of your semester. Xoxo!!!

  5. Patty says

    Ooooh yum, these cookies look so good (and a healthy dessert)! Thank you for the recipe, Carrie. I haven’t done any holiday baking yet, but maybe soon.

    Happy holidays to everyone! :)

  6. says

    Oh my goodness – these look (and sound!) dee-licious! How cute =)
    I LOVE making peppermint patties, but the sugar kills me. I found this recipe though – it’s still a splurge in the treat department, but a way healthier version:
    http://ohsheglows.com/2013/12/08/creamy-dreamy-peppermint-patties-vegan-gf/
    Pretty high in oil, but I love that it is cashew based instead of loaded with powdered sugar (like versions I have made in the past).
    I hope you and Alan have a wonderful holiday!!

    • says

      Thanks, Kimmy! Someone else mentioned that they tried Angela’s recipe and thought the agave might not even be necessary. Make some and send to me? :)

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