Vegan Okara Oatmeal Carob Chip Cookies

Cooking with okara (soybean pulp) is fairly common among vegans attempting to make the most of the fiber rich bi-product of homemade soy milk. These versatile cookies served as breakfast, snack and energy bar on a recent visit to Hawaii. I found the recipe online, reduced the sweetener, and jazzed it up with spices from Veganomicon’s chewy oatmeal-raisin cookies.

Makes 20 large cookies

Ingredients:

1 cup okara

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1-1/2 cups rolled oats (or quinoa flakes)

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon allspice

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1/4 cup maple syrup

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/4 cup vegan carob

1/2 cup pecan (or other) nuts, sunflower seeds, etc

1/2 cup raisins

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon allspice

Method:

Preheat oven to 350 F (170 C). Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Stir together okara, whole wheat flour, rolled oats, baking soda and spices in a medium bowl.

In a small bowl, whisk together oil, syrup and vanilla extract.

Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, stirring until combined. Fold in carob or chocolate chips, along with nuts.

Drop by the tablespoon on prepared cookie sheets. Flatten slightly with the back of a fork to about 1/2-inch thickness.

Bake 18-20 minutes.

Note: I’ve also made this recipe using almond okara (leftovers from making almond milk). If you don’t have okara, you can use additional flour, but the cookies will be more dry and have less fiber. You can make any cookie recipe healthier by using whole grains, pureed fruits (banana, apple, pear, etc.) and dried fruits to replace some or all of the sugar and fat.

For my next attempt, I am going to try replacing the oil with ripe mashed bananas, as in the following simple and wholesome recipe…

Recently I made low-fat and virtually sugar-free peanut butter chocolate chip cookies using this recipe from FatFreeVegan but omitting the added sugar (they are sweet enough from ripe banana and semi-sweet chocolate chips). What goes together better than peanut butter and chocolate?

Of course, it’s a little challenging to cook with little to no added oil, but it’s worth it. Few cookies are as nutrient-dense as these!

2 thoughts on “Vegan Okara Oatmeal Carob Chip Cookies

  1. Jim Dunlop

    Hey Will,

    I gave these a try this weekend. I’m afraid they didn’t turn out nearly as well as your photo.

    I found that there was far too much in the way of dry ingredients and not nearly enough wet ingredients… So what I ended up with wasn’t cookie dough — it was essentially just a bowl full of loose, powdery ingredients. Didn’t want to let things go to waste so I added some more flour and soy milk until I got something that actually could bind together.

    The result was edible but as my wife pointed out, tasted a lot more like a kind of granola bar than a cookie… It was also not very sweet (which is okay, because I don’t like deserts that are over-sweetened) but perhaps something to keep in mind if someone wants to try this recipe.

    I think it’s possible that not all okara is the same, and perhaps my okara was a lot drier… I imagine the moisture content would have a lot to do with it.

    But since I’m on the topic of okara, I did make an okara bread with the leftover okara from the cookie recipe. I got the recipe from Vegweb http://vegweb.com/index.php?topic=24258.0 and once again I had to increase the moisture content. I did it in the breadmaker and found that after the first kneading cycle I had to add an additional 1/2 cup of soy milk and knead it by hand before putting it back into the machine. The bread didn’t rise so much, but created a rather dense loaf… Which was okay — it was more like some of the German rye bread that I grew up with years ago…

  2. william Post author

    I had the same experience when I started working with store-bought okara. I think most of the moisture has been pressed out of it, so adding soy milk should have yielded the desired consistency. The original recipe used twice as much sweetener (honey), too, so we are really pushing the limits here. People accustomed to traditional cookies may take a while to appreciate the texture which is closer to scones or bars. Because okara is quite filling, okara cookies are popular in Japan for those trying to lose weight.
    On topic of bread, most of my bread comes out harder than normal bread, too (2 slices weigh as much as several slices of ordinary bread). One way to make it a bit lighter is to unplug the bread machine and let the dough rise an extra several hours (depending on room temperature) before using the bake-only cycle. Bryanna Clark Grogan has a great Dutch pumpernickel bread recipe with bulgur wheat you should check out http://veganfeastkitchen.blogspot.com/2006/11/creamy-pea-soup-dutch-pumpernickel.html

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