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!