I wanted to make some healthy Halloween cookies, and I had some leftover pumpkin puree from the pumpkin pancakes. I then remembered I had a pumpkin cookie cutter – perfect! And so these cookies were born…
There are so many recipes floating around that claim to be healthy, but a lot of the time these so-called “healthy recipes” are not healthy at all. I guess we all have our own variations on what is healthy, so the main thing is that we strive to choose healthier options.
What makes these pumpkin cookies healthy?
- No added sugar. I’ve recently broadened my definition on refined sugars, and I no longer will be using rice malt syrup, maple syrup, coconut sugar, etc except in small amounts (like the small amount of coconut sugar in the icing of this recipe). We are led to believe these are healthier alternatives than cane sugar, but the reality is they are all processed foods. My belief is that we should be consuming foods as close to their natural form as possible. So, I’ve used a ripe banana as the main sweetener here :)
- Wholemeal spelt flour. It’s important to get more variety in your diet, especially when it comes to wheat – so many of our processed foods are made from wheat (bread, cookies, pastries, pasta…). This is why you’ll find a lot of my recipes use alternative grains like spelt. Even more importantly, you should opt for wholemeal/wholegrain flours, as the “white” flours have much of their nutrition stripped from them.
- Pumpkin and banana. While one cookie won’t exactly count as a serve of fruit/vegetables, there is still some goodness from the amount of pumpkin and banana in these cookies.
If you’ve been following my blog for a while now, you’ll know that I don’t have much of a sweet tooth. So, if you are used to eating cookies that are loaded with sugar, you may want to add some sweetener to these. I suggest stevia (ground dried leaf rather than the processed white granules) or maybe some date paste. I did find the touch of coconut sugar on the icing gave a delicious hint of sweetness without being overpowering. So my advice: if you DON’T ice these cookies, add a bit of sweetener of your choice :)
- ½ cup pumpkin puree
- ¼ cup coconut oil, melted
- 1 large banana
- 2 tsp pumpkin spice
- 2¼ cups wholemeal spelt flour
- 2 tbs cacao butter
- 1 tbs coconut sugar
- ¼ tsp tropical flavoured spirulina
- Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.
- Combine the pumpkin and coconut oil in a bowl.
- Mash the banana and add to the pumpkin mixture.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the spice and flour.
- Add the pumpkin mixture and stir well to combine (you might need to add more flour or add a little liquid to get a dough that's not sticky to touch).
- Place the dough between 2 sheets of baking paper to roll to about 3mm thin.
- OPTIONAL STEP: place the rolled dough in the fridge for 20 minutes to firm up, if the room temperature is warm.
- Use a pumpkin shaped cookie cutter (or other shape as desired) to cut the cookies.
- Place on a baking tray and bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
- Let the cookies cool completely before icing.
- To prepare the icing, melt the cacao butter over a bowl of hot water.
- Stir in the sugar and spirulina.
- Place the icing in the fridge for about 5-10 minutes to thicken (but not completely harden).
- Spread the icing on the stalks of the pumpkin cookies.
- Leave the icing to set (transfer to the fridge to hasten the process).
- Keep the cookies in an airtight container in a cool place.
I’d love to hear what you think! Please leave me a comment:
- What is YOUR definition of healthy?
- What is your view on sugars/sweeteners? How do you like to sweeten your foods?
- Do you prefer pumpkin in savoury or sweet dishes?
Did you make these? I’d love to see your creations! Tag me @viedelavegan and #viedelavegan on Instagram, I’d love to see how my recipe turned out for you <3