Loaded Quinoa Cookies

I don't know about you guys, but I definitely go through phases in the kitchen. I get in moods where I want to try a ton of different recipes so I make multiple trips to the grocery store in a week to pick up random ingredients that I don't have.  After a couple weeks of this, I get into my Type A consolidation/minimization mode...I want to clean out the fridge/freezer/pantry. I try and get creative and use what I have to make meals and other treats. 

One thing I started to do to help minimize wasting odds and ends is start a jar to collect small amounts of leftover baking mix-ins. Whenever I have a small amount of something left (nuts, coconut flakes, chocolate chips, dried fruit, etc.), I toss them into my jar. When the jar is full, it's time to make these cookies. 

The flavor of this cookie will take on whatever mix-ins you add. The cookie itself is really basic and very lightly sweetened. It is loaded with fiber-filled whole wheat flour, protein-packed quinoa, and heart healthy peanut butter and coconut oil. The cookies pictured here contain cashews, peanuts, cocoa nibs, raisins, coconut flakes, raisins, and dried cranberries. These ingredients added some sweetness and texture. When you need a mid-morning pick-me-up or a a post-lunch treat, these cookies are sure to satisfy that craving. 

Loaded Quinoa Cookies

Makes 18 cookies

1/4 cup peanut butter

1/4 cup coconut oil

1/4 cup maple syrup or agave nectar

2 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce

1 tablespoon vanilla

1 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 1-1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa

3/4 cup mix-ins (any type of nut, dried fruit, chocolate chips, coconut flakes)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. In a medium bowl, combine peanut butter, coconut oil, maple syrup or agave nectar, applesauce, and vanilla. Mix until ingredients are well incorporated.

3. Add whole wheat flour, salt, and baking soda and mix just until combined. Fold in quinoa and other mix-ins.

4. Roll dough into 2-inch balls and place on a lined cookie sheet 2 inches apart. Using you fingers, gently press dough balls until flattened. Bake for 12-15 minutes. Remove to a wire rack to cool.