I recently busted the zipper on a pair of jeans.
Sure, the jeans were a little snug (they still fit) but I'm mostly certain that it was due to a faulty zipper and the fact that these were probably not a finely-crafted pair of pants (these jeans were actually the replacements to another pair of jeans of the same brand that had perished in much the same way). Let me tell you, though, that little incident did quite a number on my self-esteem. It took me a few days to get out of that funk.
I should mention that I don't diet. Whenever I start to get restrictive with my eating, I get very OCD about it and though I'm not fully ready to discuss it in detail, things get pretty out of hand and can lead down a not-so-wonderful path. Having travelled down that path several too many times, I instead work very hard to eat a balanced diet, something that became so much easier once I became vegan. I also exercise 5 to 6 days per week but as some of you know, I don't kill myself at the gym anymore because I get pretty obsessive about that too and it only exhausts me. I work at a modest pace that is good for me. I've worked very hard to achieve balance in these areas of my life.
With all of this balance, though, I am I curvier woman than I was in my twenties. 99% of the time, I am fine with this. I've accepted and love my curvy body. There are times, though, when acceptance becomes a struggle. I'm getting older and I have PCOS (I was diagnosed with it about 12 years ago but it seems like the symptoms change/evolve as time goes on. I would love to know if anyone else has had this experience?) so what used to work to keep my body in shape doesn't work as well as it used to. Everything is constantly changing though, so how can I expect my body to always stay the same?
I always remind myself that my body is exactly as it should be today. It was different yesterday and it will be different tomorrow. It is strong, it is beautiful, and it is able. I remind myself that as soon as I start striving to change my body, I am not happy. I remind myself that I am alive, I have a body that works, and I need to be grateful for that. The best I can do is take care of my body the best that I can.
Because my body is in a "hold-on-to-every-friggin-thing" pattern, I've been trying to feed it healthier options without depriving myself. My body is also in a "I-need-chocolate-in-a-bad-way" pattern, so I need to satisfy my cravings while sticking to healthier, more nutrient-dense foods. That's where these miraculous little cookies come in. Because they have no flour, they are made up mostly of chickpeas (yay for protein and complex carbohydrates!), peanut butter, banana, and cacao (or cocoa) powder, with just a little of that wonderful low-glycemic sweetener, coconut sugar.
These flourless double chocolate peanut butter cookies are more filling than your average cookie and they're one of the densest, fudgiest, most chocolatey cookies I've ever made. I love them so much, I've already made 3 batches of them and they've become our dessert of choice lately. I can have a couple after dinner and feel confident that I've made a healthy choice to satisfy my body's chocolate craving while ensuring that my jeans continue to fit just as they should (for today). Here's to feeling good about ourselves!
- 2 cups cooked chickpeas (1 15oz can will have roughly 1.5 cups, so if using canned, you will need 2 cans. Be sure to rinse and drain them first)
- 1 ripe banana
- 1/2 cup peanut butter or chocolate peanut butter
- ½ cup coconut sugar (or other vegan sugar, don’t sub with a liquid sweetener)
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder or cacao powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 3/4 cup vegan chocolate chips
- Combine all ingredients, except the chocolate chips, in a food processor and process until smooth, pausing to scrape the sides as necessary.
- Transfer the mixture to a large bowl. Fold in the chocolate chips and place the bowl in the refrigerator. Chill for 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 375 F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Use a tablespoon to scoop heaping spoonfuls of dough on to the prepared sheets and use your fingers to press them into a cookie shape. The dough will be much softer/stickier than normal cookie dough. It's okay. Repeat until all the dough has been used.
- Place the cookies in the oven and bake for about 20 minutes or the cookies have firmed up. Let cool on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack. Store the cookies in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Enjoy!
What do you love about your body?
Photography by Chris Miller
Wow, I can relate so much with what you wrote. Diets are not healthy for my mind either!
I strive to find a healthy balance between healthy eating and accepting my body. Making room for healthy dessert (like these cookies) are the way to go 🙂
Jackie at Vegan Yack Attack
Lady, I think we all have those moments! You're right, they can be seriously detrimental. I'm glad that you're finding your balance and still making AMAZING treats while doing so! I will take a batch of these, STAT! 😉
Also, I love my butt, even though it causes me much frustration while trying on jeans. ha ha 😉
Meg @ Niesbeetle
I was planning on making flourless almond butter cookies today but these are probably going to replace those! They look divine! I understand what you mean about going down a not-so-wonderful path when you try to control your body and become obsessive about eating and working out. I applaud you for accepting and loving your body most of the time, a thing that I'm (very slowly) working towards. Keep going for the rest of us and enjoy tons of cookies!!
This post really inspired me, because even though you didn't go into detail about how you get super OCD when it comes to restricting, I can definitely relate. Once it starts, it's a steady spiral downward. I'm not always good at keeping that initial urge to restrict at bay. I have OCD in other areas of my life as well, not only with food, so restricting triggers some of my other unhealthy habits as well. It's just never good. I needed to hear your words today, because this morning started off on a not-so-good foot. I also clicked on your link about being more moderate with exercise. That's something I'm trying to work on right now. I feel the same way about cardio. I'm a cardio fiend once I get going, and I feel like if I don't soak my top in sweat, then I didn't work hard enough. But lately I've been working out a lot less, and while my body is fine, my mind is having a hard time adjusting. But I know in the long run it will serve me to be moderate. So thank you for your words! With all of that said (I think I just wrote an essay in your comments section), these cookies look amazing! I've actually never made a dessert with chickpeas (though I've been meaning to for so long), so I'm definitely Pinning this!
I'm Jenni, by the way. I just recently started following your blog and I love it! 🙂
Hi Jenny! I read your post and while I don't have OCD tendencies in exercise, I know a lot of people who do and have found that hot yoga gets them the sweat they crave as a sign of pushing themselves, just in a healthy way that doesn't lead to over-exercise.
My best to you on your journey!
Katie @ Produce on Parade
Girl, as long as you are happy and healthy, that's all that matters! 🙂 These cookies look fantastic, besides, chickpeas and dark cocoa are good for us! I love how my body is progressing with yoga and ability to adapt and change. I used to be so tight in my hips, but with a little time, love, and patience...they are now super open!
lori @ thehealthminded.com
Been there with the jeans story - not necessarily the zipper part but pulling on some favorite jeans that fit just fine last week to "Woaa! Uh, I better pick something else to wear!" Not sure what PCOS is, but I have Hashimoto's, an autoimmune disease of my thyroid that affects metabolism. Even though I take lots of care into my food choices and and exercise, all of a sudden a few pounds can appear overnight! It can be frustrating to say the least. So, your treats here sound like a great option. Must get to the store and try them soon. Thanks so much for sharing!
What a great reminder, Kristy! I have been having a hard time with my body that has changed so much after two births in three years but I want to be able to look at myself and say "this is what I look like and I love that".
However, I do want to get back into my pre-pregnancy jeans, and so this cookie recipe is a keeper! Thanks for your honesty and openness.
Emily @ It Comes Naturally Blog
Kristy, I didn't know you had PCOS. My Mum was diagnosed in her 20s, and has had typical struggles (and medication) ever since. Sending you love, honey (or should that be maple syrup 🙂 ). Yay to you for knowing your weaknesses (OCD) and being able to find ways of preventing it, rather than falling into the trap.
Mmmm these look damn fine 🙂 I've made flourless chocolate cookies before, but I always just used cocoa powder or black beans...but now I know about the whole chickpea and chocolate thing I'm guna be right on that! Thanks for this gorgeous recipe!
Yep I think jeans are the cruelest of clothes, I have a pair of high waist skinnies, they look fab until I so much as sniff a cake and then boom! the belly is back with a vengeance! x
You're such a sweetie Kristy! I love your realistic attitude to weight and your body. Sounds like you've got a good balance going on and a balanced diet should include cookies in my opinion 🙂
These look so fudgy and delicious!
Could an avocado work in place of the banana as the oil replacer? Or maybe pumpkin puree? Sorry to ask, but I'm allergic to bananas.
Feel free to email me privately about PCOS if you have any questions.
Hi Lisa, These cookies are very similar to my other flourless cookie recipe, which uses pumpkin (https://keepinitkind.com/flourless-pumpkin-chocolate-chip-cookies/), so it is very possible to sub pumpkin. I've not tried avocado but I'm sure it would work as well. Good luck! 🙂
Kara @ Kind Body
I love your honesty in this post. I can totally relate. Accepting our bodies as they are and treating them with the love they deserve is not an easy thing to do and each day is a new opportunity to try our best at it. Over time I have also found that balance is truly the key to a happy mind and body, even though it is much easier said than done!
PS. These cookies look absolutely amazing! I will have to try them out!
beautiful post, kristy. i love your journey to being kinder to yourself and your body. thank you for sharing some of your battles. as women, we can relate and feel camaraderie in your words. the cookies look so amazing, too, and they have chickpeas in them. so wonderful <3
Candace @ The Wheatless Kitchen
I can relate to this so much! I can't let myself diet either, or else I will totally obsess over it, and then my thoughts and emotions go spiraling downward. A balanced life is key. And these cookies look delicious! I can't wait to try them!
The Vegan Cookie Fairy
I'm in the same boat as you are, minus the PCOS. I'm trying to remind myself that my body will never be the same throughout my entire life and that's ok. Life changes, so my body changes. No big deal. But I don't really like that one of my favourite dresses doesn't fit me anymore...
I like my eyes most. And my legs. 🙂 And I like my curves because now that I have more body fat my hormones are balanced again, whereas previously, when I was dieting constantly, my hormones were all over the place and that caused a lot of distress.
ANYWAY back to the food – these look SO GOOD. I'm curious about the chickpeas, I'll definitely have to try that! Do you think I can just halve the recipe to make a smaller batch?
What is the cream in a jar next to the cookies? It looks sooo good…
It's peanut butter. 🙂
Ups!… can you tell I am not American? 😛
my weight keeps going all over the place and i don't even know why anymore. i don't even know anymore how we women can have a pair of jeans. i can never fit in the 10 that i have. some are way too tight and some a bit loose. and the minute i start stressing about it, hubbs steps in with a compliment. 🙂 i have other issues that i haven't accepted like my droopy eyes and bald patches post surgery, so the body shape takes a back seat sometimes. i can only hope to fully embrace all whatever i am outside and on the inside someday.
I can totally relate to what you are saying in this post. It is amazing how much my body can change on a day to day basis (especially as I have gotten older) but I try to remember like you, that my body is strong and capable and that is the most important thing. I love the things that it can do and am thankful everyday for all I get to experience with my body! You are smart to treat your body well! These cookies look delicious. I will definitely be marking these for a future date.
Ceara @ Ceara's Kitchen
This is such a beautifully honest post on body image - thanks for sharing your experience. After losing a significant amount of weight over a year ago (almost 70 pounds) and struggling with my weight for basically my entire life I am also continually striving for balance in terms of my approach to eating, activity etc. As for body image, somedays I feel amazing and invisible and other days less-so. On the latter days I try to remind myself of all the amazing things my body has been through, gotten me through and is capable of! Thank you for the lovely reminder that we have to remember to be kind to ourselves and our bodies. As for my favourite feature, I'd have to go with my smile (haha, cheesy I know!)! Oh and btw, I am seriously crushing on these peanut butter cookies! I just was dreaming up a peanut butter cookie recipe (I think it's fate that I make these!). Take Care!
great flourless cookie recipe!
janet @ the taste space
Kudos for knowing what is really important in life: a healthy mind-set. I see no shame in gobbling down these bean-filled cookies. In fact, I may make a batch this week. Thanks for sharing, Kristi.
dishing up the dirt
Beautiful post. I can relate in so many ways. Thanks for sharing.
-these cookies sound absolutely fantastic!
Gabby @ the veggie nook
Wow Kristy amazing! I love that you put chickpeas in these! I was expecting an all nut butter base, but I should have known better coming from you!
What a great post! When you are ready it would be great to hear about your struggle with restriction and how you overcame it. I have struggled for years and it would be nice to hear about someone else's journey.
This post was meant just for me to read 🙂 After most of my clothes no longer fitting, I have realized that I have gained some poundage since I started working from home. It's been a frustrating path--one that balances getting myself back into shape but one that doesn't beat myself up over it. You are right though when you say that the best I can do is take care of my body the best I know how to TODAY.
Plus, the fact that these gorgeous cookies are included in the "love your body" post makes me all the more happier about the balance 🙂 xo
Allison @ Clean Wellness
This was very inspiring to read. I understand what you mean about a certain eating mind-set and how it takes a lot of work to emerge from that. Sending you hugs 🙂
Also, your cookies look delicious! I love using chickpeas in sweet treats. Yum!
Thank you for being so open and sharing your feelings with us all Kristy.
Since having my wee one and being so busy with him and life in general, I've not had much time (or rather, not taken much time) for myself to actually work out. In fact, I think I've only been to a handful of yoga classes and on maybe 4 runs since he was born. Because of this, I definitely struggle at times with how I see my body, but I try my best to be gentle with myself... To remind myself that my body is an amazing thing that grew, carried and birthed my child and now nurses, nourishes and carries him (all 25 pounds of him!) through this world.
Perfectly timed. Thank you for reminding me I am not alone in my thoughts and feelings regarding body image. At the age of 46, and not quite 2 years past my most recent relapse, I needed to hear someone else speak those words. Very reassuring.
I read this at just the right time! About two weeks ago, I decided to ditch the scale, stop obsessing in front of the mirror, eat awesome food only when I'm hungry, and focus on how i feel instead of the number on the scale. I can't remember feeling this good in years! I feel like I've even lost weight, but I have no idea if that's true and I'm not going to weigh myself and risk that disappointed feeling. how you look is all about how you feel and I feel awesome, and that's that 🙂
in that vein, I've been trying to focus on what's awesome about my body instead of what's "wrong" with it. the most awesome thing about my body is that it produced two amazing human beings, delivered them completely naturally, and fed each of them for the first years of their lives. how can I ever feel bad about a body that accomplished all that?
Very truthful post. Our bodies do just change day in day out, and its important to remember that our diets can change just as frequently if they need to, and we should never beat ourselves up over the odd lapse in routine.
If I'm perfectly honest I'm far from someone who likes my own body, but I'm ok with it for the most part because I realise I'm actually very lucky in the grand scheme of things. I do genuinely really like my nose, however. It's a big distinctive nose. I like big distinctive noses. This one is currently detecting a lack-of-this-recipe-in-the oven smell - best go fix that. 😀
I just made these, they came out amazing!!! I am usually not a fan of chickpeas, but I didn't want to use white beans and ruin the recipe so I just went with it. You can't notice the chickpeas at all. Thanks for the great recipe! I will definitely trick my boyfriend into trying them :p