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Cinnamon Orange Breakfast Cookies


This week in the chronicles of a dietetic intern, we examine how awful I've been at meal prepping. I used to be SO GREAT at cooking extra the night before and having a meal for lunch, making overnight oats or at least leaving myself time for a breakfast sandwich on the run in the morning. Alas, this rotation has taken me longer to adjust to.


I'm currently with Saint Paul Public Schools, so my hours have been typical office hours. Depending on whether I'm in a school or in the office, I start work sometime between 7am and 8am. Not to mention, this has also thrown off my gym schedule. I used to be a wake up, work out, eat, leave for work kind of girl. Now I'm a wake up, leave for work, maybe eat, maybe work out kind of girl.


As I work on finding a solid routine, the easiest place to start is to just get back on my dang meal prep game. Enter these breakfast cookies. I'm not one who can just eat a meal of carbs for breakfast (or worse, skip it) and be good to go until lunch. If I do that, I'll be hungry within an hour. I really wanted to create something that was balanced without it being too dense, like some other breakfast bars I've had that make me so thirsty I down my coffee in 0.376 seconds.


These cookies start off with a whole grain base of oats. They've got both chia seeds and almond butter for some plant-based protein and healthy fats. Not to mention fiber (STILL my favorite thing to mention). I threw in some carrots and zucchini for some fun, because everyone should be getting some form of vegetable at breakfast--and not those greens powders that everyone is trying to sell you, please do not buy into that (but that's a lesson for another time). There's a touch of maple syrup and cinnamon for some sweetness and spice, and lastly my FAVORITE ingredient in these: orange zest. You could totally skip the orange zest if you don't have it, but it brightens up the whole flavor profile, and that kick of orange helps to wake you up!


If you're looking for something to prep over the weekend, or just want a healthy cookie, these are super easy and take no more than 30 minutes total. They're a great way to make sure you're getting a well-balanced breakfast that will keep you satisfied throughout the morning. Give them a try and let me know what you think!


Note: I highly, HIGHLY recommend using quick oats for these. Old-fashioned oats don't stick together as well and you'll end up with more of a muesli than a cookie. If all you have on hand is old-fashioned oats, use half oats and half oat flour (which you can make by tossing oats in a blender).


Additionally, I used dairy-free chocolate chips in these to make them vegan, but if you don't have any dietary restrictions you could certainly use normal chocolate chips and even honey in place of the maple syrup.


Cinnamon Orange Breakfast Cookies



Makes: 8-10 servings

Time: 30 minutes


Ingredients

  • 2 C quick cooking oats

  • 1/2 C grated zucchini

  • 1/2 C grated carrot

  • 1/2 C almond butter

  • 1/4 C maple syrup

  • 1/4 C oil

  • 1/4 C chia seeds

  • 1 tsp vanilla

  • 1 tsp cinnamon

  • 1/4 tsp salt

  • 1/4 tsp baking powder

  • 1/2 tsp baking soda

  • 1 tbsp orange zest (about 1 orange)

  • handful of chocolate chips (optional)

Instructions


I. In a medium bowl, combine oats, zucchini, carrots, chia seeds, cinnamon, salt, chocolate chips, baking powder and baking soda in a bowl

II. In a small bowl, combine maple syrup, almond butter, oil, vanilla and orange zest and whisk thoroughly

III. Pour wet ingredients into dry and mix well

IV. Roll the dough into a golf ball size and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Gently flatten the ball until the cookies are 1/2 inch thick

V. Bake at 350F for 25 minutes

VI. Let cool completely before eating to allow the cookies to set. Enjoy!


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