For these cookies, I used a small amount of chia gel. Not sure how many of you have used/heard of chia seeds but they are pretty nifty. And yes, chia seeds are from the cha-cha-cha-chia plants that were big in the early 90s. I used to LOVE those commercials.
Chia seeds are cool for many reasons. Apparently the Aztecs were nuts about them, and they were often used as currency. Warriors and hunters would drink the chia gel instead of eating food because it would keep them full and energized. So its not just a seed, its a seed with lots of cool history!
They are FULL of fiber, two tablespoons has about 8 grams of fiber. They are great for people who need a lot of fiber, but have a hard time getting enough. Especially for older people, or those who are chronically ill/have cancer and need more fiber but have no appetite or have a hard time eating.
They also are good for dieting, similar to spirulina, a small amount can keep you full for a long time, and give your body nutrients. They are also full of Omega Threes, the kind of good fat we want more of, and can help with keeping blood pressure and blood sugar under control. Also Dr. Oz loves them, and WHO doesn't love Dr. Oz?
Here are two sites with additional information, again its hard to find a lot of completely reliable information given there hasn't been a ton of formal studies.
Here is a blog that had some information: Blog on Chia seeds
Here is the nutrition facts: Nutrition Facts of Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are another tiny little miracle. They can be eaten raw, or made into a gel. Healthy boyfriend likes to drink them in water. When you put them in water, if you let them sit, they create a gel, that has a strange consistency. I had read that many vegans use chia get in place of butter or oil. I had never tried it, so I only used a small amount of chia gel in this recipe, unsure of how it would change the flavor. I found no flavor change, though these are only the third from scratch cookies Ive made, so a cookie expert could probably notice if there was a difference in flavor. Where is a cookie expert when you need one? If yall see cookie monster, send him my way.
|water and chia seeds|
As far as making cookies goes, a few things to remember. I looked at a several different cookie recipes, trying to learn about what makes a good cookie. One thing that was common is almost all the recipes was room temperature butter. Having your butter at room temperature makes it easy to mix, but also is how cookies turn out fluffy and light. So make sure when making cookies, you let your butter warm up to room temperature. You don't want it melted, just room temperature.
I read in one of my Martha Stewart books(she is a bit intense, but has great information about WHY you do certain things in cooking) and she says you should never try to speed up making your butter room temperature ie microwave it. That can change the consistency and you dont want that when baking. If you forget to take your butter out of the fridge, you can slice it up very thin which will help it warm up faster. Or use a cheese grater and grate your butter, which will allow it to warm up fast as well.
Also make sure to take your eggs out and allow them to get to room temperature. So you do need to think ahead a bit when baking cookies, but not too much.
Next time I will attempt to use half butter and half chia gel, and see how it goes. Hope you enjoy!
This recipe is based on a few, but predominately Martha Stewarts Classic Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe.
Note: If you dont want to use the chia gel, just use 2 sticks of unsalted butter.
Chocolate Chip Cookies with Chia seeds
The Goods: Makes 30-40 cookies
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 cup(1 1/2 sticks) of unsalted butter
1/4 cup(4 tablespoons) of chia gel(see note)
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup pecans or walnuts, toasted(optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter two large cookie sheets or line with parchment paper.
2. Whisk flour, salt, and baking soda in a medium bowl.
3. Place butter, chia gel and both sugars in a large mixing bowl. Mash with wooden spoon until light and fluffy, about 4-6 minutes. You can also you use an electric mixer to speed up the mixing. Add eggs, one at a time beating throughly until blended. Stir in vanilla.
|butter, chia gel, and sugars|
|mixing in eggs|
4. Add your flour mixture in three additions, adding it slowly to fully mix the dry ingredients into the wet. Once mixed, add your chocolate chips and nuts if using.
6. Bake for 13-15 minutes, or until golden brown on edges and toothpick comes out clean. Rotate your cookie sheets half way through cooking to avoiding burning the bottoms of your cookies. Remove from pan and place on wire rack to cool.
Very important: Grab a hot cookie and enjoy your delicious accomplishment! Cookie five!