My boyfriend R's mom is doing the Appalachian Trail right now. The whole thing. By herself. Going 20 MILES PER DAY in wind, rain, heat, etc. And she's almost finished! She started the trail in March in Georgia, and now, almost five months later, she's getting close to the end, inching on up to Maine. Isn't that awesome and amazing? Don't you feel like such a blob for sitting in front of your computer reading this blog post? As the one sitting here writing this blog post, I sure do.
We drove out to Front Royal, VA to visit her on the trail around Memorial Day. At that point, she was about halfway finished, and told us all sorts of interesting and crazy stuff about life on the trail. Did you know Appalachian Trail hikers have their own lingo? And trail names? (Hers is Sugar Plum!) It was fascinating to spend some time with her on her journey, hearing about all the people she meets, the animals she sees, even just the daily ins-and-outs of a long hiking trip. We even hiked a little bit of the trail ourselves, although I was wearing sandals and we had our little dog Pablo with us, so it wasn't at all like roughing it (not even a little).
Anyway, I wanted to send R's mom a little bit of sustenance to get her through the home stretch of the trail. She can't carry much in her pack, so the food she does have has to be small, portable, and as nutritious as possible. I toyed with the idea of making granola bars (like these I made for HelloGiggles) but in the end I decided on some high-protein, high-fiber (and gluten-free!) hiker's cookies. R's going to send them to her today and she can pick them up when she stops in Vermont.
I wanted these cookies to be big and substantial, something she can have for a mid-morning snack that will fuel her for a few hours. If you make these, customize them to your liking; use different dried fruits, another kind of nut butter, or whatever kind of nuts you like. They don't have to be strictly for hiking, either; I'll probably make another batch to just have on hand for snacks (especially good on my occasional metro commutes).
makes 6-8 large cookies
total time: about 17 minutes
total hands-on time: 5-7 minutes
What you'll need:
1 cup oats
1/2 cup chickpea flour
1/3 cup flaxseed meal
1/4-1/2 cup sugar (depending on how sweet you'd like the cookies)
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup sliced almonds or other nut
1/2 cup raisins
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
1/2 cup almond or other nut butter
1/2 cup applesauce
2 tbsps honey
1/2 tsp vanilla
What you'll do:
1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Combine dry ingredients in a bowl.
3. Beat eggs, then add in all other wet ingredients and stir until well-mixed.
4. Combine dry and wet ingredients into a batter. It will be thick and wet.
5. Generously scoop the batter onto a greased cookie sheet; I did 6 cookies on a sheet because I wanted them to be LARGE.
I tried one cookie. It was healthy-tasting (as it should be!) but a little bit sweet at the same time, courtesy of almond butter, applesauce, honey, raisins and sugar. If you want to omit the sugar altogether, you probably could just use a little bit more honey, or maybe add more dried fruit. Another option would be to use coconut flour in this recipe rather than the bean flour; I chose the bean flour because it's higher in protein, but coconut flour has a good bit of protein, too.