There is nothing like the smell of fresh baked chocolate chip cookies coming from the oven. Ooey, gooey, and melting in your mouth… they are simply irresistible! What is even better? A little fresh, real sea salt sprinkled on top. There is something about that sweet, chocolaty taste, combined with coarse salt that just makes your mouth water.
What I love about chocolate chip cookies is that they are so basic, and yet so versatile. Make them up on a cold, winter day and enjoy them with a nice hot cup of cocoa. On a summer day, they are probably best paired with a big scoop of ice cream on top – my favorite! However, just because your cookies are freshly baked, does not necessarily mean they are the most nourishing or healthy option out there. Let's take a look at some of the key ingredients recommended in your typical chocolate chip cookie recipe:
- Refined flour
- Refined sugar
- Brown sugar
- Iodized salt
- Processed Vegetable oils
Yikes! All those ingredients are definitely not good for your body. Topping the list as one of the unhealthiest foods is “all-purpose or enriched flour.” Why is this type flour so bad for you? First off, it is stripped of nearly all nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. Secondly, because your body quickly burns through it, refined flour spikes your blood sugar. When combined with sugars, as most cookie recipes are, it also causes your body to store fat.
Then, there is the concern about iodized salt. Iodized salt is refined and highly heated, which robs it of its natural minerals and trace elements while fusing sodium and chloride into a toxic mixture that poisons our bodies. Never refined, Celtic Sea Salt provides your body with needed natural sodium, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, iodine, and trace elements that include silver, zinc, selenium, and manganese, among many other nutrients.
I could go on about the dangers of margarine and processed vegetable oils as well, and how they aren't health foods, but I will save that for another time. Frankly, there are very few ingredients in the traditional chocolate chip cookie recipe that can be considered good. (1)
Obviously, there comes the need for a better alternative, and who says we need to throw out the taste along with the poor ingredients?! These little delights are just that – delightful! What I also love about this recipe is that it really caters to those with food allergies and sensitivities. With all the processed and refined foods on the market today, it is no surprise that there is an epidemic of food allergies and sensitivities. According to Food Allergy Research and Education, about 1 out of every 13 children is allergic to at least one food. Eight common allergens account for 90% of all reactions in children:
- tree nuts (such as walnuts and cashews)
- shellfish (such as shrimp)
All of these increased food sensitivities have created a need for allergy-friendly alternatives. As a grain, dairy, and egg-free recipe, these bars are just the treat to suit many of you with allergy concerns! (2)
Sea Salt and Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
- 1 3/4 cups almond flour
- 6 tablespoons applesauce
- 1/3 – 1/2 cup coconut or maple sugar
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 cup nut butter (choose from any of the many options available!)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- Chocolate chips to your liking
- Extra sea salt to sprinkle on top of bars
Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a 9 x 9 inch oven proof dish with parchment paper. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients, except chocolate chips. Mix all ingredients until well blended. Then stir in chocolate chips. (Be sure to get dairy free chocolate if you need to!) The batter should be thick. Pour into prepared dish and sprinkle extra sea salt all over the top. Bake for 16-18 minutes, or until fork comes out clean from the center. Enjoy with your favorite ice cream, or simply a tall glass of milk!