Easy, healthy, but most importantly – Delicious Chocolate Cranberry Almond Oat Bites

Whether you are getting ready to get on the treadmill, go for a hike or maybe just need a little sweet, these are the cookies – a satisfying bite packed with flavor! Good-bye chocolate chip cookies, hello packed oat cookies!

There is something quite inspiring in completing a major fitness challenge. Jack and I returned home from our 1,300 mile bike trek in Hokkaido revved and looking ahead to The Next Big Thing. With roads outside often treacherously icy and the fact that wild animals in these parts make the whole village nervous if anyone is seen going for a run, we’ve pieced together a gym in our living room. (By the way, all ice is definitely not created equal. Chignik Lake has the slickest ice we’ve ever experienced).

Our gym which is comprised of a treadmill, a stationary spinning cycle, a set of Powerblock dumbbells, and a TRX resistance band. These four pieces of equipment take up very little space and gives us plenty of variety with which to accomplish our fitness goals. Plus, a spin on a bike or a run on a treadmill goes by fairly painlessly with a view of the lake out the window. (Yesterday a group of river otters was playing and fishing on the ice.)

Of course, when we work out, we have to eat – a golden opportunity to get in the kitchen and bake something. In Point Hope, I baked us batches of homemade granola bars to fuel us. During our bike training last year, I made little bites of tahini fudge speckled with coconut and chocolate chips. This time, I wanted to try a granola type creation that would be more like a cookie. These two-bite cookies are packed with oats, dried cranberries, chocolate chips, and almonds -and no processed sugar. They have the texture of a soft cookie and tons of flavor. Better still, they are easy and super quick to make. I’ve been making batches and keeping them in the freezer. After they thaw, they have the same texture and flavor as when they’ve cooled out of the oven. Perfect!

Chocolate Cranberry Almond Oat Bites

Ingredients

  • 1 cup quick oats
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour (I use Bob’s Red Mill Whole Wheat Pastry Flour)
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch salt
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup coarse-chopped almonds

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325° F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. Whisk together oats, flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together melted butter, egg, vanilla and maple syrup.
  4. Pour maple syrup mixture into oat mixture. Stir until combined.
  5. Fold in cranberries, chocolate chips and almonds.
  6. Using a small cookie scoop or tablespoon, scoop out dough and place balls on prepared baking sheet. The cookies will not spread much. Slightly flatten cookies.
  7. Bake cookies for 12 minutes. Let cookies cool on baking sheet for 10 minutes before transferring them to wire cooling rack.
  8. Store cookies in airtight container for a few days. Cookies will freeze well.

 

 

6 thoughts on “Easy, healthy, but most importantly – Delicious Chocolate Cranberry Almond Oat Bites

  1. You are making my mouth water! I am going to try to make something similar. These days with the heat & humidity of the sub-tropical summer keep me indoors. I jog on the spot, do weight training with 1 or 2kg hand weights, I can even do HIIT (high intensity interval training). My view looks out from the 3rd floor of my studio apartment on the beach by the South Pacific Ocean. Good on you keeping up your fitness!

    • Thanks for checking in, Gerowyn! Happy New Year! Glad to hear you still run! We have many life goals ahead of us that require that we stay fit. So, yep, regular runs, weight lifting and bicycling are part of that. I am a strong believer in the importance of interval training and these are probably our favorite workouts – the variety is nice and so is the feeling of accomplishment! We’re on a 10-day cycle with runs every A day and cycling & resistance training on B days. We finish every workout with 20 minutes of flexibility & balance exercises. Staying injury free is something we’re mindful of… a goal is to run a half-marathon just after my 60th birthday this summer. Wish me luck!

      • Happy New Year to you, too! It is excellent to hear that you are still keeping fit & healthy, as well as staying right up to date on the latest exercise research. I remember when we were in Japan that you had been an athlete in your school & university days. You used to continue to keep fit while you were there. I agree with you & Barbara, that the feeling of accomplishment is so nice after completing what is hell on earth for 5 x 45sec intervals. This week, I have just started to increase reps to 6, with a 4min warm up & a 3 – 5min cool down. These I do 3 times a week in the mornings, while the jog & weight workouts are done almost every afternoon. To keep motivated in the afternoons, I watch documentaries on my HD recorder to keep my brain fit, as well. I cannot believe you are turning 60 this northern hemisphere summer. Isn’t your birthday in July like mine? I will be 63. My goodness! Who would have thought? Stay healthy & keep up the excellent work!

        • June 30 I turn 60. We first came to Alaska (on a visit) in 2009. That summer we went to the fishing village of Cordova, Alaska, (population 2,000) accessible only be air and sea. We took our C-Dory 90 miles across Prince William Sound to get there and spent a week camping on the boat in the marina. It’s a super cool little town, with the residents there quite happy to remain off the road system. Every July Cordova holds a Salmon Festival, and as part of that festival they have a series of “Salmon Runs,” one of which is a half-marathon which we both participated in back in 2009. We’re thinking it would be a good story to go back to Cordova this July for a 10th year anniversary and do the half again.
          My high school coach was ahead of the curve on interval training; we were one of the very few teams back then regularly engaging in things like repeat 880’s, 440’s, 220’s and 110’s and as a result were a dominant team in our league. Barbra disliked this form of training initially, but now looks forward to her interval days above all others. As we age, our stride naturally begins to shorten; gotta do the speed work to prevent that and, I believe, to prevent the kinds of overuse injuries that can occur from running too much of the same pace. Plus, as weeks go by, they really make one a stronger, more fit athlete. I’m just plain grateful to still be able to exercise vigorously every day. As the years slip past, I take nothing for granted. I’m sure you know exactly what I mean. Gotta stay in shape to scramble up and down those river banks chasing fish!

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