September. The time when some head back to school, some head back to work, and others are snapping back to reality after a sun-soaked summer. Regardless of whether you're headed back or simply returning from a leisurely summer pace, it's a time of transition. One that welcomes routine, crispness in the air, and an abundance of carefully packed snacks, including these vanilla chai energy cookies.
Grab 'n' go snackable.
These Vanilla Chai Energy Cookies make an awesome back to [fill in the blank] snack. Each cookie is packed with 5 grams of plant-based protein, thanks to hemp seeds, mulberries, and nuts/buckwheat groats. Plus, they're packed with warm chai spice, a flavor combination I cannot get enough of this time of year.
The recipe is also accommodating, so you can choose from raw nuts (e.g., cashews, almonds, walnuts) or raw buckwheat groats for a base. For the cookies in the photos, I used raw buckwheat groats, which offer a nice earthiness. However, I have to say that my favorite is a cashew base because the chai flavor really shines through.
Once you've figured out which base you want to use, add it to a food processor and process into a fine meal/coarse flour. Then, add medjool dates, dried mulberries (or more medjool dates), hemp hearts, vanilla hemp protein powder (optional), a splash of vanilla, ground ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, and a pinch of sea salt. Start processing and add in a tablespoon or two of water. Once the mixture begins to ball up on one side of your food processor, it's ready to go.
Then, you'll form the dough into cookies and pop them in the freezer for 15 mintues to set. That's it.
Vanilla Chai Energy Cookies
- ¾ cup raw nuts (cashews, almonds, walnuts) or raw buckwheat groats
- ⅔ cup packed and pitted medjool dates
- ½ cup dried mulberries
- ¼ cup Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts
- 2 tablespoons Manitoba Harvest HempPro 70 Vanilla (optional)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ¾ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- pinch sea salt
- 1 to 2 tablespoons filtered water
- In a food processor, process the nuts or buckwheat groats until a coarse flour develops, being careful not to over-process if you're using nuts (or you'll end up with nut butter). Add the dates, mulberries, hemp seeds, hemp protein (if using), vanilla, ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, and sea salt, pulse a few times and then process, while slowing adding the water as needed, until it rolls into a ball within the food processor. If it's not coming together, add in more dates, 1 at a time, until the mixture begins to gather on one side of the food processor.
- Line a small baking pan with parchment paper. Use a cookie scoop (or small ice cream scoop) to scoop out 1 ½ to 2 tablespoon mounds. Place on pan and repeat. Use a fork to create a crosshatch pattern and press the balls into round cookies. Freeze for 15 minutes to set.
- Store in an airtight container in refrigerator or freezer.
This post is sponsored by Manitoba Harvest; however, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
These look so incredible and anything chai is the best! Totally loving them right now!
Anything I could use instead of dried mulberries? I can't get them here I don't really know what the texture or taste or sweetness is like?
You can omit them and add more dates. I would start with 3/4 cup packed medjool dates and add more as needed. I would also omit the water unless absolutely needed. I hope this helps!
Thalia @ butter and brioche says
AMAZING photography and cookies too. You don't often see mulberries in cookie recipes so this recipe is very unique and delicious. I love it.
Thanks so much, Thalia! Your photography work is absolutely stunning, so that's an extra special compliment coming from you!
Teffy @ Teffy's Perks says
Those look super yummy!
I'm a huge chai lover, I just can't get over cinnamon and cardamom. Such delicious and warming flavours. Can't wait to try these! If I can't find mulberries, should I just sub more dates or some sultanas? X
Thanks so much, Teffy! I'm much the same with cinnamon and cardamom -- two of my favorites. If you can't find mulberries, I would increase the dates to 3/4 cup (packed) and omit the water. See how that comes together and if needed, add more dates, one at a time, until it pulls together.
Do the dates need to be soaked? Just wondering :-) or would the water supplement their liquid? Thank you for the lovely recipes, again!!
Hi, Anna! If you're using soft medjool dates and a heavy duty food processor (e.g., Cuisinart), there is no need to soak them. However, if your dates are dry/hard or your food processor is finicky, I would soak them in warm water for 30 minutes or more. Then, only add the additional 1-2 tablespoons of water if needed to pull everything together. I hope this helps! Enjoy :)
Oh, thank you :-) I've just made them and they turned out grandly. Do you come up with the recipes from your head, or from a 'craving', or... what's your process? I'd be really interested to know!
Anyways, thanks again!
Hi, Anna! I'm so happy to hear that you enjoyed these so much. Thanks for sharing your feedback!
As for recipe ideas, it's kind of a mix of everything you mentioned. I tend to think of recipe ideas out of nowhere, but especially when I'm relaxed (e.g., yoga class, on vacation, drifting off to sleep). It's also easier to think of ideas when I'm hungry, and I really struggle to come up with ideas just after I've eaten a meal. Therefore, I tend to sit down and intentionally brainstorm after my afternoon workout and just before dinner when I'm both relaxed and a bit hungry.
Once one idea pops into my head, there's usually several other related ideas that spring from it. I keep track of the ideas on my iPhone (in notes) and then transfer them to a massive excel spreadsheet that I've been using for the past few years. Then, I write out the recipe ingredients/methods for the ones I'm interested in, and I document those in Evernote (which has been such a useful tool).
Early on in blogging, I would try to think of ideas just before grocery shopping, and I always struggled. There was just too much pressure. Then, once I started tracking ideas on the go, I tended to only write down those that were fully formed. Now, I do my best to shutoff my internal editor and just let the ideas flow onto the page, no matter how loosely structured or formulated they are. Some of my most popular recipes stem from these loosely formed ideas. If you've ever heard of the book Accidental Genius, it's essentially that same concept only with recipe ideas.
I hope this is helpful! I should probably write a post about this as it's a question I get a lot, and it's taken me years to find a reliable system to support both the creative and organizational components of recipe creation.
Oh, how interesting!
I agree, if you let your internal editor have too dominant of an influence over you and your thoughts, it can become quite limiting, or discouraging. You get the pressure of having a recipe that's up to their standards, and at that point, hardly anything will.
Thanks so much for sharing that with me/us. I've always been very curious :-)
Have a lovely day!
Sophie | The Green Life says
These photos are so pretty! I love the simplicity and versatility of these cookies! And this chai spice mix sounds absolutely delicious!! <3
Thanks so much, Sophie!! :)
I love how much flavor and nutrition you have packed in these little cookies. Perfect afternoon snack with a warm beverage!
Thank you! And yes, they would be perfect with a warm cup of tea! :)
Didn't have hemp or protein powder and still absolutely delicious! I love quick easy delicious healthy snacks I can grab and go on the run. I kept mine in the fridge and they are perfect. Thank you so much for sharing your recipe!!!!
Thanks for sharing your feedback and adjustments, Monica! I'm so glad you're enjoying them so much!! :)
Chantelle | naked cuisine says
These sound like the perfect fall treat Ashley, and I love that their no bake. Would it be alright if I included a link to your recipe in a fall inspiration round up I'm doing?
Thanks, Chantelle! Of course, please feel free to include a link and pull a photo if you'd like. Thanks for including the recipe! :)
dana grabbel says
Looks so good! Thanks!
I love the crunch of the buckwheat groats in these. I great cookie for fall in Phoenix when it is still too hot to turn on the oven.
So glad you're enjoying the recipe, Karen! I feel the same way about the crunch of the groats in them—a nice textural treat. Thanks for taking the time to share your feedback and rating—means a lot to me and is helpful for others considering making the recipe, too. Happy (un)baking to you this fall. :)