This post sponsored my Bard Valley Natural Delight Dates. However, all content, opinions and enthusiasm are my own!
Growing up, Dad had a joke in our house that cookies eaten outside of normal dessert consumption hours were called “Breakfast Circles,” or “Energy Rounds.” This soon became my line of defense when Mom caught me with my hand in the cookie jar. Thank goodness, my Date & Protein Chocolate Cookies need no explaining away!
These little rounds of goodness are loaded with quality and sustaining energy my family needs to smash through the day’s goals – both physically and mentally. My youngest teenager and I are the athletes of the family and my older two boys are the “math-letes” – bodies and brains BOTH need healthy carbs (backed by a bit of protein) to optimize performance. My cookies, made with absolutely no refined sugar (only Medjool dates and a few other smart ingredients), make the perfect snack to fuel running, workouts, sports practice, and racing to the head of the class! Read on to get the recipe and all the delicious, body-boosting benefits:
I’ve never seen a teenage boy say NO to cookies, so I like to make sure mine get the tastiest, most wholesome, most brag-worthy cookies around . . . you know, sharing with friends and boasting, “Bruh, my mom’s cookies are savage”!
So, let me start off with the sweetness of these cookies . . . NO REFINED SUGARS. Yup, no processed sugars whatsoever, period. Also, no sugar-free alternatives, but instead Medjool dates, because I WANT enough wholesome, complex carbohydrates in each cookie to fuel performance. Eaten “as-is”, Natural Delight’s Meedjol Dates are nature’s candy, packed with unprocessed natural sugars that are low on the glycemic index thanks to a balanced amount of soluble fiber. Fiber allows the dried fruit to digest at a slower rate and, in turn, provide the body energy at an extended, steady pace. The same perks apply when Medjool dates are used to sweeten baked items and other recipes. No sugar crashes, hurray!
Another benefit of baking with Medjool dates as the primary sweetener is that the fruit has 500x the antioxidants of plain white sugar. Also, the fruit is a great source of minerals, like potassium and iron, that play an important role in sports recovery, muscle management, energy levels and more.
Very easy to mix up, just toss the dates and everything else into a food processor!
This healthy cookie recipe also incorporates flaxseed for additional nutrients like omega 3 fatty acids, more fiber and potassium. And, peanut butter, because kids love it! A bit of protein powder brings balance and to help the carbohydrates do their job. When I ran the nutrition facts on my recipe, the carb to protein ratio came out between 4:1 to 3:1 (18g carb to 5g protein each cookie) which is the optimal range for endurance sports and workout recovery. As I earlier implied, protein also works on the front end to help your body efficiently process the carbs into energy. For more info on macros, the nutrition label is in the recipe below.
You’re going to love these date cookies, and your hard-working, cookie-monster athletes will too! They can be eaten pre- or post-workout or even for a quick, grab-and-go breakfast paired with a glass of milk. While teenage kids can often get away with eating junk food with no immediate negative consequences, it’s best to train them up early in making good food choices. In the end, junk food cookies are going to cause possible weight gain, hinder performance, sabotage energy, cause unhealthy cravings and more. I say, Date & Protein Chocolate Workout Cookies for the win!
What sports do your kids play? Is sending them to school and practice with healthy snacks they’ll actually eat a challenge? Healthy cookies for breakfast, yes or no? I’d love to chat in the comments – XOXO, Jennifer