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Healthy chocolate chip cookies now exist, so why can鈥檛 peanut butter?! Thanks to a new cookbook Eat Your Feelings ($25) by Lindsey Smith, they do. These little nibbles only require three ingredients, just so happen to be vegan and gluten-free, and will help alleviate depression. What was that last part, you may be wondering鈥 Smith鈥檚 cookbook offers intriguing insight into why we reach for certain (junk) foods when we鈥檙e sad, stressed, tired, hangry, and bored, and which nutrient-rich foods we should aim to eat instead.

Vegan Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Cookies Recipe

Whether the weather is crummy, you had a bad day, or it鈥檚 that time of the month, raise your hand if cookies usually make you feel a little better. Smith explains in her book, 鈥淸Y]our body is always attempting to find balance鈥 [W]hen you are sad, your body wants you to be happy. Therefore, it hopes to find the pleasure-seeking chemicals found in foods to help make you happy. Typically, people tend to gravitate toward carbohydrates and sugar because they can help increase your serotonin levels. However, they only increase it temporarily and then leave you to crash.鈥

Instead, in her book Smith says the key is to pause to feel your feelings first. 鈥淚f you are sad, don鈥檛 immediately run to chocolate cake to attempt to fix your sadness, but instead acknowledge that it is okay to feel sad鈥 We have a wide range of emotions we can feel on a daily basis, and sometimes feeling sad is okay and completely natural. So first acknowledge the sadness,鈥 she says. 鈥淭hen, once you allow yourself to feel the feelings, ask yourself what your body really needs. If you are craving something comforting like pizza or macaroni and cheese, then recreate one of [my] mood-boosting recipes鈥︹

With that, let鈥檚 jump into the recipe. These peanut butter cookies are legit, but I鈥檒l be honest, I had a few concerns. I didn鈥檛 know if they would actually bake up like regular cookies or crumble into a thousand almond meal bits upon touch. Since there鈥檚 no salt, I wondered if they鈥檇 even have any flavor. All of my fears were dispelled when the cookies came out of the oven and I took the first bite. These cookies are extremely rich, chewy, and peanut buttery. You really only need one (said no one ever 鈥 until now), and you鈥檒l get your cookie fix without that awful sugar crash. The only thing that could possibly make these cookies any better is the addition of a few dark chocolate chips. Otherwise, these are sheer cookie perfection.

Three-Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies REcipe

From Eat Your Feelings by Lindsey Smith

(serves 12-14)

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/8 cup pure maple syrup (you can add more if you like a sweeter taste)
  • 1 1/2 cups almond meal

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Combine the peanut butter and maple syrup in a medium mixing bowl and mix until creamy.聽Slowly add the almond meal until it makes one solid dough ball.
  3. Roll into 1-inch balls and place on a lightly greased baking sheet.
  4. Bake for 6 minutes, then press the dough down with a fork.聽Bake an additional 4-5 minutes or until the bottoms are golden brown.聽Let cool before serving.
Vegan Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Cookies Recipe
Vegan Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Cookies Recipe
Vegan Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Cookies Recipe

Inspired to bake? Make these cookies, snap a pic, and share it with us by tagging us on Instagram.

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(Photos via Chris Andre / Brit + Co)