Gluten free and vegan buckwheat trail mix cookies made with a mix of whole grain buckwheat and oat flour, mixed seeds, dried fruit, and chocolate. These healthy cookies can be changed up with whatever add-ins you like as long as you stick to the base recipe, and they make a great snack.
I’m hanging out in the woods this week with a very small, fluffy, and blind dog. One of my godmothers is away this week and asked us to watch her little dog, a rescue who used to be on the streets in Romania (you wouldn’t think so, he’s smaller than a cat). He’s the goofiest looking dog in the world. One fang sticks out from his lower jaw and his tongue is always hanging out the side of his mouth, and he’s sort of pomeranian fluffy but scruffy at the same time. He is, however, the happiest dog ever, and just scampers along sniffing everything in the cutest possible way.
While we’re here, my internet connection is slow at best – my laptop is plugged in to an internet line right now because as far as I can tell there’s no wifi here. It’s like going back in time a decade. More than a decade, because I know I had my own laptop and wifi definitely existed when I started university, and that was almost ten years ago now. (Am I aging myself horribly here?) These pictures are uploading the way they did two decade ago, hah. One centimetre at a time.
So I won’t really be on social media, and this is likely to be the only post coming out this week. It is my birthday on Friday but I probably won’t post my birthday cake recipe until a couple of days after that.
In the meantime, let’s talk about these vegan trail mix cookies!
These buckwheat chocolate chunk cookies are adapted from a couple of other recipes I’ve shared – these date sweetened oatmeal breakfast cookies and an oldie, hazelnut oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. I wanted them to be a bit like chocolate chip cookies but something you could take on a hiking trip too.
The neat thing is here that the cookies aren’t really crumbly at all. Oat and buckwheat flour are great for gluten free baking, easily my favourites, and chia, nut or seed butter, and coconut oil hold everything together here really well. I over baked a batch during the testing phase and Graham liked them the most. I prefer them a little soft but if you want them really sturdy, bake for an extra couple of minutes.
I chose coconut sugar to do most of the sweetening for these healthy trail mix cookies. It makes them a bit more dessert like rather than breakfast-y but with all those seeds it works either way.
Flexibility is key here. There’s a cup of mixed seeds, plus another 1/2 cup of other sweeter add-ins and those can all be switched up to suit your preferences. I chose sunflower, pumpkin, sesame, and buckwheat for my seeds, with dark chocolate and dried cranberries. The nut/seed butter is easy to change up too; sunflower, peanut, almond, etc. I know peanut butter tends to take over in terms of flavour but it isn’t overwhelming in these.
You can use any seeds or nuts you like instead, barring chia or flax. As long as it’s not a seed that sucks up a pile of moisture you’re good. Other dried fruit can go in place of cranberries, and of course you don’t have to add chocolate, but I don’t know why anyone wouldn’t. Chocolate should be used whenever possible.
I personally find tahini a bit overwhelming here and my personal preference is generally peanut or sunflower seed butter. If you have grain free granola kicking around you could toss a cup of that in instead of the seeds too.
Buckwheat, I think, can take a bit of getting used to. As a flour, it’s very neutral and slightly nutty, but the seeds have a texture that can be a bit strange as you chew. If you’re not sure if you like buckwheat seeds then I’d use something else in the mixed seed bit. I haven’t tried these cookies with 100% either oat or buckwheat flour, just the mix. And if you’re not sure, despite the misleading name, buckwheat is totally gluten free!
I recently got a grain mill so I’ve been using it as much as possible (this one, and I love it). Since I used that to grind the flour and didn’t sift it, it’s all whole grain (as opposed to light buckwheat flour here). If you have a high-speed food processor, you can use that to make the flour for this recipe, or buy it already ground at a bulk food store.
If you have to buy more buckwheat flour than this recipe calls for, it also makes great gluten free banana pancakes, and several readers have had success using buckwheat to make my vegan banana bread gluten free too. As far as gluten free flours go it’s a solid all-purpose one to have around and has a good flavour.
One last thing. The cookie mixture will seem too wet when you first stir it up, but you just have to let it sit for a few minutes to let the chia do its magic. That’s why the recipe is a bit different than usual and you mix up the dough before heating up the oven. It sits and firms up while the oven heats.
I’m posting these trail mix cookies as part of a larger group of recipes being shared today that feature cranberries – you can find them on instagram under the hashtag #yesyoucranberry. I had hoped to share something with fresh cranberries but they’re so tricky to find here.
And that’s a lot of information for a simple recipe! The ingredient list might seem long but it’s nothing complicated, mostly pantry items. This recipe makes two dozen cookies and they’re an excellent snack to have around the house.
- 120 grams / 1 cup buckwheat flour
- 110 grams / 1 cup oat flour
- 100 grams / 1/2 cup coconut sugar
- 1 tablespoon arrowroot flour
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 150 grams / 1 cup mixed seeds or nuts
- 60 grams / 1/4 cup dried cranberries or other fruit
- 50 grams / 1/2 cup dark chocolate, chopped
- 50 grams / 1/4 cup chia
- 70 grams / 1/4 cup nut or seed butter
- 70 grams / 1/4 cup coconut oil, room temperature
- 80 ml / 1/3 cup nondairy milk
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- Add the buckwheat flour, oat flour, coconut sugar, arrowroot, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt to a large bowl. Whisk to remove any lumps, then stir in the seeds, dried cranberries, chocolate, and chia.
- In another bowl, whisk together the nut butter, coconut oil, milk, and maple syrup. Warm the coconut oil slightly before mixing if it's very hard.
- Add the nut butter mixture to the large bowl and mix until fully incorporated and no streaks of flour remain. Don't worry about over mixing. Let the dough rest while you preheat the oven.
- Heat the oven to 180C / 350F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Measure out about two tablespoons of dough for each cookie and roll them into balls. Place each ball about 5cm / 1.5 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet and flatten slightly with your hand.
- Once all the dough has been used, bake the cookies for 8-10 minutes, or until slightly golden. Remove from the oven and let the cookies cool on the tray for 5 minutes before removing and cooling fully on a rack.
• As I mentioned above, you can make your own oat and buckwheat flour in a high speed food processor. Just add the same amounts of buckwheat groats and rolled oats into the bowl of a processor and blend until a fine flour forms.
• The mixed seeds or nuts, dried cranberries/fruit, chocolate, and nut/seed butter are all flexible here. Use your favourites for each option as long as you use the same amount in each category. You can leave the chocolate out if you prefer or replace it with more fruit or seeds.
• Not preheating the oven first isn't a typo - the dough needs to sit for a few minutes to allow the chia to absorb some of the moisture and make it easier to handle. Once it's rested slightly, you should be able to roll the dough into balls. If you have a cookie scoop that can be used instead.