Monday, May 18, 2015

Recipe: Cocoa Power Protein Donuts (Gluten-free and Vegan)

I have this rule about donuts:

I refuse to buy a donut for myself. If I opened that door, it would never close again, because I love the fluffy little sugar monsters. Not for me, the bacon donuts and the donuts covered in cereal. Give me a plain glazed or dense old-fashionedd cake donut any day. Per the rule, I will only eat such donuts if they are provided by someone else.

I was going to take a picture
of this donut. Then I ate
most of it.
However, power donuts have won a place in my diet. These are yummy little snacks baked in a donut pan and filled with good things like chia seeds and oats. Flavored with maple syrup and cinnamon, they aren't super-sweet, but they are tasty.

The regular recipe I use -- from the Oh She Glows cookbook -- isn't exactly a kids' dream, though, and while I've been staying with my family, I wanted to create a protein donut that my nephew might like as a snack. I combined my favorite flavors -- peanut butter, banana, and chocolate -- to make a donut that is still filling and crammed with goodness, but a bit more kid-friendly.

And of course, I like them too!

A few notes:
Here's what the oat flour will look like.
  • The recipe calls for rolled oats, which are naturally gluten-free. Some brands may have some cross contamination from processing, so if you're avoiding gluten, make sure that you get one labeled gluten-free. Bob's Red Mill has a brand that is readily available. In fact, I usually buy it, although I'm not watching gluten, because it's so easy to find.
  • In this recipe, you're going to process those rolled oats into flour. It's really cool to be able to say, hey, I made this flour myself.  If you don't have a food processor or strong blender, you can just purchase oat flour instead. 
  • If you're vegan, either be sure that you have vegan chocolate chips or skip them altogether.
  • This recipe uses a donut pan, which is about $13 at Target. It's been a great investment - I use mine every week.

Cocoa Power Protein Donuts


1 c. rolled oats
1/4 c. chia seeds (or, for funsies, 1/8 c. chia seeds and 1/8 c. raw millet, which adds more crunch)
2 tbsp. cocoa powder
1.5 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 banana
2 tbsp. peanut butter
1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 tbsp. maple syrup
1/4 c. almond or other non-dairy milk, plus more as needed
Mini-chocolate chips

Step 1: Pre-heat the oven to 300 degrees, and grease the donut pan.

This guy is a hot miller.
Just like you!
Step 2: Put the oats in the food processor and process until they are the consistency of flour. You just made flour! You're like a miller, or something!

Step 3: In a bowl, mix together the dry ingredients, stirring with a fork to ensure that the chia seeds are integrated throughout and any lumps of baking soda are broken up.

Step 4: In another bowl, mash the banana. Mix this with the peanut butter, then add the other wet ingredients and whisk together until incorporated.
Donut pan

Step 5: Add the wet ingredients to the dry, and stir. The consistency should be close to that of creamy peanut butter. If it's not, add small amounts of the non-dairy milk, stirring after each addition, until that consistency is reached.

Step 6: Put about a teaspoon of the chocolate chips in each well of the donut pan, spreading them out so that they are evenly distributed around each ring. Spoon the dough into each well of the pan, smoothing it out on top.

Step 7: Bake for 23 minutes. When you pull them out of the oven, let them cool for a few minutes and then turn them out onto a wire rack.

Note: Want to make a version that's just chocolate peanut-butter, with no banana? Increase the amounts of both cocoa and peanut butter to 1/4 cup, and keep the rest of the recipe the same. You will definitely need a little extra almond milk.

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