Your Guide to Reading Between the Tines

Recipe: New Moon Quinoa Coconut Cookies (gluten-free and vegan and diabetic-friendly, oh my!)

I don’t really have a good reason for calling these New Moon cookies, except that I personally think they are both novel and out of this world.  Oh, and they’re round.  Like the moon.  And they’re brimming with quinoa, which is also orbish.  So, they’re round at several levels.  And tasty.  And that’s what matters.

Oh–and they’re pretty doggone healthy and easy, as cookies go.

New Moon Quinoa Coconut Cookies

This recipe will make about 2 dozen yummy cookies.  They’re safe for diabetics, vegans, and they will also be suitable for some people with gluten sensitivities.  (Those with gluten sensitivities avoid wheat and wheat derivatives, but some of them also avoid oats, barley, and other “gluten grains.”  I’ve known gluten-intolerant individuals who thrived on oats and those who preferred to avoid them.  If you’re making them for someone with gluten sensitivities, check to make sure they eat oats first.)

1/2 c natural peanut butter (I used organic, chunky, salted peanut butter, which I think was a very good choice.  If you go with an unsalted nut butter, you may want to add a dash of salt to the recipe.)

1/3 c raw agave nectar

2 T freshly ground flax seeds

2 c cooked quinoa, completely cooled (Make sure this is not too wet or the cookies won’t hold together.  It should be on the dry side and fluffy.  If yours is pretty saucy, make sure to cook it a bit longer to evaporate the excess water.)

1 c rolled oats

1/2 c dried, shredded, unsweetened coconut

1/4 c raw cacoa nibs (Optional, and you have to be a pretty hard core dark chocolate person to appreciate cacao nibs, I’m not going to lie.  I love them.  Also, the link is only intended to show you what I’m talking about; it’s not a product plug.)

Preheat the oven on its lowest setting.  Mine was 170 degrees F.  Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.  The parchment paper is non-negotiable.  (FYI, you could easily pull this off in a dehydrator or solar oven, if you have either.)

In a bowl, mix together the peanut butter, agave, and ground flax seeds.  Mix in the quinoa, oats, and coconut.  Fold in the cacao nibs if you’re using them.  Your mixture should be pretty clumpy, as shown below.  If your quinoa was a bit on the wet side when you started, it may not want to hold together at this point.  If that’s the case, toss in a bit more flax and peanut butter and see if that helps.

Next, scoop tablespoons of delicious quinoa goop onto the parchment paper and flatten them with your fingers.  Lick your fingers off.  Continue the process until you’ve used up or surreptitiously managed to eat the entire batch.  Make sure the cookies have decent structural integrity, as they’ll dehydrate slightly in the oven and small weak spots will become bigger.  In other words, make sure they’re pretty tightly formed.

Put them in the oven and let them set up for about an hour.  Remove, and enjoy!

Make sure to store leftover cookies in the fridge and consume them within a week.  However, I think they taste best at room temperature, so you may want to let them sit out for 15 minutes before you devour them.

New Moon Quinoa Coconut Cookies make a great alternative to conventional cookies and granola bars thanks to the extra protein (quinoa and peanut butter) and the intact grains.  Pack a couple in your lunch to take to work as a snack, stick them in the kids’ lunchboxes, or grab a couple for a very quick breakfast on the go.  Yes, it’s true: a cookie with enough nutritional punch to stand in for breakfast.

Is this heaven?


24 Comments so far

  1. Kim January 9th, 2009 2:32 pm

    I will be trying these for sure!

  2. Jill February 7th, 2009 1:22 pm

    I am making these right now…if I make them again, I would make sure the cooked quinoa has cooled…(I used dark chocolate vegan chips rather than the nibs, and they melted right away because my quinoa was warm). I also added two tablespoons of raw sunflower seeds. So far so good, but next time I would add more peanut butter or almond butter and use less agave nectar as it may be a little sweet for me.

  3. Laurel February 7th, 2009 4:08 pm

    Glad you gave them a whirl, and thanks for the feedback. I changed the recipe to indicate that the quinoa should be cool. Even though the nibs in the original recipe won’t melt (unlike the chips you used), I bet the dough be easier to work with if the quinoa were cool. Your alterations sound tasty (yay, sunflower seeds!), but I can see where swapping unsweetened nibs for sweetened chocolate chips might make them a bit too sweet. Way to experiment and make it your own!

  4. Jill February 18th, 2009 10:07 am

    Well, I made them and they were gone in no time, eaten and well liked by both my health conscious friends and those less concerned. Thanks for the recipe, I will be using it again soon!

  5. Laurel February 18th, 2009 7:34 pm

    Glad to hear it, Jill! :)

  6. Tommy August 10th, 2009 8:34 am

    I made these last night for the first time, and after eating a sizable portion of the mixture before it even hit the cookie sheets I managed to make twenty some-odd cookies. And they are SO good! I am vegan and am very sugar-conscious, so these are right up my alley. Thank you for sharing!!!

  7. Laurel August 16th, 2009 8:45 pm

    Awesome! So glad you enjoyed them. I was just thinking that I hadn’t made a batch of these in a while…maybe it’s just about time!

  8. James Sklar August 31st, 2009 7:40 pm

    Can you use Quinoa Flakes for this recipe?


  9. Jennifer January 9th, 2010 12:12 pm

    these sound great, and i’m going to make them today. i’m not yet an agave nectar convert, so do you think that i can use maple syrup? thanks – these sound just right for my veggie son!

  10. Rebecca February 7th, 2010 12:41 pm

    I am baking my cookies now. Use 1 c peanut butter. Think rainens would be good. Am not sure how long to bake?

  11. Julz February 10th, 2010 11:44 am

    My son can not have oatmeal. will this recipe work w/o it as well. The only grains he can have are quinoa or amaranth


  12. Claudia March 31st, 2010 1:10 pm

    This is the recipe I’ve been searching for!!! They are so wonderful and I’ve made two batches: one with almond butter and butterscotch chips, and one with p.butter and raisins. I’m going to have fun playing with all the possible combinations of butters and additions. Thanks!!! And I’ll be back!

  13. silver May 13th, 2010 9:47 am

    I made these last night and posted the recipe with a link back here. They were amazing. Absolutely incredible, you’re a genius!!!!!!!!!! Thank you from the bottom of my chewy gooey cookie loving heart!

  14. [...] New Moon Quinoa Coconut Cookies  [...]

  15. Kim July 2nd, 2010 11:03 am

    These are in the oven now. The ‘batter’ tastes lovely though and my 3 year old couldn’t agree more – she licked the bowl :) I love finding good tasting, healthy recipes that a preschooler can enjoy as well! Thanks.

  16. Mike July 18th, 2010 2:20 pm

    I think I will be making a modified version of these. I don’t have an issue with real chocolate so I will add something along that line. I do have friends with peanut allergies so I will substitute almond butter for the peanut butter.

  17. Maria September 1st, 2010 5:34 am

    I made these and added a teaspoon of vanilla and a cup of bittersweet chocolate chips. Ovo-lacto substitution: I used 1/4 c egg beaters instead of the flax seed and they turned out perfectly. They are delicious! Thanks for the recipe.

  18. Laurel October 5th, 2010 10:53 am

    Thanks for all the feedback! These cookies turned out to be quite a hit, which makes me very happy.

    For all those wondering about substitutions–here are a few notes. :)

    If you can’t do oats, please go ahead and try quinoa flakes instead. They’re a bit finer usually, so you may need to play to get the consistency right due to how the liquid absorbs, but there’s no complex chemical stuff happening in these cookies except liquid absorption and dehydration and the stickiness of the sweetener. In other words, you have a fair bit of room to play. Let me know how it turns out!

    If you’re not into agave, use maple syrup with a bit of honey or brown rice syrup. Agave is fairly thin on the spectrum of liquid sweeteners, but maple syrup is definitely thinner, so just substituting a tablespoon of honey or brown rice for the maple syrup might help the cookies hold a bit better if you run into problems when you experiment. Also, I find maple syrup to be a bit sweeter than agave, so you may want to reduce the amount of sweetener you use if the maple version turns out a bit intense for you.

    Happy experimenting!

  19. liz October 15th, 2010 2:54 pm

    Thank you for posting this. I’ve been looking for a mixed-grain recipe for a diabetic friend, and which I’d personally prefer be vegan. This is the first recipe I’ve found that actually sounds like it’s going to be good, and it’s the first one I’m going to try out. :) Like you suggest above, I think I will try brown rice syrup instead; from what I understand, it seems it is the easiest sugar-like substance for most diabetics and hypoglycemics to process.

  20. Laurel October 15th, 2010 3:55 pm

    You’re welcome, Liz! I hope your friend loves them. And yes–agave or brown rice syrup would be the best options for a diabetic. Brown rice syrup has a distinctive, almost straw-like flavor which doesn’t work for everyone, so you may want to play with using part brown rice syrup and part agave. You can find more about agave and diabetics in my post here: agave-sweetened spiced pumpkin cake. Come back and let us know how your substitutions worked!

  21. Stephanie December 23rd, 2010 7:49 pm

    Hi Laurel!

    Thank you so much for this recipe! My papa and aunt both enjoyed them; I was so pleased!


  22. Knicki January 18th, 2011 10:31 am

    I used honey instead of agave and put dried cranberries in and no chocolate. The flavor is great but they aren’t hanging together very well. Are they supposed to be crunchy or soft? I like the flavor though and love the ingredients. Any idea what the calories are?

  23. Jen March 6th, 2012 7:16 am

    I made these in the dehydrator, having added vanilla, cinnamon, and a bit of himalayan salt. They are the perfect little energy nuggets! Next time I might cook the quinoa in a bit of apple juice, too.

    You can tell from the texture of the dough whether the cookies are going to hold together or not, so for those having problems, I think just fiddling with the dough until you get a slightly sticky, cohesive texture is key.

  24. Laurel April 9th, 2012 6:55 pm

    Hey, Knicki! They are soft and chewy, and Jen is right about playing with it a bit (the wetness of your quinoa will have a major impact). I don’t calculate calories on any of my recipes, but you can figure it using an online calorie calculator if you need that data. :)

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