Chewy Cocoa Oatmeal Crispies

Makes about 36 / It’s no sin to indulge in a little cocoa now and then. Cocoa is actually a decent source of potent antioxidants. The applesauce, oats, and whole-grain flour add heart-healthy fiber to a delicious cookie. Soy milk adds another good-for-you twist to these treats.

1 cup sucanat
1/2 cup ghee or unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup plain soy milk
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups rolled oats
1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup organic cocoa powder
1/2 cup puffed rice cereal
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1. Heat oven to 350º. Beat sucanat, ghee or butter, applesauce, soy milk, egg, and vanilla extract in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Stir in remaining ingredients.

2. Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls about 2 inches apart onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or lightly coated with cooking spray. Bake 10–12 minutes, until cookies are just barely set in the center. Cool 1–2 minutes; remove from cookie sheet to wire rack.

Functional kitchen is provided by James Rouse, ND, the creator of Optimum Wellness and The Fit Kitchen, which is seen weekly on NBC’s KUSA television news.