Ah 🎃. Pumpkin season is upon us!! Horray! It is one of my favorite foods this time of the year. And whereas I could also possibly post four recipes or so straight away with some form of winter squash in them, I thought I would kick things off with these beautiful Chewy Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Chip Cookies.
These cookies are super chewy and soft and just an absolute pumpkin-y dream. If you are worried about the taste of chocolate and pumpkin coming together – fear not. It is absolutely divine and the chocolate chunks provide a nice bit of firm texture to the otherwise soft, chewy cookie. What is even better is that they store super well. I have had them about three weeks in a row and they last for at least a week in an airtight container when kept in the fridge. I would presume that they freeze really nicely too (do let me know in the comments if you are freezing them and how it goes).
In case you did not know, there are loads of pumpkin recipes on the blog already. From savory, like my Baked Spiced Pumpkin, to breakfast options like my Pumpkin Spice Smoothie, or sweet, like my Gluten-free Pumpkin Pie. In fact, I posted so many pumpkin recipes last year that my friend told me: “Stop!”. You are not allowed to post another one until next year 🤣. Well, the time has arrived… let’s see whether I get another “telling off” (obviously with love and kindness) in a few week’s time 😉.
Why are these Chewy Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Chip Cookies good for you?
Technically a fruit, pumpkins usually come in bright orange color. Depending on the type of pumpkin, you may also be able to eat it with the outer skin, which definitely cuts down on prep time in the kitchen. The Hokkaido variety is one of those examples (and definitely favored by me for that very reason!). Pumpkin is super high in Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Potassium, Copper, and Manganese. I feel like I am repeating myself on orange vegetables and its major benefits on the eyes lately. But just to re-cap, Vitamin A is super important in order to keep our eyes healthy and may prevent degenerative eye diseases that come with age, as well as cataracts. Vitamin A, and Vitamin C, strengthen your immune system, which in turn allows you to better fight off colds and the flu this time of the year. Pumpkin is, of course, also loaded with antioxidants. The ones found in pumpkins are particularly good in protecting your skin against sun damage, supporting your eye health, and potentially protecting against certain types of cancer.
Beautiful Ginger. Such fiery, spicy spice, which can add so much warmth (or heat) to a dish. Ginger is said to have strong medicinal properties. It contains “Gingerol”, a bioactive compound that has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Ginger is particularly helpful in combating nausea and is said to be a natural remedy against morning sickness for pregnant women. There is some research that suggests that Ginger is also beneficial when treating indigestion. Several studies showed that people who received a ginger capsule and were then given food an hour later were able to empty their bowels quicker than a control group who received a placebo. Last but not least, Ginger is great for pain management, potentially particularly with menstrual pain. Indicative studies show that Ginger may be as beneficial in managing pain as store-bought drugs (e.g. ibuprofen). Whereas more research needs to be conducted in this space, the initial findings are surely promising.
A spice that, I personally find, needs to be applied in the right measure, else it can quickly feel overpowering. When we do hit that right amount though, it definitely can lift and/or truly transform a dish. What a lot of people do not know is how many amazing health benefits Nutmeg contains. Nutmeg has an array of plant-compounds that act as antioxidants in the body. As you can see from this Chewy Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Chip Cookies blog post, antioxidants are a recurring theme 😂. They basically destroy free radicals in our bodies. Free radicals, when building up and becoming excessive, can lead to oxidative stress, which in turn, is a major building block for common Western diseases (e.g. heart disease, stroke, diabetes, etc.). Additionally, nutmeg is also highly anti-inflammatory. It basically inhibits the enzymes that can cause inflammation. An anti-inflammatory diet is, again, thought to be disease-preventing. It can also help significantly with inflammatory joint-pain (e.g. arthritis).
How can I adjust this recipe to my dietary requirements?
This recipe is vegetarian and gluten-free. It is also paleo if you use paleo-friendly chocolate. I used eggs in the batter, which sadly does not make this recipe vegan. Albeit I have not tried it yet, you can likely make this recipe vegan by swapping the eggs for two flax eggs (2 tbsp of ground flax, mixed with 6 tbsp of warm water, and let sit for ca. 10 minutes). You may have to add a bit more non-dairy milk in order to loosen up the batter a bit though. Be sure to also use chocolate that is vegan then. If you do make this recipe in a vegan version, please let me know how they turned out in the comments below 👇🏻 or over Instagram. Happy Baking everyone 🤗!!