Chips Ahoy and Oreo Cookies are now a thing of the past. Chunkie Dunkies are revolutionizing the way we know cookies; never mind that they are raw, vegan, gluten-free and dairy-free, anyone who loves cookies will love Chunkie Dunkies. And the icing on the cake — or in this case, the raw vegan cookie? — Chunkie Dunkies are loaded with health benefits. And a super cute mascot to boot!
If you have ever flipped through the pages of a raw vegan cookbook you know there is a LOT more work involved in making a raw vegan cookie in comparison to a conventional cookie. Sure, you could try making a raw vegan cookie like Chunkie Dunkies at home, but you would have to wait two full days for it to be done. But don’t take it from me, I caught up with the Chunkie Dunkie founder, Dina Lauro, so she can tell you all about the hard work that goes into making a raw vegan cookie and just why her Chunkie Dunkies cookie line is such a sweet Clean Cuisine find! Here’s what Dina had to say:
Clean Cuisine: How and why did you get started with Chunkie Dunkies?
Dina: In 2009 I became a student at a Natural Chef school in Manhattan and then interned in the kitchen at Hippocrates Health Institute. I was so fascinated with raw foods that I wanted to learn more. I enrolled in their 9-week Health Educator Program and totally immersed myself into that “raw” world. I bought a Raw Food book and began experimenting with healthy treats. Chocolate chip was the first flavor I developed and from there the rest of the flavors just came to me. I soon realized I had a line of fun, healthy, and delicious cookies and Chunkie Dunkies was born!
Clean Cuisine: Our family is crazy for Chunkie Dunkies and they are the only truly “healthy cookie” brand I have yet to find (we eat them right from the freezer!) Besides their gourmet taste, can you tell us what else sets Chunkie Dunkies apart from other “healthy” cookies?
Dina: There are three key factors: Flavor- they taste delicious! No matter what your diet is, if you like cookies, you will love these. Nutrition – they are made of all whole food ingredients and contain zero preservatives. Raw nuts, raw coconut, whole vanilla beans. We also sprout our buckwheat groats which sky rockets their nutritional factor and makes them easier to digest; Texture – most raw cookies are soft and mushy but these guys are full of mouth satisfying textures and crunch that make them fun to eat and enjoy. Check out the ingredients list in our cookies and you’ll see they are made from only the highest quality ingredients and very high in nutrients—even the pure organic maple syrup contains antioxidants!
Ingredients in Chunkie Dunkies Oatmeal Raisin Walnut:
raw walnuts, gluten-free rolled oats, *sprouted buckwheat groats, *pure maple syrup, *cold pressed extra virgin coconut oil, *raisins, vanilla (vegetable glycerin, *vanilla beans), *cinnamon, sea salt *(organic)
Clean Cuisine: Can you tell me a little about the process to make the cookies?
Dina: First, we soak our buckwheat groats for a couple of hours and then rinse them throughout the day. Next we sprout the groats overnight so they become our little nutrient powerhouses. The next day, the groats are dehydrated at a low temperature to become crunchy. When I am ready to make a cookie batch, I add the buckwheat groats and we hand-scoop the cookies, placing them on dehydrators trays. They dehydrate for 10 hours at a low temperature making them crispy on the outside and moist on the inside. It’s a 2-day process but well worth the effort.
Clean Cuisine: A common misconception is that if a cookie is vegan it is healthy but that is not necessarily true. Could you expand on this?
Dina: Just because it says gluten-free and/or vegan doesn’t mean it is beneficial for the body. A lot of vegan snacks use flours and fillers that might not be as healthy and are still just processed foods. Your body isn’t benefitting from eating it. It is just dead food that will still make you fat and feel tired. Read the ingredients first. Know what you are consuming. It is better to eat whole food ingredients. We use whole nuts and grind them into a course flour. When you eat raw, you gain all the benefits of live nutrients and enzymes. Not empty calories.
Clean Cuisine: Now, what about the sugar? Could you tell me about what you use to sweeten your Chunkie Dunkies?
Dina: I use 3 different kinds of low glycemic sweeteners: Organic maple syrup, organic raw agave, and liquid stevia. The maple syrup is great for the antioxidants, minerals and of course flavor. Some of the antioxidants in maple syrup are also found in berries, tea, flax seed and red wine. The raw agave is controversial so I don’t use much of it and I plan on expanding the line with more stevia, having NO after taste! I hear all the time how many people do not like the after taste of stevia. When you use the right amount and pair it with the right ingredients, it works. Try our Sugar-Free Lemon Cream and you be the judge. This flavor also contains organic white Chia Seeds which are rich in Omega-3’s.
Clean Cuisine: What is your most popular cookie?
Dina: Definitely Chocolate Chip and right behind is the Double Chocolate Chunk Brownie. If you like chocolate, you will surely love it—they are very rich, moist and so gourmet. Made completely from walnuts which have so many amazing nutrition benefit (walnuts are linked to improve cognitive and motor function; have a positive impact with individuals with diabetes; may help fight certain types of cancer; they are rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids, which may improve blood lipids and other cardiovascular disease risk factors.)
Clean Cuisine: Where can you buy Chunkie Dunkies?
Dina: You can buy them in over 60 locations in Florida including some Whole Food Markets. All places are listed on our website. You can also order them online at chunkiedunkies.com.
Thanks so much Dina & Chunkie Dunkies for all of the info and for the delicious raw vegan gluten free cookie line. With 10 different flavors, there is truly a Chunkie Dunkies cookie for everyone. P.S. For the record, our family’s favorite flavor is Chocolate Chip Mint.