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I'm Crystal Vaughn

a classically trained chef taking holistic plant-based nutrition on a grand adventure through North America. When I’m not creating in our traveling kitchen, you can usually find me on my yoga mat or a hiking trail.

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I have been working on this recipe for a couple weeks and I am so excited to share it with you.  I don't know many people who will tell you vegan and gluten-free baking is easy.  The first time I tested this recipe I was very pleased how they turned out.  I have never claimed to be much of a baker but I may be changing my tune after this recipe!

Sometimes my family just gets me!  My aunt and cousins sent me some fruit from the Rio Grand Valley in Texas as a belated Christmas gift.  There isn't much I would choose to receive over food.  This delicious citrus brings back great memories of my childhood road trips to South Padre Island to visit my Tutu (grandmother).  We would buy bags of fruit on the way to and from the Island while passing through the Valley.

This year my dad's satsuma tree in Florida did not bear much fruit so no new recipes with those (here are my Dark Chocolate Truffles I made with them last year).  I was more than thrilled to get these and get in the kitchen!  I have been working on some other cookie recipes when I received the oranges and decided they would be a lovely addition.


After a few tries I think I have the perfectly orange scented chocolate chip cookie that are surprisingly simple to make.  I really hope you will give these guilt free treats a try.  I have shared them with my yoga classes and on ski trips and so far everyone has loved them!

Love and chocolate and citrus (oh my!),


Orange Chocolate Chip Shortbread Cookies
Makes about 15 cookies


3 cups of oats, divided
1 tbsp arrowroot powder
1/2 tsp vanilla powder (or 1 tsp vanilla extract)
1/2 tsp salt
zest of 1 orange (about 1 to 1 1/2 tsp)
1/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup chocolate chips


1. Preheat oven to 350° and prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat non-stick baking mat.

1. Place 2 1/2 cups of oats in a dry blender or food processor and pulse until a flour is made.

2. In a medium sized bowl add oat flour, the remaining 1/2 cup of oats, arrowroot powder, vanilla powder (if using extract add with wet ingredients) and salt.  Stir well.

3. Stir zest into the dry ingredients.

4. In a small bowl or measuring cup stir together orange juice, melted coconut oil and maple syrup. 

5. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry until completely combined.  Working quickly from this point so the oats don't absorb all the liquid and make the cookies dry.

6. Fold the chocolate chips into the cookie dough.

7.  Scoop 2 tablespoons of dough, roll into a ball, slightly flatten to get desired shape and repeat until all the cookies are made and spread out on the sheet pan.

8. Bake for 18 minutes.  Enjoy!

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