Thursday, October 17, 2013

Pumpkin Flax Cookies

It seems no matter where you go these days you will inevitably run into something associated with pumpkin.  Pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin bread, pumpkin bars topped with copious amounts of cream cheese...It's pumpkin mania ladies and gentlemen; but what the H, tis the season, no?

Well, sorta....

The problem with these types of pumpkin "treats" is that they are loaded with refined sugar and not good for people with inflammatory illnesses, or those looking to shed a few pounds.  Remember: Refined sugar is not your friend-He's that creepy dude that sneaks his way into nearly everything that is packaged and processed and is one of the main contributors to the skyrocketing rates of obesity and diabetes in this country.   Refined sugar is responsible for major inflammatory responses and will leave you feeling like overall crap (that's a scientific fact, folks) When you see him, flash him the middle finger and run fast and run far.

I get it.  You're thinking I'm crazy when I ask you to give up your precious sugar, but don't you worry your pretty little head because you don't have to be tied to that loser anymore. Thankfully, I have perfected a recipe that will satisfy your sweet pumpkin craving without inducing inflammation and without adding an extra inch to your waistline. (I'm giving myself a high five right now which is extremely awkward.) 

Drumroll please.....BEHOLD...Pumpkin Flax Cookies! 

Made simply with pumpkin puree, raw almond butter, coconut oil, almond flour,  flax seed, ground cinnamon and a few tsp of raw honey, these little mounds of goodness will satisfy the most intense pumpkin craving.  Not only are they nutritious, but they taste like freaking Thanksgiving. 

I know you're going to be super excited, but be careful when handling these cookies right out of the oven because they will be fragile and not firm.  Put them in the refrigerator for a few hours to set.  I like to dehydrate mine for an hour at 115 degrees F which will give them a little more crisp. Either way, they are absolutely delish. 

Eat Healthy, Stay Happy!

Pumpkin Flax Cookies
Makes 25 small cookies
2/3 cup canned pumpkin puree (not the pumpkin pie filling because that comes with added sugar)
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1/3 cup raw natural almond butter
2-3 tsp raw honey
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup almond flour
1/4 cup ground flax seeds
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp sea salt

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. In a medium sized mixing bowl, mix wet ingredients first. Add in the dry ingredients and mix until well combined.  Spoon 1 TBSP of the dough on a parchment-lined baking sheet making sure they are evenly spaced.  If you are creative, you should be able to fit all of the cookies on one baking sheet with a little bit of dough left over for bowl licking goodness. Nom. 
Bake for 15 min at 325.  
Remember: These will not be firm, so carefully transport them to your refrigerator to set for a few hours, or  if you are impatient throw them in the freezer. If you have a dehydrator, you can dehydrate at 115 degrees F for about an hour to give the cookie a little more crisp.
If you want to get fancy, you could even make these with sweet potato puree instead of the canned pumpkin.  Whatever blows your skirt up. 

Friday, October 11, 2013

Breakfast Quinoa

Looking for a healthy warm breakfast food that deviates from your run of the mill (and considerably less awesome) oatmeal? Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah, not quee-no) is your bag baby! Referred to as "The Mother Grain" by the Incas, quinoa is gluten-free, high in protein and contains a balanced set of amino acids making it a complete protein. It is also high in fiber, phosphorus, magnesium, and iron.

For those of you GAPS or paleo eaters and grain avoiders, although quinoa is not technically a grain (it's a seed), it is not considered "paleo-friendly" because of the high carbohydrate content and the fact that it may cause inflammatory responses in those who are looking to heal their gut.

For those of you whose gut is in tip top shape and have no intention of eliminating quinoa from your diet, mix in some sliced fruit, chopped nuts, and shredded coconut and you have yourself one hell of a balanced breakfast that will give you a healthy start to the day.

Eat Healthy, Stay Happy!

Breakfast Quinoa

Serves 2-3

1/2 Cup quinoa, rinsed to remove powdery residue
1 cup coconut milk
1 tsp raw honey

Heat coconut milk just to the point of boiling. Add quinoa and raw honey, stir until combined.  Turn heat to low, cover and cook for 25-30 minutes or until quinoa is done-it should be fluffy.
Divide into bowls and add sliced fruit and nuts.  Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and almonds are my favorite.  If you want to make it a little more creamy add some extra coconut or almond milk when serving.