Sunday, September 18, 2011

Unbelievable Vegan Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ok, I know I said I was going to post about my banana bread french toast-but I just made these cookies today and couldn't wait another second before sharing them. These cookies are unbelievable!!!! Seriously so amazing. I adapted my favorite chocolate chip cookie a bit and added some kamut flour and replaced the egg with a flax egg (to make a flax egg you just mix 1 T ground flax with 3 T water). I couldn't believe how delicious these cookies were. The kamut made them a little crispy on the outside, but on the inside, an amazing gooeyness that is almost impossible to acheive when making a cookie. I can't wait to make these for my little peanut who is allergic to eggs. My guess is no one would ever think theses were a vegan or "healthier" cookie. They are just simply delicious. So delicious that I may have eaten 4 right when they came out of the oven....and have lost track after my last few....oops.


Vegan Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies
1/2 cup coconut oil
2 flax eggs (2 T ground flax mixed with 5-6 T water, start with 5 then add more if you need to, 5 was perfect for me, let sit for a few minutes to thicken)
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspon baking soda
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 cup kamut flour
3/4 cup flour
12 oz semi sweet chocolate chips
1/2 shredded
In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat together coconut oil, eggs, and brown sugar until very well mixed. Add remaining ingredients, mixing together until all are incorporated. Use a cookie scoop and place on cookie sheet, 6 to a sheet. Bake in an oven preheated to 400 degrees for 9-11 minutes, or just until the outside of the cookies have browned ever so slightly around the edges. Remove, cool slightly, devour.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Back from Utah and Some Changes...

We got back about a week ago from a two week stay in Utah. Sorry for the long absence, but it's been really good to visit with family and come back and try and catch my breath from the long vacation. But since I have been back, there have been some exciting things happening in my kitchen!! Let me explain... :)

While I stayed with my mom in Utah we watched the movie "Forks Over Knives" it's a documentary that encourages a plant based diet vs the high intake of dairy and meat that we normally eat in our western diet. It was an amazing documentary. Very informative and very inspiring and encouraging. I think I discovered I had a passion for health when I was in high school. I also have always had a passion for the sweet things in life so I often found myself conflicted. My mom always instilled within us kids a good foundation of nutritional principles. We never had "junk" around our house and when we did it was when my mom made a special treat. Now that I have started my own family my passion for health has increased because I feel such a sacred responsibility to provide the best for my child. And to me, one thing that means is giving my child the best nutrition possible so she can have the best chance at a healthy and long life.

I have read many nutritional books, my favorite being "Eat to Live" by Dr. Joel Furhman, and after watching "Forks Over Knives" I feel like I know too much to keep eating the way I have been eating. After gaining this knowledge I feel it would be completely irresponsible for me to not do the best I can to live what I feel to be right. I hope everyone is picking up on how I keep saying "to me" and "I feel". This is a personal realization and I in no way shape or form am forcing what I think upon anyone:) So....what does this mean? Well I have eaten the past week a vegan, very high plant based diet. And I'd love to share with you what that experience has been:)

First of all, it's been FUN! Micah and I don't really drink milk, we also don't eat a lot of cheese, and we have a child with an egg allergy so it's been a pretty easy transition. I've taken Eleni off of milk, which I have been giving her at least 18 ounces a day since she was 12 months since I stopped nursing, because that's what the Dr advised me to do. After learning what I know about milk I am sad I've given her so much for so long. But now that has changed. I have made some of the yummiest food I have ever made this week. Micah and I have had so much fun talking about how yummy everything has been and how good we feel! One of the biggest changes I have noticed, in just a week, is how much peace I feel in my body. I would say I have struggled with anxiety for the past 5 years, if not more. I have never taken medication for it, just dealt with it. However, after filling my body with such good food this week and after cutting out much sugar, my anxiety levels are little to none. Which is like finding a pot of gold! If anyone has ever struggled with anxiety you know what a prison that can feel like, I feel like I have broken out of that foggy prison and my mind is seeing clearly and I feel so much peace of mind. So that's very exciting.

I haven't posted about this yet until I knew I was going to be serious about eating this way. Does this mean I will never have cheese? No. Does this mean I will never eat a cupcake or indulge in some cake bites when I visit Utah? Absolutely not:) BUT, it does mean I will cook this way at home. No meat, almost no dairy, maybe very little amounts of cheese here or there. And when we go out with friends or eat at others houses, that's where I will bend a little bit if I have to or want to. I will probably still make deserts from time to time, so when I post a yummy, indulgent treat, please don't call me a hypocrite:) I believe in moderation. However, after eating this way and learning a lot about what kinds of foods are best for the body, my desire to eat the things I used to has naturally fallen away, without me restricting myself and forcing myself to "Go Off Sugar", which I have done I don't even know how many times.

I know I will have good moments and bad moments, like all of us do. And I may fall off for a little bit, but what's important is that I always get back on. I think another aspect that has helped me eat this way with ease is learning about where our dairy and meat comes from. I will not be joining the PETA group any time soon:) but I have been saddened to learn what cows have to go through to give us the milk we drink and the burgers I used to love. I think I have always wanted to "not know", but after knowing it makes me rethink what I want to eat. Again, I still may have a burger on a very rare occasion, just not how I used to.

Ok, is that long enough of a post for ya?? I can't wait to start sharing with you all of the yummy recipes I have been making! I decided not to post one today because this is a very long post, but I can't wait to share with you the AMAZING vegan french toast I made today! It's really been a joy for me to cook this way, it's brought a level of happiness to me that I can't explain. Perhaps because of how good I feel inside, and how right it feels to feed my family this way. It's also made me start thinking about perhaps getting a nutrition degree.

If anyone is interested in watching "Forks Over Knives" you can stream it instantly from Netflix.

Happy, Healthy, Cooking:)