Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Revised Cookie Recipe {Healthy & Clean Eating}

Since I started this blogging/vlogging adventure over a month ago I didn't know where it would go.  I had become so passionate about finding good, natural, healthy alternatives for myself and my family and wanted to share the information I'd gleaned with as many people as possible and this was the perfect way to do that. I wanted to spread the word that just because you can't eat certain foods, you're trying to lose weight or eat in a better way doesn't mean you have to feel deprived of delicious eats! This has been a great outlet for me; a wonderful collaborative project for my Husband and I. And I had hoped that it would be an encouragement and help to people who have to live, on a daily basis, with Celiac Disease, gluten intolerance, dairy intolerance, wheat allergies, diabetes etc. as well as those who are choosing to eat in a more healthy way.

Boy, has it ever! People have been so encouraging! Several friends have stopped me at church, in grocery stores or connected online and told me how discouraged they had been before as they tried to adjust to a new nutritional way of life without much guidance. It can be unbelievably tough to navigate your way at first. But like one friend put it, "That's why [your vlog] is so great...you have figured it out for us. I am never sure how tasty a "healthy" recipe will be, but I know your's will taste great or you wouldn't post it!"  Exactly right!...you can be confident that if I post a recipe, it has been thoroughly tested and tastes great! I continue to experiment and I get so excited when I get a recipe to a place where I feel it's good enough to share. Please continue to encourage your friends and family to subscribe to my YouTube channel as well as this blog, so they too, can get excited about the delicious possibilities of healthy eating!

Clean Eating for Breakfast!
Also, due to feedback I have observed, I want to make a little clarification...dare I say it, rant...about what I hope to accomplish with my recipes. Yes, we (my Husband and I) are following a Gluten-free diet and I elude to this in several videos. HOWEVER, it has never been my intention to promote this lifestyle alone as simply a choice or an all-encompassing healthier way of eating. Yes, I get great pleasure out of creating something that a person with Celiac (or some other intolerance or allergy) can enjoy and I also wholeheartedly believe (from extensive research) that Wheat is doing us no favors these days. BUT, I do not wish to promote a Gluten-free diet as a catch all for Healthy living! And if I have come across this way, I do apologize. If you do not have Celiac Disease or a Gluten intolerance, I do not want you to feel pressured into following this kind of dietary path...it is difficult to say the least! Head over to my friend Wendy's blog post, "Gluten-free, What I've Learned" for a personal account of the social aspect of adopting a change in eating habits. In addition, I want to stress that pre-packaged gluten-free products can actually be LESS healthy for us all than "normal" foods containing gluten since they also do not contain many of the nutrients our bodies need. Junk is junk whether it is gluten-free or not! 


I recently came across a Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe on a certain gluten-free website. The only difference between it and a cookie containing gluten is that it was comprised of a gluten-free flour mixture. It still contained the classic amounts of butter, refined sugar and refined brown sugar...all of which are doing us no favors when it comes to lessening our dairy or sugar intake. Not only do my cookies utilize a gluten-free flour mixture (which is completely optional as you have previously read), but they also incorporate natural, unrefined sugar alternatives (Xylitol, Coconut Palm Sugar and Unsweetened Applesauce), and they contain the good monounsaturated fats from Avocado while eliminating the added calories of butter. These cookies are not only safe for Celiacs, but they are also safe for Diabetics and people with egg and sugar allergies (yes, there are people actually allergic to sugar/sugar cane!). They are also lower in calories due to the applesauce...these cookies are an excellent snack for those trying to lose weight or watch their calorie intake!

A healthier lifestyle begins with getting rid of the processed and "fat free" products in our pantries and stocking up on fresh, clean, REAL foods!
Please treat yourself well! The gluten-free lifestyle can be a healthy lifestyle if you eat NATURALLY gluten-free foods like produce and clean meats (my husband was amazed last night at the grocery store when he started looking at packaged sausages and read how many of them contain wheat, wheat flour or bread crumbs among other unneeded ingredients! It is truly amazing when you start to read the labels...there are so many fillers that have no point in making a delicious product). A lower calorie lifestyle can be a healthy lifestyle following the same guideline of eating naturally lower calorie foods...don't be tricked into eating low/non fat processed foods...the manufacturers make up for the lack of fat with sugars and sodium! This little trick actually sabotages our efforts and we don't even realize it. You will notice this mostly with salad dressings, crackers and sauces.

invite you to look below as I have tweaked (yes, once again!) my Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe to make it even better! (I know, how could they actually get better! haha) I have reduced 2 of the flour mixture ingredients and the result is a wonderful texture that isn't "cakey" at all (I wasn't 100% satisfied with this outcome with the previous recipe). You absolutely DO NOT need to incorporate an egg if you follow this revised recipe! Have a look at the video for the original recipe video and then give these a go! I guarantee you will like them! 

(Revised Ingredients list below)



Ingredients:
1/2 Medium Ripe Avocado (replacing 1/4 c butter)
1/2 c Xylitol (replacing regular sugar)
1/2 c Coconut Palm Sugar (replacing brown sugar)
---->> 2/3 c Unsweetened Applesauce
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 c Wheat-free Oat Flour*
1/2 c Brown Rice Flour
---->> 1/8 c Arrowroot Flour
---->> 1/8 c (Golden) Flax Seed
Rolled Oats (optional)
Up to 1 c chocolate chips (For dairy-free option, make your own chocolate chips beforehand! Visit this website to find out how: Chocolate Covered Katie - Three Ingredient Chocolate)

*If you are not following a gluten-free diet, feel free to substitute 2 cups of whole wheat flour in place of the 3 flours and flaxseed listed. Since you would be eliminating the flaxseed, I recommend incorporating 1 large egg into the wet ingredients.

How to:
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. (If you are using a pizza stone, pre-heat it as well)
Using a Kitchenaid mixer (or with a hand-held mixer): Cream together avocado, sugars, applesauce and vanilla extract.
Mix together the flours and baking soda.
Add dry mix to wet and mix thoroughly then add chocolate chips and rolled oats (if using).
Place tablespoonfuls on pizza stone or cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
Bake for 10-12 minutes, remove from oven and transfer to cooling rack.
This recipe will make around 24-36 cookies depending on their size.


{Due to the applesauce & other natural ingredients, it is best to store these in the refrigerator}
 
hope you enjoy this revision to an already tasty recipe! And I also hope that I have clarified a bit as to my goal in creating these vlogs. I only hope I have made certain nutritional lifestyles easier for those of you who wish to live life to the fullest and feed your bodies in the best possible way. I encourage you to continue to share with your friends and family and connect on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest & Instagram. I know some of you have shared with your own friends and family, but encourage others to subscribe to YouTube or Facebook so we can connect. And a reminder to those of you with Gmail accounts...to subscribe to me on YouTube, all you need to do is log in with your Gmail information and click the "Subscribe" button on my channel! This builds my subscriber list without requiring you to give away any personal information. I actually don't even see who subscribes when you do it this way...I am simply informed that I have a new subscriber. And then you will also be alerted when I post a new recipe or Healthy Hint! Thanks for encouraging me as you have been and I look forward to sharing much more!

If you have a recipe you would like me to try, find alternative ingredients, or share in a video...please comment below and I will do my very best!

Treat yourself well!