Dinner, Gluten Free Vegan, Lunch, Snacks

Gobi Manchurian “dry” (Indo-Chinese Crispy Cauliflower)

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This spicy Indo-Chinese cauliflower is addictingly good and can be eaten as an appetizer or served with rice and vegetables as a main course. It can be baked or pan fried.

I recently went to an Indian restaurant and tried gobi manchurian for the first time. My only regret is that I didn’t try this dish sooner! I’d seen it on Pinterest and thought it looked good…I generally like every Indian recipe I’ve ever had. On the other hand, I am not a big cauliflower fan. This may be surprising since cauliflower is so trendy these days, especially amongst vegan, gluten-free, and allergy friendly foodies, many of whom substitute it for meat, mashed potatoes, rice, and well pretty much anything! I’ll admit, it is a super versatile veggie and is pretty neutral in flavor, which can mean you can be as creative as you want when flavoring it up to make it taste like whatever you want. Also it cooks in no time which is a good thing.

This was an instant “omg I want more” as soon as I’m done recipe. Really, it should be called crack cauliflower lol. Needless to say, my mind has officially been changed in regards to cauliflower. I realized I should be more open minded about it, as well as any other vegetables I’m not too fond of. It’s all a matter in how you choose to spice/flavor your veggies, and this recipe is PACKED with flavor, my friends.

I’ve only made this once, and I’ll admit I accidentally made it way too spicy…I will definitely be putting in less chili sauce next time. Keep in mind a little chili sauce goes a long way haha!

Gobi Manchurian “Dry”(Crispy Cauliflower)

Vegan, Gluten-Free, Nut-Free, Soy-Free, Grain-Free optional Recipe

Ingredients:
•1 medium cauliflower

{batter}
•3 tbsp starch of choice
•1 tbsp rice flour or gf all purpose flour
•1 tsp garam masala
•1/2 tsp kashmiri chili powder
•1/2 tsp curry powder
•1/4 tsp turmeric powder
•1/2 tsp black pepper
•1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
•1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste (I made my own)
•1 tbsp liquid aminos or tamari
•1/4 cup purified/distilled water

{sauce}
•2 tbsp liquid aminos or tamari
•1/2 tsp- 1 tbsp chili sauce* (see note below)
•3 tbsp ketchup or tomato sauce
•2 cups onion, chopped
•1 tbsp garlic, minced
•1/2-1 green bell pepper, chopped
•1/4 cup scallions, chopped (optional)

*I would start with a small amount of chili sauce and work my way up until desired spiciness is achieved. Unless you’re a fire breather, then by all means go all out! You can even add some minced chilies!

Instructions:

Pre-heat oven to 400 F.
Separate the florets into bite size and rinse. Boil a pot of water with a pinch of salt and add cauliflower florets into the boiling water and cook for 3 – 4 minutes. Drain the florets.

In a large bowl mix all the ingredients from the batter, making sure that the batter is thin. A thicker batter will end up in uncooked flour coating and ruin the dish. Add cauliflower to batter and stir to coat. If any excess batter remains, you can save it for later (be sure to refrigerate and don’t let it sit around for too long!)

Transfer the coated florets onto a bleach-free parchment lined baking sheet(s). Lightly spray cooking oil evenly over cauliflower. Make sure that the florets don’t touch each other and bake for 25-30 minutes by rotating the baking sheets and flipping the sides of the florets in between or till the florets are crispy.
Take a cast iron wok or sautée pan, add the green pepper and sautee for 3 minutes on medium heat. Add the chopped onions and minced garlic and cook for a couple minutes. Now add the sauce. Add the baked cauliflower florets. Mix well in the sauce and cook for 3 – 4 minutes. Garnish with scallions if you’d like. Enjoy!

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Gluten Free Vegan, Grain Free

Grain-free Tempeh Reuben

Hii y’all, I’m back!!!! It’s been centuries, or so it feels. You know how life can get crazy and before you know it it’s been over half a year since you posted a recipe? Gosh. As you may have noticed, Strawberries and Sage is now officially A Heartful Harvest! Strawberries and Sage needed a name change. It served its purpose for years when I was going through my strawberry craze phase (it’s OK, I still LOVE dem strawberries 😋). So nothing against the S&S name itself, I just had outgrown it, in a sense. More importantly, though, I feel “A Heartful Harvest” more accurately reflects my food ideals, which is driven by my compassion for the suffering and wellbeing of my fellow animals, and feeling strongly opposed to causing any harm to any living being. Oxford dictionaries definition of Heartful best echos how I feel about eating and using animals –

Characterized by deep emotion or sincerity of expression; genuine, sincere, heartfelt. Of an emotion: deeply or acutely felt; intense.

I think everyone would agree with me if they allow themselves to just be heartful. If people would put themselves in the places of the innocent animals that are tortured and slaughtered every second because of the demand for animals foods. If they truly opened themselves up to feeling what those animals feel, the pain, the despair, the terror…everyone in the planet would be vegan. If people were heartful of the fact that in today’s world, most of us have access to plant based foods, making murdering animals for food completely obsolete…everyone would be vegan. Humans are not meant to get sustenance from animals anyhow, but that’s a topic for a whole other post!

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Today I’m sharing a recipe for a grain-free tempeh reueben which can be eaten as a starter or feautured as the main entree. It may not look like much, but tempeh is very substantial on it’s own, providing 15 grams of protein for 1/2 a cup! The fermented soy (tempeh), and the fermented cabbage (sauerkraut) are a gut-loving duo, so eating this will benefit your tummy- and therefore your overall health.

You can, of course serve this within two slices of vegan, gluten-free bread and eat it more like a traditional reuben…and feel free to add tomato, leafy greens, sprouts, whatever you fancy. For serving as an appetizer, I’d cut the tempeh into cubes and put a toothpick in the center of the stacked cube and voila!

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Grain-free Tempeh Reuben

Vegan, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Nut-Free Recipe

Serves: 2-6

Ingredients:

•8oz tempeh, original or flaxseed
•Vegetable broth or grapeseed/avocado/canola oil
•Sauerkraut
•Fresh thyme leaves, optional

{Maple Mustard Sauce}
•Maple syrup
•Dijon mustard

Instructions:

Splash a couple tablespoons of vegetable broth or oil in a medium sautée pan over medium heat. Cook tempeh for 2-4 minutes on each side.
Stack tempeh and sauerkraut and garnish with thyme.

For the maple mustard sauce mix equal part maple syrup and mustard. Drizzle over tempeh. Serve warm or cold. Enjoy!

Dinner, Gluten Free Vegan, Grain Free, Lunch, Spring/Summer

White Bean Veggie Soup

 

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This flavorful, hearty soup was one of the first recipes I created when I started cooking for myself. I was throwing things together in a frenzy one evening when I just so happened to create something pretty delicious, and it has since become a favorite recipe of ours. I never get bored with it.

Until my mid 20’s all I knew how to “cook” was pasta and ramen. When I found out about all my food allergies I knew that had to change. I was clueless about how to make a healthy, simple recipe that wasn’t packaged or processed, the result of growing up with the SAD (Standard American Diet). I grew up with my Brazilian mom always cooking beans, but for some reason my picky childhood, and young adult self shied away from all beans for admittedly way too long.

Now beans are a staple in my diet, as they probably are in most vegans diets due to the high protein, fiber, and array of nutrients beans so generously provide. Plus, they’re so good! I seriously missed out on some yummy bean recipes over the years, but this is one of the many bean recipes that makes up for that.

This soup can be made with any white beans- navy beans, great northern beans, cannelini beans, it’ll all be good. With all the incredibly healthy vegetables and spices that accompany and compliment the beans, this soup is as darn delicious as it is darn nutritious


White Bean Veggie Soup

Vegan, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Nut-Free, Soy-Free

ingredients:

•1 cup navy beans, soaked overnight (or white bean of choice)
•3 cups vegetable broth
•2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
•2-3 cloves garlic, minced
•1 onion, diced, optional 
•1-2 fresh tomatoes, seeded and diced
•1-2 zucchinis &/or golden squash, quartered
•1 red bell pepper, diced
•1 green bell pepper, diced
•2 tsp ground turmeric 
•2 tsp ground cumin 
•2 tsp dried thyme 
•salt & pepper to taste
•2 bay leaves

instructions:

Heat oil in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring often for about 1 minute. Add tomatoes, zucchini, bell peppers, and seasoning, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes. Add drained beans; stir to coat well with the veggie mixture. Add broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until the beans are tender; around 60-120 minutes. Enjoy!

Gluten Free Vegan, Grain Free, Raw

Chocolate Pots De Creme

 

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A delicious vegan chocolate pots de creme made from cashew cream – a healthy, cruelty-free twist to the classic french dessert with all the rich, chocolaty goodness.

You can whip this up in a couple minutes with your leftover cashew pulp from homemade cashew milk. It’s so easy and yummy =)


Cashew Pulp Chocolate Pots De Creme

Vegan, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Refined Sugar-Free, Soy-Free, Raw

ingredients:

1/2 cup cashew pulp (leftover from homemade cashew milk)
1/2 cup good quality unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup unrefined coconut oil 
1/4 cup coconut nectar or brown rice syrup, or to taste
2 tsp pure vanilla extract (or extract/flavor of choice)

instructions:

blend together until all ingredients are well combined and smooth. pour in ramekin, or small food container and refrigerate for ~1hr. keep refrigerated. enjoy!

Bread, Breakfast

Rustic Pumpkin Bread

 

vegan gluten free pumpkin oatmeal bread

This healthy pumpkin oat bread is comforting and delicious.

vegan pumpkin bread

Sometimes, not often but every once in a blue moon one of my “brain fog moments” happens for the better. Like the time when I forgot a major ingredient in a bread recipe and thought it was doomed for good only to find out it was the best tasting accident ever.

I’m so glad we forgot the milk in the original recipe and decided to change a few of the ingredients to make it acceptable for all my allergy, health, and nutritional needs, AND to my liking. We were pleasantly surprised with the final product – a surprisingly moist, and incredibly yummy pumpkin loaf! It has a nice hint of lemon, and is reminiscent of carrot cake, which I love. This recipe is going to be a go-to of ours from now on. It’s such a comforting treat for someone who can’t have sugar, gluten, dairy, etc, etc…and yet by the taste and texture you’d never guess this was allergy-friendly at all!!

the best pumpkin bread


Rustic Pumpkin Bread

Vegan, Gluten-Free, Refined Flour-Free, Refined Sugar-Free, Nut-Free, Soy-Free, Yeast-Free

Yield: 1 bread loaf

{recipe adapted from: A Rented Kitchen}

Ingredients:

2 cups gluten free rolled oats, ground to a flour
1/4 cup xylitol, vegan cane sugar or coconut sugar
3 tsp chia seeds or flax seeds, ground or whole (optional)
1 heaping tbsp gluten-free baking powder
1½ tsp pumpkin pie spice
3/4 tsp salt
1½ cups pumpkin puree
1/3 cupunrefined coconut oil, softened or melted, or grapeseed oil
1/4 cup coconut nectar, brown rice syrup, or maple syrup (or more granulated sweetener of choice)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
3/4 tsp apple cider vinegar or fresh lemon juice
1/4-1/2 tsp fresh lemon zest

optional add ins: ~1 tbsp walnuts/pecans, pepitas, hemp seeds, golden raisins
optional toppings: pepitas, walnut/pecan crumbs, lemon zest, coconut

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 415˚ and lightly spray/grease a loaf pan or line with parchment paper. Blend the whole rolled oats in a food processor or high powered blender until you have two cups of fine powder oat flower. Combine the oat flour, xylitol, chia/flax, salt, baking powder, and spice in a large bowl and mix until blended. Add the wet ingredients in with the dry, mix together until well combined. Pour the batter into the pan and sprinkle optional toppings. Bake for 20 minutes at 415˚, then reduce heat to 395˚ and bake for an additional 25 minutes. It should be about 40-50 minutes total. If toothpick comes out clean it’s ready. Allow to cool for 30 mins. Enjoy!


Cookies, Grain Free, Raw, Snacks

Grain-free Cookie Dough for One and a little on my battle with chronic illness

I’m so sorry to admit that I’ve seriously neglected this lovely lil blog of mine…but for a good reason. Let me explain.

Last year in June I was diagnosed with chronic late stage neurological lyme disease. At that time I’d been suffering for years with persistent symptoms since age 4. It started with childhood asthma, allergies, headaches, migraines with nausea and auras, IBS, and chronic fatigue. Later it progressed to severe brain fog, (like forgetting which side of the faucet is hot or cold, and finding myself in a room and not realizing how i got there…), stuttering, disorientation, hallucinations,, panic, rage, mood swings/irritability and general delirium, along with physically disabling symptoms like severe body wide musculskeletal pain, seizures, vasovagal attacks, tachycardia, arrhythmia, dizzy spells, fainting, loss of balance, severe chronic nausea, bouts of vomiting, shortness of breath, chest pain, profuse sweating, shaking chills, swollen painful lymph nodes, irregular body temperature regulation, trouble with vision and hearing, twitches, fasciculations, tremors, low grade fevers, constant exhaustion that feels as if the air around me is a constant weight of 1,000 bricks pushing down against my body, I could go on and on with my close to 200 symptoms. In recent years I’ve developed/been diagnosed with a chronic form of leukopenia (abnormally low white blood cell count) which makes it difficult for my body to fight off infections, bacteria and other harmful stuff…POTS (a severe condition called postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome), hypothyroidism, chronic fatigue fatigue syndrome, adenomyosis (type of endometreosis), multiple chemical sensitivity, multiple food allergies, ovarian cysts, numerous infections such as chronic UTI’s, liver and kidney infections, low natural killer cells and more. I’m now intolerant of heat, alcohol, makeup, lotions, shampoos, etc. and hypersensitive to light, sounds and especially smells (MCS). Anything and everything seems to send me into a flare-up these days. I should really just live in a bubble lol. I also lost 25 lbs rapidly and despite pushing myself to eat through the pain I dropped down to about 85 lbs at my sickest (I’m 5’5″, so no bueno). Being so underweight created a whole slew of other serious health problems as well.

It took literally millions of dollars on different specialists and extensive testing, and decades went by before I got the correct diagnoses, the ones that explained it all and connected the dots (dots being symptoms and also disorders/syndromes/conditions). I thought that was it when I was diagnosed with late-stage chronic neurological lyme, as well as HH6 virus, and an acute form of chronic pneumonia. I really had no clue what I was in for and that there was more to it than lyme. When my LLMD told me I’d have a long, tough road ahead of me, I had no idea just how true that was.

6+ months of loads of antibiotics and a PICC line, and I had gotten so sick that most days I was completely bedbound. I could barely walk or talk, I would lay in bed in agonizing pain, none of the prescription pain meds would be of relief, and my herbal meds were just not enough. At times I was so weak I needed to be fed. I was losing the little bit of myself was left, including my hope. In November I took a break from antibiotics since it was destroying my digestive system and did 5 months of low level laser therapy and detoxing, which helped some symptoms but others are now worse. I was getting so bad that I couldn’t get any sleep for weeks and I ended up in the ER with a mass in my large intestines.

I was so weak and riddled with pain, but then the universe intervened and my Dr. suggested a mold test for our house. Turns out we were living in a house which in my dr.s words were “unliveable conditions” due to extremely high infestations of toxic mold, including black mold (all the mold was invisible.) Once the mold toxins (mycotoxins) colonize in the body it becomes a multisystemic neuroimmune disease and never ending war. For the unlucky people like me who don’t have the necessary antibodies in their immune systems to fight off the mycotoxins, even a brief exposure to indoor mold can lead to mycotoxicosis which is full blown systemic disease, where the mycotoxins invade and attack every single living cell and organ in the mold exposed victim. Mycotoxicosis is fatal if left untreated, or if the treatment period begins too late and the mycotoxins have already destroyed organs, or crated cancerous tumors. We now know I have been battling this dreadful disease for years. My mycotoxin test came back positive even after 4 1/2 months of moving from the moldy house. I was told this means the levels of mycotoxins in my body were really high since people with mold illness generally have to “provoke” the mycotoxins to be released from fat cells in the body. This is often done with sauna and heat detoxing, and since I’ve been so sick I sweat almost constantly which sucks but it’s a natural detox. Unfortunately I will always get very sick from mold, but with A LOT of intensive treatment, detoxing and time I should get better, and many of my mycotoxicosis symptoms should go away.

Long term exposure to toxic mold damages the brain and leaves behind permanent complications after even after years of treatment. Unfortunately, I lived in the “moldy house” for over 5 years, and we suspect most of the previous houses I lived in had mold due to my progressive mycotoxicosis symptoms throughout my life. My fibromyalgia is from the mold exposure I’ve been told, and a lot of people with fibro actually have mycotoxicosis. My father bravely battled many forms of cancer before he finally died from brain cancer. I believe his death could’ve been mold related, since mycotoxicosis commonly leads to brain lesions and tumors, as well as cancer (the most common mycotoxins are aflatoxins; highly carcinogenic toxins, and trichothecenes; dangerous neurotoxins which are the most fatal of all the mycotoxins)

It’s estimated that 500,000 people in the U.S. die every year from mycotoxicosis, and it’s likely to be many more since it goes so undiagnosed. Many dr.’s don’t know to test for mycotoxins, and may even go as far as to say mold can’t make you sick! The fact is mold can make people very ill and myctoxicosis takes lives with organ failure, cancer, SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome), anaphylaxis, and more. I thank God and the Universe because I honestly don’t know if I’d be alive today if I’d stayed in that house the way my body was going, my organs were set to fail. As of now there is no telling the extent of the damage to my brain, I have to wait to get brain scan and lots of other tests. I still have progressing and emerging symptoms, and have been wheelchair bound for the past month. I had to get a port implanted in my chest for my regular IV infusions. There is no cure for mycotoxicosis, and I know I have a long, long way to go and it will only get harder from the toxin die-off as they slowly up the dosages of my meds and infusions, but I am determined to win this.  Now that I finally found the missing piece of my chronic illness puzzle, I have nothing but gratitude and a new sense of hope. My fiancé who lived with me for about a year also got very sick from the mold but not to my degree, fortunately. It’s so very hard to watch him suffer in some of the ways I do. After months of research we have found an environmental illness treatment center out of state which has a high success rate for mycotoxicosis. If all goes according to plan, we should be leaving in june to stay for a month for intensive treatment.

I will be honest, so many times I lose hope, but I know that there is a reason for me to go through this and giving up is just not an option. Being chronically ill is tough, but I am tougher! ❤

What Is Mold Illness? (Mycotoxicosis)

Mold Illness: “Mold Illness is not an allergy. It is an inflammation within the body which is caused by an immune system that has gone haywire. The term “mold illness” is a subcategory of biotoxin illness called Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (CIRS). Some individuals have a genetic susceptibility to develop mold illness based on their immune response genes (HLA–DR). The genetics are clear: occurrence of specific HLA types are found in about 25% of the population.”


Mycotoxicosis Symptoms

Lyme Disease

Lyme has surpassed AIDS as the fastest growing infectious disease in the U.S. right now. Lyme is relatively easy to treat if caught very early, however once it’s progressed to it’s late stages becomes chronic, debilitating and difficult to treat.
“It is caused by a type of bacterium called a spirochete. An infected tick can transmit the spirochetes to the humans and animals it bites. There is some debate to whether other bugs can transmit it, or if it is sexually transmitted. It is however transmitted in utero. It is a multi systemic inflammatory infection. If left untreated it will travel from your skin, through the bloodstream, joints, organs, and will establish itself in various body tissues, and can cause a number of symptoms including neuropsychiatric manifestations.”

Lyme Disease Symptoms

Meanwhile, until I leave for treatment I have a healthy, easy and thoroughly enjoyable treat like cookie dough to turn to keep my spirits up 😉

Vegan Cookie Dough


Grain Free Cookie Dough

Vegan, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Refined Sugar-Free, Soy-Free

{adapted from The Live In Kitchen}

yield: 1 serving | prep time: 5 mins | total time: 5 mins

Ingredients:

6 tbsp almond meal/flour
2 tbsp virgin unrefined coconut oil, melted or softened 
2 tbsp coconut nectar, or maple syrup
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
dash of salt, to taste
vegan chocolate chips or carob chips, to taste

Instructions:

In a small bowl mix together coconut oil, sweetener, and vanilla.
Add flour and salt until well combined, folding in chips last.
Chill for best results…or scarf down immediately. Enjoy!


Bread, Breakfast

Strawberry Banana Oat Bread

 

Banana Strawberry Oat Bread
This strawberry banana oat quickbread is hearty, wholesome, sweet and deelicious!

Let’s talk about oats for a minute. Old-fashioned oats to be specific. In case you didn’t already know, old fashioned oats are also referred to as rolled oats. Rolled oats are darn healthy grains. They are highly nutritious whole grains packed with fiber. In fact one cup is a whole 10 grams! These oats contain both soluble and insoluble fiber, including  Beta-glucan, a soluble fiber unique to oats. Beta-glucan is associated with a 5 percent reduction in total cholesterol and a 7 percent reduction in LDL cholesterol, the type associated with heart disease. (Read more here.) Oats are low-glycemic, which is important to look for to regulate blood sugar levels, not just for weight loss purposes. These grains happen to be very filling, and that’s why I love them. Apparently, I have a black hole in my stomach and it takes a lot for me to feel full, but it seems that whenever there are oats present I always feel full and satisfied without the sluggish feeling heavy processed foods may leave behind.


Strawberry Banana Oat Bread

Vegan, Gluten-Free, Refined Sugar-Free, Refined Flour-Free, Nut-Free, Soy-Free, Yeast-Free

Adapted from Chocolate Covered Katie

Yield: One 9×5 or 8×4 Bread Loaf

ingredients:

2 cups gluten free rolled oats, ground to a flour
4 heaping tbsp gluten free rolled oats, whole
1 tsp baking soda
1/2-1 tsp ground cinnamon, optional
3/4 tsp gluten free baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup fresh strawberries
2 ripe bananas, mashed
2/3-1 cup coconut nectar, brown rice syrup or maple syrup
1/3 cup virgin unrefined coconut oil
1 1/2 tbsp fresh lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

instructions:

Preheat oven to 350°. Grease a 9×5 baking/loaf pan. Grind your 2 cups of your rolled oats in a blender or food processor to make into flour. It is perfectly fine is some whole oats remain in the flour. In a large bowl, mix oat flour, and the rest of your dry ingredients well. Puree your strawberries. Now add in strawberry puree and mashed bananas along with the rest of your wet ingredients. Mix with a wooden or plastic spoon (preferably) until blended together evenly. Pour your bread batter into greased loaf pan and bake for 30-50, or until top is golden-brown and toothpick comes out clean. Enjoy!


Frosting & Buttercreams

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

 

VanillaButtercreamFrosting

This simple, easy to whip up vanilla buttercream frosting is SO yummy I eat it in spoonfuls (not recommended)!

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

Vegan | Gluten-Free | Grain-Free | Soy-Free

Ingredients:

2 cups vegan, gluten free powdered sugar (add more for thicker frosting)
1/2 cup vegan butter, room temp
2 tbsp pure vanilla extract
vegan milk of choice, optional, for desired consistency

Instructions:

In a large bowl, mix sugar, butter, vanilla and if necessary, add the milk as you blend with an electric beater on low-medium setting until frosting is smooth and creamy. Enjoy!

Breakfast, Cookies, Grain Free

Granola Raisin Cookies and A little on Sweeteners: Which Ones Are Healthy and Which Are Not (you’ll be surprised)

 

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These granola raisin cookies are my absolute favorite homemade cookie recipe, and I am proud to say I made these babies from scratch…from my own imagination. Ooh, and let me tell you, these babies are so delicious, I can’t believe I came up with them on a whim! I was laying in bed not sleeping (thanks painsomnia!), but instead thinking of sweet treats and I had a wonderful idea to “spice” up the Vanilla Granola that had been sitting in my cupboard getting bored. I had this heaven inspired idea to make a breakfast cookie out of them and mmmm I’m so glad I did, because these are delectable! Even my mother who doesn’t like too many sweets approved and loved them. With they’re light texture they almost melt in your mouth.

The first time I made these cookies I used agave, but a nutritionist later gave a lecture on sweeteners and I was surprised to learn how bad agave really is. Most agave has a higher fructose content than any commercial sweetener — ranging from 55 to 97 percent, depending on the brand, which is FAR HIGHER than high fructose corn syrup, which averages 55 percent, “This Sweetener Is Far Worse Than High Fructose Corn Syrup”. So agave is in fact not a health food but is high glycemic. In other words agave raises your blood sugar levels waay to high within minutes of consumption. I was curious and asked my doc if this was true and she confirmed it was. Now I use coconut nectar or brown rice syrup, which is a far much healthier, lower glysemic alternative than agave and doesn’t overload the cookies with sweetness. Maple syrup is even better than agave, and has a high magnesium content, which is great for muscle and nerve health, amongst many things. Ultimately, stevia is the healthiest doctor approved sweetener out there. Stevia has been praised for many reasons, one being it actually lowers blood sugar levels instead of spikes them. Stevia is also calorie free. If you’re not vegan, feel free to opt for honey, but remember the bees!

Since I love sugar too much I like to add frosting to these cookies when having them as a dessert (vs having them for breakfast) to make them sweeter.


Granola Raisin Cookies

Vegan | Gluten-Free |Nut-Free | Soy-Free

Ingredients for 24 Cookies:

2 1/2 cups gluten free all-purpose flour
1/2 cup vegan gluten free vanilla granola OR vegan gluten free plaingranola + 1 tsp pure vanilla extract (or sub gluten free rolled oats)
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp gluten free baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup virgin unrefined coconut oil (or vegan butter)
1/2 cup coconut nectar, brown rice syrup, or maple syrup
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup raisins

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350°. Combine all ingredients into large bowl, stirring the wet ingredients into the dry. Mix until thick and spoon up the dough, place on to baking pan lined with parchment paper. Bake for 7-9 minutes. Allow to cool and enjoy!