Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Cookies for Your Health

It's says a lot about how my views on health food have changed that I now consider bacon and eggs to be a healthy breakfast!  Brandon is our breakfast chef, and we regularly have this breakfast - organic old fashioned oats and raisins, with walnuts, cooked in organic whole milk and water, with a giant pat of Kelly Gold butter, some sea salt, and drizzle of raw honey, topped with some strips of bacon and an egg, which was fried in bacon grease.  I've come a long way from my days of skim milk and cereal.  But, I'm happy to say that the results of my recent blood work came back with normal levels in everything, including cholesterol.  That wasn't always the case, and I give the credit to changing what we consider healthy food.  Plenty of healthy fat, meat, and eggs from healthy animals are now on the good list along with all the unprocessed vegetables and fruits we can cram in our bodies.  

Gone are the days of calorie counting.  Obviously, being fat was never enough of a deterrent to me to change my eating habits anyway, but letting go of that worry is liberating.  Now I just worry about cancer and heart disease.  Whew - what a relief, right?  You know me, when I get interested in something, like avoiding cancer, I tend to share my new knowledge with folks as part of conversation.  It wasn't long ago when I watched a Ted talk about how eating berries and tomatoes prevents cancerous cells in the body from being able to grow their own blood vessels, which means they never turn into tumors, and never spread.  I think of cancer being like a typo in our DNA.  Typos will happen, especially in an environment filled with toxins, but if you eat the right foods, the typos don't have to turn into tumors.  I was so excited by this scientific discovery, that I was telling a friend about it.  He asked "do you think about cancer every day?"  He asked it like it was a bad thing.  Like I was letting fear of cancer control me in some way.  


I've thought about the implication of his question.  I don't want to lead a fearful life, but on the other hand, if there's a way to prevent cancer - and all it involves is eating berries, then I want to eat berries!  I want you to eat them too!  Berries for everyone!  

And it's not just berries that prevent cancer and improve health, but all plants. I've come to realize that we should eat as many plant parts as we can, every day.  Leaves, tubers, fruits, beans, stalks, seeds - all the plant parts.  Eat them raw, cooked, juiced, blended, or whatever way gets them in the tummy!  We should cram as many of them in our Instant Pot as we can, and cook them up with spices and bone broth, and a can of salmon, and tell our spouses its chowder.  Who doesn't like chowder?  Or throw in whatever hunk of meat is on hand, fill the pot the rest of the way with plants, and call it a stew.  Serve it with a salad topped with even more plant parts, including avocado.  Add a piece of Daves Killer Good Seed Bread, toasted and slathered with heaps of butter, and it's a meal worth cooking! 

It's my new method, anyway, and we're doing good with it - we're feeling good and aren't overwhelmed with cooking chores.  And we aren't on a diet.  It's the opposite of restricting what we eat - we're trying hard to eat as much as we can.  I have a long mental list of foods that I should eat every day, and it's hard to get them all in unless I start early and don't let up (it's a metabolism boost!).  I have to go to the grocery more often, because whole unprocessed food without preservatives doesn't wait around.  If we don't eat it, something else will, like bacteria or mold. The more I think about food preservatives that are added to "maintain freshness" the less sense it makes.   I don't want to consume something that prevents life from growing - I want food that promotes life!  It required a lot of label reading to avoid preservatives and chemicals, but now I know where to go once I'm in the store and can fill my cart with foods to be proud of.  

Do you want to know our secret weapon for improving our eating habits?  It's cookies!  I mix up a batch of healthy cookie batter and keep it in the refrigerator, and in the evening I bake four cookies for each of us and we eat them with a glass of whole milk.  We don't feel deprived, despite our healthy dinner, because we get chocolate chip cookies nearly every day!  

They are almond cookies.  You should try them:  

Mix 1/2 cup organic and unrefined coconut oil with 1/2 cup of succanat 
Add and mix 1 egg and a splash of vanilla
Add and mix 2 cups almond meal, ~1/2 tsp sea salt, ~3/4 tsp baking soda, ~3 tbsp of chia seeds
Add and mix 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips, 1/2 cup raisins, 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut, 1/2 cup chopped pecans

Drop rounded tablespoons of batter onto baking sheet
Bake at 350 degrees for 12 to 14 minutes
Makes about 24 cookies (three days worth for two people)

You can mix and match with the chia seeds, raisins, coconut, and pecans, but I would recommend always using some kind of nut and, of course, the chocolate chips.   Go with organic ingredients if you can.  I've even added cocoa powder, and made them into chocolate cookies.  

Most of the ingredients in these cookies are on my list of foods to eat everyday, so these truly are healthy cookies.  
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