Grain-Free Chocolate Cookies

Over the last couple of months, I have become obsessed with this DIY paleo flour blend. Not only is it way cheaper to make your own blend, but it also took all of the guesswork out for me because when it comes to using coconut flour, I literally fail every. single. time. But with this blend I have created a birthday cake/cupcakes as well as some cookie recipes. They may, or may not, all make it on the blog! This recipe is a huge hit with my entire family (parents included). I was inspired to create these cookies after trying Simple Mills Double Chocolate Cookies – if you read my March Favorites blog post, you already know my love for this company. They use minimal ingredients…and ingredients I feel good about letting Willow eat – no gums, additives, “natural” flavors, or refined sugar.

RECIPE: Grain-Free Chocolate Cookies

Now, the texture isn’t as crispy as Simple Mills (I didn’t use or have konjac root) and they aren’t flat, but I’m really excited about how well they turned out! A slightly crispy exterior, soft center (I very much dislike the word moist, but I’ll say it), and they melt in your mouth. They’re like little buttery orbs of deliciousness! I made these with my little chocoholic in mind and she loves them so much…in fact, she’d be content with eating the dough! I plan to make them using carob instead of cacao and when i do, I’ll update this post with the outcome.

*UPDATE – the carob trial was fantastic! Instead of the two tablespoons of cacao powder, I used one tablespoon of carob. And I paired it with 2 TBSP tahini + 1 TBSP coconut oil. I gotta say, I think this is my new favorite way to make them!*

I have made these countless times and with different variations: using almond butter instead of coconut oil, leaving out the chocolate chips, adding flax egg, flattening them before baking, and a few other ways. The recipe, as it’s written below, is my family’s favorite version.

The trials I ran using a flax egg required an additional 2 tablespoons of paleo flour blend and the outcome was more of a brownie-like cookie and not at all crispy. I’ll have instructions below for this variation.

Here’s a photo of a batch using flax egg:

RECIPE: Grain-Free Chocolate Cookies

GRAIN-FREE CHOCOLATE COOKIES: {soy-free, gluten-free dairy-free, vegan, paleo, oil-free option}

Makes 8-10 small cookies

Brownie-like variation will make 12-14 small cookies

What you need:

  • 1/4 cup + 2 TBSP paleo flour blend*
  • 3 Tablespoons coconut sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons tigernut flour
  • 2 Tablespoons organic cacao powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch Himalayan salt
  • 3 Tablespoons softened (not melted) coconut oil or creamy almond butter*
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla (optional)
  • 1-2 Tablespoons organic, fair trade chocolate chips (optional)

* I know Bob’s Red Mill has a paleo flour blend, but I have not tried it – so cannot verify the outcome. Before measuring your flour, please shake it really well to mix up the flours and DO NOT scoop it out with a measuring cup, but rather spoon the flour into a measuring cup so that the flour doesn’t get overly packed in.

*Please DO NOT use melted coconut oil! Keep it in a softened, solid state. Use coconut oil for a crispier cookie and almond butter for a softer cookie. Both are equally delicious! I’ve even used a combo of both in a few batches…including the batch in these photos.

How to:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, sugar, cacao powder, baking soda, and salt. Then, stir in the coconut oil (or almond butter), and vanilla (if using). Mix until creamed together and the dough sticks together. I use my hands to really incorporate the ingredients. You’ll be tempted to add in extra oil or butter – trust me, don’t do it 🙂 Next, stir in the chocolate chips, if using.
  3. Roll the dough into small balls, leave about one inch of space between the cookies, do not overcrowd them and bake for 12-18 minutes. My oven requires longer baking times, which is why there is a wide baking time frame. Once they start cracking on the top, it is time to remove them. If you are looking for a crispier cookie, increase the baking time by 2-3 minutes.
  4. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes on the baking sheet before carefully transferring them to a cooling rack. I recommend letting them cool completely before eating. If you try to eat them right as they’re done, you’ll have a crumbly mess!
  5. Enjoy with a glass of nut milk, coffee, or tea.
  6. Store any leftovers in an airtight container.

**VARIATION: for a brownie-like cookie add 2 extra tablespoons of the paleo flour blend (making a total of 1/4 cup + 4 TBSP) and when incorporating the wet ingredients, add in one flax egg (1 TBSP ground flax + 3 TBSP water…allow the flax egg to set for at least five minutes before adding the dough). These will spread out a bit while baking, unlike the original recipe – so spacing is important.

RECIPE: Grain-Free Chocolate Cookies

RECIPE: Grain-Free Chocolate Cookies

RECIPE: Grain-Free Chocolate Cookies

If you make these, please come back and let me know how they turned out! I’d love to hear from you!
Thanks for stopping by!

REVIEW: July Favorites

Hello, friends and happy August! I think this is my first favorites post that doesn’t include recipes…we’ve been living on smoothies and salads this summer, so that has meant going back to the basics AND no oven use. My list of “need to try” recipes continues to grow and I’m pretty sure come fall, I’ll be excited to jump in the kitchen to try new recipes!

Speaking of recipes, I only got around to sharing one new creation (pancakes) last month from my kitchen, but I’ve got more coming in the next couple of weeks!

July was a month of travel, new journeys, household projects (when our BIG project is complete, I might have to share about it in a separate blog post), running trials for products for my Etsy shop, trying LOTS of new-to-me products, and reading several books…although not all of them made their way here since I didn’t fall in love with them.

Oh! And we also celebrated our seventh wedding anniversary in July – I’m in shock at how fast the years are flying by!

Before I dive into my favorite products and books, here are some of my favorite photos from last month:

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willowandmama

A trip to Whole Foods isn’t complete without trying on hats and reading through cards…

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The view on our hike around Todd Lake – one of our favorite spots:

Todd Lake

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J U L Y  F A V O R I T E S

PRODUCTS:

As always, links are provided when available, in bold italics.

NUCO >> Nucoconut Organic Coconut Vinegar (Garlic) >>  One word…obsessed!!! While in Vermont, we found this coconut vinegar in a few flavor options, but we chose to buy garlic. I whipped up a quick salad dressing using this with raw tahini and loved it so much that not only did we make it every day, but we also had to pack it in our suitcase to come home! Only two ingredients: organic coconut sap vinegar, organic garlic – it’s tangy like apple cider vinegar, but it’s packed with amino acids, vitamins, and minerals.

REVIEW: July Favorites

REBEL KITCHEN COCONUT MYLK (Chocolate and Chai) >> Over the last couple of years I’ve seen people post photos of these, but haven’t seen them in stores near us…well, wouldn’t you know, we found them in Vermont! We don’t buy store-bought milks anymore due to ingredients we avoid (xanthan gum, carrageenan, refined sugar, fortified with folic acid, etc.), but guess what? They’re date-sweetened AND zero gums! Yay! Willow and I loved the flavor and the sweetness level was perfect – my only complaint was finding little clumps of coconut, but that was remedied by more shaking or you could blend it up. Reminded me a little of our other favorite store-bought treat (Rebbl drinks) as that same issue can occasionally occur…but that’s because they don’t contain gums or weird preservatives.

Here’s the ingredient list for the Chai Coconut Mylk:

Spring water, organic coconut milk (11%), organic date nectar, organic cacao, organic cinnamon, organic cardamom, organic turmeric.

REVIEW: July Favorites

búcha® live kombucha >> I failed to take a photo of any of the bottles we consumed, but we found these at the local grocery store in Randolph, Vermont and fell in love! We tried: Guava Mango, Blood Orange, Grapefruit Sage, and Raspberry Pomegranate…our absolute favorite flavor was Blood Orange!

THE RAW FOOD WORLD >> UNFORTIFIED NUTRITIONAL YEAST >> I cannot even begin to tell you how excited I was to get the email that The Raw Food World started carrying unfortified nutritional yeast! Even better…it’s part of the ‘At-Cost’ specials, so we got an awesome deal. Almost every store-bought nutritional yeast is fortified with synthetic ingredients and since many of you ask where we purchase our unfortified option, here’s yet another place to buy it. Unfortified has a MUCH cleaner flavor and it’s SO much safer for consumption.

REVIEW: July Favorites

BEARDED BROTHERS >> MEGA MACA CHOCOLATE ENERGY BAR >> Before we flew to Vermont, I placed a Vitacost order to be shipped to my in-laws house and this was one of the new items we decided to try. I shared this with Willow and we both really enjoyed it! If it wasn’t so pricey, I would go back and order a bunch to have on hand for those hangry moments. The texture was perfect and I love that the first ingredient is dates, followed by nuts, superfoods, and zero refined sugar. Definitely one of the few bars I feel good about giving to Willow.

REVIEW: July Favorites

KING ARTHUR ALMOND FLOUR >> I found this randomly at Target a few weeks ago and it has become my absolute favorite option for almond flour! The package says super finely ground and seeing as I’ve tried pretty much every option out there, this is hands down the finest almond flour I’ve used…I don’t even have to break up any large clumps.

You can also purchase it via Amazon (link above).

REVIEW: July Favorites

STAR WARS PRESCHOOL WORKBOOKS (3-PACK)>> We found these at Costco just before we left for Vermont and Willow had to have them. As a parent (and homeschooling mom) I LOVE these! For a four-year-old, Star Wars obsessed kid, they’re PERFECT! Willow is in heaven and these have made learning SO much fun. While she is above (hope that doesn’t come off as elitist!) the majority of the content, these workbooks have helped her to fine-tune her form.  I highly recommend checking out a Costco near you because you’ll save some money buying them in a three pack as opposed to individually via Amazon. They also offer higher level workbooks for older kids.

REVIEW: July Favorites

SOULFUL BODY >> SOLAR PLEXUS CHAKRA ANOINTING OIL >> I’m serious when I say this is like sunshine in a bottle! The color – the warm, happy scent – it leaves me with a sense of confidence + peace. The blend of peppermint, rosemary, and lemongrass is gentle, yet powerful! I’ve been applying it to my wrists throughout the day. I love that there is a golden quartz crystal inside this beautiful bottle. I received this inside a Goddess Provisions box, but you can purchase it via Etsy in the link I’ve provided above.

REVIEW: July Favorites

INSTANT POT >> Did any of you grab a hold of any deals on Prime Day?! I literally squealed when I got the email that the Instant Pot was available for only $69!!! Total steal! It’s been on our house wish list forever so we immediately ordered one…I think Willow’s face sums it up 🙂 Hello to soup in a flash, dried beans cooking faster, and busy days made simpler.

REVIEW: July Favorites

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BOOKS:

SOUL VOWS by Janet Conner

BE WHAT YOU WISH by Neville Goddard 

THE UNLIMITED SELF: DESTROY LIMITING BELIEFS, UNCOVER GREATNESS, AND LIVE THE GOOD LIFE by Jonathan Heston 

Josh and I ordered these two books (links below) for Willow off of Amazon to bring on our trip to Vermont…both are beautiful and send positive messages to kiddos. I highly recommend them!

UNSTOPPABLE ME! 10 WAYS TO SOAR THROUGH LIFE by Dr. Wayne W. Dyer

DREAMS COME TRUE ALL THEY NEED IS YOU! by Mike Dooley

REVIEW: July Favorites

As usual, I would LOVE to hear from you! Did you try any new products? Read any great books? Watch anything exciting on Netflix? Speaking of Netflix…have you seen the series Stranger Things?! Oh, man. Josh and I just started it and it’s taking every ounce of willpower not to binge watch it!

Thanks for stopping by!

RECIPE: Golden Latte

Numi Organic Tea - Amber Sun

Last year, I discovered this amazing line of turmeric teas by Numi Organic Tea. They’re one of the few tea companies out there who don’t use bleached tea bags or “natural” flavors – They’re always organic, non-GMO, fair trade and they use REAL fruits, flowers and spices. We’ve been buying this brand from Natural Grocers, but I know you can purchase it at most natural food stores and online, too. My favorite turmeric tea is their Amber Sun – here’s the description from the box (I couldn’t have written it any better myself):

AMBER SUN

A smooth richness radiates through Amber Sun like a warm, healthy glow. This blend of turmeric, rooibos, vanilla beans and a hint of cinnamon offers mellow apple notes with a sweet peppery zest.

Over the winter, I enjoyed a hot mug of this tea at night with a splash of “milk” and a sprinkle of coconut sugar. It was the perfect way for me to relax and unwind after a long day. Now that it’s summertime, I’ve been making cold tea lattes with the Amber Sun tea. Here is my favorite way to enjoy it AND since it’s caffeine-free, Willow can have some, too…she loves it!

RECIPE: Golden Latte // Be Sol-Ful

GOLDEN LATTE: {caffeine-free, soy-free, gluten-free, refined sugar-free, vegan, oil-free, nut-free}

Serves 2

What you need:

  • 4-5 soft pitted Medjool dates (or sweeten to taste with pure maple syrup, coconut sugar or coconut nectar)
  • 2 TBSP of raw tahini
  • 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract or ground vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 1/4 – 1 1/2 cups cold filtered water
  • 9 turmeric tea ice cubes *

* I boiled two cups of water and steeped four bags of Numi’s Amber Sun turmeric tea. Steep for 10-12 minutes, let cool and then pour into ice cube trays.

How to:

  1. Blend the dates, tahini, vanilla, turmeric and start with 1 1/4 cups of cold filtered water.
  2. Once smooth, add in the ice cubes and blend again. If the mixture is too thick for you, add in an additional 1/4 cup of cold water (or more). Blend again.
  3. Pour into glasses and top with a sprinkle of coconut sugar (optional).
  4. Enjoy!

RECIPE: Golden Latte // Be Sol-Ful

I was honestly amazed at how creamy this turned out with only two tablespoons of tahini. I played around with this recipe a few times before I got the texture and flavors down – I knew I finally “perfected” it when Willow asked for more! It has the warm spices reminiscent of a chai latte, but with a bit of zingy kick from the turmeric. Josh said this drink reminded him of almost an eggnog.

RECIPE: Golden Latte // Be Sol-Ful

Thanks for stopping by!

REVIEW: December Favorites

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season and Happy New Year! Can’t believe it’s 2015! December was a whirlwind of chaos with sleep deprivation, family gatherings and celebrating – it’s a month I love, but can also be stressful. Now that the holidays are over, we’re in this weird lull – like, what’s next?! I’m excited to start a new year and I’m looking forward to what’s in store for my little family.

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Here are my December Favorites:

Harmless Harvest 100% Raw Coconut Water: Cinnamon & Clove

I usually pass by this brand because it is on the pricey side, but Whole Foods had it on sale for 50% off…and my friend, Jen, said it was amazing. Let me tell you, there is a HUGE difference in quality between this brand and say Coco Libre or Harvest Bay (also both organic). Don’t get me wrong, they’re still really good, but raw tastes SO much better. This seasonal flavor was exceptional! I am a HUGE cinnamon fan, so this was right up my alley. If you can still find it in stores, I highly recommend grabbing a bottle…or two!

December Favorites // Be Sol-ful

Suja Elements: Holiday Edition: Under the Mistletoe

Surprise, surprise! Another round of favorites that includes a Suja flavor!! This was SO much better than the other holiday peppermint drinks on the market – clean ingredients and only sweetened with coconut palm sugar. I found this at Whole Foods (on sale) and last I checked, it was still on sale.

December Favorites // Be Sol-Ful

GT’s Organic Raw Kombucha: Third Eye Chai

I’m a sucker for anything chai. Clove, cardamom, ginger, cinnamon – leaves your belly all warm and tingly! This flavor of kombucha did not disappoint.

December Favorites // Be Sol-Ful

Numi Organic Tea: PU-ERH TEA: Chocolate Pu-Erh

I love tea AND I love chocolate. This was absolutely delicious! It’s great as is or sweetened ever so slightly with maple syrup. I really enjoy this brand because not only are their products organic & fair trade, but they’re also an amazing, kind company – community oriented. Other flavors I’ve tried and loved: Gunpowder Green, Rooibos, Moroccan Mint and Chocolate Earl Grey. To learn more about this fabulous company, please visit their website: http://www.numitea.com

December Favorites // Be Sol-Ful

TOMS Roasting Co. : Peru (pleasant caramel apple)

I have a confession. I love to enjoy a good cup of coffee every now and then…I know there’s debate about coffee being bad, but I don’t drink it every day, nor do I ever drink more than a cup. Not even sure why I’m justifying an indulgence of mine!! For Christmas, Josh bought me a bag of TOMS coffee. This was my first time trying TOMS coffee and I’m really enjoying it! I’ve been a fan of this company for their shoes and their business values – One for One. Just like how they provide a child in need with a new pair of shoes with each purchase, with every bag of coffee purchased, they give one week of clean water to a person in need.

December Favorites // Be Sol-Ful

Tolerant: Organic Red Lentil Mini Fettuccine

I’ve been so anxious to try this brand, but found it to be too expensive for the amount of pasta you get. On Cyber Monday, Dr. Fuhrman’s site had a huge sale – while I stocked up on nutritional yeast, my mom bought a bunch of this pasta and gave us a couple of boxes. I love how sturdy it is, unlike some gluten-free pastas on the market and it also reheated well. The flavor was great, but my favorite part about this pasta was that there is only ONE ingredient: Non GMO Organic Red Lentils. That’s it! We will definitely keep our eyes out for this to go on sale again.

December Favorites // Be Sol-Ful

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Lotus Foods: Organic Millet & Brown Rice Ramen

I love this brand. Period. Clean ingredients, organic and excellent quality. There are four ramen cakes (just noodles, no seasonings included) and it only takes a few minutes to cook up. We’ve been adding them to homemade veggie soups and love how, unlike your typical ramen soup, you aren’t consuming a crazy amount of salt and it’s MSG free. You can find this at Whole Foods or Natural Grocers. The noodles come in a few varieties (Forbidden Rice, Jade Pearl Rice and Millet & Brown rice); we’ve tried them all and love them!

December Favorites // Be Sol-Ful

YumButter: Organic Superfood Sunflower Butter (ground fresh with chia, hemp seeds & goji)

I found this on sale at Whole Foods last month and had to give it a try. While it does have some coconut oil added to it, I was intrigued by the rest of the ingredient list (hemp seeds, chia, goji berry powder, coconut sugar and lucuma). I was also drawn to it because YumButter has a Buy One | Feed One business model…meaning, when you buy YumButter, you feed a child in need. The flavor was wonderful – I’ve been enjoying it in my smoothies and oats – and I skip any sweeteners because the sunflower butter is sweet enough. This company also has peanut butter and almond butter! To learn more, please check out their website: http://www.yumbutter.com

December Favorites // Be Sol-Ful

Kate’s Magik: Moon Goddess

I had been eyeing up this company every time we went to Whole Foods and Natural Grocers and one of the last trips we made to Whole Foods, one of my favorite employees gave me a couple of samples to try. At the time, we were struggling really bad with sleep, so she gave me the Peace & Purification Anointing Oil (Lavender & Roman Chamomile) and Moon Goddess Anointing Oil (Jasmine). Both smelled fabulous and provided a great sense of calming – I’ve been wearing Moon Goddess and it almost instantly brightens my mood! Unfortunately, the peace and purification one didn’t resolve Willow’s battle with sleep 😉 All of these oils are vegan, gluten-free, cruelty-free and paraben free. They have a whole line of lotions, aura sprays, diffuser oils, perfume oils and massage oils.

http://www.katesmagik.com

December Favorites // Be Sol-Ful

What were some of your favorites from last month? Stay tuned on Friday when I resume my Friday Feature interview series!

Thanks for stopping by!