Autumn/Winter, Cookies, Gluten Free Vegan, Grain Free, Holiday

Grain-Free Gingerbread Cookies

 

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primalplalate.com

❄️ Happy winter solstice!!! ❄️

I can’t believe it’s officially winter AGAIN! Time flies!!! I know everyone says it, but even I feel like it despite living in a box (sure feels like living in a box being housebound haha)! To honor the solstice, I’m a.)posting for the first time in 6 months. SIX MONTHS!?!? This just saddens me. and, b.)sharing a slightly adapted grain-free gingerbread cookie recipe from Primal Palate !!!

This is the first year in a long time I’m well enough to really get in the Christmas spirit, and I couldn’t be more grateful!!!!! What better way to celebrate Christmas/the holidays/winter than making and eating gingerbread! Even better when it’s healthy and allergy-friendly 🙂


 

Grain-free Gingerbread Cookies

Vegan, Gluten-free, Grain-free, Refined Sugar-free optional, Soy-free optional

Yield: 12 gingerbread cookies

{recipe adapted from: Primal Palate}

ingredients:

•2 cups almond meal/flour
•2/3 cup arrowroot flour, plus more for dusting
•1/2 tsp salt
•1/2 tsp baking soda
•3/4 tsp ground ginger
•1/2 tsp ground cloves
•1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
•1/2 tsp ground nutmeg, or allspice
•4 tbsp coconut sugar or maple sugar
•1/2 cup unsulphured molasses (NOT blackstrap)
•3 tbsp unrefined coconut oil, or vegan butter

instructions:

preheat oven to 350 degrees.
in a large mixing bowl, combine blanched almond flour, arrowroot flour, salt, baking soda, ginger, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg and sugar. Stir ingredients to combine.
in a small sauce pan, bring molasses to a boil over medium heat.
add coconut oil/butter to sauce pan, and stir until combined with the molasses.
remove sauce pan from heat and pour into the dry ingredients.
mix batter with a spoon until you have formed a dark golden cookie dough, and all the dry ingredients are combined withe the molasses and coconut oil/butter.
place a sheet of parchment paper (or set an wrap) onto a flat cooking surface, and dust parchment with arrowroot flour. form dough into a ball, and place on the parchment paper. lightly press dough down to flatten, and sprinkle with a small amount of arrowroot flour. place another sheet of parchment paper on top of the dough, and roll into a thin sheet with a rolling pin (about 1/4 inch thick).
sprinkle arrowroot on a small plate, and place cookie cutters into the arrowroot to coat the bottom for cutting. this will keep the cookie dough from sticking to the batter for an easy release after cutting.
once you have made cuts throughout the entire sheet of cookie dough, carefully peel away the excess dough, and lightly transfer the cut out cookies to a parchment lined baking sheet. form dough into another ball, and roll out again to repeat until all the dough is used. 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!


Breakfast, Cookies

Grain-Free Almond Butter Thumbprint Cookies

 

Flourless Thumbprint Cookies Vegan Gluten Free

These cookies are a great healthy alternative to sugar cookies! High in protein!

Have you ever had a craving for cookies but didn’t have any flour? That was my dilemma earlier today as I didn’t have much flour but just had to have cookies. Then I remembered I could make cookies from Almond Butter!

In my opinion, almond butter is infinitely better than peanut butter. It’s not just a taste thing for me (I despise the taste of PB), almond butter is much healthier than it’s more popular nut butter competitor (one reason is because peanuts are an inflammatory food). Almond butter is delicious and nutritious, with all it’s protein, calcium, and healthy fat. I just couldn’t pass up giving some almond butter cookies a chance.

To give them even MORE healthy goodness I added some lovely chia seeds for essential amino acids (necessary for optimal brain function,). In the thumb holes, or craters as I like to call them, I used organic strawberry preserves, and my homemade Vanilla Buttercream Frosting. Feel free to fill the thumb holes with eat ever you like!

These cookies are so light and delicious, and they simply melt in your mouth.


Grain Free Almond Butter Thumbprint Cookies

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

Ingredients:

1 tbsp chia seeds + 3 tbsp filtered water
1 cup almond butter, preferably creamy
1/2 tbsp pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup vegan cane sugar
1/4 coconut sugar

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350°.  Make “chia egg” by adding together chia seeds and 3 tablespoons of water, do not stir, sit aside for 5 mins to gel. Mix all your ingredients together in a large bowl until blended well. Spoon your cookie dough onto a baking pan lined with parchment paper. Bake for 10 minutes (and no longer or they will burn). Once baking pan is out of oven, take a small utensil (I used a miniature fork, but a mini spoon would have be more ideal) and make small “thumbprints” or “craters” into your cookies that look like thumbprints. Let cookies cool, then fill with whatever you please, jelly, chocolate, frosting, caramel, the options are endless. 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!