What up, cookie dough!! And happy Friday. It was SO fun to hear some of your thoughts from Tuesday's stress-and-anxiety-are-silly-and-are-unkind-to-digestion-but-it's-normal post. This topical post thing will keep going on TMT for now.
I'm thinking I'll try a Tuesday-Friday posting type of schedule, which I probably would have benefitted from earlier, but PLEASE I am not that organized. I thought I was type A until I went to grad school. Nope. Type B. Very type B.
On that note, and in relation to things I catch myself stressing over, I have spent a lot of time thinking I needed to adopt certain routines and disciplines in order to be doing it "right." At the moment, I'm trying to tease those "should" thoughts from the "are you living with integrity" thoughts. Does that make sense? My other half (the spouse) gets mad at me because I talk abstractly :). Remember, type B.
But back to the cookie dough! This is the first recipe that I've shot using a new-to-me phone, whom I've christened Caesar, and who was causing some photo issues. I name everything, by the way.
Applying the whole "living with integrity" thing to TMT posts, I am sharing these cookies because they are easy, it's what I've been eating, and includes baking, which is one of my all-time favorite activities. I've said that on TMT at least 7 times now.
They are not sugar free, grain free, paleo, and don't have to be vegan or gluten free. Cookies might not be THE recipe someone is searching for in this health-obsessed time of year (looking at you, January), but who cares. They are just cookies. Well, good cookies, but just cookies :).
To be clear, I'm not bashing cookies that are those things. I am just voicing how my own approach to baking, and to cooking in general, has changed. Using baking as the example, I do measure because not measuring can lead to disastrous, inedible cookies (because baking is #science). I don't measure things because I want to know how much fat or protein or sugar or fiber or antioxidants or micronutrients are in these cookies. Did I used to measure everything? Yep. Every freaking day. Let us just say for now that it kind of sucked all of the fun out of the whole baking process.
This is why I think adventuring in the kitchen has been really important for me personally, and why I think creating new recipes is so fun and can be really healing when building a free relationship to food. It is, in essence, being okay with not knowing. It frees up a lot of brain space that really only leads to stress and/or anxiety anyway.
This being said, building a first and foremost enjoyable association with food preparation is why I won't ever post the nutrition information of a recipe on TMT. I am not going to calculate it, because that is not the purpose of these posts. Again, I am not saying that that is inherently invaluable, or that knowing the nutrition information will lead you down a path of stress and anxiety no matter what. Obviously, I am a dietitian, so I think nutrition has a place of importance in our health. I deeply care that people have access to evidence-based knowledge and the ability to make informed choices about their health as it relates to food, and just food in general. But I don't make that choice for them, and it is not my job to promote what, in my view, could potentially be harmful. And this is all assuming that people have control over their food choices and secure access to food, which is not the reality.
So from a standpoint of making food, I am saying that when we hyper-focus on the nutrition content, sometimes we end up caring only about the numbers. We're not even seeing it as food anymore.
I made these cookies because I wanted to make cookies. Of the chewy-soft-oatmeal-cranberry-nutty type. These cranberry almond oatmeal cookies were the result. They conveniently take one bowl, mostly pantry-style-fare ingredients, and make for some mighty fine snacking or cuppa-tea buddies. Aka your new go-to cookie to make on a wintry afternoon (as you can tell by my photo lighting quality. SO MUCH to learn on this, friends).
I enjoyed making them (3 times now), and I hope you do, too.
1-bowl cranberry almond oatmeal cookies
vegan & gluten free
prep time: 10-15 minutes
cook time: 14-18 minutes
makes: 16-18 cookies
3/4 cup oat flour (gluten free if needed), spooned into measuring cup (not packed)
1/3 cup almond meal
1/3 cup corn starch
1/4 cup rolled oats (gluten free if needed)
1/4 cup organic cane sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup creamy almond butter
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
4 Tablespoons Earth Balance (or butter), softened
1 Tablespoon flax meal mixed with 3 Tablespoons warm water, set aside
1.5 tsp vanilla
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Combine all of the dry ingredients except for the cranberries in a medium bowl.
3. Add all of the wet ingredients into the middle of the bowl. Stir well to combine. Fold in the cranberries.
4. Using a Tablespoon or cookie scoop, drop heaped spoonfuls onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 14-18 minutes, or until bottoms are golden brown. Allow to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.
5. ENJOY xox