Pumpkin Pie Date Bites

pumpkin date barpumpkin dates squaresIn my quest for creating some Thanksgiving and holiday recipes this weekend, I decided to tweak another recipe from my book, Detox 101. These recipes were used at a Holiday Potluck for the Yoga Studio I teach at. I thought a simple dessert, that seemed more decadent than it really was, would be a fun way to go. I also wanted to use somethings I had in the kitchen. I had dates, pumpkin puree, cashews, and spices, the perfect ingredients for no-bake date bars. Continue reading

Chocolate Chip Molasses Cookies

chocolate chip cookiesAs promised, I have a few holiday recipe coming up for you. In fact, from now until Thanksgiving, I will have one recipe a day that could be featured in your holiday meal planning. These dishes will each be made a bit healthier, but still indulgent and delicious.

Over the weekend (meaning Saturday) I got to play around with a few recipes from my book, Detox 101,  and from my holiday list for a potluck at the local yoga studio. I made an entree, a juice, and 2 desserts.

Today, I have for you my first dessert, which wasn’t quite in Detox 101, since it is a cookie recipe, but is still made with healthier ingredients. I wanted these cookies to be soft, big, and sweet, but not sugary. I also wanted them thick and dense enough to roll ot and cut like a sugar cookie.

To achieve this effect, I used more flour, coconut sugar ( a low-glycemic sweetener) and molasses (which are deeply sweet and contain iron). I also used SugaVida, a new Ayurvedic superfood sweetener that I had the opportunity to try.

SugaVida is a naturally occurring zero-calories sweetener that is gaining popularity in other countries, due to it’s high level of b-12, among other nutrients, and it;s low glycemic index. SugaVida is naturally sourced from the Palmyra Palm Tree and is widely used in the UK, with it soon to be released officially her in the US. I had the opportunity to play with it recently and thought cookies would be just the thing to use it in. The taste is quite sweet, which means you use about 1/2 the amount of “sugar” the recipe calls for, and straight from the container, it is quite sweet. In abaked good, it worked perfectly.

The result was a soft-baked but slightly crisp on the outside cookie that goes perfect with a glass of your favorite holiday non-dairy milk. Chocolate Chip Molasses Cookies

Chocolate Chip Molasses Cookies
A deeply sweet, but not sugary chocolate chip cookie recipe.
Author:
Serves: Approx 16 cookies
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Ingredients
  • 4 cups gluten-free flour
  • 1 cup vegan butter
  • 1 chia egg (1 tbsp chia seeds mixed with ¼ cup water)
  • 1½ tsp vanilla
  • 3tbsp molasses
  • ½ cup SugaVida or 1 cup coconut sugar
  • ¼ cup coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup chocolate chips (vegan)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and baking powder. If you use unsalted butter, add a pinch of salt.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together coconut sugar, SugaVida, butter, chia egg, molasses, and vanilla.
  4. Mix together until the butter has combined thoroughly and the texture is smooth.
  5. Slowly add your flour, mixing completely. You'll notice the batter gets very thick and hard to stir, this is just how you want it.
  6. Add in your chocolate chips and stir to incorporate.
  7. Grab a piece of parchment paper and set your dough on it. Place another piece on top of your dough and roll your dough out using a rolling pin. You'll roll the dough until about ½ an in ch thick.
  8. Grab a cup or circular cookie cutter and cut into large circle shapes.
  9. Use a spatula to transfer to your cookie sheet (lined with parchment paper).
  10. Repeat until all of the dough is used.
  11. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove and transfer to a rack to cool.

These cookies would be perfect for a post-Thanksgiving feast dessert, or a simple cookie to keep around for your guests – or yourself!

What is your favorite way to make chocolate chip cookies?

What alternative sweeteners do you use in cooking and baking?

Peace and Love,

Jessi

PS This post is sponsored by SugaVida, but all opinions are my own. 

Nut Loaf with Cranberry Sauce: A Vegetarian Holiday Entree

vegetarian nut loafvegan nut loaf

For the past few Thanksgivings, we have been swapping our Turkey feast for a vegetarian-style meal. The first year we went vegetarian, we still made a turkey for friends and family members, but we made a nut loaf for ourselves. It included tomato sauce, a few nuts, 9 slices of bread, and who knows what else. It was dense, not so healthy, and tasted ok. It was also loaded with gluten, which I soon discovered upsets my stomach, and it wasn’t quite what I wanted to make again the next year.

The next year I went with a lentil walnut loaf, which was delicious, but the combination of bread, nuts, and lentils was a bit heavy.  Continue reading

Sweet Tea Half Marathon Recap

F R E S H  F R U I T

Last Saturday, after 10 weeks of training, I ran and finished the Sweet Tea Half Marathon – the first ever in my hometown. It was a gorgeous route, a freezing cold day, and a very fun run.

A few days before the race, my best friend arrived from Florida to run the 13.1 miles with me. We spent the entire day before preparing: breaking in shoes further, picking up our packets, carb-loading, and adjusting to the old weather aka buying more long sleeve shirts. We both organized our Raceday Gear: for me it was setting out my outfit for the morning, packing my fuel (sport jelly beans and Gatorade chews for me) in my fuel belt, and organizing my playlist. Then I went to bed around 10:30pm, because I knew there was an early morning ahead of me. Continue reading

Lunch Boxes For Grown-Ups: How to Pack a Healthy and Quick Lunch To-Go

lunchbox

I know, I know, I should be posting a Thanksgiving inspired dish for you – and I promise, those are coming, but there are a few things to do first.

1) I’ve got a recap of my race coming up soon. I trained for about 2 months and completed the Inaugural Sweet Tea Half Marathon on 11/15/14.

2) I have a few recipes I am tweaking before I share here on the blog, but I will be sharing some of my tried and true holiday recipes on Facebook, so head over there to “like” and “follow” (the button next to like). That way they will show up in your feed and you’ll have plenty of recipes to choose from as yo make your list.

3) Over on Instagram, I teased a “Grown-Up” lunch a few weeks ago. And while it is not back to school time, New Years resolution time, or a time when lunch might even be on your mind, it makes it the perfect time to share this non-recipe. Continue reading