Welcome to the Festival of Food Carnival. In celebration of the New Year and Healthy Starts, we're sharing recipe ideas for healthy, nourishing recipes or anything you would enjoy this time of year. Hosted by Diary of a First Child and Hybrid Rasta Mama, you're welcome to join us next time, or if you have a previously published recipe you'd like to share, add it to the linky below.
A few months ago, Sam and I decided to try out a new eating habit: no grains, limited sugar. It's been a trip — one I never thought I'd go on, and one that has been surprisingly easy (!) and satisfying (!!). Like, not satisfying in some sort of holier-than-thou superiority-complex asceticism, but satisfying in the sense of tasting good and being kinda fun. I know! No one's more shocked than I am.
But at the risk of boring y'all talking diets (blah blah blah) and setting myself up for ridicule if in another two months we've moved on from it as a fad, I'll just present one of the dessert recipes we've tried out recently. This is still a treat, but it's not quite so sweet, so if you're in the mood to kick your own sugar habit as a resolution, here's a good, decadent choice to start with! If you feel like you overindulged over the holidays, enjoy the subtle sweetness, rich nutty taste, and cakey texture as you tell yourself they're "health cookies." Yeah, that's it.
This cookie is chewy, chocolately goodness, with all-natural sweeteners, and is grain-free. Mikko's favorite cookies are rich peanut butter cookies, and this is a nut (almond) butter version of the same. (Note: He will not eat this version. More for me.) These cookies taste good even if you're not into being paleo, so anyone can enjoy them (except Mikko). Plus, they're gluten-free, dairy-free, and refined-sugar-free so are safe for people with those sensitivities. They still contain sugars in the form of honey, but you can use less or substitute with stevia as you need to — you'll likely have to play around with the recipe somewhat, since the honey adds moisture; maybe add in some coconut oil?
(In the title I'm using the word "paleo," since this recipe is paleo-centric. Our eating isn't strictly paleo, since … it isn't. I've also heard the terms primal and primarian kicked around, as well as good ol' low-carb. These are all loosely related, and the recipes we use now fit under one or more umbrellas.)
Cocoa – almond butter cookies
Based off Paleo almond butter cookies at Intentional Consumption with thanks
- 1 large egg
- 1 Cup unsweetened almond butter
- 1/3 Cup raw honey (our preference; you can use 1/4-1/2 Cup of honey or maple syrup)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 Tablespoons unsweetened powdered cocoa
- 1/4 Cup almond flour
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- Kosher or sea salt (for sprinkling)
Dietary/allergy notes:Vegetarian, vegan if maple syrup is used in place of honey, gluten-free, paleo/primal, low-glycemic.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Give your baby some random kitchen tools and water to play with. Bonus points if he's wearing his older brother's shirt as a skirt.
- In a medium to large bowl, start off by slightly beating the egg.
- Add in the rest of the wet ingredients and mix.
- Note that every paleo baking recipe you've ever made starts off looking revolting.
- Sprinkle the dry ingredients (cocoa, almond flour, and baking soda) evenly over the top and mix those in as well.
- Sample your baby's "cooking."
- Grease a cookie sheet with coconut oil — use your fingers so the batter won't stick to them, either!
- Tell your baby you're almost done.
- Marvel at how much your batter now looks and smells like brownie mix. Yum! Give it a taste. Add more honey if you want it sweeter. Add more almond butter if you want it richer. Add more cocoa if you want it more chocolatey. (Well, obviously!)
- Roll the batter into little balls and place on the cookie sheet.
- Sprinkle salt onto each doughy ball.
- Bake for 10 minutes.
- Let stand on baking sheet for 5 minutes or more to set up, and then transfer to a cooling rack.
Makes 16-18 cookies.
They get even cakier after a couple days … if they last that long!
Click for an easy Tweet!
Please take a moment to visit the blogs of our other Festival of Food participants. The links in this list will be live by the end of the day, as participants are all in different time zones.
- Sarah at Why Food Works shares Guilt Free Ranch Dip. Food is more fun when dunked, and kids eat more veggies with dip - use this high-protein, low-fat, Ranch-flavored spread at picnics, parties, and meals! You can also find Sarah on Facebook.
- Christina at The Hippy Homemaker shares her tasty vegan Black Bean and Barley Salad With a Cilantro Lime Dressing, a low-fat meal that packs a real flavor punch! You can also find Christine on Facebook.
- Bianca at the Pierogie Mama shares a quick and simple recipe for roasting cauliflower. Garlic, olive oil and Parmesan cheese make anything taste amazing!You can also find Bianca on Facebook.
- Have a blender? Then That Mama Gretchen says it's time to gather your veggies and plan a Mexican fiesta to debut this skinny version of taco soup. You can also find That Mama Gretchen on Facebook.
- Lindy at Poppy Soap Co. shared an incredibly easy Herb Rice recipe that makes a great pantry staple! You can also find Lindy on Facebook.
- Luschka at Diary of a First Child loves foraging for her food, and this Nettle Soup recipe is a great immune boost for the changing season. You can also fine Luschka on Facebook.
- Mari at Honey on the Bum shares her love of beet kvass, a daily drink that holds particular importance in the winter.
- Destany and They Are All of Me shares her recipe for low-fat healthy smoothies that taste just like dessert.
- Lauren at Hobo Mama offers a nut-buttery, chocolatey treat that tastes indulgent while being grain- and sugar-free. You can also find Hobo Mama on Facebook.
- Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama shares a super easy, fix it and freeze it Curried Lentil Soup In A Jar! You can also find Jennifer on Facebook.