Archive for January 7th, 2014

January 7, 2014

Vegan Almond Butter Cookies

almond butter cookies

I’m not much of a cookie eater these days, and while I don’t have a sweet tooth in the normal, eat-every-baked-good-set-before-me kind of way, I DO like both my green juices and my cocktails pretty darn sweet (the HH ladies can attest to that!). However, when the holidays come a knockin’, I love to buy 3 shiny, new Christmas cookie magazines and just lose myself in all the recipes and pictures. Mind you, I will only ever make exactly 1 cookie recipe out of the 100 I look at, but this process works like a mental pacifier for me. I can’t explain why I love it so much, but if you take a look at Martha Stewart’s annual Christmas cookie issue, I really don’t need to give you a reason. Her photos are so beautiful, it could be a freakin’ coffee table book!

Each season, I like to find a new go-to cookie that I can make over and over again for all kinds of occasions and gifts. This year, as I prepared for a cookie exchange party, I decided to look for a healthier cookie a bit out of the ordinary. Boy, did I find one—it’s vegan and it’s scrumptious! This little gem is wheat free and dairy free (although not sugar free*), so it’s a perfect treat for those people in your life with dairy, wheat, or gluten sensitivities.

*Note about sugar: This recipe calls for brown sugar, so I used organic brown sugar, the healthiest I could find at the store where I was. However, you might be able to substitute either stevia or coconut sugar for the brown sugar and come out with a crazy-good cookie as well. Good luck!

Vegan Almond Butter Cookies

Makes 36 cookies

  • 1 Tbsp ground flaxseeds or flaxseed meal
  • 3 Tbsp water
  • 1 c. smooth almond butter
  • 1 c. packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch sea salt

1. Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper, if needed.

2. In a small bowl, mix the flaxseeds with the water and let stand for at least 5 minutes.

3. In a large blender bowl, with the mixer on low, blend together the almond butter, brown sugar, baking soda, vanilla, salt, and soaked flaxseeds until thoroughly combined.

4. Using your hands, gather about a tablespoon of dough and shape the dough into a round ball about ¾-inch across. Place the balls on your cookie sheet about 1½ inches apart. Bake until relatively flat (not a rounded puff), about 11 or 12 minutes. These cookies are delicate, both before and after cooking and tend to crumble easily. I found it helpful to leave the cookies on the sheet for a minute or two after taking the sheet out of the oven before using my spatula to transfer the cookies to a wire cooling rack.

5. Repeat Step 4 with the rest of the dough.

6. Store your cookies in an airtight container.

(Adapted from Good Housekeeping Christmas Cookies!)

I’ve shared these cookies with many friends and family members, and I have yet to find someone who doesn’t love them. Happy baking and sampling!

XO, Brooke

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January 7, 2014

Keepin’ It Cool in 2014

Keepin’ It Cool in 2014

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Who knew chilling out would be so tough some days?

The new year came and went, and not much changed, did it? If you’re like most people, you’re hopeful that, as the ball drops, so will your stress levels, pounds, and worries. After all, it’s a brand new year; a clean slate; or something I heard often this year, a new chapter and blank page in your life’s book.  Something I focus on with my clients is the concept of mini goals and small steps. I think you should dream big, aspire to great things, and expect excellence from yourself. However, I also feel that a lot of mini goals equal big accomplishments.

I also believe in daily positive affirmations. I have post-it notes on my bathroom mirror to remind me of fundamental truths, core values, and admirable character traits I want to emulate with my daily work. I can’t control what the day will bring, but I can control how I’ll react. I react to everything better when I nurture my holistic health—when my body, mind, and spirit are on their A-game.  When I feel negative emotions creep in, I have several go-to actions I take. I’ll share those in another blog. For this one, I want to share a snapshot of simple ways to keep your cool and get back on track when you have a physical, mental, or emotional set-back.

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Flavored Ice Cubes

When you’re moody, sad, hungry, irritated, stop what you’re doing immediately, pour a glass of iced water and drink. Did you know ice is an anti-inflammatory property? Our bodies get inflamed quickly during periods of trauma and stress. Plus, many times we allow ourselves to get dehydrated throughout the day. Both problems solved! Not a fan of plain water, create a collection of flavored ice cubes. Here are some of my favorites:

Berry Nice

Fill an ice cube tray halfway with pureed raspberries (or your favorite berry) and freeze. Top with water then freeze again. Top with almond milk and you have a perfect cube for your next cup of iced English tea.

When Life Gives You Lemons…

Fill your ice cube tray with lemonade mixed with thinly sliced basil leaves and freeze. Awesome in water and tea!

Spa Time

Juice cucumber and lime together and pour mix into your ice cube tray. Now you can escape for a bit by adding these to a glass of water.

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Grab a magazine, book, or ear buds and relax while you detox!

Soak Your Feet

When panic or negativity strikes, reset your body with an ionic foot soak. This procedure works to detox you at the cellular level, helping you cope with internal strain. Find an Ionic Cleansing Professional in your area or grab your own device here to use in the privacy of your own home. (Training is required and provided.)

Treat Yourself

A fan of juicing? Do you miss summertime? My answer to both is YES! When I am feeling crabby or blue, I reach into my freezer for a homemade popsicle. Depending on your taste preferences and needs, you can create a myriad of tasty possibilities to help you chill out for a moment and think a bit clearer. Fill popscicle molds with one of the three recipes for ice cubes above, or for a treat, here’s a good recipe:

Berry Cool

Puree your choice berry and fill the mold with half of the puree and half almond milk, then freeze to enjoy as desired (or needed.)

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Stay cool, friends! –Lacey