Gluten-Free White Chocolate Chip Cookies- The Perfect Holiday Treat

I really don’t make cookies often. That’s because if I make them, I end up eating all of them way too quickly. However, this holiday season I decided to treat myself.

One of the things that I have learned along my health journey is that the act of indulging in treats can be either really rewarding or very guilt-provoking. It really depends on what the remainder of your diet looks like. I have figured out my own balance of eating healthy 80-90% of the time and allowing myself a treat  10-20% of the time. Now, when I eat a treat, I am able to enjoy every bite, without feeling guilty about it.

Another aspect that helps reduce the “guilt factor” is the selection of ingredients I choose to bake with. By using natural ingredients, we I am choosing to avoid the conventional ingredients that cause inflammation in the body. Conventional ingredients are stripped of 90% of the nutrients during the refining process, whereas natural ingredients still contain valuable vitamins, minerals and fiber content.

Here are the ingredients that I substituted in this recipe:

  • a blend of almond flour & coconut flour instead of white or whole wheat flour
  • coconut oil instead of vegetable oil
  • organic raw honey instead of white sugar

Gluten-Free White Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Ingredients

  • 2 cups blanched almond flour
  • 3 Tablespoons coconut flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup raw organic honey, melted
  • 1/2 cup organic coconut oil, melted
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 organic egg
  • 1/3 cup organic white chocolate chip cookies

Directions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 325F degrees.
  2. Combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl: almond flour, coconut flour, baking soda, cinnamon, sea salt. Mix well.
  3. In a separate bowl combine all wet ingredients together: honey, coconut oil, vanilla, egg. Mix well.
  4. Combine wet ingredients with dry ingredients. Mix until well incorporated.
  5. Fold in the chocolate chips until spread throughout the batter evenly.
  6. On a large parchment lined baking sheet, scoop out 1 Tablespoon of dough for each cookie. Leave room for cookies to spread. (You will need to use 2 baking sheets if you are using small baking sheets)
  7. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until bottom of cookies are cooked.
  8. Set out on a cooling rack for 15 minutes before serving.

Servings 24

If you are looking for more baking recipes that use natural ingredients, take a look at some of my favorite blogs:

www.elanaspantry.com

www.againstallgrains.com

www.civilizedcavemancooking.com

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In Love with Peanut Butter? Me Too

Well here it goes. I like to eat peanut butter. And almond butter. ALOT.

Growing up, I used to eat Skippy peanut butter. That was until I started to learn about nutrition. Not the kind of nutrition where you focus on the calories, but the kind of nutrition where you look at the ingredients before you look at the label.

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Here is what you will find in Skippy peanut butter:

Roasted peanuts, corn syrup solids, sugar, soy protein, hydrogenated vegetable oils (cotton seed, soybean and rapeseed) plus some fortified vitamins and minerals………

WOAH thats a lot of processed ingredients in one jar. If you eat peanut butter every day, like I do, it is important to make sure that you are choosing a peanut butter brand with good quality ingredients.

The good news is that you don’t have to give up your love for peanut butter. There are plenty of other options to choose from. Say goodbye to your childhood friends skippy and jiffy. I promise, you will be better off.

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Guidelines to a healthy peanut butter

  1. Ingredients should ONLY list: “Peanuts” *
  2. Oil should be floating on top of the butter. The should be separated**

*If you are not brave enough to go unsalted for your first jar of healthy peanut butter, then gradually change your peanut butter. Make sure to avoid added sugars AND palm oil/ safflower oil/ sunflower oil.

** If the oil and butter are separated it means that there are no artificial ingredients or binders in the peanut butter. When you open the peanut butter, stir it with a knife until the oil and butter are well-incorporated. Then put the jar in the fridge and then the butter and oil will stay combined.

My peanut butter of choice is the organic unsalted creamy peanut butter from Whole Foods. It is about $4.99 and even though it says unsalted, it still has a salty flavor. The other option is the unsalted creamy peanut butter from Trader Joes for $2.79. Or, if you are in San Diego, you can check out the options for quality peanut butters at Jimbo’s….Naturally!

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Peanut Butter goes well with just about everything. Here are my favorites:

  • Apple and peanut butter
  • Peanut butter in a smoothie… YUM!
  • Peanut butter stuffed dates
  • Peanut butter on a spoon (yes, I do this from time to time)

So Many Protein Bars To Choose From!

Okay, fine, I’ll help you out a little bit. It is a huge challenge to choose a good protein bar because there are way too many choices. The truth is that most protein bars have tons of processed ingredients that aren’t good for our health. The biggest problem that I have with protein bars is quality and quantity of sugar used to sweeten them. There are also usually way too many ingredients smooshed together in 1 bar.

While my preference is to eat real “whole foods,” I do understand that there are times where we have to make some exceptions. Protein bars and protein powder are to be used as a supplemental snack/meal in addition to an already existing whole foods diet.  They are not meant to be a replacement for a whole foods diet.

I just found my new favorite pre-workout bar and I am more than happy to share the secret. RISE protein bars! There are several flavors, however don’t be fooled– only 2 of the flavors are protein bars, the rest are “energy bars,” which contain much higher sugar levels and barely any protein. The two flavors that are on the ‘Nourished-Balance’ approved-list are:

  • Crunchy Carob Chip
  • Honey Almond

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These tasty little bars have 17grams of protein. Both of these bars are gluten free as well. There are 13 grams of sugar in each of the bars, which is considered pretty high for a snack. In nutrition there is always a better & best option. These bars would be considered a “better” option because they use higher quality sugars than most of the other bars on the market.

The ingredient list for Crunchy Carob Chip includes: almonds, organic agave, whey protein isolate, carob powder and crisp rice.

The ingredient list for the Honey Almond Bar is: honey, almonds, whey protein isolate

The bars are available on Amazon or at Whole Foods (and if you buy the whole box you get 10% off). My local health food store, Jimbo’s…. Naturally, also carries these yummy snacks.

If you still don’t like either of these options, you can try my homemade protein bar recipe. (coming soon!)