real food. real life.
Life is nuts. Super crazy busy. Especially when you're working hard to continue living your dreams, while also feeling like you're constantly living against the grain by choosing an eating lifestyle for yourself that goes against tradition, against how you were raised, and against mainstream. It can be tough. Workable, but tough. Especially when holidays roll around. But no worries, we survived Easter. With chocolate. Chocolate macaroons.
We survived Easter with a 2 1/2 year old and little to no typical Easter chocolates. How did we do it? We hosted, to start. We also strayed from tradition, as per usual for us. Lunch of fresh soup, salads, and sandwiches and we didn't provide any typical Easter treats at all. Sorry tradition, but we're trying to be kind to ourselves. The Easter got the hint though! The hidden eggs throughout the house were filled with blueberries, grapes, strawberries and stickers. And a delicious morning treat of banana ice cream for breakfast and a chocolate Larabar tucked in a stuffed bunny's arms in an Easter basket. Our granola Easter bunny is the best! And then, to top it all off, a lovely spaghetti supper with cousins and a hike through the woods.
Easter was lovely. It brought many good times with family and good food in our bellies. It also brought our little Hannah new crocs, water bottle, paints, and a watering can. Couldn't have been better. Great memories. Little time spent on the phone and lots of time in the kitchen. Aaaahhh.
Best of all? I now have this recipe. Without Easter and the attempt to have new traditional Easter treats, we wouldn't have adapted these Chocolate Macaroons that now fit with the ingredients in our kitchen. Our bellies and tastebuds were thankful for the few leftovers shared the next evening!
Total Time: 10 minutes + time to cool in refrigerator
1/3 cup coconut oil
1 cup coconut sugar
1/2 cup almond milk
1/3 cup cocoa
3 cups oats
What to do:
1) Melt coconut oil over low-medium heat.
2) Add sugar and milk. Mix well.
3) Add cocoa and oats. Mix until well incorporated, adding a bit more milk if needed.
4) Scoop by the spoonful onto baking sheet and place in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Enjoy!!
Okay, this recipe happened by accident, really. And it's not really my recipe. I didn't steal it or anything, I've just borrowed it and am keeping it as a favourite. Technically speaking, my name is still attached to it, but it wasn't me who created it or adapted it. It's from one of our school recipes.
And by school, I really mean my co-worker, Alicia. I may have dreamed of a school that held weekly cooking classes for every student, young and old, where students gain life skills, apply academic skill, and become food experts to take care of themselves and the world they grow up in. But, she, really, is the brains behind most of the actual cooking and baking that happens in that kitchen. She adapted it from an online recipe to make it dairy-free, refined-sugar free, and nut-free for our students to bake back in the fall. It was one of those - 'hey, we have a ton of pumpkin puree, we need to use it up, and all the kids want to make is cookies' recipes.
I have to say, Alicia is pretty amazing at whipping things like this up, adapting recipes, and cooking on the fly. Really, she's pretty amazing all round. But the kitchen is most definitely her happy place. She has transformed our weekly cooking classes into an amazing curriculum for our students (and teachers!) It makes my heart smile to see a teacher and students loving their time together, creating amazing memories.
I love my school. You know that, so I'll get back to the cookies. The real reason you're here anyway! These cookies were sweet, savoury, soft, chewy, and paired perfectly with an afternoon or morning tea. Oh, so delicious. I really enjoyed them - more than Alicia may realize! I've made them numerous times since. I was quite content to eat more than my share. ... :)
They come together quickly and easily, store well, and everyone eats them up. Sweet! So, here you go! Soft, sweet, chewy, and easy-peasy.
Total Time: 15-20 minutes!! Seriously!
½ cup coconut oil
¾ cup coconut sugar
1 large egg or flax egg
½ cup pumpkin puree
½ tsp vanilla extract
2 cups flour of choice
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp ground ginger
¾ tsp baking soda
½ tsp sea salt
½ cup coconut sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg
I finally attempted a sugar cookie.
Without the sugar.
I was once told it wouldn't work, so I stayed away for awhile, until I couldn't resist it any longer.
I used coconut sugar.
And it worked!
They're definitely not a regular sugar cookie. They're a coconut sugar cookie. I could eat about a million in one sitting, they are so delicious! So, sugar cookie or not, I'll stick with these delicious little guys.
They remind me more of a molasses cookie. Just without the molasses, and butter, and eggs, and stuff. Lots of 'stuff', which these cookies don't have. But one thing they do have it taste! Delicious. My cookie-loving older brother ate a bunch, as did the little monster who's supposed to be sleeping in her bed right now.
It was, really, this year, kind of wonderfully amazing that they tasted like molasses cookies because my Nanny used to make molasses cookies, every Christmas. And she'd decorate them with white icing and sprinkles, and she would arrange them on the fanciest Christmas plates all throughout her house over the holidays. And, you could just take one, anytime! Christmas sure was a magicall time of the year. Cookies, right there, allowed to be eaten!
Anyway, having these cookies turn out tasting like hers, this year, was kind of extra special. This year, my Nanny celebrated her 99th birthday over the Christmas holidays. 99. 99! I coudn't be prouder to be that woman's granddaughter. And to celebrate another birthday with her around the holidays, making memories together, is pretty aweseme. So, the fact that these cookies turned out tasting quite similar to my beloved Nanny's cookies on her 99th birthday, AND the odd fact that these cookies have very few similar ingredients as Nanny's did, I'd say is a bit a little Christmas miracle, really. :)
They're soft, crunchy at the edges, melt in your mouth, sweet, easy to roll out and cut into sweet little hearts (as was Hannah's request) and fairly simple to make. Vegan and delicious. A defiinite go to for our holiday baking from now on! Happy to be carrying on the molasses-cookie tradition, even if I can't have molasses anymore.
I kind of miss them and might need to make more. They're all gone now. :(
This recipe was adapted from a favorite website of mine, Minimalist Baker, found here.
Coconut Sugar Cookies
Total Time: 10 min + Refridgerating Time + 10 min baking
1/2 Cup Vegan Butter (I used Earth Balance Soy-Free Butter, although if you can have soy, use the stick version as it'll hold up better than mine did!)
3/4 cup Coconut Sugar
1/4 cup Pumpkin Puree
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tbsp corn starch
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp sea salt
2 tsp unsweetened almond milk
What to do:
1. Mix butter, coconut sugar, vanilla, pumpkin with a a mixer until evenly combined.
2. In another bowl, combine dry ingredients flour, corn starch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
3. Add dry ingredients to butter mixture and blend until just combined. Careful not to mix too much. Add milk and mix util a soft dough is fomed. Add more flour, if needed.
4. Form into a ball and wrap/cover to refridgerate for 30 min or overnight.
5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenhait and positive rack in the centre of the oven.
6. Take ball out of the refridgerator and form into smaller balls, to ease rolling or flattening. Cut into shapes or round into balls and flatten.
7. Arrange cookies on a cold, clean baking sheet.
8. Bake for 10 minutes or so, until slightly brown on edges and not super soft to touch. Tranfer to cooling rack to dry. Store in an airtight container!
Yes, you see ones with frosting. No, I won't be posting the frosting recipe. Sadly, it's not refined-sugar-free frosting. I just used almond milk in place of regular milk with icing sugar and vanilla. Not my proudest moment. Reason there are some with frosting and some without! I can't have the frosting, nor should anyone else, but I haven't found a recipe I like yet for the orginial white frosting. Anyone have a recipe for white icing that'll keep like the original stuff does?
We really cooked these things. From scratch. On weeknights. And we even had time to do the dishes.
They have real, simple ingredients that you'll find in your cupboards. They're healthy and delicious. No lies.
Thanks for reading. Leave a comment below!
Here's a pic of me and my babies. Just because.
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