Sunday, October 9, 2011

Apricot Walnut Almond Flour Cookies, and, ummm, how to handle meddling loved ones?

It's a bit of a buzz kill when Yom Kippur falls on a weekend.  It's a very solemn holy-day and kind of sucks the fun out of whatever day/s it happens to fall on.  Sooooooo being on Friday night/Saturday day makes for a less than stellar weekend.  Anyhow- as usual we made the most of it and it turned out to be a lovely and productive weekend.  I got a couple gifts for some upcoming showers and we had a blast at S's little friend's 2nd Birthday Party!  The party was at My Gym which is a great place where babies/tots can run around and go absolutely berserk playing on slides, jungle gyms, swings, whatever.   We had a couple great walks outside, although at this point, and I feel crazy for saying it, I would not mind if it was a teensy bit cooler out.  It's October after all!  85 degrees still?  Really? 

Point of the story- yes, we got tons done so I had some time to spare today during naptime to experiment with some cookies.  I had ordered a couple items from iherb, including some Vanilla Creme stevia drops and was psyched to try it out.  I'm so glad I did!

Apricot Walnut Almond Flour Cookies (Grain-Free, Vegan, Sugar-Free)
1 1/4 cups almond flour
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
1/3 cup apricots, chopped
1/4 cup oil (coconut, grapeseed, whatev)
1/4 cup almond milk or other nut milk
25 drops vanilla creme stevia
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350.  Combine almond flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, and stir well.  Add in coconut, apricot, and walnut.  In separate bowl, combine oil, stevia drops, vinegar, and nut milk.  Add wet to dry and incorporate well.  Roll into 1 inch balls (or bigger if you like, these make teensy little cookies which I happen to prefer, but make whatever size you want!) and place on parchment lined cookie sheet.  I baked mine for 20 minutes- which I know seems crazy long for tiny cookies.  I have a theory that my convection oven, while it does cook/brown very evenly, actually takes longer than a regular oven.  So check them at 10 minutes and see what you think.  These cookies are not very sweet at all.  Tasting the batter, I was a little worried- so I rolled the dough in a mixture of Stevia in the Raw and cinnamon, they looked pretty too.  They don't really need it- but I'm aware that not everyone in the world likes their sweets unsweetened like I do.  Once again this is a good base recipe that can be adapted to whatever you have on hand- dried cherries and almonds, chocolate chips and peanuts- whatev!

We had some other yummy eats this weekend- balsamic marinated steak and some sliced avo on Friday, chicken fajita salads tonight- but honestly nothing that you'd actually need a recipe for.  Super simple, super fast, and big flavors. 

***The rest of this post is really long- and probably too personal, annoying, redundant, and self-absorbed.  So be warned!***  S is growing up so fast.  Her vocabulary is expanding so quickly, it's staggering.  She is such an opinionated, strong, outgoing and FUN little girl.  It is extraordinary watching her become a child instead of a baby.  I know this kind of talk is nauseating to anyone other than myself so I'll get to the point.  I want to do the best job I possibly can raising her.  I want to be not just a good mom, an ok mom, but an awesome mom.  And not by someone else's account- I don't care what anyone thinks or what the other moms say when I'm not around.  But I want S one day to say, or just think even, that she has a great mom.  I want to be the best mom in the world, for her.  And it starts now.  Of course it started already- but when they're newborns and little infants, it's like- feed them keep them warm and clean and for gods sake try to keep the purple crying to a minimum.  But now- it's a whole different ballgame.  She watches everything I do and wants me to watch everything she does.  She notices everything.  She remembers everything.  She is learning at light speed. 

I am still struggling with how to handle her nutrition.  Sugar is a no-brainer.  I do not give her anything with added sugars, period.  Fruit is probably her favorite thing in the world besides Elmo and that's fine with me.  No sweets or junk food or candy- nada.  Obviously this will eventually no longer be something I can control- but hopefully by then we'll have taught her that it's best to avoid sugars.  Will it work like that?  Who knows.  But I can do my best in the here and now.  What I have more trouble with is how to limit empty and nutritionally void carbs.  I just don't want her to have empty starches and refined garbage.  How do I regulate this and how do I communicate it effectively?  And once I decide, how do I explain it to the army of meddlers?  It's not like I can say, she has an allergy to crap.  I do not want her to have empty, refined, overly processed, starchy junk.  I need a more effective way to communicate this though, and I DO NOT want to have to argue with people about it.  Suggestions?  The only thing I can come up with is "I've spoken with S's doctor about her nutrition and we agreed that this is best for her.." or something like that.  I wouldn't be lying either- we did discuss it.  Saturday night- at break-the-fast dinner- I did not want her eating a bagel.  Please- do not get me started on the terribleness that is a bagel.  Besides a baked potato, I'm not sure there is a worse glucose bomb out there.  Table sugar would be better than a bagel.  Anywho- NO BAGEL for S.  Not now not ever.  Do you know what would happen if I ate a bagel?  Well- I'd probably get into a wreck from the drunken haze of high blood sugar, and then faint afterwards once my blood sugar plummeted to 45.   But MIL wanted to give her a bagel- or some blintz, etc etc.  So I said- S is not eating wheat.  I realize, to most Americans who are on the Standard American Diet (SAD) or common wisdom diet (CW, depending on what other blogs you read haha) that saying you don't eat wheat sounds ludicrous, unnecessary, and perhaps even dangerous.  But what am I going to do?  I am not going to be some grain-free evangelist trying to convert people to my line of thought.  I don't care!  Eat what you want- no judgement from me.  I am no one to judge anyone on anything.  I just don't care to to explain to people what my choices are.  It's just not what I'm into.  I'd rather keep my choices to myself (or whoever's interested!).  I don't expect anyone to care about my personal choices and I don't want to bore anyone with that kind of thing.  If they're interested- great.  If not- no big deal.  So anyways- when I said no wheat- of course I was met with a WHY?  I didn't know what to say.  Again- what is there to say?  That I believe grains are unnecessary?  That I believe we are not evolved to digest the amount of grain that the SAD suggests?  Seriously?  I'm not going to get into all that.  I don't care to- and I think in most cases, the person to whom you are speaking cares even less.  So I said- "because I said so," and was immediately annoyed, irritated, and flustered by my totally half-assed response.  Ugh.  I have GOT to do better than that.  This issue is divisive.  It's scary, and huge.  What do you do- when the some of the biggest crops in the world, the most farmed, most subsidized, and profitable commodities, are on your do-not-eat list?  Wheat-corn-soy-sugar.  How do you explain, when asked, WHY that is your choice, without getting into an argument, without having to go into lengthy detail, without coming off like a judgmental, condescending hippie? 

Whew- that was intense.  Sorry in advance for anyone I might have offended- just because this is my personal choice doesn't mean it's any better than anyone else's.  What is right for me is not going to be right for everyone else.  XoXoGFG


  1. ohhhhhhhhhhhhh I hear ya!

    I have this conversation with my own husband so I can totally empathize with you..
    you are her Mom (and you ARE AWESOME) so RELAX.

    you don't have to explain.
    you don't have to sweat.
    you can just smile, say this is the diet i feel is best for her, and I have discussed with her doc and so I'm going with it.

    I hope you can respect that as her mother.


    don't let them bully you.
    whoever "they"are. haha

    with us it's a compromise. I let 100% perfection go. It was making me insane.
    my son is healthy, and balanced actually my whole family is more middle ground than ever.

    it's a process for every one but you are in charge of her so BE in charge of her and don't appologize for it

    just my 2 cents.
    good luck.

  2. wow
    my comment stuck
    for the last few weeks they just dissappeared.

    cool beans.

  3. hi cindy! oh no i'm sorry about your comments! i was missing you! thank you so much for the positive feedback- it's not easy is it?

  4. I like to fall back on the "it gives the kids some uncomfortable symptoms" excuse, then watch people squirm while they imagine what those symptoms might be :) Luckily, my kids are old enough now to say "no thank you" when they are offered something they shouldn't eat (they are 7, 10 and 13 now). That helps a lot... it's not all up to me anymore.

    Lisa @ Allergy Free Vintage Cookery

  5. Hi Lisa! That is a great suggestion. How old were your kids when you started to use that? Have they always followed the diet they're on now or did you start it more recently? Thanks for reading!!!

  6. Hi again! Sorry it took me so long to respond... I must not have subscribed to receive the reply by email?? Anyway, my youngest has been allergic to dairy and eggs since he was an infant, so we've been watching what he eats for years. Most people would say, "Oh is he lactose intolerant?" when we said he didn't eat dairy. They didn't quite get it, but at least they were sort of on board with the dairy elimination... it made sense to them. The other two were only diagnosed this summer, and that's been harder because so many people remember when they could eat anything... it's harder for people to understand that things are different now. Love your blog :)