sneaky cookies and coconut musings.
I never used to like coconut. I remember I actually used to say I was “allergic” to it when I was a kid, to get out of eating it. Ha, how times (and taste buds change). We all go through it, our taste buds mature, and we begin to “get” why certain foods are INCREDIBLE, when a few years previous, we would have turned up our nose in disgust. I never used to like mushrooms until I moved to Australia – it was strange – as soon as I jumped the ditch, I tried mushrooms properly and LOVED them. Same thing with capers, olives, good quality olive oil, wine – it’s like my sense of taste hit a new stride, and ditched it’s rather bland childhood/teenager favourites for the more sophisticated nosh.
Coconut has been my biggest infatuation of late. Not just due to the taste, if you can believe it. The health benefits of coconut OIL, in particular, are pretty incredible. I really do believe consuming large amounts of the stuff has really helped me on my Anti Candida Crusade; it’s anti-fungal properties are not to be scoffed at.
Oil pulling using coconut oil has been awesome, weird at first – but I SWEAR my teeth are whiter. I’ve even had almost instantaneous success using coconut oil on a little case of Cradle Cap Misty had…. within a day his symptoms (dry, scaley patches on the scalp) had softened, and in a few days was gone completely.
I know there is all sorts of negative hype surrounding saturated fats (which coconut oil is HIGH) in – but personally I couldn’t give two hoots about that. I know what makes me feel good, and coconut oil is my main squeeze.
Taste buds change as we grow older, yes, and I think it’s a really good thing to keep in mind that we CAN “re-set” our taste buds if we want to, at any time. I mean, if you eat a diet that is full of sugary-trans fatty-overly salted-preservative/additive laden foods, the of course a simple veggie stew and quinoa dinner is going to taste a little “blah” in comparison. Once you cut out all the fake, processed crap from your diet, you really begin to be able to truly TASTE food as nature intended it. I have discovered that by cutting out all sugar on the Anti Candida Diet, my taste buds have really grown adept at discovering the natural sweetness in veggies and whole grains. Stevia is there as my crucial crutch, yes, but my NEED for sugar sugar sweetie sugar has really died down.
Speaking of sweet-treats (that aren’t SO sweet) I’m on a Macaroon-kinda-kick. I think it’s because I kept stumbling across bags of coconut in my Mum’s pantry – and she says she hates dessicated/shredded coconut – so I was just being a good daughter and ridding her of it, yes?
I’m always a big fan of sneaking secret-nutrient-ingredients into baked good too. This recipe uses chickpeas and chia seeds to help bind the dough together, and ensure that the cookies stay a little chewy. Ingredient fixation of the day (Week? Month? Year?) coconut oil makes up the topping. Now who doesn’t love a chocolate-ty, coconut-ty topping?
Vanilla-Cinnamon Cookies with Chocolate Macaroon Topping
(Vegan, wheat/soy/nut/corn/refined sugar free. Anti Candida Friendly)
- 1+ 3/4C chickpeas ( One 400g can, drained of all liquid)
- 3/4C oatbran (oat flour or buckwheat flour – ground from raw groats- could be subbed in here)
- 2T chia seeds
- 1/4t sea salt
- 25 drops vanilla stevia liquid (OR 2T liquid sweetener such as agave/maple etc – REDUCE water to 1T if you use this option)
- 2T water
- 1t vanilla extract
- 1t ground cinnamon
- 1T solid coconut oil
- Pulse all ingredients together in a food processor until well combined…. you will need to scrape down the sides of the bowl a few times.
- Turn out “dough” onto a lined baking sheet, and squeeze together so it forms a large clump. Rest the dough here for about 10 minutes…. it makes it easier to work with.
- The easiest way to roll it out is to place another sheet of baking paper on top, and either press with your palms or use a rolling pin until it is about 4-5mm in thickness. (If you prefer a crispier cookie then roll the dough out to about 2mm in thickness).
- Cut out cookies using a cookie cutter, or simply cut into squares.
- Bake for 23-25 minutes at 160 degrees C on fan bake setting.
- Turn oven off, leaving cookies inside to dry out further. They will looked cracked and really dry, but they actually stay remarkable chewy in the middle.
- Top with the following….
Chocolate Macaroon Topping
- 8T solid coconut oil
- 8T toasted coconut shreds (lightly brown in a dry fry pan)
- 4T cacao powder
- 20 drops vanilla stevia liquid (OR liquid sweetener of choice – 2T- omit hot water though)
- 1/4t vanilla extract
- 2T hot water
- Pinch sea salt
- Pour hot water over the coconut oil to help it soften… then add the toasted coconut straight from the pan…. again to help the oil melt.
- Mix in all other ingredients, and ensure no lumps of solid oil remain.
- Scoop onto cooled cookies, and flatten out.
- Chill in fridge to the topping “sets.”
Honestly, I don’t know about the reliability of my taste buds, as you saw what I made/ATE the other day. On all accounts, though, my buds found these particular cookies rather delicious…. so much so, that I made/ATE three batches in as many days.
What are your thoughts on coconut oil? How have YOUR tastebuds progressed in sophistication over the years?