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MTF: Macrobiotic Friendly Vegan Gingerbread Cookies

Happy MACRO TREAT FRIDAY (MTF). It's been awhile since I posted a sweet treat, and Christmas is almost here, so a cookie recipe seems appropriate.

I wasn't sure if I should call these gingersnaps, ginger molasses cookies, or gingerbread...so let's mix it all up and call 'em gingerbread cookies.

Delicious, whatever you call 'em.

Macro Gingerbread Cookies

Wholegrain. One bowl. Super Simple. Very light on the oil. Lightly sweetened with maple.
Makes about 16 small gingerbread cookies.

See other possibilities at the end of the post.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sprouted whole spelt flour (+ 2 TBSP if dough is a bit too sticky)
  • 1/4 tsp each cloves & nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1-2 tsp of FRESH grated ginger
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 TBSP olive oil or other vegetable oil of choice.
  • 4 TBSP maple syrup or brown rice syrup.
  • 2 tsp blackstrap molasses (for flavour)
  • 4 TBSP water
  • Maple sugar for rolling (optional)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Mix flour and spices together in a large bowl.
  3. Grate ginger. Add to bowl.
  4. Add to the flour: oil, maple syrup, blackstrap molasses and water.
  5. Mix together with a fork.
  6. Wet hands (this is key!!) and roll into small balls, about 1/2 ". If dough is just too sticky after trying with wet hands, don't be shy to sprinkle in a bit more flour.
  7. If desired, roll in maple sugar. Place on parchment paper.
  8. Bake until lightly browned on bottoms, about 12 minutes.
  9. Let sit for 5 minutes and then move to a wire rack.
  10. Let cool completely, and enjoy! Store in an airtight container.

NOTES:

* If you wanted to roll these out and cut out gingerbread men, I'm sure this recipe would work. You might want to let the dough cool in the fridge for a bit first, and I'd roll it out between 2 sheets of parchment paper. Because it'll be thinner, it will take less time to bake. :)

*Also, if you like bigger gingerbread molasses cookies, then I'd recommend making 8 larger balls instead of about 16, and let cook for the same amount of time for really chewy cookies, and a few minutes longer for a bit crispier ones.

* I like them just as much without the maple sugar, as with <3

* And, for your viewing pleasure, here's a video of my class and I making these cookies together, during a Macrobiotic Sweets Class I taught earlier this December, where we made these cookies! I have been so honoured to teach a few Macrobiotic nutrition classes per month at the lovely Templed Mind Studio here in Victoria, and this clip gives you a sneak peek into their delightful studio.


Happy Holiday Baking!!

 

MacroTreatFriday (MTF): Pumpkiney, pumpkin, pumpkin!

Hi there sweet friends,

If you read anything related to food, no doubt you've been swarmed lately with pumpkin everything. Drinks, treats, soups, casseroles, you name it. I can't really say I'm that sad about it. I do love pumpkin in cooking and in baking. I use pumpkin year round, but there is something extra lovely about it, at this time of year.

So, without further ado, this Macro Treat Friday post is a Dainty Pig round-up of all things to do with pumpkin, that I have posted on the blog over the years.

MTF: Dainty Pig Macrobiotic Pumpkin Recipe Round-up

Get your oven mitts out, crank up the music, and put your apron on :)

ALL of these treats are vegan, whole-food based and use natural ingredients. Most are gluten free friendly, and are in tune with Macrobiotic principles.

 

Dainty Pig Pumpkin Pie

RECIPE HERE

Crustless 10 Minute Macro Pumpkin Pie

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RECIPE HERE

Chocolate Chip & Pecan Pumpkin Oat Cookies

RECIPE HERE

Baked Oatmeal Pumpkin Muffins

RECIPE HERE

Pumpkin Pudding / Custard

RECIPE HERE

Easiest Pumpkin Spice Cookies Ever

RECIPE HERE

Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

RECIPE HERE

Pumpkin Oatmeal Carrot Cake

RECIPE HERE

And, I also have a whole bunch of tips and tricks for selecting winter squash, the differences in the types, how to perfectly bake squash every time, and some recipes using all kinds of winter squash in your meals.

Winter Squash How-To Guide

CLICK HERE for TIPS & WINTER SQUASH RECIPES

 

Also, I am super happy to announce that I'll be teaching another class next week, Friday the 26th, at Templed Mind, on Macrobiotic Sweets - finding sweetness within the Macro lifestyle, and how to make some tasty treats - great tips for the upcoming holidays. Class info is HERE. Hope to see you there!

What's your favourite PUMPKIN treat?

Happy day, weekend, baking, life, you name it.
Sending some love your way.

xo jess
 

 

 

MacroTreat Friday: Macrobiotic Friendly Apricot Berry Crisp

Happy Friday friends.

I've got a sweet, tangy, tart yet comforting summer fruit crisp for YOU.

Because I love you!
And I love summer fruit :)

MTF: Lemony Apricot Berry Crisp

Vegan, Macrobiotic Friendly, Quick & easy to prepare.

This recipe is very forgiving. Use what you have. Play around with the amounts. As you can see the amounts I've provided are pretty vague. I wanted a crisp that was very light and tart and fresh, so it doesn't have much fat or sugar compared to regular recipes. If you want something a little richer, add in a bit more oil or sugar, and you're good to go :)

Ingredients

  • 1 small pint of a more tart berry (I used red currants). Feel free to use strawberries, cherries, or blackberries as well.
  • About 2 cups, of blueberries (I used josta berries from the market)
  • about 6 fresh apricots, cut into sixths
  • Juice of half a lemon + zest (optional)
  • coconut oil - about 4 TBSP total (or other oil / fat of choice)
  • 1 cup flour of choice (I used spelt flour)
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup granulated sugar of choice (maple sugar, coconut sugar etc), divided between filling and topping
  • dash of cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • almond milk or cold water, about 1/4 cup

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 350F.
  2. Rub some oil all around on a glass pyrex dish ( I used a 13" x 9" one)*
  3. Wash all fruit, cut up the apricots.
  4. Spread the fruit over the bottom of the pyrex dish.
  5. Sprinkle in about 2 - 4 TBSP of sugar, depending on how tart you like your crisp, and how tart your berries are. Add in a pinch of sea salt, the lemon juice, and stir around so everything gets coated. **
  6. In a separate bowl, mix flour, oats, and a few tablespoons more of sugar, and a dash of cinnamon. Using a fork, or your hands, crumble in a few heaping tablespoons of coconut oil. [If using other oil, then just mix in with a fork].
  7. Add in just enough almond milk or cold water to form a crumbly wet dough.
  8. Using your hands, grab chunks of the dough and crumble evenly over the the fruit.
  9. Bake at 350F for at least 30 minutes, but up to an hour - checking for when the fruit is bubbling around and edges, and the top is golden. I left mine in for about 45 minutes.
  10. Remove from oven and let cool. If the fruit seems liquidy, don't worry - mine firmed up as it cooled. We kept the leftovers in the fridge, and the next morning they were GOOD. Yum!

NOTES:
* You can definitely use a smaller baking dish, just be warned it may take a bit longer to cook at it will be a bit deeper
** Feel free to add in a tablespoon or two of flour to the fruit, or another starch of choice, if you want it to "gum up" a bit more.

You may want to serve it with some vegan vanilla icecream for a treat...or top it with more fresh berries the next morning (as I did) for a delicious summery breakfast.

Enjoy!! <3

MacroTreat Friday: Macrobiotic Friendly Chestnut Cookies

Chestnuts are one of my favourite things to eat. They have such a unique texture & flavour, and peeling them out of their roasted shells is kinda fun :) It must be a genetic predisposition to love anything that has chestnut in it, because my sister and I, along with our Nana and mom, all share a love for fresh roasted chestnuts...and desserts that use chestnut puree.

With my chestnut love in mind, I purchased some pure Italian chestnut flour awhile ago - both exciting & new to me - and have been meaning to try it out.

Enter a new kind of macrobiotic friendly cookie <3

MTF: Chestnut Cookie

Lightly sweetened, crunchy and chewy on the outside, fluffy on the inside, gluten free cookies made with chestnut flour & rolled oats. The texture is similar to a macaroon (the most similar I've experienced, outside of an actual macaroon, anyways!). Add in any dried fruit, seeds, or treats you like to change up the flavour.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup chestnut flour [ I used this one HERE ] **
  • 1/2 cup gf rolled oats
  • 2 TSBP ground flax seed
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup (brown rice syrup will work too - but it has a stronger flavour, especially noticeable in these cookies)
  • 1/3 cup high quality oil of choice - I used sunflower seed here, but sesame, coconut, or avocado would work well too
  • 2 TBSP water
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup mixins - currants, dark chocolate chips, cocoa nibs, raisins, seeds, your choice!

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Place a sheet of parchment paper on a cookie sheet.
  2. Mix first five ingredients in a bowl.
  3. Mix syrup, oil, water &  vanilla in a bowl.
  4. Add wet to dry. Stir until combined.
  5. Add in any mixins of your choice. (I used 1/4 cup currants because I was out of raisins and anything else, but scooped some out plain first).
  6. PLEASE NOTE: batter will be very very sticky, especially if using brown rice syrup. If you let it sit a few minutes, it'll firm up a tiny bit - but it'll stay fairly sticky and hard to manage with your hands. So...
  7. Scoop out dough by the teaspoon, and drop onto cookie sheet.
  8. Bake for ~15 minutes (check at 10 minutes).
  9. Let cool, and devour <3

** Notes:

  • If you don't have chestnut flour, or aren't a fan of the flavour, I'm certain you could simply use whole wheat pastry flour, spelt flour, or a gluten free mix with no problems.
  • This is my first time using chestnut flour, and I am kinda excited...the texture of these cookies is unlike any other flour (especially gf flour) I have used. As I mentioned above, the texture is so chewy - almost like a real macaroon made with egg whites. I want to experiment some more with it, and see what else I can come up with.

Have you ever made anything with chestnut flour before?

Enjoy, my sweet friends, and have a great weekend!
xo Jess
 

MacroTreat Friday: Macrobiotic Baked Oatmeal Pumpkin Muffins

Yum yum yum.

That's about all I've got to say about these guilt-free super healthy treats. Seriously, it's just like oatmeal...that's been baked...in a muffin cup.
 

MTF: Macro Baked Oatmeal Pumpkin Muffins

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[JUNK FREE]: Flour Free, Gluten Free, Refined Sugar Free, Pumpkin Oatmeal Muffins with no leaveners added!

Makes 12 medium - large sized muffins.

Ingredients

Wet

  • one 398ml/15oz can of pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup almond milk (or water, or rice or soy milk)
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2TBSP oil (sesame, grapeseed, avocado, olive or liquid coconut oil)
  • 1/4 cup apple sauce (I used one of those little snack sized containers)

Dry

  • 1.5 cups rolled oats (use GF oats here if you like)
  • 1.5 cups steel cut oats, quick cooking steel cut oats, or more rolled oats (again, GF if desired)
  • 1 TBSP chia seeds
  • 2 TBSP ground flax seeds
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1 TBSP cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup other mix ins - currants, raisins, cocoa nibs, chocolate chips, more nuts or seeds
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Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375F.
  2. Mix wet ingredients together in a bowl, using a fork.
  3. In another bowl, mix dry ingredients, except for the sunflower seeds and mixi-ns.
  4. Add wet to dry, mixing with your fork.
  5. Add in the sunflower seeds and whatever other mix-ins you so desire. (I divided the batter up and left 1/3 with only sunflower seeds, 1/3 I added in some currants, and 1/3 I added in some chocolate chips).
  6. Spoon into muffin liners, or a greased muffin tin. Don't be shy - fill them right up to the top, even piling it on and rounding with a spoon.
  7. Bake 25-30 minutes, until firm and a toothpick comes out clean (they'll firm up more as they cool too).
  8. Let cool and serve!
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These treats were inspired by an overflowing pantry, and my flour free spicy pumpkin ginger cookies that are seriously the easiest cookies ever :)

Have a great weekend lovely friends.
I hope you enjoy some oatmeal in muffin form.
T & I sure do :)

xo Jess

 

MacroTreat Fridays: Valentine's Day Macrobiotic-Friendly Brownies

Yep, chocolatey sweet treats 2 weeks in a row. You're welcome <3

Macro-friendly Brownies

Very decadent vegan, oat-flour, maple sweetened Brownies.
Quick & Easy to prepare.
Makes 12 muffin cup brownies.

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As you'd expect from the word brownie, these are decadent and rich - not an everyday treat. Although, they're so tasty you may indeed find yourself thinking about these daily.
I was going to make them like usual, in a pan, but discovered than I did not have parchment paper, but I did have muffin liners...so the brownie batter went into the muffin tin, and these guys emerged :)

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup natural  cocoa powder (this is non-alkalized cocoa)
  • 100 grams dark chocolate (if you can find grain sweetened, then all the better) - I used 1 bar of Lindtt 90% - broken into small pieces
  • few generous pinches of sea salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • couple pinches of cayenne
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 3/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup maple sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/3 cup high quality vegetable oil - unrefined sesame, grapeseed, avocado etc.
  • 2 cups + 2 TBSP oat flour
  • 2 TBSP flax
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • Optional: 1/2 cup chopped nuts like pecans or walnuts.

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. In a bowl, combine flour, flax & baking soda. I whisked it briefly with a fork to combine.
  3. In another bowl, add the cocoa powder, salt, cinnamon & cayenne.
  4. You can do the next part in 2 different ways, take your pick:
    Method 1: Add the chocolate pieces to the cocoa/spices. Then add the boiling water, and stir with a spoon until it gets all icing / fudgey like - not runny - but all mixed together into a heavenly chocolate paste. Most of the chocolate should melt, but if there are a few pieces left, no biggie. For this batch I used this method.
    Method 2: Alternatively you could melt the chocolate in a double boiler, and add it to the cocoa & spices. You may not need to any boiling water here, to get the icing like texture - when I tried it this way, I added just under 1/4 cup boiling water one time, and another time I didn't need any water at all.
  5. Add in the maple syrup slowly, mixing with a spoon until combined.
  6. Stir in the oil.
  7. Add in the maple sugar, again, stirring with a spoon.
  8. Add in the vanilla.
  9. Stir in the flour/flax/soda mixture. And then the nuts, if using. The batter will be really thick, not runny in the slightest.
  10. Scoop out some batter, and drop into lined muffin tins (or a parchment paper lined 8X8 baking dish). Using your fingers or the back of a spoon, press the batter down into the pan or muffin cup.
  11. Bake for 20-25 minutes if using a muffin tin, or 30-35 minutes if using a pan. They are done when a toothpick comes out clean.
  12. Let these guys cool in the pan for about an hour, then transfer to a wire rack. Do not cut into slices until cooled. AND, if humanely possible, I think they taste better the next day, after spending the night in the refrigerator...but if you don't like your brownies on the colder side, then simply keep them on the counter in an airtight container. YUM!
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I make brownies only a few times per year...mostly because I don't often think of them! This has been my go to recipe for the past few years though, and it has never failed me. I hope you enjoy it as much as T & I do.

Happy Valentine's Day friends!

MacroTreat Fridays: Macrobiotic Apple Cinnamon Millet Muffins

Who doesn't love a good muffin?

I mean, there's just something wonderful about sitting down to a delicious muffin and a warm cup of tea for breakfast. Especially on a chilly day.

Warning: these breakfast muffins ain't for sissys. Just like all my treats, these guys are vegan and made with real whole food. They are definitely less decadent than last weeks' treat as they are super dense & hearty and sweetened only with apples. So, if you're wanting a cake disguised as a muffin for breakfast, these aren't the ones for you. If you're wanting something super filling and nutritious, then good for you, you just found 'em.

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MacroTreat Fridays: Macrobiotic Apple Cinnamon Millet Muffins

These are super-duper healthy, and taste like it too - in a good way. Completely whole grain, no leaveners, and no sweeteners - just the wonderful taste of apples and cinnamon, surrounded by hearty-whole grain goodness, with a surprising nutty crunch of millet. They are almost like dense apple energy bar biscuits (yah, I don't know, it makes sense to me). For suggestions, substitutions (including a no-millet option), and notes, please check down below after the directions.

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Makes 12 muffins.

Ingredients:

  • 2.5 cups whole grain sprouted spelt flour (regular whole spelt or wheat flour works well too)*
  • 3/4 cup millet (uncooked, but toasted, see directions below) *
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 pinches of sea salt
  • 3/4 cup apple sauce
  • 1/4 cup oil of choice - I used grapeseed and olive oil
  • 1 cup water *
  • 2 medium apples, diced (pear would be lovely too!).
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Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Combine flour, salt, and cinnamon.
  3. Rinse millet, then drain completely in a sieve. Once drained, toast millet in a pan on the stove-top, over low-heat, stirring frequently, until it's golden brown and smells wonderful (around 5 mins). Remove from heat.
  4. After millet has cooled slightly, add to the rest of the dry ingredients.
  5. Dice the apples into small chunks. You can leave the skin on :)
  6. In a separate bowl, combine the apple sauce, oil, and water.
  7. Add wet to dry, and mix until just combined. I used a fork to mix it together.
  8. Fold in the apples.
  9. Pour into muffin liners, or into a greased muffin pan.
  10. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the tops are golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean. I let mine bake for 30 mins, as I preferred them to be a bit extra cooked :) Let cool until ready to serve.
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*NOTES:

  • Like I said earlier, these muffins are not very sweet at all...so feel free to add in some maple syrup in place of part of the water- even just a few tablespoons are really nice. I'd recommend 1/4 cup maple syrup 3/4 cup water  if you are new to whole-grain baking or this way of eating, or if you are serving it to regular eaters.
  • The millet definitely has a very noticeable taste & texture in these muffins. It is pretty crunchy, when added in this way, kind of like a seed. So, feel free to replace the millet entirely if you are unsure about it. I would recommend just adding in more flour in place of it (I've successfully done this), or you could try oat flakes as well. Another possibility is replacing the crunchiness of the millet, with sunflower seeds :)
  • If you think these are going to be too dense for you, then you can easily lighten these bad boys up a bit, by using half whole wheat pastry flour, or light spelt flour. You can also add in a teaspoon of baking powder too, if that suits your fancy.
  • Feel free to spice these up a bit too - ginger and nutmeg are amazing with apples or pears, and if you are using pears, cardamon is amazing <3
  • I think these taste better the next day! They are super quick and easy to make, so throw them in the oven the night before, and let them cool on a wire rack overnight on the counter. They'll be ready & waiting for you in the morning!
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I enjoyed mine for breakfast, cut in half, and spread with some almond butter.

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Delicious. Delightful. And a dreamy way to kick off the weekend.
xoxo J


MacroTreat Fridays: Vegan Chocolate Chip & Pecan Oatmeal Cookies

Yes.

MacroTreat Fridays.

It's now a thing. Expect to see more treats, on more Fridays, so you can end your week & start your weekend with something a little extra sweet.

I decided to go for a classic on this first MacroTreat Friday: the cookie. Really, I mean it didn't take too much thinking, as Fridays + cookies = a fast-track to happiness. Macrobiotic cookies = an even faster track.

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These cookies are more like regular cookies than some of my other recipes, as they use maple sugar in place of maple syrup, and also use flour, not just rolled oats, which gives them a more familiar texture. These cookies are full of chocolate chips, which makes them a pretty decadent treat when paired with the pecans. That being said, they also aren't just like regular cookies, as they don't have eggs, dairy, white sugar (depending on the chocolate chips you use), or white flour in them. So, this means that they are definitely Macrobiotic friendly, just a tad more on the more treaty-side. Give them a try; you won't regret it.

Macrobiotic Friendly Chocolate Chip & Pecan Oatmeal Cookies

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Vegan, whole-grain, chocolate chip & pecan oatmeal cookies.
The secret ingredient in these guys is pumpkin, used to replace most of the oil, but without giving any pumpkin taste. Pretty tricky.

This recipe makes a lot, about 45 cookies (1.5" diameter).

Feel free to play with halving it, or simply enjoy giving some away to friends or stocking up your freezer for those "I.need.a.cookie.now" moments. I made the whole batch because I wanted to use a whole can of pumpkin.

Ingredients

  • 398 ml. can of pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil (other veggie oil should work as well)
  • 2/3 cup maple sugar or other granulated sweetener of choice
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla
  • 4 cups rolled oat flakes
  • 2 cups flour of choice (I've tried these with whole oat flour, and sprouted spelt flour - both successful, but I prefer the texture when using the sprouted spelt)
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 4 TBSP ground flaxseed
  • 1 & 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips (or carob chips, or dark chocolate chunks, or grain-sweetened choc. chips or raisins or something else fun)
  • 2/3 cup pecans (break them up into tiny pieces)
  • ~1 cup milk of choice (I used unsweetened almond)
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Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Mix the first 4 ingredients together in a bowl, with a mixer, until nicely combined.
  3. In another bowl, mix oats, flour, salt, flax, baking powder & soda. Make sure it's combined well so as not get pockets of baking soda/powder :)
  4. Add dry to wet slowly, mixing with a spoon at first, and then the mixer.
  5. IF it looks way too dry to you, begin slowly mixing in some almond milk. I ended up adding in 1 cup total, when using the sprouted whole spelt flour.
  6. Mix in the chocolate chips & pecan pieces.
  7. Prepare cookie sheets with parchment paper. Optional step here is letting the dough chill for 30 mins in the fridge first. This can make your cookies rise a bit more. I skipped this step and they still turned out great.
  8. Using hands, roll dough into balls, and place on the cookie sheet. Then flatten slightly with your hand or a fork.
  9. Bake for 12-17 minutes, depending on the size of your cookies and your oven. I prefer these baked a bit longer, as the pumpkin makes them quite moist, so I baked them all for at least 15 mins. Look to see that they are nice and brown on the bottoms.
  10. Let cool, and devour. They will firm up as they will cool.
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NOTES:

  • The texture will vary depending on what kind of flour you use (duh). I really enjoyed the whole sprouted spelt flour.
  • These become more cookie-texture and less cakey, as they cool and set up.
  • These cookies are very very modifiable - I have played around with no leaveners at all (still worked!), and I've also tried using a bit more than the above amounts, all with success. You can try swapping the flour to oats ratio, and play around there too, and with swapping the pecans for other nuts/seeds.
  • Feel free to spice these guys up. I usually throw ceylon cinnamon in, but simply forgot this time.
  • I would imagine you could substitute the coconut oil with a nut butter, and of course you can substitute it with another vegetable oil like sesame or olive oil.
  • I tried freezing these, and they froze pretty well - because they are a bit lower-oil, they won't freeze as well as full-on regular cookies.
  • To make sure these cookies do not get soft when stored, keep them in a glass container, or a tin. I actually just left mine out on the counter uncovered, and they seemed to do just fine. Storing them in a plastic bag is fine, but be warned, they may lose a bit of their cookie texture.
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Ok friends. Enjoy a cookie, with a cup of tea, and high-five for yourself for making it to the weekend.

Have a good one.

xo Jess