Pumpkin Oatmeal Chip Cookies – Makes 3 Dozen

November.  This is my favorite month because it represents Thanksgiving.  When I think of Thanksgiving I think of family, good eats, and wonderful conversations.  In my household, the meal is always the most poignant part since there is something for each person to munch on and no one is the odd man out.  We give thanks for our friends and family while reminiscing and looking ahead – I tend to look ahead at dessert.

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This is an awesome dessert because it is gluten-free and friendly for most sufferers of celiac disease.  If you are trying to reduce inflammation, a great way is to reduce your intake of gluten, or one of the other many inflammatory agents which include eggs, nuts, dairy, sugar, alcohol, and trans fats.  Start small by taking something out of your diet that has one of these inflammatory agents and then add it back to see how your body reacts.  Negative reactions include cramping, diarrhea, headaches, gargling of the stomach, vomiting, and nausea.

Remember – – – > > >  Desserts are loaded with inflammatory ingredients but remember they do not have to be 100% ‘bad‘ or ‘off limits.’  Just consume in moderation rather than the whole thing at once.  Keep something to be savored.  

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/2 cups margarine – melted
  • 1 cup dates – no pits
  • 1 cup sugar (or brown stevia)
  • 1 cup brown sugar (or stevia)
  • 2 cups oats (quick cooking – I always aim for the holy grail of oats aka Quakers 1-minute Oats)
  • 15 ounces Pumpkin (or 1 can) – pureed          FullSizeRender-8
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 cups almond flour
  • 1 tsp sea salt (or regular salt)
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup semi-sweet mini chocolate chips
  • OPTIONAL: 1/3 cup pecans – crushed

METHODOLOGY

  1. With a mixer combine the margarine and sugars.
  2. Add in the dates and mix until pureed.
  3. Transfer to a large mixing bowl, fold in the pumpkin, egg, flour, baking soda, baking powder, and spices.
  4. Add in the chocolate chips (and pecans if used) and mix well.
  5. On a parchment paper lined tray or non-stick tray drop 2 heaping spoonfuls (tbsp sized) of batter then slightly flatten with a fork.
  6. Cook under 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 18-20 minutes until slightly browned on the edges or check for completion by inserting a butter knife in the center and if it is free of residue then you are ready to set them aside.
  7. Serve warm, at room temperature, or freeze with a scoop of ice-cream in the middle…
  8. Try to limit yourself to 3… Or 4.
  9. Got Milk?

xxx – Sarah

Power Chiii Breakfast – Serves 1

To start your day right…  Treat your inner ‘chi’ right with some breakfast that will awaken your taste buds.  If you’re anything like me – breakfast needs to be quick, tasty, and filling.  Impossible?  No.

This is a dish that can be made almost all the time because it calls for variety!  For me, I utilize different fruits for the sweet and colorful aspect (bananas, berries, or stone fruits such as nectarines or peaches) OR I change up the protein base by alternating nut butters (cashew, almond, or peanut – absolutely love all of Justin’s butters) or protein powders (soy-free or egg powders – I prefer Jay Robb Egg White Protein Powder).

Oats and chia seeds are the kicker in this dish – the gluten-free powerhouse!  Oats are one of the whole grains according to the January JAMA Internal Medicine that reduces premature death from all diseases such as cancer or cardiovascular disease.  To be deemed ‘gluten-free,’ as of 2013 the FDA has mandated that items that contain wheat, barley, rye, or other gluten-like ingredients, be void OR must be less than 20 PPM of gluten.  This labeling also makes like much easier for those with Celiac Disease and inherently MUST avoid gluten rather than those that are following various fad or elimination diets.

Chia seeds are packed with omega-3 antioxidants, minerals, fiber, and vitamins.  These tiny little seeds when wet are hydrophilic thus they absorb water/fluid and inflate/puff up and trick our stomachs into satiety/fullness.  Therefore chia seeds also help with hydration and weight loss.  Like I said, they are the kicker in this dish!

The pop of color credit of the day goes to… NECTARINES!

The pop of color credit of the day goes to… NECTARINES!

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup oats
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • protein base (1 scoop protein powder or 1-2 tbsp nut butter)
  • 1 whole fruit – can be sliced, diced, or minced
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • To taste: nutmeg or cinnamon

Methodology

  1. In a dish or jar combine oats and chia seeds then mix well with the almond milk.
  2. Stir in the protein-base.
  3. Top with the fruit and spices then cover with the lid to the jar or with clear wrap.
  4. Refrigerate overnight or for at least 1-hour minimum to allow the chia seeds to be saturated.
  5. Grab a spoon, mess up the pretty fruit layer on top, or if you’re like me, try to drink aka slurp as you drive…!  Enjoy 🙂

xxx – Sarah