Always be creative with what you’ve been given.
I love food, obviously, and personally it doesn’t matter if I am making it for myself, or someone else, it is always enjoyable. Giving and serving people with my food over the years has become almost like my way of making sure everyone is happy and getting the most out of their life. If somebody had told me that, by the age of 14 I would be sick in bed going to various doctors, I most likely would have been ten times more adventurous and appreciative of everything going on around me. It is not to say that I was a boring individual, however, when everything is taken away in life, you realize how good you truly had it. I am sure that most of you reading this can understand what I mean. We tend to trudge through our days apathetically, wishing something exciting would happen. In reality, every moment of life, especially when in true health, is a blessing. This however, is something that is sorely taken advantage of. Most people don’t get what it means to appreciate every little thing or detail in life, until they are on their death bed or told they only have a few months to live. When we experience these eye opening moments, our minds go into overdrive, trying to see if we have checked off as many things on our bucket lists as planned. However, enjoying life does not always have to be from these mountain top events, but also can be in the small day to day things. One way that we can do this is by finding something we love in our life, regardless of if it is easy or not, and make the best of it. For me, this is working in the kitchen. Not only does it give me gratification, but those who are receiving end up with satisfied stomachs and a smile on their face. Starting a blog seemed to be just another way that I could reach people with my talent and passion. “Beyond the Bite” is a reference to about three different things, all of which come together as one. Not only is my blog about getting beyond the tick bite and fighting chronic lyme and its numerous complications, but it is also about addressing the fact that what you eat does effect your body in different ways, regardless of your health. My third mission of Beyond the Bite is to show others that eating in a way that’s different from the standard American diet can be just as fun, and if anything, more interesting and satisfying regardless of if it is “health food.” This reference of simply getting beyond the mental block of eating something you think you won’t like because its ingredients are foreign, is where today’s recipe stemmed from.
Like I said earlier, though I cannot eat sweets, baking them for others does not bother me one bit. I am not tempted to eat things that harm my body, and I got over long ago of feeling deprived. Of course I have my moments when I feel so awful that I wish I could just forget it all and eat anything I wanted. However, I do not let this way of thinking ruin my attitude towards my situation, nor let it take me away from enjoying and embracing the few foods my body can tolerate. That being said, I do occasionally make “normal” baked goods full of wheat, cane sugar, and dairy. However, most times I like to make things that trick even my 15 year old brother into thinking he’s eating “junk food.” There have been many successful attempts, all of which I like to capture on Instagram. Through my experience and various experiments with “alternative” cooking, I have come to learn the science behind making something worth eating. For me, if something is not tasty or the texture not right, then there is no use in wasting what I call “my allergy” on it. So, though I cannot eat thumbprint cookies, my friends and family can, both of which loved the treat before I even told them the ingredients. The difference between my recipe and normal thumbprint cookies? They feature wholesome ingredients that will not leave a pit in your stomach, nor make your blood sugar drop a hour later. In reality, you could have them in place of a meal, or right a long with one if that is your thing (my parents has been having them with their morning of eggs and bacon). You will notice that I do not title my recipes as “paleo,” even though 90% of them are. This is because 1. Paleo means a diet in most peoples minds, 2. Diets mean restriction, and 3. Restriction means no fun, or in this case, flavor. Therefore, instead of telling people I made super healthy cookies that are guilt free, gluten free, dairy free, and refined sugar free (all of which make you think of anything BUT a cookie), I first let them experience the deliciousness for themselves. In the end, everyone who has tried these cookies has been quite surprised, and could care less of their ingredients because they are so dang good. I say this simple way of cooking and baking is how everything we eat should be. Out with the processed foods with labels that sport a list of over 50 ingredients, and in with food that IS the ingredient list. It is time for people to realize that real food, is truly good food.
- 1 cup almond four
- 1/2 cup tapioca flour
- 2 tbsp coconut flour
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup coconut oil (liquid to room temperature)
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1/3 cup coconut sugar
- 1/4 tsp almond extract
- 1/2 cup jam (I used blueberry and strawberry rhubarb)
- Electric mixer (I use a stand Kitchenaid mixer)
- Paddle attachment
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a medium sized bowl, sift together almond, tapioca, and coconut flour.
- Add cinnamon and salt to the bowl and set aside.
- With an electric mixer, beat coconut oil and coconut sugar together on medium speed for about 2 minutes.
- Switch speed to low and add the egg, maple syrup, and almond extract.
- Turn speed to medium and continue to beat until the egg is fully incorporated.
- With mixer on low, slowly spoon the dry mixture into the wet ingredients until a sticky dough forms.
- Turn mixer off.
- Let dough sit for a couple minutes. *This allows the coconut flour to soak up any extra liquid)
- Using a cookie scoop, spoon dough on a parchment lined baking sheet 2-3 inches apart from each other.
- Using your thumb or back of a small spoon, make a indentation into the center of each cookie.
- Place in oven and bake for 6-7 minutes.
- Take out of the oven, indent your cookies again, and place back in the oven for 2-3 minutes.
- Allow to cool slightly on baking sheet and then transfer to a wire lined rack.
- Once able to handle, scoop 1 tsp of jam into the center of each cookie.