Macadamia Pink Salt Cookies

 

Macadamia Pink Salt Cookies

These cookies are buttery, but vegan ūüôā

A simple recipe, that can use any kind of nut you like, these cookies can also work as a chocolate chip cookie.  I adapted this recipe from the Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe in Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar.

All sweets in Ayurveda should be had in moderation, and when your agni (digestive fire) is balanced and you are healthy.  The sweet taste balances vata (dry, light type) and pitta (hot type), but can increase kapha (cold, damp, heavy type).  The nuts in these add a crunch that pitta-type constitutions love, and a bit of protein.  You can make these cookies gluten-free by replacing the flour with gluten-free all purpose flour (note that some of these tell you to use a less amount of flour than if you were using regular flour, so the recipe is not dry).

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup (heaping) cane sugar
  • 1/2 Cup sunflower oil
  • 1/4 Cup almond milk, coconut creamer, milk or cream
  • 1 TB tapioca flour or organic corn starch
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 and 1/2 Cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp himalyan pink salt
  • 3/4 cup chopped macadamia, hazelnut, or almond (or 3/4 cup chocolate chips)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper
  2. Combine sugars, oil, milk and tapioca flour or corn starch in a large mixing bowl and mix well with a fork for 2 minutes.
  3. Mix in the vanilla
  4. Add 1 Cup of the flour, the baking soda and salt and mix to combine
  5. Add the rest of the flour and combine.
  6. Fold in the nuts or chocolate chips.  The dough is a little tough and dry, so you can use your hands to mix if you want.
  7. Roll the dough into walnut or pingpong size balls and place on the cookie sheet lined with parchment paper
  8. Flatten the cookies with your fingers or the bottom of a mason jar (kids can do this)
  9. Bake for 8-9 minutes (until just starting to turn golden)
  10. Let cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes and then move to a plate or wire rack.
  11. Store in a glass or stainless steel container.
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Tender Roasted Squash

This could NOT be easier! And it is so super delicious… and is fantastic kid eat it with your fingers food. ¬†It cooled down here this week, and I was SO attracted to the “winter” squash that is available year-round. ¬†Pictured below – kabocha squash.

Squash are sweet, earthy, and vitamin-rich… they are satisfying and just plain delicious with just salt, pepper and oil. ¬†You really don’t need to get fancy with it! Baking or roasting veggies is considered great for kapha-types & kapha season (damp, heavy, spring, slow)… because you can get away with using less oil than cooking on stovetop, and because of the dry-heat effect of the baking process. ¬†Plus, roasting caramelizes and intensifies flavors and emphasizes the natural sweet taste in veggies. ¬†AND it is not labor intensive other than the slicing and the occasional checking the oven and turning the veggies so they don’t brown.

Ingredients

  • Any winter / fall squash, seeded & sliced thin (you can keep the skins on)
  • Olive Oil, melted ghee, or sunflower oil – a few tablespoons
  • A couple tablespoons of water
  • Salt and Fresh Ground Black Pepper
  • OPTIONS: dried crushed herbs (eg. thyme, basil, oregano, dill, marjoram),¬†Cumin Sprinkle, Citrus Juice or Zest –
  • OPTION: Kids will LOVE it sprinkled with cinnamon and ghee (and maybe some nutmeg and allspice for the adult palettes).

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to around 400 degrees
  • Use a baking sheet (I use a cookie sheet)… oil the sheet by thickly drizzling oil over it… I line my baking sheet with Parchment Paper, and oil the paper.
  • Pile the thinly sliced squash somewhat evenly over on the sheet… a higher pile will just mean you need to get in there and turn them after awhile, so the top pieces don’t over-brown and the bottom pieces don’t over-mush.
  • Drizzle more oil or melted ghee on top. ¬†You can also sprinkle a little water with your fingers over the pile of squash so they don’t scorch.
  • Place the baking sheet in the oven
  • Bake for around a total of 20-40 minutes (depending on how thinly sliced the squash is)… check every 10 min or so and turn them so the bottom ones get a little browned and the top ones don’t over brown. ¬†You can add a litte more oil or sprinkle a little more water. ¬†*Don’t be shy about pulling the WHOLE SHEET out of the oven, and turning the veggies before putting it back in the oven – better than bending over for a long period with your arm, or worse, your head, in the oven. ¬†I learned the hard way, by scorching my wrist when my bangle overheated!
  • Toward the end of the cooking or at the very end, you can sprinkle with salt, black pepper and anything else you want (eg. herbs, citrus, etc.)
  • Poke through to make sure the pieces are cooked through… don’t worry about the pieces not all being the same, it’s nice to have some more firm and other pieces more soft.
  • Enjoy!
  • PS – you can eat the skin ūüôā

Pairing Suggestions

Dressing Suggestions

  • A yogurt & tahini dressing – plain organic whole milk yogurt, honey, tahini, salt, pepper (maybe a little water to thin)
  • A ginger-sesame dressing.
  • An balsamic & olive oil dressing with fresh herbs – like parsley or dill
  • A citrus dressing – lemon juice, orange zest, toasted sesame oil, sesame seeds and tamari or shoyu
  • If you’re cooking for kids, these are dip-able in their favorite sauce, and make a great finger food… let them go for it – Ayurveda says, digestion begins with the finger tips, when you touch food, your body begins releasing enzymes! And if there’s a baby in the house, just blend up the squash in your food processor.

Here’s the squash with the Summer Pilaf

Ojas Ladoos

These ladoos (a name used throughout India for any sphere-shaped sweet)¬†are called “MńĀdoos” in our home! They are GREAT for pre-conception {especially for vńĀta mamas} and postpartum! All the ingredients are Mama superfoods. Great for toddlers over the age of two + ńĀyurveda-athletes too. They are also a great to pack for travel to keep vńĀta {air + space elements in the constitution} at bay.

Ayurveda Stats: The main ingredients (almonds, ghee, dates & honey or molasses) of these ladoos build¬†ojas – energy, vitality, strength, stamina, virility, resilience, immunity. ¬†Ojas is the “sap of life” that supports and stabilizes the body and gives the mind a sense of calm. ¬† The spices – cardamom & ginger balance the heaviness of the ojas-building ingredients by bringing lightness and the flame of digestive fire. ¬†Rose tastes delicious… and is considered an elixir for the mind. Adding oats is a special bonus for breastsfeeding Mamas, as they help milk production.

*Note – The hone must be RAW (unprocessed, unheated)! Also, Ayurveda warns against combining equal proportions of ghee and honey by WEIGHT, however, equal proportions by VOLUME is recommended for building ojas… so keep the measurement of one TB the same… when in doubt, you can go over on the honey, as honey will always be heavier in weight than ghee. ¬†Vegans – I recommend coconut butter in place of ghee.

I highly recommend these, or a similar version – experiment in your kitchen – for the following:

  • Kids (over the age of 2 because of the honey & nuts)
  • Men & Women planning a pregnancy
  • Pregnant women
  • Nursing women
  • Athletes
  • During travel ¬†– especially air travel
  • Those with a very busy / active life and schedule who are “burning the candles at both ends”

PLEASE NOTE – you can completely re-work this recipe, remove items, or change them out! For example, omit the coconut or oats easily. You just want to have a consistency that you can roll into balls.

These can store in your fridge for about 4 days – if they last that long! Warning to breastfeeding Mamas – your significant other or visiting guests my sneak these.

Ingredients

  • 1 Cups Whole, Raw Almonds (or you can use sunflower seeds, macadamia nuts or cashews or a combo)
  • 1 Cup of shredded coconut
  • 1 Cup of rolled oats, toasted on a cookie sheet¬†in the oven, or in an iron skillet on the stove top, until slightly browned / aromatic {toasting makes oats lighter and easier to digest}
  • 1¬†tsp fresh ground cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp dried ginger powder or cinnamon powder
  • 1/4 tsp of rock salt
  • About 10 majool dates, pitted (equal to just under a cup)
  • 1 TB Ghee (clarified butter) – or coconut butter for vegans
  • 1 TB RAW Honey or Molasses or Maple Syrup
  • 1¬†TB Rose Water (make sure it is real rose water, not perfume or “scent” of rose – I use Cortas brand) or Rose Syrup or Rose Jam (check that the ingredients are pure & simple, otherwise, omit)

Instructions

  1. Make sure your hands are VERY clean… as these do not get cooked
  2. Toast the oats
  3. In food processor, grind the nuts, oats, and coconut with the cardamom, ginger & rock salt until you have a sandy consistency… don’t turn into a flour or a nut butter
  4. Add the remaining {wet} ingredients and pulse¬†in the food processor until combined. It will turn into a big ball in the food processor… if needed use your hands to separate the ball into pieces and pulse again. It’s okay if you don’t get a totally smooth result.
  5. When combined, use your hands to roll into walnut / TB sized balls with CLEAN HANDS.

Store in the fridge, and enjoy! ¬†You can make these super smooth, or choppy in texture… and feel free to experiment with the recipe, as long as you keep the ghee & honey equal by volume.

Favorite Cake!

This is my favorite cake recipe… have made it with different variations… but it is super simple. ¬†Everyone who has sampled it has freaked over it… and the BEST way to make it is with yogurt in the cake batter… the cake is super moist.

***This cake is amazing the DAY OF… leftover, it is less than thrilling. Make it the same day you plan to eat / serve it… and it will be moist, spongy and full of flavor. ¬†The next day, it is quite dry.***

(Below) Cooling: Saffron-Rose Cake (added saffron to the cake batter and added rose syrup and shredded coconut to the buttercream frosting)

(Below) Warming: Ginger Cake with Gingerbread Frosting! (Added a tsp of powdered ginger to the cake batter, and a tsp of powdered ginger and blackstrap molasses to taste to the buttercream frosting)

Ingredients & Instructions

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Butter or oil a 7 or 8 inch pan or baking dish.

In a large bowl, whisk together and let sit 2 minutes:

  • 3/4 cup milk or non-dairy milk (rice or almond milk) – OR, my personal favorite, combine half whole organic plain yogurt and half water to equal 3/4 cup
  • 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar

Add & whisk thoroughly:

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup completely melted butter OR sunflower oil
  • 1 & 1/2 tsp. almond or vanilla extract (or half and half each)
  • OPTIONAL – a pinch saffron threads – crush them in your hands over the bowl.
Add and mix just until blended (don’t overmix):
  • 1 & 1/3 cup all-purpose flour (I use Gluten Free all-purpose from Gluten Free Pantry or Authentic Foods)
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • dash of ¬†salt
Pour batter into the buttered / oiled pan and spread evenly with a spatula.
Bake at 325 degrees for about 35 minutes (depends on your oven as true temp can vary). ¬†It will turn light golden. ¬†To check if it is done, insert a knife into the center to see if it comes out clean / with just a few crumbles on it (if it comes out goopy it’s not done).
Let cool for 40 minutes to an hour before slicing and serving it. ¬†It’s delicious a little warm.
Serving Ideas
  • Dust with powdered sugar, or cocoa powder or cinnamon and sugar.
  • Make a basic butter cream frosting.
  • Top with a dollp freshly whipped cream – this is my current fave!! Amazing when the cake is still warm and the whipped cream is cool.
  • Dress up a butter cream frosting with rose petal jam or syrup, or coconut, or saffron.
Note on Frosting: I’m not including a recipe for buttercream frosting, but here’s a link for it… note, that all recipes for frosting are HUGE… so I recommend reducing the ingredients down to 1/2 or even 1/4 the amount. It’s essentially softened butter, powdered sugar (you can get organic), and a little milk to get the consistency you want. ¬†I have added various things to vary frosting such as coconut, rose syrup, cinnamon, ¬†saffron, or even replaced the milk with whole plain yogurt to give it a sour taste, more like cream cheese frosting.
Crushed saffron before mixing it into the liquid ingredients.

PeaNOT Sauce

Sunflower Butter, or “sunbutter” is a fantastic alternative to peanut butter because:

  • Sunflower seeds are a nutrient-rich, high protein & easy-to-digest alternative to peanuts, which are heavy, difficult to digest, and hard on the liver.
  • Sunflower seeds have a bitter & sweet taste, very similar to peanuts.
  • Sunflower seeds are not a common alergen (unlike peanuts, which often have ¬†a mold that causes various degrees of immune system reactivity).
  • Great for kids.

You can use Sunbutter in any way you would use Peanut butter… making a protein-rich sauce or dressing is a great way to get more diverse protein into a vegetarian (yogic) diet… plus, blended up and thinned out with the digestive sour taste of citrus or apple cider vinegar, the seeds are even easier to digest & assimilate.

Ingredients

  • 2-3 TB Sunbutter
  • 2 TB maple syrup (or raw agave, or a “simple syrup” – dissolving organic sugar in warm water)
  • 1/4 Cup Shoyu (or Tamari)
  • 1/4 Cup water
  • 1/8 Cup apple cider vinegar (could also use lime juice)
  • Sesame oil (toasted sesame oil is great in this), or Sunflower oil¬†or Olive oil – to taste (OPTIONAL; reduce or omit the oil if you are adding this to veggies that are already cooked with oil – eg. in a wok)

Instructions

Blend it up! I use a hand held immersion blender from Cuisinart… you could use a regular blender, or do it old school with some arm muscles with a firm whisk!

Serving Ideas

This sauce is great over steamed or sauted veggies & rice or rice noodles… This time I did it over veggies in a hot wok. ¬†You can vary the ingredients quite a bit… I never measure for this… it’s really just up to your taste! But I did measure before blogging it!

The veggies are wok-stirfried broccoli, celery & sweet potato in toasted sesame oil, shredded ginger & yellow mustard powder.  Topped with thinly sliced watermelon radish.  Served over jasmine rice,  with LOTS of PeaNOT sauce on top!  Kids will like it over plain rice, or as a dipping sauce with plain veggies, cooked or raw.

Simple Shortbread

Butter cookies are simple..and this recipe is super simple.  You can choose to do the whole thing in the food processor, and they are easily made gluten free with Authentic Foods Classical Blend GF Flour, or Gluten Free Pantry all-purpose flour.   A combination of Gluten Free and Oat flour makes a heartier butter cookie, and very Scottish!

This recipe is adapted from Heaven’s Banquet recipe for Scottish Shortbread. ¬†You can make these with ghee… which is going to have a lighter digestive effect than butter… with butter they come out a slightly more perfect short bread consistency… but they are truly delicious either way… they are just perfect with a cup of earl grey… or any warm beverage! ¬†Vary the recipe if you like, by adding some fresh ground cardamom, or using a combination of almond extract and vanilla extract… my husband wants me to drizzle chocolate over them next time… I’ve even added coconut to them, which was yummy but I really love them as simple as can be.

Ingredients

1 Cup Ghee (softened) OR 1 and 1/4 Cup Butter (softened)

1 Cup packed organic light brown sugar

1/4 tsp salt

2 and 1/2 Cups flour (gluten free or oat flour works great!)

1.5 tsp vanilla extract, or almond extract (or a combination of both)

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees

Butter a 13 x 9 inch baking dish (I use glass – but metal is fine)

Cream the butter & sugar thoroughly in a food processor (or with hand mixer)

Add the dry ingredients (stir by hand with wooden spoon, or pulse in food processor until combined)

Press evenly into the buttered baking dish – it will be “short” – only about 1/4 inch thick… don’t worry! ¬†Press evenly & gently with your hands (if it is too soft & sticky to handle, you can place the baking dish with the dough in the fridge for 15 min to firm it up)

Back 20-30 min for soft shortbread and up to 40 min for crunchier shortbread… they will become golden brown on top… careful not to burn.

Butter, according to Ayurveda is cooling and heavy. ¬†Ghee is light and kindles the digestive fire without being heating. ¬†Krishna, often called “The Butter Thief” was said, as a child, to steal beloved butter from the villagers in his community, as a blessing to them & their homes. ¬†His love for butter is also symbolic… Krishna is said to have given Arjuna the “cream” of the Vedas, in his teaching on the battlefield of the Bhagavad Gńęta. ¬†Butter and ghee are both symbolic of wealth in the Vedic tradition as well. While neither should be consumed in excess, both butter and ghee are extremely nourishing to the tissues of the body, and particularly nourishing to the brain, nerves, and reproductive tissue. ¬†Vegans¬†will get the closest to this effect from coconut butter… and in my next experiment with these cookies, I’ll try a combination of coconut butter and coconut oil. Will let you know how it goes!

Chocolate Nut Dreams

In India, any sweet treat that is in the shape of a ball is called a “ladoo”… you’ll see them in iconography of the Elephant-Headed lord Ganapati, who is said to adore them! This recipe is made with raw and healthy ingredients, in a very simple combination. ¬†The results are astoundingly yummy… ¬†This recipe is super nourishing because of the dates and almonds (both of which¬†build healthy tissue and support the nervous system).

Ayurveda says, chocolate is bitter, stimulating and aphrodisiac. It is not recommended in excess, and should be balanced with cooling, sweet and nourishing tastes to ground the bitter and stimulating qualities. ¬†The fact is, folks LOVE chocolate… and rather than take it away (we don’t want Ayurveda to be an excuse to be become pickier and narrower and more hyper-sensitive), learn to have it in small doses, when one is relatively balanced, and to combine it with the right ingredients. ¬†Cardamom in particular is considered a balancer for caffeine and stimulants as well as sweets… so a pinch of freshly ground cardamom in your tea, coffee or in chocolate recipes is delicious and ayurvedic! It’s a fantastic surprise ingredient in chocolate chip cookies!

Dates are sattvic, nourishing, sweet, and grounding and balance vata & pitta dosha. ¬†Coconut is cooling and nourishing and balance pitta dosha. ¬†Nuts are warming, heavy and nourishing and balance vata dosha. Poor kapha dosha – does best without sweets in general… however, these are so satisfying, kapha types can eat just one, and walk away!

Make these Chocolate Nut Dreams if you are:

  • Vegan or¬†Gluten-Free
  • On a raw foods regimin – only recommended for short periods of time in Ayurveda – use raw cacau powder or raw carob
  • Cooking with kids: they can press the button the the food processor and add ingredients and watch as it turns to a paste! Then they can help roll the balls and roll them in coconut or coco powder. ¬†MAKE SURE THEIR HANDS ARE CLEAN (and yours are too) – since this is an uncooked item.
  • Wanting a super delicious treat that will be made fast!
  • Want to sneak in extra protein wherever you can.

Ingredients

  • 2 Cups Nuts of any kind – I used 1/2 Almonds and 1/2 Walnuts (Brazil nuts would work great!)
  • 1/3 Cup¬†Cocoa Powder (or Roasted Carob Powder)
  • 2 tsp Cardamom Powder
  • About 2 cups¬†Dates – remove the pits!
  • 2 TB Maple Syrup
  • Dried shredded Coconut

Instructions

  1. Clean your hands thoroughly!
  2. Grind the nuts in a food processor until they are like a flour (not too long or you make a nut butter)
  3. Add the cocoa powder, to make as chocolatey as you like
  4. Add 1 cup of the dates plus the maple syrup
  5. Blend together in the food processor, adding more dates until you get a “breakable” dough (not to goo-ey and not too dry like sand) that can form into balls
  6. Form into walnut sized balls in your hands
  7. Roll and gently press the balls in the coconut.
  8. Store in the fridge for up to 4 days… if they last that long!
Lots of Ladoos!