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.

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.

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!

Pancakes

Happy Monday! Mondays, according to the wisdom of light (planets, starts and such), Jyotish – are ruled by the moon… moon relates to women in general, and mothers in particular… and in a broader sense, nurturance and nourishment. ¬†Well, one eatable that makes me think of my mom (and moms in general) is pancakes…

Yogi pancakes drizzled with almonds butter & maple syrup

When we were kids, my mom made pancakes on a regular basis (from scratch, like everything she made) Рfor breakfast or dinner (especially on cold winter days).  She shaped them into the first initials of our names and served them with warm stewed apples or peaches on top, or homemade raspberry syrup from berries we handpicked at local farms in the summer.

Made with wholesome ingredients, pancakes are indeed nourishing, warm, and help build tissue.  Because they are a bit on the heavy side, they are an ideal food for fall & winter.  They make a nice cozy dinner, and if served for breakfast, pair with a green tea or ginger tea to balance digestion.

*Many eggless pancake recipes make use of banana, however, Ayurveda warns against combining banana with either grain or dairy, as it will cause fermentation in the g.i. tract. ¬†Here are a few eggless pancake tips from Heaven’s Banquet:

  1. For best results, prepare pancake batter, minus the leavening (baking powder / soda) at least an hour in advance (or the night before) & let it sit in the fridge. This allows the flour to swell so the pancakes hold together better.  Beat in the baking powder and soda before cooking.
  2. The pan should be hot enough that a drop of water flicked on it sputters and dances.  If the water evaporates immediately, the pan is too hot, and if it just sits there, it is too cold.
  3. Pour the batter onto the skillet into a circle that is a manageable flipping size.  When bubbles form all over the surface, the pancake is ready to be turned over.  Check to see that it is golden brown and not too pale.  The second side will cook in half the time.
  4. The first batch may stick to the pan a little, but the succeeding batches will not.
  5. Add more oil / butter to the pan as needed.
  6. Do not stack the finished pancakes until they are brought to the table – the steam they produce will make them soggy (*note from Vedicook – I keep the oven at about 150 degrees, with a cookie sheet inside, and lay finished pancakes on the sheet (without stacking) until serving.)

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup white flour (or Gluten Free Classic Blend)
  • 1 Cup whole wheat flour (or 1/2 Cup yellow corn flour plus¬†1/2 Cup buckwheat flour
  • 2 Tablespoons arrowroot or cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp cardamom
  • 1 & 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 TB melted ghee, butter or oil
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 2 cups liquid: my favorite way to get fluffy pancakes is to combine 1 cup plain whole milk organic yogurt + 1 cup water. ¬†Otherwise, you can do 1 cup organic milk or almond milk + 1 cup water.

Instructions

  1. Blend the dry ingredients by hand or in a food processor.  Then add the wet ingredients, and blend in by hand or in a food processor. **For best results, omit the baking soda & baking powder, and store the batter in the fridge for an hour or more Рeven overnight Рthen beat in the leavenings before cooking.
  2. Cook according to the instructions above!
  3. Serve with pure organic maple syrup, and maybe a smear of ghee or almond butter.  Pair with green tea or ginger tea.

Here’s an fantastic freestyle rap about pancakes that my husband insisted should be included in this post:

Thumbprint Cookies


These cookies are super easy & delicious… there are very few ingredients, and a lot of wiggle room in which to get creative! They have a nutty flavor and are easily made vegan and gluten free. ¬†They look fancy, but they are a great recipe to do with kids, easy to mix, and they can do the filling part.

I have to share with you, that my mom calls these “tit cookies”… if you can’t see why, well then don’t worry about it…

*If you want to enjoy these with a cup of chai or warm milk, then do a date or almond alternative to the filling, or use a rose jam or raisin jam – basically something non fresh-fruit based because you don’t want to combine anything acidic with dairy in your belly at the same time.

These cookies have a touch of protein & are quite nourishing because of the almonds. ¬†Plus, pretty wholesome for cookies, because of the use of maple syrup and brown rice syrup instead of sugar… so these are great sweets for kapha type folks or during the kapha season. Cinnamon or cardamom adds a digestive and invigorating ayurvedic kitchen herb as well… cardamom is best in the summer and for very pitta-type folks while cinnamon is really warming and good for kapha-type bodies… vata can enjoy these ’til the vedic cows come home either way!

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup Raw almonds (oryou can experiment with walnuts, but keep in mind they are an oilier nut so you’ll get an oilier result)
  • 1 Cup Rolled Oats
  • 1 and 1/4 Cup Oat Flor or Whole Wheat Pastry Flour or Gluten Free all-purpose Flour (I recommend Authentic Foods brand)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon (or cardamom works well, especially with a rose jam in the center or dates)
  • 1/2 Cup Maple Syrup or¬†Brown Rice Syrup (or do 1/4 Cup each – brown rice syrup has a carmel taste & texture)
  • 1/2 Cup Sunflower Oil orMelted Butter or¬†Melted Ghee
  • 1 tsp vanilla or almond extract (or a combo of those or any other extract)
For the filling:
  • Fruit Jam (blackberry, rasberry, apricot work really well) or Rose Jam or halved dried dates

Instructions

  1. PREHEAT oven to 350 degrees (or 325 if like me, you a have an oven that runs hot!)
  2. Grind the almonds in a food processor until like a rough flour
  3. Grind the oats in a food processor until like a rough flour
  4. Combine almonds, oats, flour, and cinnamon (or cardamom) in a bowl
  5. Add all the wet ingredients (except the filling) in the center of the dry mixture..
  6. Mix well
  7. Form into walnut sized balls on a cookie sheet with parchment paper (or oiled)
  8. Gently press your thumb into the middle of each ball, to flatten slightly and create a divit for your filling (don’t press all the way through and create a hole in the bottom)
  9. Fill the divits with your choice of filling
  10. Bake for about 10-12 minutes at 350 degrees (or 325 if you have a very hot oven, like I do!) or until golden

Enjoy… SO GOOD!!

Cookie Batter
Cookie Batter
Prepping for filling
Fresh out of the oven