Sunday, February 6, 2011

Juicing and Cookies

I have been reading a lot about food for the past several weeks. My goal is to find the best choices and information for my families dietary intake. Right now I feel as though my world is revolving around food because of the amount of research I am doing. If I am not reading about food, then I am reviewing potential recipes for meal ideas. From there, I am spending hours trying to shop for groceries while reading each and every ingredient label. Both my husband and I read each label and approve the package before it is placed into the buggy. Between the two of us, I believe we are doing quite well avoiding all traces of gluten.

After reviewing all of the benefits of a raw, whole foods diets, my family went shopping for a juicer. We searched high and low and finally decided on a Jack Lalanne's Power Juicer. I really liked how easy it appeared to be able to be taken apart to be cleaned. And, it seemed to be very user friendly. I am hoping that my daughter will be encouraged by this enough to make her own juiced beverages.

Of course, having purchased a juicer means we need to buy something to make juice with so we purchased a large bag of carrots. Upon arriving home, my husband unpacked the juicer for me to wash and dry. Then he washed the carrots and made us each a nice big glass of carrot juice. Now, as he is handing me the glass of carrot juice, my mind flashes back to a year ago when we bought some packaged carrot juice from Costco. I drank a few sips of it and gave it to my husband refusing to drink anymore. I gently reminded myself that carrots are full of good things, and that fresh is always better than store bought, pre-packaged foods. So, I cautiously took a drink of the freshly made carrot juice. It was pretty good! I was rather surprised.

While the carrot juice straight was rather good, I do believe I will prefer a blended carrot juice rather than straight carrot juice. So, my sweet husband agreed next time he will add other fruits and vegetables to my juice and experiment until we find ones we all enjoy. My daughter did not like straight carrot juice, but agreed to try a blended carrot juice later. My husband, of course, loved the straight carrot juice and finished his glass, along with my glass. Thankfully, the juice did not go to waste.

Later that evening we enjoyed fresh out of the oven Gluten Free Sunflower Butter Cookies. When I was a young girl, I was involved in a church group known as Missionette's which is very similar in many ways to a religious Girl Scout or Camp Fire Girl group,. One of the things that I needed to do in order to earn my cooking badge was to collect a lot of recipes (I am sure there was a particular number of recipes that I was to collect, but that information escapes me all these years later). One of the recipes that I collected was for Peanut Butter Cookies without flour. I remember thinking how odd it seemed to make cookies without flour, but the recipe was so simple, I kept it and used it often. My children have enjoyed these cookies for years.

Now that I am no longer able to eat foods with gluten, I am reminded of those peanut butter cookies that did not require flour. I decided to make them with my youngest daughter this evening because I had a touch of a sweet tooth and was feeling a bit gloomy about not being able to purchase many of my favorite things when we were shopping earlier today. It seemed as though everything I touched in the Costco had some form of gluten in it. I had managed to become slightly depressed. While I know it is not a good thing to feed depression with sugary foods, I decided it would be alright tonight.

I looked into the cabinet and was reminded that we now have several Nut Butters. Peanut butter, almond butter, and sunflower butter. The sunflower butter was the least expensive so I decided to try that one in this recipe.

Gluten Free Nut Butter Cookies

One cup peanut butter, almond butter, sunflower butter, or other nut butter
One cup sugar (I used organic pure cane sugar)
One teaspoon baking powder (aluminum free)
One egg (I use cage free)

Pre-heat the Oven to 350°.

Mix all ingredients together until creamy and well blended. Once all ingredients are mixed together well, put a little butter or cooking spray on your hands (this is to keep the dough from sticking to you - ICKY). Roll dough into balls about 1 1/2" to 2" across. Place on greased cookie sheet two finger widths apart. Once you have an entire cookie sheet filled, take a fork and mash down gently twice to make "#" on each cookie. Place in oven and bake for approx 8-10 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on baking rack.

I am so happy to be able to keep a recipe from my past and continue using it. Although there was no conversion needed for this recipe, I am hopeful my other tried and true recipes will be easily converted to gluten free.

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