Health Foodie: Thriving on Nutrition and a Budget

Health Foodie: Thriving on Nutrition and a Budget

This is very much a daily passion for me. Healthy food relationships should never break the bank and its is achievable. When hitting the urban jungle, make the most of your hunt for a better you and your family.

Photo by PhotoMIX Ltd. on Pexels.com

With my littlest red in tow we set out for our biweekly marathon of food gathering in the urban jungle. For a family of six plus a dog,  it’s the only marathon I ever care to participate in. It’s not the worst chore I have to complete as my laundry piles on my dryer.  However, we do love to eat and it’s crucial to maintain our wellness. There are strategies I use to keep our wellness goals while shopping and lessen my pain in the after math

List. List. List.

I am a list freak.  Largely to help me regulate my thoughts and ADHD. But I do love them and labels. List may mean meal planning which saves money on its own. Creating a list adds further kindness to your wallet in decreasing impulse buys. When creating your list, pad in your health favs and a few not so healthy favs for those cheat days. Don’t go hungry. Your stomach will lead and mine usually sabotages my wellness and budget. Many major store apps will allow you to find most of what is in stock, on sale, and, some times, which aisle to find it in. Target will automatically link you to the store you’re in and bring up the store map in the app. Walmart App, not grocery app, now has an in store feature.

Develop a love affair

Love the stores in or near your neighborhood. Traveling too far when not necessary spends more than save. The more you go the more you will see sale patterns which leads in to three….

Shop sales and in season.

Healthy food on sale. Not junk food on sale.  Companies are starting to recognize the demand and putting natural/organic/healthy items or produce on sale more often.  This past month at one of our local stores, between sales, in season produce, and digital coupons, I cut my bill in half. We saved almost $150. Many stores have online adds that you can compare prices which saves another valuable resource of yours, time.

Use loyalty programs and digital coupons.

If I receive a paper coupon in store or the mail I will use most of the time. Otherwise all many coupons are available on a loyalty card.  Saves paper and money. Double bonus. In one particular store, the more loyalty program is used, more personal rewards. Stores may track what you buy and give back specific to past purchases. There are grocery apps that do reward just for uploading a receipt.  Use them. Some apps of these apps can be used for school fundraising. Other stores allow for schools to give a number to link your loyalty cards. In your every day purchases, your child school benefits.

Make budget from for sales.

When you have some extra budget room and sales are really good take advantage of the abundance.  If you have the room, squirrel it away as long as it won’t expire before you use it.

Take advantage of shopping clubs, online services, and pick ups.

 If you benefit from buying in bulk then a shopping club like Cosco or Sams may be worth it for you. Toilet paper is a guarantee it will be necessary always, but with perishable items be mindful. Truly buy what you would use. A kindness to your wallet and your environment. During one summer, as a foot injury necessity, we used store pick ups a lot. It’s an excellent way to keep impulse buying down and seeing potential costs. Delivery your door is becoming an option with similar benefits and convenience.

Meatless Mondays, Tuesday, Wednesdays….

Meat can be expensive, especially lean meat.   Lately, I am finding one of our stores putting meat substitutes crazy cheap.  We are riding that gravy train for as long as it last. We like using cauliflower as well. Bonus, cauliflower can be easily found in every form in most stores.  As a substitute, cauliflower adds nutritional value and protein content while wallet friendly. Too much meat protein can be hard on some of your organs, especially kidneys.  Just a thought to keep in mind on how many meatless days you want to try.

We have a large family, dog, and dietary needs- the need for the budget to stretch can get scary. However, with these seven solutions make magic happen. In your food gathering hunt, make the most of you and your food relationship.

Namaste in your food gathering hunt

Juls

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A Bowl of WTH: The Why & May be Not in Shakes & Juicing

A Bowl of WTH: The Why & May be Not in Shakes & Juicing

Lightly mention you want to get healthy and you will receive about a dozen recommendations for a shake. Seriously, I’ve lost count. I do find value in my protein shake and juicing. While it is helpful, it does not need to be a constant in your wellness routine. I buy and switch around to see what is out there. I don’t sell and warning: I never want too. Don’t even try. Honestly, there are some aggressive shake fans out there. That said, the following is pure sharing info for you to factor when deciding what works best in your health routine.

The first issue I want to address is the “fans of whatever shake you’re on.” Love it and share it while respecting people’s space and “no.” Can your shakes or juices do wonderful things? Absolutely! I have my favs and love the boosts with ease I get. It’s irritating when constantly having products being shoved in my face the moment I mention anything health nut related. So. Annoying. I once went to a business womens meeting, started talking to a health coach and immediately had an clear MLM product shoved in my face. I wanted to know more about what she did. So health professionals and healers, put you and your services out first. If it comes up you have this amazing product then share. You have so much to offer and your shake/juice is part.

The non-protein-nutrition-greens-shake-juice people, let me tell you. You may want to adopt a shake in your food relationship. There is a reason why we are so passionate about our routines. If we get out of hand, forgive us and a firm “chill” may be warranted. Next time you hear about someone’s shake/juice routine or see one on the shelf, consider this:

Drawbacks

  • Expense
    • This can be an expensive habit to adopt. There is this misconception that health food cost more. It’s not true. However, your shake or diet enhancements should not put you into debt. Look around every where, especially places that offer no condition refunds cause this next reason…
  • Taste
    • There are protein shakes and juice options that do taste good. Yet, too many taste buds have been harmed in the making of this habit. I tried, I mean TRIED, to go vegan protein shake. I can still taste the ground up ancient clay pots. Seriously, five different brands. If you have one please don’t share with me as I’m still scarred, but comment for someone’s benefit. Ask for recommendations and do not be afraid to return it back.
  • Food relationship
    • Shakes and juicing is hard to sustain on, especially if you are switching from a high processed or high calorie diet. Even now, it’s a snack or part of a meal. AM is juice a veggie/protein for me. Sweet potato toast with Nutella is pretty freaking awesome. Well anything with Nutella is. My PM is a protein shake with fruit or veggie snack. Just caution if you are told it’s filling. It’s all on perspective and where you are in your food relationship journey.
  • Physical cautions
    • If you have medical conditions, check with your doc before trying anything. High protein can clog up your adrenal system, possibly creating kidney stones. Too much meat or whey protein is not a good thing for anyone. Keep it all in balance.

The Why to Your Yes

  • Nutrition
    • Most protein shakes are known for, well, protein. They offer much more and many now carry a lot of other amazing nutritional punches. Juicing and its additions do the same. Shakes and juicing is an excellent way to get a TON of power in your food relationship in one cup. My protein is the brain and muscle boost I desperately need. While an occasional habit, I am on a new juicing habit to liver cleanse. Another benefit is adding a greens mix, especially if veggies are a struggle for you.
  • Simplicity
    • Shakes and nutritional juices make attaining nutritional goals easy and great to have on hand when out an about. I always have a leak proof bottle and some powder in case. I need my food.
  • Recipe enhancement
    • Many powders go well with various recipes and enhance its nutritional value. Waffles, pancakes, muffins, protein balls, oatmeal, and more. It makes more out of that food encounter.
  • Physical benefits
    • More than likely, the American diet does not reach enough appropriate protein or nutriition. Shakes and Juicing packs more vitamins and more your body needs to be optimal. Its more than waist line. Much of what we eat impacts brain, nerves, mood ability, and more.

Shakes and juices are versatile and customizable. It takes a quick Pinterest or Social Media recommendation for tons of ideas. Chocolate protein mix + almond milk = Nutella Love. Yes I have a theme. There are so many ways you can utilize this wellness tool and it not kill the joy of your food relationship. Power the optimal you within your reason.

Namaste & Love

Juls

A Bowl of WTH: Diet Idols and Your Diet

A Bowl of WTH: Diet Idols and Your Diet

This can become a charged discussion and topic. I am going to handle this with care and truth. Up front, I do not believe Modern Western Medicine is everything as I tend to follow eastern dietary guidelines such as Ayurveda. I do not believe in total food group eliminations or eating mostly from one group on an extended basis. You can disagree with me respectfully and your opinion has value. It’s important to address the misconceptions surrounding what we should eat or not eat, especially fad diets. Hang with me till the end.

Diet Idols

AKA as fad diets or diet trends. This isn’t completely unique to the United States but runs rampant with damage. The damage of diet trends can be your health, weight management, and body perceptions. Your health and weight management may take a toll with eliminating necessary food groups in your daily food connections and yo yo weight loss and gain. Constant weight loss and weight gain can cause stress on your heart and psyche. The reason that yo yo weight happens is extreme changes are successful for a time period and cannot be maintained. Thus completely eliminating carbs, going total protein, or high amounts of fat may be too challenging. This also puts your body function and flow into over drive or dysfunction. You need the right carbs to fuel. Too much protein can tax your kidneys and adrenal systems to the point of creating kidney stones plus more. High amounts of fat over time can create acid reflux/heart burn and heart problems. The true issue with many diets and fads are the extremes which impact you and your ability to believe in making sustaining healthy choices.

However….

These trends are not wholly bad. Low carb diets have brought to light that much of our American carb consumption has been unhealthy and too much grain carb as opposed to needing fruit and veggie carbs. So yes, you need to reduce or eliminate white, bleached wheat products and aim for whole grains. The right carbs in the right amount is what is needed. Other diets have highlighted our over involvement with sugar and needing to lower sugar consumption. Some diets push more whole food and less process foods. There are times where you may need more of a certain group of food more than another. When my iron was low, I ate mostly lean proteins and vegetables. When my reflux acted up, it was half whole grains. Right now I am balanced and my food relationship reflects that. Temporarily doing a food more over another can be necessary but rarely beneficial in being permanent. Following diets of extremes are harmful. Take changes with a grain of salt and keep balance of proteins, fats, grains, and veggie/fruit.

Your Diet Choices

You need to keep balance in mind. I have been watching so many people and health professionals in these trends. Those who find balance and keep that “rainbow” vegetable and fruit food relationship are maintaining success and health with some of these diet trends. It is possible but balance is the key. They do not take extremes. A while ago, for kicks, I took a nutrition course from an Australian university. It was enlightening with global student involvement and instruction. From this and researching other countries dietary guidelines, I learned our government guidelines compares well in understanding (USA dietary link below). It is important to keep an eye on what changes in guidelines. Old enough to remember the food pyramind? Chuck that out the window. It’s more about the lean protein and veggies, while lowering (not eliminating) grains. Plus variety. And balance. Am I repeating myself? It’s that important. If you want more specific guidelines thus choosing a diet or point plan, know this needs to be a long term or permanent change. It’s not going to work long term if you go back to what you were doing before. Take note of why something is working. More often than not, its due to removing foods that were never met to be in your daily relationship to begin with and more of the good stuff. Take note when it’s not working. It could be your body needs something different. Something medically is going on. Or mental health and/or stress needs more attention. You are not a set of systems, you are a person with a soul. Your mental care affects your body’s function and ability. Your habits for your physical lifestyle affect your mental state. It’s all connected and needs to be viewed with equal importance.

I do whole heartedly believe, within reason, it’s okay to splurge every once and while. Self participation a couple of weeks ago. Certainly, semi splurge on a once a week basis (as in one meal). The reason for once a week, one meal has little to do with weight but more with it affects in how you feel afterwards. It sucks, trust me. Going to far in splurges impacts your over all emotional and mental health quicker than physical health.

Guidelines in You Daily Food Relationship

There are health professionals who can guide and help create specific plans if you find that route enhances your success. These things you need to keep in mind when making choices

  1. Am I eliminating a necessary food group? Am I eating too much of a food group? Carbs (grains & veggies & fruits), Proteins (nuts, beans, meat, and some veggies), or Fats (unsaturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated)- You need some kind of presence of these in your diet (also known as macros). Then as you go along, is it impacting your health negatively? I must watch my fat levels and keep it low but for others the recommended or slightly higher levels of fats are fine. Raw diets are not for everyone. It could impact your digestion. Too much protein and side pain? Get that checked out. Lower proteins or opt for more veggie based proteins.
  2. Is there appropriate portion control or can I achieve appropriate portion control? More than likely, Americans eat too much in a sitting but some diets call for too little and don’t accommodate for stepping down into appropriate portions. It’s okay to work into a life style change and it not happen immediately. Most likely small changes will lead to better success.
  3. How is my mental health? If you feel defeated and deal with self doubt then there is some soul/mental work to be done along side your diet changes. A counselor, wellness coach, life coach, spiritual coach, or trusted friend needs to be a part of your plan. Success in your food relationship is not wholly dependent on what you put or don’t put in your mouth. Its part mind set too. I love Louise Hay books and Mirror work she describes. EFT tapping is amazing (Tapping Solution, Donna Eden). These are two things you can invest in easily and right now. Additionally, don’t compare yourself to others. The steps you make are yours and they count. Baby steps are still steps. Concentrate on you then celebrate with others.

This is all to inform and caution you for your health and best success. No judgement on what you decided to do. With the exception, DO NOT go to the extreme unless a medical professional states it is necessary for you and you are being monitored. I cannot understate how important balance is.

Namaste in Your Food Relationship

JRiley

Here is the current link for American Government Health Agency guidelines (2015-2020) https://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015/.  

A Bowl of WTH: We are Food Container Hoarders

A Bowl of WTH: We are Food Container Hoarders

Also known as meal prep. And we get pretty excited about it and like to take pictures. Look what I did! It takes a fair amount of effort in meal prepping. It doesn’t need to be difficult or extremely time consuming. However. Hard truth. You will pay for it one way or another. It is your choice and not my place to judge it. I make the choice to put my efforts before hand which is less costly than paying afterwards. It’s easier to get organized and create healthier options when meals are planned and prepped before hand. It makes your life easier to be well and there are hacks. It has little to do with salads. I love salads but it can get old, quick.

Foremost is understanding your ingredients and materials. Prepared foods and boxed foods can help or hurt you. Lots use terms to catch your attention in hopes you never become aware of what is actually in it. Watch sugar and salt content. Avoid chemicals as much as possible. Organic and natural is best. It’s not just a health nut lifestyle choice. Those chemicals GMOs impact your health in every possible way, physical and mental. Reduce or eliminate when possible.

Please be environmentally friendly. Avoid small packaging when you can. I get it. Prepackaged makes it easier to grab and go. Opt for recycle-able or reusable containers. Small changes make a difference!

Meal prep Hacks

Bulk it and repeat it. This is where we reduce costs in this house and it’s much less work. You need variety but it can be every other week or by season. Rice and soups can be frozen. If you need more variety. Create your own frozen meals. Just eat within a month or two (soups hold longer). Canning, if you’re in to that, is another great way to maximize your meal planning efforts. Vegetarian meals tend to be cheaper in cost. Intentionally creating left overs when you cook dinner is an excellent way to simplify meal prep.

Go raw. This isn’t recommended for everyone. For digestive issues, it may be safer to lightly cook your food for it to absorb better. However, creating raw meals cuts out cooking time. Salads, sandwiches on multigrain, or wraps in lettuce or multigrain tortillas work. Sushi grade fish with some rice and veggies works. Lunch meat wrapped with veggies works. Veggies and dip. Fruit and yogurt. It all works.

Semi done prep or prepared is allowed. I do it all the time. Buying some salt free or flavored nuts then mixing and putting in small containers is a stable in this house. I buy string cheese or spreadable cheese wedges to go with veggies and fruits work. Precooked meat with veggies, sweet potato, or pre cooked rice is done. I will buy chicken or turkey meatballs or beans to create meals. It truly is about checking the labels for sugar, salt, and chemical content.

The Snack Station in the Riley House

Stay seasonal. Many vegetables and fruits are out of season where we live. I love pea protein and buying them frozen in bulk to go with carrots, brown rice pasta (watch portions), and olive oil plus herbs. In the fall I was all about sweet potatoes, brussels. In the summer, it’s wraps and salads. Don’t think you absolutely must eat something right now that is expensive. Watch produce and a quick search about your area will let you know what is in season when.

Eat what you like within reason. If you don’t like salads, don’t eat them. If you are quesadillas like we do, there are a variety of ways to make them. It’s always beneficial to try new things. But don’t continue to eat something you know you just cannot stand.

Think Herbs, not salt. When creating flavor, stock up on herbs and spices. A link is included for the basics with expansion soon. I love my herbs! They do so much for your body. https://notjusthealthnuts.com/2018/04/17/no-salt-added-spice-up-your-food-life/

Watch fillers. That means chips. Veggie chips or home made veggie (not potato) chips or parmesan crisps are okay. I love doritos but it is in the rare occasion box. For good reason. It’s a filler food and horrible one at that.

Quick Meal and Meal Prep Ideas:

  • Baked chicken and salad
  • Pizza (limit) and salad
  • Turkey lettuce burgers and sweet potato fries
  • Some groceries offer griller veggie options
  • Breakfast
  • Quesadillas: chicken or choice meat, just veggies, avocados, and/or beans. Watch cheese portions and often I will reduce cheese amounts by mixing in a reduced fat cream cheese.
  • Burrito or taco bowls with brown rice or whole grain rice
  • Asian bowls: choice lean meat, chick peas, veggies with jasmine or basamati rice. For flavor, I love Asian sauces but go sparingly as they tend to be high in salt.

Meal planning is often cost effective and allows more healthier opportunities. The most important benefit is investing in yourself. You need well and to create your well being.

Prep on and Namaste

A Bowl of WTH: Why Health Professionals Say & Do Those Weird Things. Why We Need to Adopt Those Habits

A Bowl of WTH: Why Health Professionals Say & Do Those Weird Things. Why We Need to Adopt Those Habits

Part of my new year goal resets was to take my own advice and … reset. Everyone needs to take a moment to step back and check in to your healing. I bundle-blanket-binged on some random shows then spent this past week invested in the study of myself and my passions. I am a health nut. Sort of. I just made a homemade peanut butter and (dark) chocolate cup for a snack. I put protein power in it, so it’s okay. I am passionate about “wellness” and a healthy lifestyle as the Aha moments roll in on how I am finally maintaining a healthy weight, conquering long term mental health issues, and addressing health issues that had a “good luck” diagnosis. I am learning to accept my whole self in progress and enjoy where I am. I am not super skinny, or even “skinny,” nor ever will be. I am 165 ish pounds, size 8-12 (depending on how much a sadist the designer is), love chocolate, not a gym fan, yoga addict, and completely okay with doritos on an occasional basis. I may or may not have eaten a whole bag this weekend. It’s been months, so health nuts- chill. I also kept up my egg whites with herbs, greens, low carb yogurt, and oatmeal. I love the more I am learning the more I expand in being able to help others.

However, the more I find myself in the health and wellness world, I am finding myself saying WTH a lot. A. Lot. Most health-nut habits have real world applications that you may be missing out on or it could be the life altering change you have been needing for years. In getting this wheel spinning again I want to produce a transparent series on “A Bowl of WTH” looking at why health nuts suggestions can be an Aha moment for you and how to be practical with it. The title inspiration comes from countless photo stalking of health nuts in what they eat. It is (1) always in a bowl and (2) most of the time I’m “WTH,” either it’s unrecognizable or unappetizing. TBH. However, much of the photos shared is extremely useful to us and we need to take note. I am not going to offer a “one and done” deal or you can only do this, don’t do that. While there are common threads, we are individuals. The common threads will be pointed out so you can’t miss them. Yet, I will share what works for me and why. What works for others in order for you to have options that work for you. Beyond the what, is the why. Why you need to consider doing what health nuts are doing. We are made to thrive and those health nuts hold some of those keys.

The first of the issues I want to address is a weighty one. It’s our weight and our relationship with the weight scale. Nothing will hold you accountable with dread then stepping on a scale. As far as weight goes. You can’t deny the number. You and, yes even I, need to remember that the scale is a thing. If it actually taunts you, then you or the scale needs to be check out. Otherwise, its a thing. A tool. As far as what you should weigh comes between BMI, a trusted doctor, and a trusted health professional. BMI by weight and height only is a guideline and not everything. Your frame size, muscle density, and other factors needs to be considered in what you should weigh. A trusted doctor and health professional can measure around your body for inches of fat, take in other weight issues.

Do. NOT. Stand on a scale to get skinny.

Use a scale to get in a healthy weight range.

J.Riley

Weight can also fluctuate due to hormones and water weight by a few pounds. Most of the time it evens out but may be an indicator to watch your salt levels or address hormone problems. For me it was salt and managing stress, which impacts everything down to hormones. Squirrel trail, those with menstrual cycles, you can be so stressed out you miss a cycle. I had no idea until my early twenties and final exams. Stress affects us in powerful ways.

Back to scales and weight. Muscle weighs more than fat. If you take up strengthening, then you may put pounds back on. I lost 90 pounds and gained 10 back while my measurements changed for the better. Muscle is a positive weight outcome on the scale. This is why measurements are important. Other things that may change your weight: different time of day scaling, scaling wet opposed to dry, scaling in different locations, or your children/dog/cat decide to join you. I can have a range of 35 pounds to 90 pounds attached to my side. Every once and a while I remember to lock the door. So what do you do if you change your lifestyle for the better and nothing changes? See a health professional. It may be an adjustment needed, health issue, or you’re just lovely the weigh you are.

Using a weight scale to check in is a tool for weight loss, maintenance, and accountability. It is not the final judge of your healthy lifestyle. Please keep it once a week habit and no more. Purely, it’s a step to keep the food relationship and active relationship from serious denial.

I am ready to take on more! From this jumping off point, in no particular order, we will hit…

  • food relationship fads: what you truly should consider
  • diet idols
  • what workout for who
  • the deal with shakes and vitamins
  • what is detox, cleanse
  • the body/mind connection
  • why health nuts are addicted to leggings
  • the stress factor
  • why a water bottle should be your third arm
  • recipes and food ideas
  • More!

Look for “A Bowl of WTH” with the topic listed after. Easier is to click “YES” to get it directly to you. No spam promise.

Namaste and See You Soon!

Moderate carbohydrate intake may be best for health- ScienceDaily

Moderate carbohydrate intake may be best for health- ScienceDaily

This is something to take into consideration. Not all carbs are equal and lot are essential to your total body function. I am not promoting at diet or radical changes. Simply, not to take on extreme diets and cut out carbs completely. Oats ,rice, and veggies are a beautiful thing. 🌾🥕🥦🍆🍚

Excerpt and link-

A new study has found that diets both low and high in carbohydrates were linked with an increase in mortality, while moderate consumers of carbohydrates had the lowest risk of mortality. The study also found that low-carb diets that replace carbohydrates with proteins and fats from plant sources were associated with lower risk of mortality compared to those that replace carbohydrates with proteins and fat from animal sources.
— Read on www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/08/180817093812.htm

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Exchange of the Cookies: Vegan and Allergy Friendly (GF, DF, Peanut Free)

Ever get ahead of yourself? This morning I did. Lofty Monday goals to finish this post and life did not agree, so I panicked at my alarm when an unfinished post went out. Much like making five dozen cookies to bake this weekend, I set goals and got in over my head. This is the final product of vegan cookies that my whole family can eat. That is a victory. The allergy count as of now? No gluten, eggs, dairy, peanuts, most tree nuts (coconut is okay), most fruits with digestive issues. So what’s left? Uh not a lot. In my experimentation, I have come to love oat flour and brown rice flour. They are easier flours to digest but not the only ones. All purpose is great for most things but I find making cookies with g free all purpose flour tends to be chalky. Ack. Oats expand and hold it all together which is great when eggs are not invited. There are egg substitutes but less is more for me. Especially in the nuances of baking. I was completely confident in my abilities to make purchases in a bakery years ago. But when vegan is the best option for allergies… it’s expensive. The years of baking frustrations followed but it’s paying off. Now, I am a straight forward and un-sophisticated baker, who has cookies for “Santa.”

My kids know Santa isn’t real. Mom and dad take credit for the presents and these cookies.

Iced Sugar Cookies

Cookie Ingredients

  • 1 & 1/2 cup Brown rice flour plus 1/4-1/2 cup extra 
  • 1/2 cup Oat flour*
  • 1/2 cup Vegan butter, soften to room temp plus 1 Tbsp set aside
  • 1/2 cup Sugar (for sweeter 3/4 cup)
  • 1 tsp Vanilla 
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/4 tsp of Salt
  • 3-4 Tbsp of coconut milk**
  • Clean space to roll out dough
  • Cookie sheets
  • Parchment paper
  • Rolling pin
  • Cookie cutters
  • Basting or pastry brush
  • Optional: food coloring

*You can opt to ground plain quick oats to a fine powder.  ** Coconut milk is best, but any milk or plant-based milk can be used to accommodate allergies or lifestyle. Rice milk is nut free and dairy free but thin. Half the amount of milk the recipe calls for.

Icing Ingredients

  • 1-2 tbsp Coconut milk or milk*
  • 2 cups Powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp Vegan Butter

Making and Baking Cookies

  1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.  
  2. Mix sugar and butter. 
  3. Add in Vanilla Extract and 2 Tbsp of coconutmilk
  4. Dry ingredients: In a separate bowl combine brown rice flour, oat flour, baking soda, and salt.  Mix.
  5. Combine dry ingredients with sugar, butter, extract, and milk. Add in food coloring here.  
  6. Mix with hands or use a baking spatula.  The consistency should be that of play dough- firm but easy to shape.  Additional Tbsp of milk may need to be added- add in on Tbsp at a time.
  7. Spread 1/4 cup of brown rice flour over clean surface for dough 
  8. Place dough on flour covered surface and roll out dough to around 1/4 of an inch in thickness.  
  9. Use cookie cutters to create cookie shapes and place on parchment paper and cookie sheets.  
  10. Unused dough can be mixed and rolled out again to create more cookies.
  11. Melt 1 Tbsp of Vegan butter in a separate bowl.  Then use a basting or pastry brush to place a thin coat of butter on each cookie.  In a pinch, use clean hands to spread butter on each cookie.  Let’s be real, having basting brush was coincidental but I am not chefy enough to have a pastry brush.  Real cookies for real people. 
  12. Place in oven for 10-12 minutes.  It should be firm on the cookie surface but slightly soft.  As they cool they will harden.

Mixing the Icing

  1. This is fairly straight forward. Whisk powdered sugar, butter, and 1 tbsp of milk of choice.
  2. If it’s too thick, that extra tbsp of milk held back can be used. You can add food coloring while whisking or just leave it plain.

Now I will be honest. Straight foward right? I am crazy sensitive to sugar and knock it down a lot, especially considering the use of icing to add in sweetness. If you have a crazy sweet tooth, add in extra sugar at your own risk. Also, the texture is going to be… well not Loft cookies, those super soft ones. It’s is supposed to be a firm outside, soft in the inside and middle. (After it cools) If your conscious, food relationship, or loved ones with either are in need of a holiday treat. This is it.
I’m heading back to the kitchen for more cookies and ideas to share. Look for more soon or hit the “yes” but to the right for it to come to you.

Extra love points. Mark your boxes of what is and isn’t there.
Extremely helpful for those with dietary needs.

Namaste. Love your light in this holiday season.