Sunday, June 30, 2013

Sunbean Cookies

my know, the usual: raw cookies, maybe a yam or two rolling around, and the pink teakettle, always ready to go.

Did you think I said "Sunbeam"?  Gotcha!  Dessert made again with...beans!

Occasionally I feel the impulse to eat sweets; you know---that dreaded late afternoon sugar craving.  Rather than immediately undo my four mile hill run, I settled for my secret trick: making a small batch of raw cookies.  Once I have the cookies made, the dishes and processor sparkling clean (and often, have finishing photographing my treats), I usually find my craving has subsided some, and I'm able to enjoy several small portions of my "desserts" without going overboard.  It helps to have a husband constantly wandering through the kitchen eating whatever is out on the counter, too.  Of course, I've eaten too many in one go on occasion, but at least the ingredients are healthy, and won't undo your diet.

Here's a super fast, easy bean cookie, that is full of sunflower seeds, white northern beans and almond flour with a slightly sweet raw honey finish.  Yields about a dozen cookies, depending on the size.

Sunbean Cookies


1/4 cup white northern beans, rinsed and drained
3 tablespoons local raw honey
dash Himalayan Sea Salt
1 heaping teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup almond flour (or finely ground almonds...same thing)
3/4 cup raw sunflower seeds


Food process beans, sea salt and honey, scraping down the sides until smooth.
Add in vanilla, cinnamon and almond flour and sunflower seeds, processing until combined.
Divide into little balls; enjoy immediately or chill to keep.

add a little raw sunflower seed garnish for additional appeal

speaking of "sunbeams"...fruit gift basket arriving yesterday to celebrate the husband's promotion to Captain tomorrow.  Thanks to the in-laws, we feasted on fresh fruit all day!

Friday, June 28, 2013

Lemony Caraway Macaroons


I came across a little baggie of caraway seeds in the cupboard several days ago, and was reminded of a short story I read where the main character chewed on caraway seeds as she worked long days in an Indian restaurant to curb her hunger.  I remembered that rye bread has caraway seeds (and I used to LOVE rye bread), so I bought some on a whim to see if the whole subsiding-your-hunger trick worked.  Yesterday I ate a raw apple sprinkled with caraway seeds, and then a couple small lemony caraway macaroons and in fact wasn't super hungry although this was hardly scientific; I'm the first to admit maybe I felt like it works simply because I wanted it to.

Anyways, lemon and caraway compliment each other nicely, and these are very light, delicate and fragrant cookies to snack on.  If you hate the flavor or caraway (or rye bread I suppose) then probably stay away from these nuggets.  I've been told caraway is one of those flavors you either love or hate.

Side note: I ended up cleaning the floors with fresh-squeezed lemon juice yesterday, as I was carefully juicing the last of my two large lemons with a little handheld tool, when my wrist caught the edge of a saucer my lemon juice bowl was balanced on.  So frustrating...but the house sure smelled good. The two golden-doodles at my feet also got a nice dousing of lemon fresh, and I was still pulling lemon seeds out of Zeke's wild hair later in the day.

lemon juice FAIL

Lemony Caraway Macaroons

Yields about 20


2 cups air-puffed shredded coconut
2 tablespoons caraway seeds (I used almost 2.5 tablespoons for a stronger flavor; 2 is milder)
2 tablespoons coconut flour
juice of 2 large lemons (about 1/2 cup)
1/2 cup agave syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
optional: 1/8 tsp paprika
additional water if needed

tastes better than it looks...tart, herby yet sweet


1. Lightly grind caraway seeds with a mortar and pestle.  Not gonna lie, I got lazy and barely crushed them at all.
2.  Mix all ingredients in a bowl.  (add additional water or agave if "dough" is too crumbly).  Scoop out about 1 heaping tablespoon sized balls and place on food dehydrator sheets.  Dehydrate at 115 for 3-4 hours.

round little tablespoon-sized balls on food dehydrator trays
a couple at breakfast with a handful of almonds= filling and delicious

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Gingery Protein Bites

oh yum
More easy raw cookies to make in 5 min or less, what's not to love?

Gingery-nutty cookies with just a few ingredients.  Healthy, spicy and not-too-sweet

Gingery Protein Bites


1 cup raw almonds
1/3 cup raw walnuts
2/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut, air-puffed/reduced-fat if available
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 tablespoons agave syrup
1-2 tablespoons filtered water
1/4 cup candied ginger (I used Trader Joe's uncrystallized)


Food process together, adding a bit of water at a time until desired consistency is reached.  You may need to stop and use a spatula to mix down the sides in between pulses.

this is what you're looking for: combined, sticks together, but not too wet and sticky

Roll into desired size/shapes and there you have it: energy cookies with a hint of sweetness, and a bit of a ginger kick.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

coffee break!

tea tea with local raw honey
coffee time...cold-pressed with coconut milk

So I love my (many) cups of tea in the day, as well as a nice beverage of coconut milk and coffee.  I've heard many different things on the pros and cons of consuming caffeine, and having recently been diagnosed with a sluggish thyroid and adrenal fatigue, I am dismayed to learn I should limit my caffeine consumption (in addition to taking a million supplements and limiting a million other things in my already insanely healthy activities and diet).  That said, I still enjoy the occasional bit of caffeine (I've also read that it is fine to consume caffeine, and that it can stimulate the metabolism, so who really knows).

Here is my favorite-est low cal beverage, of which I am currently enjoying on my post 5 mile run in toasty Carlsbad, California this sunny afternoon.  With a handful of raw almonds and carrots= contented break time.

Cold-pressed coffee with a splash of mint water and unsweetened vanilla coconut milk: 45 cal refreshing coffee drink!

And while I'm at it, here are few other fun photos of doing what I love--being active.  Oh, and most importantly--another raw cookie recipe coming up either tonight or tomorrow...keep checking back and enjoy your lovely Tuesday afternoon!

Strength-training at its finest:

BodyROK'in it in the Carlsbad Forum
And my ultimate fave way to sweat (born and raised in Tracktown, USA baby!):

running in Carlsbad (sneaking on the golf course early morn)  photo courtesy of this amazing couple

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Chickpea Chocolate Chip Cookies: Filling and Delicious

So when I first started baking healthy, I didn't quite understand substitutions.  I also didn't have a food processor, and I can't remember the details, but chunky garbanzo beans may have been the reason my first ever garbanzo bean cookies were horrific, and my brother Colin still gives me grief about them to this day.

That may explain why though I've come across several recipes for garbanzo bean desserts, I've been hesitant to try it again.  After I made the yummiest cake the other day with beans  (see my vanilla bean cake here), I re-considered beans as a staple in my desserts.  Protein plus low carbs sounded like a good addition to some of my gluten-free treats (not to mention metabolism booster), so I went for it.  And it resulted in some very filling and hard-to-resist garbanzo, or, Chickpea Chocolate Chip Cookies, which sounds way better.  (Side note: omit the rice chocolate chips for a soft, less sweet, melt-in-your-mouth cookie).

So here you go little brother...even you will like these!

Chickpea Chocolate Chip Cookies
Yields about 14


1 can chickpeas/garbanzo beans, rinsed (about 1-1/4 cups)
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup sunflower seed butter
1/4 cup honey (3 tablespoons will make it less sweet)
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons filtered water
1/3 cup nondairy rice chocolate chips
1-2 tablespoons protein powder (optional, I used plant based)

1.  For best results, "skin" beans--rinse them under hot water and gently rub off the translucent skin.  Super time consuming, but will help the beans disguise themselves into your delicious little cookies.

See the little clear skins?  Gently rub them off.   Oddly relaxing task.

2.  Puree beans in the food processor, add all ingredients except nondairy choc chips.  (Fold those in last)
organic chickpeas and rice chocolate chips--who knew??
3.  Spoon little mounds onto cookie sheets, and bake about 10-12 min until fuffy and not gooey.  Let cool a couple min and enjoy!

So soft, so fluffy, so unexpected!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

healthy treats for your puppy friends...or furbabies, if you will


My baking is not just limited to people food; I also like to bake treats for Yogi and Zeke (and Clyde and Kumo, my twin's dogs, Cami and Tessa, my parents' dogs, Lady, the in-laws' dog, and the list goes on and on).  Basically this recipe has been approved by several different standard poodles, a couple golden-doodles, a mix of unknown origin from a shelter in Texas, and several others.  (Yogi makes a lot of friends, definitely way more than me).

It all started when I saw a cookie cutter shaped like a fire hydrant, and thought it was the cutest little thing.  Since then, I've discovered that I love making healthy cookies for our dogs; I know exactly whats in it, and it's a healthy, organic and non-processed way to reward them.  Plus I'm pretty sure they love them more than any other packaged treat I've bought home.

Yogi enjoys the remnants of one treat

Yogi's friends Tessa, Kumo and Cami, who also enjoy my cookies

Yogi and Clyde
I never follow a recipe, just mix the following ingredients until the desired consistency is reached (combined, not too dry and not too sticky, so that it is easy to roll out).

Here's the approximate recipe:

Yogi Treats

1-1/2 cups organic whole wheat pastry flour (gluten-free would work as well if your pups can't handle gluten)
 2 cups oats
1 cup peanut or almond butter
1/4 cup molasses
3 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup wheat germ
water, as needed to reach that not-too-sticky consistency


Roll dough out on floured surface, cut out shapes with cookie cutter of your choice.  (I like to use several different bone sizes, a fire hydrant, and a little gingerbread house that I pretend is a doghouse).

Bake 10-12 minutes on greased or lined cookie sheets or until bottoms are golden and fully baked.  Let cool and store in an airtight container to maintain freshness.  These also freeze well if you opt to make a bunch at once.

Yogi and Zeke approved

Totally an easy and fast recipe, and they smell delicious.  If you like bland treats, you might want one, too! ;)

my taste-testers, taking a nap

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Spirulina Hemp Protein Cookies


I'd scroll down to the previous post if you're hoping for a dessert.  But still, these protein-packed Spirulina Hemp Protein cookies are a tasty nutrient-dense meal substitution or snack instead of that protein bar or granola bar you might usually enjoy instead.  I love it when I have a few spare minutes to make protein cookies--I save them in the fridge and grab them on a go or as a post workout protein boost.

Fave protein powder...very mild taste that mixes great and doesn't have sugar and sweeteners--even Stevia is a no-go for me.  Vegan friendly and plant protein--so yummy and creamy!  Sprouts has a pretty good price on it, better than their website.

On a personal note, I have several health issues including low adrenals and an under-active thyroid at the moment, so I am trying to eat as clean as possible, with an emphasis on lean protein and veggies.  These are are a welcome addition to my current salad with salmon breakfast, protein smoothies and what seems like a million supplements! 

Spirulina Hemp Protein Cookies:
makes about 16


3 tablespoons Hemp Protein Powder (or protein powder of your choice)
1 teaspoon spirulina
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut (air-puffed if you have it)
1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
1/3 cup sunflower seed butter
4 to 5 dates
spinkling of raw cacao nibs
2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
filtered water to taste/texture, about 3-4 tablespoons

They aren't very pretty....there's no real way of getting around that ;)


Food process, then roll into balls and enjoy.  Easy-peasy!

This guy got his own treats...I'll include Yogi's fave dog cookie recipe on here soon!

Friday, June 14, 2013

coffee and dessert in one chocolatey hazelnut combo

A decadent and delicious caffeine-infused chocolate concoction, made with some of the million Oregon hazelnuts I have stored in the freezer (thank you for the wedding present, Eugene neighbors ;)

Well this recipe is a bit more chocolatey (yes, that's a word in my world) and elaborate than my usual simple raw cookies, but the truth is, I set out to make a regular chocolate hazelnut cookie for Dave.  Turns out we were out of most of the ingredients, so I figured I may as well just go the healthier route as usual and see what happens.  And so this fantastically fragrant chocolate coffee cookie with a hazelnut coating came to be.  Good dessert party contribution, I'd say....

By the way it looks like a long and complicated recipe but it is pretty fast and simple.  Ingredients in parenthesis are other potential substitutions.  The cookie pictured is using the first ingredient listed after the measurement!

Chocolate Hazelnut Cookies

Yields 16-18 small cookies

1 cup gluten-free flour (buckwheat plus almond plus brown rice combo was pretty yum)
3/4 cup sucanat or light brown sugar (or coconut palm sugar, your choice on the sweetener here)
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa or cacao powder
dash sea salt
1/4 cup coconut oil (soft, not melted)
1/2 of a large overripe avocado
1 egg (or chia or flax "egg"--1 tbsp meal mixed with 3 tbsp water)
2 teaspoons cold pressed coffee (or cooled espresso)**
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2/3 cup finely chopped hazelnuts, toasted and cooled to room temp

Take skinned hazelnuts and toast a few minutes in the oven.  Cool for a couple, and food process until fine to medium pieces. Quick tip to remove skin: toast hazelnuts in oven then gently roll while warm with hands or clean tea towel to rub skin off.

1/2 cup of topping for cookies:
I melted non dairy chocolate chips and slowly added it to almond butter with a little finely ground espresso and vanilla stirred in.  This is so good, it'll make you want to lick the bowl clean.  You can also just spoon a little almond butter in the center if you're in a hurry or would like to tone down the sugar.

Even easier and amazingly yummy option:  Fellow University of Oregon grads Erika and Keeley's company Wild Squirrel makes this bomb Vanilla Espresso Almond Butter that kinda compliments this cookie perfectly!

Make little indents with your thumb before the cookie is baked...this is the "home" for that delicious filling!


1.  Preheat oven to 350 and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
2.  Sift flour, sugar, cocoa and salt in a medium bowl.
3.  In a mixing bowl, mix overripe avocado with soft coconut oil until creamy (you can food process the avocado first but if it's ripe enough, not necessary--just whip it.  Whip it good ;)
4.  Add in egg and vanilla, still beating.  After a couple minutes, slowly add the dry ingredients, just until combined and batter is shiny.
5.  Spoon out heaping tablespoon-sized cookies, roll in a ball, then roll edges of the ball into ground up toasted hazelnuts.
6.  Bake 8-11 minutes then spoon in your melted chocolate-nut butter combo or Wild Squirrel deliciousness.

**side note: I'm OBSESSED with Chameleon Cold Brew--I could probably be their spokesperson, and I love it.  Very caffeinated.  I dilute it down with filtered water and or unsweetened coconut milk and wish I could enjoy it all day long.  Seriously good, seriously expensive, but worth it.  One day, Running Girl Bakery will have cold pressed coffee options ;)  In lieu of cold pressed coffee though, just stir in some cold coffee or espresso, or heck, if you're lazy, some ground up espresso. 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Gotta-Get-To-Work Morning: Breakfast Smoothie

So here's another sort-of pinterest inspired breakfast.  A few days ago, I came across a beautiful photo of a smoothie that said "tastes just like a Wendy's Frosty!" and the ingredients were easy and healthy.

Well I made it this morning, and I have to say, I don't know what a Wendy's Frosty tastes like but there's no way it taste like this bland thing here.  (I do suspect something else was added into this creamy looking concoction).  At any rate, I revamped the recipe, and came up with something filling and tastier.

From the pinterest version:

(3/4 cup almond milk, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, 15 ice cubes, 1-2 tbsp cocoa, 1/3 of a banana)

to my better breakfast:

1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon protein powder
2 or 3 tablespoons avocado (I just cut off a chunk of ripe avocado and threw it in)
1-1/2 tablespoon raw cacao powder
1 teaspoon spirulina
1 medium ripe banana

Filling, cream, thick and delicious--breakfast shake of champions.  And filled with protein and nutrients--what's not to like?  Ok ok, I had a little bite of bean cake too...and now off to Bodyrok it at my amazing job!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Craving a peanut butter cookie? Try my energy-packed raw sunflower seed cookies!

This morning I was awakened by a muffled bark.  I got out of bed to throw on clothes to take the dogs out, assuming they were reminding me they had to pee.  When I opened the door to my closet, I shrieked in surprise at our one year old golden-doodle, who was curled up in a tangle of my clothes and shoes. 

As soon as the hubby left the house just before six, he had flattened his body and slid underneath the baby gate that keeps the dogs out of the upstairs. (he has definitely accomplished this before).  He then leaned against the not-fully-shut bedroom door, gaining access.  He then found his way into the closet, where the door shut on him (it slowly shuts on its own accord).  Having discovered himself in a LITTLE ROOM THAT SMELLS LIKE MOM, YAY!!!, he created a little nest of my things and curled up as I slept, oblivious.  Only the need to relieve himself prompted him to call out, for which I am very grateful.  My morning could have begun dramatically worse.

Anyway, I proceeded to have a pretty good morning, and thereby decided to offer my advice for a great productive start to your next day off.  Steps to enjoy your day off:

1. Take a long walk, preferably in the sunshine, preferably with both a small and giant goldendoodle for several miles.
2.  Read a library book curled up with said dogs for 30-45 minutes. 
3.  Make raw sunflower seed protein cookies to trick yourself into thinking you get to eat cookies for breakfast, yay!
4.  Sweep, vacuum, and enjoy a little jog or if you're like me, head to take the hubby's car into the shop with the hopes of browsing TJ Maxx for discounted pretty mismatched plates and saucers after.  And it's not even noon!

For those of you that are thinking "Okay, I totally just want the recipe", well then jeez, here you go!

Raw Sunflower Seed Cookies

Yields about 12 medium cookies

1 -1/2 teaspoons coconut oil (not melted)
1/4 cup sunflower seed butter
1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut (my fave brand here)
2 tablespoons power meal**
1 tablespoon vanilla
2-4 tablespoons filtered water, as needed.
4 or 5 medjool dates

1.  Food process all together.  Add a little filtered water as needed, stop processor when it comes together.
2.  Divide into about 12-14 little balls, flatten, and use a fork to create that little criss cross found on so many of those fatty fat peanut butter cookies.
3.  Eat a few, take your energy-filled self outside and enjoy the day!

You can usually find these in your local grocery store, or at least health store.  In the Southern Cal-area, check out Sprouts or Jimbo's.

** I sometimes call almond meal and chia meal "power meal".  Made by grinding almonds and chia seeds respectively). You can use just ground up chia seeds or just almond flour if desired.  Basically ground up almonds=almond meal=almond flour.  All the same thing.  Or, if you're like "I don't have time to grind up all that", just toss whole chia seeds in, it'll do.  Don't have chia seeds?  Would you like to be healthier and have more energy?  Go buy some.