Sunday, September 20, 2015

Walnut Honey "Shortbread"

raw shortbread cookies

These little bites are slightly sweet and have a hint of the light melt-in-your-mouth quality that shortbread embodies.  They are a breeze to make, and taste best chilled or frozen but can also be eaten seconds after making.  When frozen I think they resemble shortbread even more in terms of consistency.

If you're sensitive to nuts, you can use all seeds or whatever ratio of nuts work for you.  For me, I use 1/2 cup walnuts and 1/2 cup sunflower seeds as the first ingredient, or even 1/4 cup walnuts and 3/4 cup seeds.  On a hot day, especially after a run/walk/swim/what-have-you, it is pretty amazing to have a couple straight from the freezer.  They will stay soft yet be delightfully chill, making them a perfect summer treat.

Today after a lap swimming workout, I enjoyed a couple for a post workout treat and I must say they are one of my new favorites!  Speaking of lap swimming, I aim for 30-45 minutes per session and recently discovered the joy of creating a plan to make the swim time fly by.  A sample workout would be to do the following, repeating it if you'd like!

1.  Warm up 4 leisurely laps either freestyle or breaststroke
2.  Swim 4 laps at a higher exertion with a kickboard fluttering your legs keeping your head in the water and taking breaths as you would in freestyle.
3.  Swim 5 laps at a medium intensity.
4.  Leisurely swim 2 laps backstroke or sidestroke.
5.  With a float between your thighs, swim 2-4 laps using just the upper body.  Squeeze the float as much as you can with your thighs, even making little pulses.
6.  Swim 4 to 8 laps at a medium to higher intensity/speed.
7.  Cool down, 2-3 laps super easy.

Note: though I was forced to be on the swim team for years as a child, I'm no coach: I just took an online workout and tweaked it to my enjoyment/capability.  Use it as a loose guide and enjoy!  Now that I'm pregnant with my giant twin belly, the pool feels amazing and I can always count on swimming as a good way to exercise with no pressure on my joints.

walnut honey shortbread

Walnut Honey Shortbread
yields 16 cookies or so


1 cup walnuts
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1 cup gluten-free oats
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 to 2-1/2 tablespoons raw honey or maple syrup
(my lovely friend makes a similar cookie using stevia; use stevia to taste and omit the sweetener for a sugar-free version)
1 tablespoon coconut oil (soft, not melted)
1 to 2 tablespoons water

easy raw cookies


1.  Food-process the nuts (or seeds if substituting), and coconut.  Once it is pretty mixed and mealy, add in the rest of the ingredients.  Start with 1 tablespoon of water, adding more only as necessary for dough to stick together.
2.  Roll into 1 or 2 tablespoon-sized balls or discs and chill.  Store in an airtight container in the freezer.
3.  Enjoy!

raw walnut cookies

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