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Double Chocolate Cookies

If there was a category for “favorite sweet treats,” these cookies would definitely be included.  They were the first dessert that I made after finding out about the dietary changes I would be making.  The recipe was given to me by a co-worker, and I remember her saying something to the effect of, “I wouldn’t feel bad about feeding this to one of my kids for breakfast.”  A cookie for breakfast?  Yes, please!!  🙂

Although it is very tempting to eat all of these before even packing them up into a storage container, I have to still consider them “dessert.”  On top of that, although the chocolate chips are dairy-free, they do still contain evaporated cane sugar, which I am supposed to limit in my diet as well.  I bet they would still be good without the chocolate chips though.

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Pumpkin Muffins

I am not sure that I’ve had anything made from pumpkin that I didn’t like.  The big two for me are probably pumpkin pie (with a TON of Cool Whip, and preferably no crust) and pumpkin bread/pumpkin roll with that amazing cream cheese icing.  Fortunately, it hasn’t been that hard to find a lot of different recipes for various items made from pumpkin that are grain, dairy, & white sugar-free.  You  just have to pick which one(s) you want to try.  I was intrigued by a recipe called “Paleo Pumpkin Breakfast Cookies” because I am always looking for something new to have for breakfast, and to think about being able to eat a cookie for breakfast makes me think about being a young kid when this wasn’t necessarily allowed 🙂

When I started stirring together the ingredients for the cookies, I realized that the batter was looking way too runny to hold its form on a cookie sheet.  I’ve ignored this fact before and ended up with a mess and a waste of a lot of ingredients, so I thought I would just try to make muffins instead.  It turned out quite well.

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No-Bake Cookies

Seeing this recipe brought back memories of ~7-8 years ago.  I was in PT school, living by myself, and it was hard cooking for one (and being on a grad student budget).  When I had a sweet tooth, often I would bake something and then share with some of my classmates.  When I didn’t have the time, patience, and/or ingredients to bake, I would grab a pan and make no-bake cookies.  This was also at a time that I was doing a lot of running to train for 1/2 marathons, so I didn’t feel guilty for making a pan of no-bake cookie “dough” and eating it straight out of the pan (it is possible this served as dinner at times as well).  I figured that I would “burn it off” when doing a long run the next day.  I’m pretty sure that the recipe I used contained at least 2 cups of white sugar, as well as containing milk.

Gone are the days of having cookie dough for dinner, but the occasional craving for a no-bake cookie remains every now and again.  So, when I found this recipe I was glad to give it a try.  The original recipe can be found at:

http://sweettreatsbyshayna.blogspot.com/2011/10/no-bake-paleo-cookies.html.

I couldn’t imagine “ruining” my no-bake cookies with coconut flakes ( I just can’t make myself like the taste or texture of most things coconut), so I decided to substitute gluten-free quick-cooking oats.  It took a little more than 1 cup to make it so that the cookies were not too runny.  I think that next time I make these I will use less pecans.  I didn’t mind the flavor of them in the cookies, but it seemed like they were always getting stuck in my teeth :0

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Trying New Things: Avocado

An avocado is not something I was ever tempted to try until recently.  The first time I had guacamole was ~2 years ago when we visited Cancun.  Surprisingly, the guacamole, salsa, and chips were better than my actual dinner entrée.  It had such a nice lime and garlic flavor that I forgot that it had avocado in it.

There is something about the overall appearance of an avocado, as well as the texture once you cut it in half, that just didn’t appeal to me.  I think most people would agree that they would tend to eat food that looks more appetizing over one that doesn’t look visually appealing.  To me, an avocado isn’t “pretty.”  On top of that, I sometimes tend to have an issue with foods that have “different” textures.  Once you cut it in half and start to scoop it out, the avocado falls into that texture category to me.

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When I started looking into it, the nutrition benefits of avocado definitely outweighed the fact that it’s not “pretty” and has a “weird” texture.  They are high in potassium, fiber, vitamin E, folic acid, and “good fat,” amongst other vitamins/nutrients.  They have anti-inflammatory properties and are good for blood vessel and heart health.  The list goes on.

When I was looking for some “sweet treat” recipes, I began to see several that used avocado.  My initial thought was, “How can that be any good?”  A dessert that tastes like avocado sounded disgusting.  When I read reviews of the recipes, however, I found that most commented on how moist/creamy the avocado made the dessert.  There were no complaints about the dessert tasting like avocado.  So, I thought, I am making so many other changes in my diet, maybe it’s time to try something totally new.  What did I have to lose?

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