Sweet Chai of Mine- virtuous spiced snack cookies for yogi’s and their friends

Another recipe!
I’ve gone gluten free for a trial period. I never thought I would do so, as I am a champion sourdough baker, but all the signs are pointing to a gluten intolerance, which is a bummer. ( Actually, I think many people are gluten intolerant, or on the way to becoming so ) I feel very good, clear headed and light and mobile in my muscles and joints- but you’ve heard it all before and I won’t bore you with the details now.
Anyway, it’s not as hard as I thought, though the next step- grain free might prove a bit harder, so I am gearing up to that by getting some good recipes on the family menu.
Bikkies (cookies) are well loved around here- I like to grab a couple before teaching a class to keep me going, so after looking at various cookbooks and websites I came up with this very virtuous, healthy recipe that ticks all the boxes.
The kids even like them, but then again, there was often ginger and spices in their breast-milk so they are used to it. You might like to tone the spices down a bit to suit your palate.
Here they are:
sweet chai cookies

Sweet Chai of Mine
SNACK COOKIES
Paleo, Vegan, AIP friendly, Sweetener free, Gluten free, Grain free, Nut free, Dairy free… and still good to eat!

1 ripe, medium sized banana ( mine are usually frozen- no need to defrost- & always organic )
3 fat juicy organic medjool dates – pitted
3 tablespoons coconut flour, measured flat not heaped
1 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil- hard or soft or melted ( on the second trial I ran out and used homemade ghee instead- even better taste- though no longer vegan )
3 heaped tablespoons shredded natural coconut
1 heaped tablespoon of lucuma powder ( optional, makes for a lovely sweet caramel undertone and comes with awesome superfood powers )
1 to 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, grated – or to taste
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom ( optional – not always AIP friendly )
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon apple cider vinegar or kombucha vinegar or lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon baking soda ( you could probably skip it if intolerant )
Pinch of pink salt

Throw the lot in a high powered blender ( I use a thermomix ) and mix until a smoothish paste – some texture remaining is nice. A tiny bit of water may be needed to make it into a cookie style batter, depending on your brand of coconut flour.
Coconut flour takes a few minutes to absorb the moisture, so if you think it is too thin, wait a few mins before adding a tiny bit more coconut flour.
Spoon onto a silicone baking mat or baking paper, shaping with your fingers a little. I make about 15 smaller cookies- I find them very filling and satisfying. Great with a cup of tea.
I threw some cacao powder and cacao nibs to 1/3 of mine, to make chocolate chai bites ( though no longer AIP friendly perhaps) The darker ones in the above photo are the chocolate version.
Bake at 180 C 325F for 10-20 minutes, depending on your oven. A little browned around the edges is nice.
Wait a little before transferring onto a cooling rack.
Store in a cool place in summer.
Let me know what you think, I like comments and feedback!

Yogi food: Pumpkin Buckwheat Almond Bread….. a recipe!

A nourishing, protein rich, yeast-free, gluten-free breakfast or lunch bread.

This is my first recipe post on yogaguerilla’s blog.
I think I’ll be doing more as healthy, nourishing food is a major interest of mine.

Yogi food

Yogi food

I made this bread this morning before the heat of the day, and it baked while we were doing our practice. It was a perfect breakfast, delicious topped with yellow butter, high in protein and pleasantly filling. Eating your vegetables for breakfast is a wonderful thing. I had some for lunch, toasted, and it toasts beautifully, too.

I am not sure how long this would last on the counter, especially when it is hot like today, so perhaps pop it in the fridge after a day, if there is any left.
I am in no way a gluten free yogi, as I make my own rye based sourdough, wholegrain bread several times a week for my family. We tolerate gluten containing grains prepared properly (ie- fermented). However, several times a year I choose to take a few days to a week off from gluten (and often dairy) to give my system a break.

Be sure to use free range, pastured eggs. Anything else is just not fair on the chickens. No excuses. I have 6 out of my 8 chickens laying currently, so using up excess eggs is always a good thing.

Pumpkin is a good source of beta carotene, antioxidants, omega 3 (anti-inflammatory) and grounding, natural sweetness. Sweet potato would also work here, or a mix of the two.

Almonds are full of protein, plus omegas, vitamin E, calcium and fibre. In Ayurvedic medicine, almonds are said to promote ojas (essential life energy), and nourish the nervous system.

Eggs have recently become my best friend- a great source of protein, fats and vitamins and a quick easy filler, bringing you down to earth after a strong practice. I was vegan for years but find adding eggs and a little cultured dairy to my diet brings a much needed balance and nourishment when working the body so intently.

Buckwheat brings a rich supply of flavonoids- rutin being the key one- providing a lipid lowering effect, protecting against heart disease and blood clots. Buckwheat is a good source of manganese, copper and magnesium, which relaxes blood vessels and muscles, improving blood flow and nutrient delivery- that’s just what we yogi’s need after practice- and lowering blood pressure.

Ingredients:

450 g ( 3 cups) grated raw pumpkin ( I blitzed mine in the thermomix which left a few bigger chunks, they cooked through easily )

4 whole large free-range eggs (or 5 bantam eggs if you have smaller feathered friends )

1/2 tsp sea salt/ himalayan pink salt

1/4 cup (60 ml) cold pressed macadamia nut oil (olive oil works too, but coconut oil would be too dense and make for a constricted batter and a bread that is only good whilst warm. Cultured butter- melted and cooled- would also be delicious)

2 teaspoons gluten free baking powder- make sure it is fresh.

1 cup/100 gm almond meal- with or without skins ( I use whole activated -soaked and dried- almonds, ground to a flour in my thermomix )

1 cup/100 gm buckwheat flour

1/2 cup sorghum flour- or is you don’t have that, perhaps brown rice flour or another gluten free option.

1/2 cup true arrowroot- or perhaps sub’ in up to a tablespoon of coconut flour if you have a bag of it and are wondering how to use it ( ie- sparingly )

Note: You can experiment with the grain flours, to make up 200 gm/ 2 cups. Or use more almond meal, less grain flours if you like. I threw in some teff grain here ( 1/8 cup ) for the additional iron. If I had any chia on hand I would have used a bit of that, too. The batter should be thick but still move easily when you tip the bowl.
2 teaspoons molasses or rice syrup ( I did one of each) or not, if you are reducing sugars. The pumpkin provides sweetness as it is.
Seeds- sesame, sunflower, flax or pumpkin seeds to sprinkle on top

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 180 C , or 150 to 160 C if fan forced.
Mix the pumpkin, eggs, salt and oil in a bowl.
 Add the almond meal, grain flours and baking powder to bowl, and mix with a spoon so that no powder remains. 
Scrunch up a piece of baking/parchment paper and smooth out, and use it to line a large loaf tin.
 Dollop the mixture evenly into tin. Sprinkle the top with your chosen seeds.
Bake for approximately 1 hour if fan forced, up to 30 minutes longer if not. Test to see that no stickiness is left on a skewer. Ovens are so variable, so check after 1 hour and keep checking every 15 minutes if not cooked through.
 Remove from the oven and allow to rest in the tin for 15 minutes before pulling out in the baking paper and putting on a rack to cool.
Slice with a serrated knife.

Eat warm, cool or toasted. Tastes great with nut butter, soft butter, ghee, goats cheese or avocado. I’m thinking it would be nice with cinnamon or even ginger for a sweeter bread in winter,
Please share with your gluten free and yogi friends- and if you try it, let me know what you think.