Today was a rather perfect day spent in the kitchen with Chris, both of us working on some recipes (me, gluten free almond cookies adapted from the Sprouted Kitchen cookbook and slow roasting the last of the season’s peppers and tomatoes, him pumpkin pie) and then out to the woods to meander through leaves and drifts of ochre ferns browned by Friday night’s frost. It came as forecasted and we were ready (Chris covered the lettuce with a sheet), though I wasn’t quite prepared to see my zinnia patch crisped overnight, marigolds and morning glory leaves rendered coal-gray and limp. The cold weather veggie crops are still going strong; kale, lettuce, broccoli raab, turnips, carrots beets and other treasures still fill our plot. There is a surfeit of brown outside right now, but in dappled light, it’s beautiful.
I thought about this blog project and how its overarching theme is comfort. Garden, woods, fields, light, beautifully composed plates of food we planned, executed and ate, views framed by leaves, buds and growing things- it’s an antidote to all the bewilderment, suffering and questioning in and all around me. We are all hungry. Here, I celebrate our daily rituals of nourishment, both indoors and out.
A long-time yoga student of mine whom I see every week and who is also a close friend I’ve known for over a decade, is having quadruple bypass surgery tomorrow. I taught him class last Sunday and by Tuesday he was at the emergency room following several days of chest pains. He takes great care of himself but stress and genetic proclivity prove challenging to the width of his arteries. His kids have flown in from Miami and New York City to be with him and their mom and I want to do something for them. So I’ll cook. They’ll need some nourishing, comforting food in their fridge to come home to after long stretches at the hospital so I’m soaking white beans for a Tuscan bean/vegetable stew cooked in the slow-cooker. They’ll need energy packed snacks, so today I made these cookies. They’re gluten free, sweetened by low glycemic coconut sugar, packed with almond meal for protein and with two forms of coconut and cacao nibs for energy, antioxidants and healthy fats. They’re chewy and yummy to boot. And really quick to make. You could even eat them for breakfast.
Almond Meal Cookies with Coconut and Cacao Nibs makes 30 small or 20 slightly larger cookies
1 1/4 cups almond meal (buy pre-made or pulse raw almonds in food processor)
1/4 cup cacao nibs
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon coconut sugar (available at health food stores)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons melted coconut oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
In mixing bowl, stir together dry ingredients. In another bowl, whisk egg until fluffy and uniform in color, then whisk in coconut oil and vanilla. Add this to dry ingredients, combine and chill in refrigerator for a minimum of 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375˚. Using your hands, roll the dough into balls no larger than one inch in diameter an place on an untreated baking sheet, giving them a gentle press on top to flatten slightly. Bake just until the edges brown, 5-7 minutes. Remove from oven and cool before serving.