We all know that parenting is all about balance, right? Well, when you find that balance, please show me where it is, because I’ve learned that finding balance isn’t always easy!
Take my family, for example. Good health is important to me. Keeping my kids in good health is most important to me.
But where do we draw the line between good physical health and good emotional health? Emotional well-being is just as important as good physical health. See? Cookies are important, gosh darn it! :)
Now usually, as a family, we consume a very strict whole-foods, mostly-plant-based diet, and my kids are used to saying, “No thank you.” when well-meaning friends and family members offer them foods that they know they’re not supposed to eat.
But there are only so many birthday parties, Halloween gatherings, and homeschool meet-ups a kid can attend before getting majorly curious about all those forbidden treats and sweets.
So what’s a mama to do? Make healthy versions of those sweet treats to give to your kids instead!
I mean c’mon, you’ve fed them so much tofu and kale, they’ll never know the difference anyway.
Anyway, these cookies fit the bill perfectly! They are soft and cake-like, though you can cook them longer to make them more chewy if that’s your preference.
They’re decadent when warm from the oven and just as good straight out of the fridge.
And you should totally try them dipped in homemade almond or hemp milk for a comforting before bed story-time treat.
Or just go crazy with it and cover them all in chocolate, whatevs.
Oh, and bonus! This recipe could be modified to make great pancakes if you cut the liquid sweetener in half and add, oh I dunno, like 1/2 to 3/4 cup homemade nut milk, apple juice, or even water to thin the batter before pouring it out and frying on a cast-iron griddle.
Can I get a bam? Bam! Oh yeah.
CINNAMON SPICE BEDTIME COOKIES
Recipe by: Melissa Marks
3 cups almond flour
1 Tblsp flax seeds + 4 Tblsp water -OR- 1 large organic pastured egg
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce -OR- 1/3 cup mashed ripe banana
1/2 cup shredded zucchini -OR- 1/2 cup shredded carrot
1/2 cup shredded dried coconut
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup maple syrup or honey (if not vegan); adjust to your tastebuds’ delight
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp ground cardamom seed
1 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and grease a cookie sheet, or line it with parchment paper, or use one of those awesome silicone baking mat things.
Make your flax egg by grinding 1 Tblsp flax seeds and mixing with 4 Tblsp filtered water, then letting it sit in the fridge while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
Mix all dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Set aside.
Shred your zucchini or carrots, then combine with the rest of the wet ingredients in a smaller mixing bowl. Don’t forget your flax egg!
Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix by hand with a spoon til well combined, but don’t over-mix.
Form a cookie ball with your hands. The dough should be sticky and just a tiny bit crumbly. If the dough feels too wet and goopy, add more almond flour. If it feels too dry, add more applesauce or mashed banana.
Form dough into balls, arrange on prepared cookie sheet, then flatten to 3/4-inch thickness or so. Or whatever. Use your judgment here. Only you know how big or small you like your cookies. Just keep in mind that if they are too thick, you risk burned bottoms and wet interiors.
Place cookie sheet on an oven rack in the middle of your oven and bake around 25-35 minutes, depending on your oven and altitude and all the other jazz that affects baking times. Start checking on them after 20 minutes and go from there.
When cookies are done, place cookie sheet on a cooling rack and cool completely before eating. Or go ahead and burn your mouth if you just can’t wait.
Store extras in the fridge or freezer. Reheat them in the toaster oven for bonus points. Enjoy!