What’s your “crack”?
You know…that food that you’re most likely to pound after a hard day, or a sad day. Your kryptonite.
For ages and ages, mine was…
strings of chocolate stretching as you broke it apart….
chocolate chip cookie.
(Or raw cookie dough…there was that one time in my early 20s when I was returning from my evening GRE class, got off the subway, purchased a roll of uncooked cookie dough from the supermarket, and proceeded to eat about 1/2 of it.)
These days, I may have conquered my sugar addiction, but that doesn’t mean I skimp on desserts. No, ma’am. I just use a harm reduction principle – the concept that if you’re going to engage in a dangerous activity, you should do so as safely as possible. (Same principle behind distributing syringes to heroin addicts, or condoms in school. I call it common sense). Is cookie consumption dangerous? Well, you and I know it can be.
Therefore, harm reduction + chocolate chip cookie = finding the least allergenic and most nutrient-dense recipe around. There are a couple of reasons for this, which all boil down to the principle that if you eat good quality stuff, you’re less likely from a physiological standpoint to binge on it. By George, I think I’ve finally found it! And now I happily share it with you. Here are some important informational pieces about why I chose the ingredients I did:
It’s gluten-free. I’m ok with eating a burger on a wheat bun if I’m out on a date night, but I avoid using gluten at home. I’ve found that most people don’t digest it well. When I eat more than a little bit of it a few times per week my belly swells up and I look like I’m in my second trimester.
So I’m always experimenting with gluten-free flours, and the almond flour I use below is one of my faves for baking. If you’ve never worked with almond flour before, you’re in for a serious treat. It’s cakey, not too dense, slightly sweet, and packed with minerals. (Remember that almonds grow on trees whose roots reach deep into the ground, accessing all of that mineral-rich soil.) It’s also very low in carbs, and while I’m certainly not anti-carb, it’s just a fact that carbs spike the blood sugar…and the subsequent crash can trigger sugar cravings. In contrast, the fat and protein found in almonds work to keep your blood sugar nice and stable.
It’s refined-sugar-free. Also notice there’s no refined sugar of any kind in this recipe, for obvious reasons. Don’t be fooled by “evaporated cane juice”, “brown sugar”, and “beet sugar” – all euphemisms for the legal white powder. I use honey instead, which is also rich in minerals, and has anti-bacterial properties – how cool is that?
It’s easy. Best of all, this recipe is super-simple and super-quick. All the better to shove healthy cookies in my mouth, STAT.
The Perfect (Healthy) Chocolate Chip Cookie
(recipe adapted from www.elenaspantry.com)
2 1/2 c blanched almond flour (I buy the Honeyville Farms brand in bulk)
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 c melted butter (make sure it’s not hot when you mix it in with the other ingredients)
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1/2 c honey
1 c bittersweet chocolate chips (you can also use grain-sweetened if you can find them)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Combine dry ingredients in a bowl. Stir.
3. Combine wet ingredients in another bowl. Stir.
4. Gradually add dry ingredients to wet, stirring (or, if the dry ingredients’ bowl happens to be bigger, you can do it the other way around. Doesn’t really matter).
5. Form 1/2 inch balls and press gently onto a parchment-lined baking sheet.
6. Bake for 7-10 minutes (tops of cookies will be slightly golden-brown when ready).
7. Cool and feast!
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