Monday, February 8, 2010

C is for Cookie...

...and that's a good enough reason for me to bake up two dozen every weekend.

Seriously, I seem to go through a vegan baking phase every winter. Two years ago it was vegan cupcakes. Last winter it was pies. This winter it's cookies. It's not a healthy habit, but life is short, and I do have help taking care of them from a certain cookie vacuum I live with!

These two cookie recipes are, sort of, healthy. The first one is agave sweetened peanut butter cookies from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar. So, they not sweetened with sugar, which is nice. However, the three generous handfuls of chocolate chunks I added to them had plenty of sugar, I'm sure. What are you gonna do? But these were gooood people. Like, shut. up. good.

My next attempt at "healthy" cookie making was the oatmeal, walnut and dried plum cookies from Alicia Silverstone's new book, The Kind Diet. I changed them quite a bit by using raisins and pumpkin seeds instead of plums and walnuts, and had to use 1/4 cup regular sugar instead of the maple sugar called for, but that's OK. They still were low(ish) on the sweeteners (they also called for maple syrup) and used only 3/4 cup flour. These flattened when they baked, which was disappointing, but they were chewy and actually pretty good! I would make them again for sure.

On that note, I highly recommend The Kind Diet. Although I have had the utmost respect for Alicia Silverstone for years for speaking out against cruelty towards animals and advocating a vegan/vegetarian diet, I was skeptical this book would be good (sorry Alicia!). I was wrong. It's awesome, and a great book for anyone wanting to try veganism, vegans who need a diet make over, and people who just want to know how to eat a little healthier. Although it's a "diet" book, Alicia makes a point to say if you are paying attention to what you eat and striving to eat lots of veggies and grains, that's the most important thing. She also stresses not beating yourself up if you eat crap every once in a while (I didn't just eat an Oreo brownie from Vegan Treats!), and to make sure you don't deprive yourself. Her view on exercise is very similar to mine as well, there is no point in forcing yourself to sweat on a treadmill at the gym if you hate it- you're much better off doing something you love, like yoga, or going for a long walk. She even says she likes to still go to beginner yoga classes just so she doesn't feel pressured and can move at her own pace- that's awesome!!!! OK, done gushing.

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