I’ve always loved to bake. It was my first (and arguably most enduring) form of therapy. In high school, I prided myself on having memorized the cookie recipe on the back of Toll House chocolate chips: My anxieties would start to quell as I mixed the flour with the baking soda. By the time I was beating the eggs, sugar, and butter, I was in my zone.
Fast forward a few years and many doctor’s appointments later, I found out that I was gluten intolerant and had chronic lyme disease. Flour was out. So was sugar, as lyme seems to feed on sugar. The further I traveled on my health journey, the more foods I needed to cut out (see ya later, eggs and dairy!).
Along the way, I’ve had to pay close attention to how certain foods make me feel and
adjust what—and how—I bake to fit my dietary needs. I don’t believe in restrictions—I believe in finding creative ways to focus on healing ingredients. Instead of baking “guilty pleasures,” I now make nourishing treats for everyday eating.
All of these recipes are flexible, so you can adapt them to your own preferences and what you have in the pantry. Try them out and let us know what you think!
I did an ayurvedic cleanse—the one where you take shots of ghee and eat only kitchari—and I discovered this healthy cookie recipe. My mom loves these cookies so much that she makes sure to stock the ingredients, so when I come home to visit, I can whip them up immediately.
Recipe adapted from The Mind Body Cleanse.
Yields: 12 cookies
Ingredients for the cookies:
- 1 cup almonds
- 8 large Medjool dates, pitted
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 tbsp vanilla
- ¼ tsp cardamom
- ½ tsp vanilla
- ½ tsp salt
Ingredients for the jam:
- 1 cup fresh or frozen fruit (such as raspberries, blueberries, or blackberries)
- 1 tbsp chia seeds
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- ½ tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a baking sheet with coconut oil or ghee. Place almonds in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Add the remaining ingredients and pulse again until you get a thick, sticky dough.
Form dough into little balls and place on a baking sheet. Flatten a little with your palm, and then use your fingers to form a little hole in the center to fill with jam after baking.
Bake for approximately 12-15 minutes or until lightly brown.
While the cookies are baking, make the jam. Heat the berries in a small saucepan on medium-high heat and use a fork to mash the berries until you get your desired consistency (I like it a little chunky!). Stir in chia seeds and lemon juice and add maple syrup to sweeten.
Remove the jam from the heat and let it cool for five minutes. It will thicken up as it cools. Allow cookies to cool slightly and then fill with the homemade jam!
Store cookies in a closed container or in the refrigerator for up to five days. You can keep extra jam in the refrigerator to mix into yogurt or oatmeal or spread on toast!
Save the Earth Muffins
The best breakfast place where I went to college in Hanover, New Hampshire serves something called an “Earth Muffin” that I still dream about til this day. I’ve been searching for a vegan, gluten-free, sugar-free alternative to the muffin of my dreams for over a decade, and I finally found it! This recipe satisfies everything I would ever want from a muffin. Enjoy it with tea for breakfast, on a hike or road trip, or anytime you want a nourishing bite.
Recipe adapted from Ellie Likes Cooking.
Yields 12 muffins
- 1 ¼ c. oat flour (you can make this by putting old fashioned oats in a blender or food processor)
- ½ c. almond flour
- ¼ c. old fashioned oats
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 2 ripe bananas (mashed)
- 2 tbsp pure maple syrup (feel free to omit if you can’t do any sugar)
- ½ c. alternative milk (almond, oat, and hemp all work fine)
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- ½ tsp baking soda
- 1 c. shredded carrots
- ¼ c. raisins
- ¼ c. chopped walnuts
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Set aside a lined or greased muffin tray. Whisk together oat flour, almond flour, oats, baking powder, and pumpkin spice. In a separate bowl, mix together mashed bananas, maple syrup, alt milk, apple cider vinegar, and vanilla extract. Add flour mixture into wet ingredients and mix until combined. Let the batter rest for about 10 minutes (a great time to clean up the mess!). Fold in baking soda, carrots, raisins, and walnuts and mix until evenly combined.
Scoop batter into muffin cups, filling all the way.
Bake at 425°F for seven minutes, then reduce heat to 350°F and bake for another 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.
Cool in the tray for five minutes, then transfer muffins to a cooling rack to cool completely. Keep in a closed container for up to four days or stash in the freezer for up to a few months.
With this recipe, there’s actually no baking involved! If you’re into seed cycling for hormone balance, you can adjust the ingredients for where you are on your moon cycle (hence the name “moon balls!”). You can also add any medicinal mushrooms or adaptogens that you incorporate into your diet.
I usually enjoy them as a midmorning snack or an afternoon pick-me-up, but they’re delicious any time.
Recipe adapted from Nourish Move Love.
- 1 cup old fashioned oats
- ¾ cup tahini (could substitute any nut butter)
- 2 tbsp raw honey or pure maple syrup
- ¼ cup chia seeds
- ¼ cup shredded, unsweetened coconut flakes
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- ¾ tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- ¼ tsp sea salt
Optional add ins:
- ¼ cup dark chocolate chips
- For days 1-14 of your cycle: 2 tbsp of ground flax seeds and 2 tbsp ground pumpkin seeds
- For days 15-28 of your cycle: 2 tbsp ground sunflower seeds and 2 tbsp ground sesame seeds
- Any adaptogenic powders you’d like to add in (right now, I’m into maca, ashwagandha, and reishi).
Put the ingredients in a food processor, add as many of the optional ingredients as you like. Adjust until you get a gooey consistency. If it’s not sticking together, try adding water one tablespoon at a time. Gather the “dough” into little balls. Store in a container in the refrigerator for up to a week.