It could be easy to overload on carbs and sugars even while focusing on eating a gluten-free diet. I think you may know what I mean...eating pounds of rice, corn, potatoes, and processed gluten-free products. It is part of the challenge when switching over to a gluten-free diet, or even more with combination of dairy-free or vegan. Your main challenge will be learning how to get more protein into your diet, without packing in meat and dairy. Protein is not just found in meat, yes, I know surprising for the over-fed-meat American diet. You can gain perfect proteins from whole grains, a plate of colorful vegetables and nuts, seeds and legumes. Really. You can. It may take some time to allow your body to adjust to more plant protein instead of mostly dairy and meat, but you can get the same combo of essential amino acid from a combo of rice and beans and you can from a slice of meat.
Protein is essential to the diet because it is the body's principle source of enzymes and hormones and is needed to maintain and build muscles, bones, hair and teeth. The reason why trying to gain more of your protein from plants is that you are also gaining the ability to digest better. Trying to go through a healing process while eating loads of meat and dairy will definitely slow down digestion and may make it a lot harder to feel energy and healing. I have gained a lot of this knowledge through personal experience and great authors and mentors as John Douillard, Mark Hyman, and also my local natural doctor Adrian Den Boer.
Personally, I know I feel my best when I get a balanced amount of protein daily. Add seeds and nuts to as many dishes as possible, and always eat whole grains. Also, add beans and hormone-free meat when possible, but not every meal or even everyday. Those are just some of the ideas I keep in mind when trying to add balance and variety in my protein intake. And I take this to heart now more than ever, considering my body is working overload with growing and building the baby inside of me.
But what's this about protein cookies...
These cookies are made with all protein rich ingredients and full of healthy fats, amino acids, and nutrients. So, eating a cookie like this will not only make you feel like you are cheating the system, but you will feel full, nourished and loved. I promise. It's not like you are eating a flavorless health cookie either. It is full of everything! Coconut flour is one of the binding ingredients, and I just love the flavor that comes from it, but also there is 5 grams of fiber, and 2 grams of protein in just 2 TB! Amazing. So, if you are going to indulge, this cookie is just as much as a protein boosted snack as it is a pleasure to eat. So, now to the recipe...
Protein Monster Cookies Recipe
3/4 cup of almond meal (grind whole raw almonds in a coffee grinder or high powered blender)
1/2 cup of gluten-free oats (I use Bob's Red Mill's)
1 cup of sucanat (unrefined cane juice) coconut palm sugar or beet sugar works too
1/2 ts. of baking soda
1/2 ts. of sea salt
1 ts. of baking powder
3/4 cup of almond milk (or other non-dairy milk)
1 TB of ground flax meal (or chia seed meal)
1/4 cup of raw agave nectar or raw honey
1/4 cup of light olive oil or coconut oil
1/3 cup of organic peanut butter
1/2 cup of raisins
1/2 cup of chopped walnuts
1/2 cup of dairy-free dark chocolate chips
Mix the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl, and then mix the wet ingredients in a separate bowl together with a wisk (without the oil). Then mix the wet and dry together and combine the oil and peanut butter. Mix well and then finally add the extra ingredients of the walnuts, raisins, and chocolate. Use a spatula to fold it all together well and then use your hands to roll a hand-filled-sized ball and flatten it with your hands before putting on a parchment papered baking sheet. The cookies will not spread or rise much so you can flatten them before baking to create the size and shape you want. This recipe will make 18-24 cookies depending on how large you make them. Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes. Bake a few minutes longer if you like crispier cookies. Enjoy!
Most of all, remember that eating healthy doesn't mean you have to eat cardboard whole grains and boring cookies and treats. True whole grains have lots of flavor and texture, so don't be fooled, love. Try some new foods this week, perhaps coconut flour or raw almonds. I am so thankful for nutrient dense foods to make cookies with... Perfect protein little cookies that I fall in love with time and time again. So pour a glass of non-dairy milk of your fancy, and settle in for a lovely snack.
Much love to you, friends!