Gluten Free Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies

So on my search to rid our family of any and all gluten, I have been experimenting with gluten free “grains”. I do not like the ingredients in the typical gluten free baked goods. They usually have white rice flour (very high glycemic – not good for blood sugar difficulties or for keeping your weight in check), corn flour (same issues here), potato flour (white potatoes without skin are essentially sugar), xanthum gum or guar gum (modern inventions of overly processed adhesive ingredients, no thanks). None of these ingredients I find worthy of nutrients or of much value enough to put them into a regular snack we consume, like cookies.

So, I have looked into using sorghum flour (all flours freshly milled at home), buckwheat, brown rice flour, and of course my favorites – soaked and dried almond meal/flour and coconut flour. All these flours are nutrient dense, high in protein, and are gluten free. I was also going for a cookie recipe that wasn’t all coconut flour or almond flour; simply because these flours are expensive for a large family. ¬†I use a mix of grassfed butter and coconut oil, and a mix of sucanat, palm sugar, and stevia powder (the green kind from the herb, not the extract). The result turned out to be a cookie that wasn’t too crumbly or dry, as other GF ones I have tried. And it actually tastes like a cookie and not a nut bar with chocolate chips in it.

I hope you like them as much as my kids do.

GF Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies

makes 2 gallon sized bagfuls of cookies ūüôā

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup grassfed butter
  • 1 cup coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 cup sucanat
  • 1 1/2 cup coconut (palm) sugar
  • 1 tsp stevia powder (green herb, not extract)
  • 2 tsp baking soda, aluminum free
  • 1 tsp real salt (or celtic salt)
  • 4 eggs, pastured
  • 2 cups almond meal or flour
  • 2 cups sorghum flour
  • 1 cup buckwheat flour
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup brown rice flour
  • 1-2 cups organic dark chocolate chips (go for organic, otherwise you’re getting white sugar -which is most likely GMO, and absorbs aluminum from the processing)
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract

Method:

  1. Mix butter, oil, sugars, salt, stevia and baking powder together until combined.
  2. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing each in well. Add in vanilla.
  3. Add the flours one cup at a time until you have a good cookie dough consistency. If the dough seems to heavy, add more coconut oil or butter; if it seems to thin, add a bit more rice flour, cocoa, or coconut flakes.
  4. Fold in chocolate chips.
  5. Scoop out tablespoon sized chunks onto a cookie sheet.
  6. Bake in a preheated oven at 375 for about 10-12 minutes.
  7. Enjoy with some fresh milk!

 

Digestive Issues During Pregnancy

Each pregnancy seems to bring about its own cluster of health challenges. I say challenges, because I have found them to be just that. A difficult time that forces me to do more research, try different ways to heal, pray for answers, and focus on the positives instead of “complaining” to myself and God. This being my 8th pregnancy, I have dealt with all kinds of discomforts – starting with my low thyroid to poor circulation, to pre-diabetic conditions, gallstones to digestive problems. I have with God’s help and grace healed most of the conditions I have faced – through His provisions in nature only. I do have weakened areas that I still have to stay on top of through supplementation (like my thyroid – I take TW from Pure Herbs, an herbal sea vegetable tincture). One day, if God permits, when I am not nursing or pregnant, I plan to do a juice fast and help speed the healing on any other weakened areas. But all in God’s time. Each precious life is well worth the short pains and challenges I have overcome.

With every new adventure, God gives new perspective, and a compassion and empathy for others in similar conditions that I would not have had prior. I do believe that every experience God permits our way is not only for our benefit and betterment, but then to use to help those around us. In this spirit, I would like to share what has worked for me and the symptoms and causes for some digestive issues experienced this pregnancy.

At the beginning of the pregnancy, I attended a WAPF conference in Georgia, where I was first introduced to the Leaky Gut Syndrome. I listened intently to the talk given about gluten, celiac, and this Leaky Gut issue. It impacted me so greatly, and I felt so impressed that this was a major cause of many of our family’s digestive sensitivities and allergies, that I put together a workshop and formed a juice fast for our natural health group. (For more information, please check out the link for the notes.)

I put myself on the GAPS diet for about 2 months, while I also took LOTS of probiotics, food enzymes, and fermented cod liver oil/butter oil. We also juiced several times a day, and had soup as much as possible, from homemade stock. We also prayed and worked on releasing toxic gluten from our systems.

This made a huge difference in my own health and for those in my home; but also for the ones who went on the juice fast in our health group. They all experienced healing and cleansing; feeling great at its completion and looking forward to doing another one.

After experiencing this, God sent me through another trial of indigestion. I couldn’t figure out why I was experiencing such terrible cramping, gassiness, and pains in my stomach area each day in the early evening. After some muscle testing, we found I had h. pylori in the stomach that had done some damage. Getting rid of that with¬†colloidal silver, I now was dealing with low hydrochloric acid (HCL).

HCL is very important to digestion. Without proper levels you can’t absorb minerals and other vital nutrients from the foods that you eat. And even a couple days of little mineral absorption wreaks havoc on all the body systems. For me this showed up in my thyroid weakening again such that I had to triple the amount of supplementation for it. I also started gaining almost a pound a day while we were trying to figure out what was going on! Any extra weight put on during pregnancy just makes it that much more uncomfortable and difficult to get around. I definitely wanted to resolve this!

I had already incorporated taking probiotics each day. This is very helpful in encouraging good stomach digestion. I also started taking a tablespoon of raw apple cider vinegar in the morning and in the evening. I got some HCL supplements from Nature’s Sunshine (called PDA). I continued taking my food enzymes when needed. I even bought some Swedish bitters to help out. I found a dry mix of the herbs online, and am making my own, which should be ready next week. The herb safflower also helps aid in digestion and the production of HCL. So, I have taken this in capsule form (through Nature’s Sunshine). These all will aid in stomach acid production and healing the stomach lining to produce its own proper amount.

So while I am not out of the woods yet, these steps are greatly helping me to improve and heal the low stomach acid issue. Many pregnant women experience heartburn or low stomach acid. The misinformation that is out there says that it is caused by too much stomach acid, and the remedy is antacids. This only makes the problem worse in the long run. Antacids hinder the stomach lining from producing HCL, which of course will only make the condition worse. The problem is that the pressure from the baby, a pinched nerve, a misalignment in the spinal area, or even the bacteria h. pylori (among other causes like taking birth control pills, antacids, or antibiotics) can cause low stomach acid. It takes prayer and patience to find the root cause, fix it, and then begin healing and repairing; all the meanwhile supplementing until the production is back to normal.

I will continue to post any other helpful methods I experience along my road to maintaining a healthy pregnancy. God has been good! This will be my 4th home birth. I love that God introduced me to natural childbirth through a good friend. It has made all the difference in experiencing the miracle of birth. Children truly are a blessing. I accept God’s timing and planning for our family and its members; knowing that motherhood is the most amazing calling, that all life can only exist from God, Who knows us before we are even conceived. Praying God’s blessing to you and yours.

Raw Cacao Clusters

I have been loving Shoshanna’s new book “Making Babies”. It has inspired me to try different recipes, and make more tinctures myself. Always on the search for treats that do not use sugar, I had to try her chocolate clusters. This is my take on her recipe (p. 100):

Raw Cacao Clusters

makes enough to fill a large cookie sheet

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup cacao butter
  • 1 cup coconut oil
  • 3/4-1 cup raw cacao powder
  • 1 3/4- 2 cups raw honey
  • 1-2 cups shredded coconut
  • 1-2 cups nuts (I used a mix of¬†macadamia¬†and pecans), chopped

Method:

1. Over a low heat, warm the cacao butter and the coconut oil; once melted, turn off heat immediately.

2. Stir in cacao powder, then honey, then slowly add the coconut and nuts.

3. Keep stirring until combined; add more of nuts or coconut if mixture seems too runny. You want it to be thick enough to spoon out, like cookie batter.

4. Spoon out onto a cookie sheet. Place in the freezer for about an hour to set.

5. Bag up the clusters. I keep mine in the fridge to make sure the warm weather doesn’t melt it too much.

Enjoy. This is a great way to have a little snack, and get that healing, metabolism-boosting coconut oil into your daily diet. Plus, it’s always nice to get a good chocolate fix, knowing it’s raw and full of its minerals – so good for you!

Links for the Weekend

Here’s what I am reading up on/experiencing (and the new recipes to try out for natural health items):

Bentonite Clay Toothpaste – recipe and video tutorial by Bulk Herb Store – I have been using Bentonite Clay recently to help safely remove toxins in the last months of my pregnancy. Read up on the amazing properties of this clay and how it attracts toxins and heavy metals to it, binds them, and flushes them out without having them circulate through other organs. I have also been reading testimonials of ladies using this to alleviate morning sickness! Very neat.

How to Make Stevia Syrup – by the Herb Gardener – Buying tinctured stevia is so expensive. I am really looking forward to trying this one out.

Homemade Borax-Free Dishwasher Detergent – by My Healthy Green Family – I am about out of dishwasher detergent and didn’t want to order another round from Amazon; but the last recipes I tried for dishwashers didn’t work. So, I am pretty happy to have come across this! And especially being Borax free, since Borax is toxic and not something I want to be using in my cleaning. Ordered my citric acid on Amazon tonight. Started the citrus vinegar, too. Since my boys LOVE making themselves lemonade (lemon juice, raw honey, and water), we have TONS of organic lemon rinds that I just hate to waste! What a great way to recycle them.

Lastly, we attended the Weekend to Remember Marriage Getaway by Family Life Ministries this weekend. It was amazing! I had such a wonderful time with my dear husband. If one comes to your area, it is definitely worth the investment!