I feel like watching the Winter Olympics is a little more authentic now that it actually feels like winter here. This whole ending-the-day-at-the-same-cold-temps-we-started-with is a very odd occurrence in Texas. We’re used to it warming up as the day goes on…not be cold and stay cold! I don’t remember ever having an ice day growing up, and we had two in the past two weeks. People even claimed to have seen snow this morning, although I saw nothing. I was also completely bundled up and running to my classroom before the sun was up, so maybe I missed the four flakes that were floating down. This weather tends to make people feel BLAH and being cooped up inside for longer than you’re used to can also lead to more snacking. Well no fear! I have some chocolate chip cookies for you today that aren’t entirely guilt free, but they are gluten free, dairy free, and sugar free. I took some to a Super Bowl party and by the time I left they were all gone. Chocolate chip cookies can cheer anyone up, even if it’s cold, rainy, and cloudy outside!
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine dry ingredients together in a medium sized bowl. In a separate bowl beat eggs, maple syrup, and vanilla extract with a hand mixer.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry, and mix until well combined. Melt the coconut oil and pour it into the batter. Mix until well combined. Fold in chocolate chips. Scoop cookie dough onto a greased baking sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes. It makes about 2 dozen cookies.
HELLO January! I don’t know where you are, but given the new reports it sounds like it’s just cold everywhere. Sure does make going back to work/school a little more difficult. I read somewhere that January 6th is the saddest day of the year. I mean, I get it. Cold gray weather, returning to work after the holidays, everyone is trying to stick to new resolutions, yada yada yada. But it’s kind of crazy that they can monitor and “calculate” the saddest day of the year. I wonder what day is the happiest.
Anyways. I enjoy the cooking and baking over the holidays, but back to work means back to meal planning/prepping for me. I know I’m a bit extreme to use a spreadsheet to get meals and a grocery list together and that not everyone may jive with that. However, prepping just one of your meals can save you a lot of time during the week. These waffles are super easy to make and then all you have to do in the morning is pull one out and heat it up! Plus you’re sneaking in some veggies in there. Think of these as zucchini spice bread in waffle form. I found this recipe over at The Saffron Girl, and they turned out really well.
Paleo Zucchini Waffles
1 medium zucchini
2 Tbsp. coconut oil
1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon coconut flour
1/2 cup almond flour
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tablespoon honey (optional)
Turn your waffle iron on. Using a food processor, shred the zucchini. Switch the shredding blade to the regular blade (is there a technical name for that? You know what I mean). Add the eggs, coconut oil, and milk to the zucchini and blend. Add the dry ingredients and blend until completely mixed together. If you’re using honey, add that in now. Pour into the waffle iron and bake accordingly!
A lot of people ask me how I don’t eat everything I bake. And they seem surprised when I say I don’t want to weigh 400 pounds. It’s actually surprisingly easy to avoid tasting because I am constantly surrounded by it. However…paleo baking is much harder to resist. There’s a little voice that keeps saying, “It’s okay, it’s paleo!”. Which yes, it is better than the alternative…but eating a whole pan of something is never good no matter what it is!! It was definitely a test of self-control with these blondies because they didn’t even taste paleo. I promise. I’ve had some paleo treats that taste exactly that…paleo. These will make you feel guilty. I made them for my Grandmother for Mother’s Day. She’s diabetic and I’ve been trying to get her to try paleo for awhile…no dice. I wanted to bake her something so I decided to sneak in a paleo treat. I may have neglected to tell her they were paleo (Sorry GM!). But really…these are so good you could fool anyone.
Paleo Almond Butter Blondies
1/2 cup coconut oil
2/3 cup honey
1/2 cup almond butter
1 tsp. vanilla
2 1/2 cup almond flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. coarse salt
1 cup chocolate chips (I use Enjoy Life chips. If you think this is pushing the paleo envelope…just leave it out!)
Preheat the oven to 350* and grease an 8X8 pan. Mix the coconut oil, honey, almond butter, eggs, and vanilla together. Add the dry ingredients and mix until combined. Fold in the chocolate chips. Pour batter into pan and bake for about 22 minutes.
*I did test a few in a cupcake pan and they made cute little mini cupcakes. Bake for about 12-13 minutes if you want mini cupcakes.
I added chocolate ganache on top. I did use heavy cream to make this, so it’s not ENTIRELY paleo…but it’s still gluten free and sugar free (just cream and dark chocolate). You could make my paleo salted caramel frosting if you want a more paleo frosting option. Depends on how much of a cheat you want!