Sunday, January 25, 2009

Five Food Group Cookies

Our endless winter with no sun drags on and as it does, my health seems to deteriorate. I can't seem to eat anything without ending up with stomach or intestinal pain; my muscles and joints ache so much I can barely walk a block without pain; I have sinus pain and headaches; and of course, no energy. I decided to take a friend's advice and go have my blood tested for Vitamin D deficiency.

At first, I ignored his suggestion because I have been taking 1,000 IU of Vitamin D all winter. I thought I couldn't possibly have a Vitamin D deficiency but after doing some more internet research, I found enough information to support that possibility. I already knew 85 percent of the U.S. population may be Vitamin D deficient but I didn't know that individuals with darker complexions are more likely to have this condition. That explains why even in Hawaii (land of the sun) they have a high Vitamin D deficiency. In addition, people with stomach/intestinal disorders are at risk because they cannot absorb Vitamin D added to foods or in vitamin form.

Many of the symptoms I am experiencing are typical of Vitamin D deficiency although other disorders have similar symptoms. All that explains why I am going for testing next week. Hopefully, I'll find some explanation for my endless winter symptoms.

During one of my "bursts" of energy, I decided to whip up some cookies for the family. I was inspired by cookies I saw in a local coffee shop, called "Five Food Group Cookies," obviously a name designed to take away the guilt of having a cookie because after all, you're eating all five groups and satisfying your sweet tooth. I took a basic vegan carrot-raisin cookie recipe and doctored it up to give it all five food groups.

Five Food Group Cookies (makes 2 dozen small or 1 dozen large)


1/2 cup soy flour

1/2 cup gluten-free flour such as sorghum flour or if using wheat flour, try whole wheat

1 teaspoon gluten-free baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 cup gluten-free oatmeal or quinoa flakes (I prefer quinoa because it's more digestible.)

Optional: add 1-2 tablespoons for vegan rice protein powder to bump up the protein

1/2 cup toasted pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds or nuts such as walnuts if not allergic

1/3 cup raisins or dried cherries or cranberries

1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

2 large carrots, finely shredded

1/4 cup canola oil combined with 1/4 cup natural applesauce

1/2 cup maple syrup or other liquidy sweetener

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


Preheat over to 375 degrees. I did 400 degrees but watched them carefully. Combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add seeds or nuts, dried fruit, cinnamon, chocolate chips and carrots. In a different bowl, whisk together the oil, applesauce, syrup and vanilla. Add this to the dry ingredients and blend well.

Drop batter by tablespoonsful for large cookies or teaspoonsful for smaller ones onto sprayed cookie sheet. Dip the spoon into cold water to keep dough from sticking. Flatten the cookies to about 1/2-inch thickness. Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. The cookies may take a little longer because the dough is quite moist. Remove from oven and let cool on a rack.

Cautions: Be careful eating these if your stomach is sensitive to dried fruit or just leave it out of the recipe. After all you have the fruit in the added applesauce. Another caution would be the uncooked oats or quinoa. Even though these ingredients will absorb some moisture during cooking, it's not the same as cooking them first before mixing them in. I wouldn't eat more than one small or half a large cookie every few days. Give most of them to family and friends. They'll love them because they are getting all five food groups and some sugar too!

No comments: