Last month marked 6 years of Tasty Yummies. WOW! How that happened, I actually have no idea. I still remember the day I decided that I wanted to share my recipes with the world and it truthfully doesn’t feel that long ago. It’s been an interesting handful of years with varying challenges, lots of healing, yet so very much to celebrate. Mostly, this website and my own personal journey to health, these both always felt like the first steps to finding my true purpose. With years of my health bringing various challenges and curve-balls, I have realized that this was all part of my path to being able to help others in a much deeper way than just recipes. This was part of my journey for reasons that now finally make sense to me.
For the first many years I started this website, really until late 2014, I had looked at the long journey towards health I had already been on and how I was feeling in that present moment and somehow I let myself get accustomed to “good enough”. While I can look back now and see how terrible I was still actually feeling, I was letting myself compare it to my past (and to other’s) and it all just seemed fine enough. I looked at others battling with chronic illness and other serious afflictions and I somehow felt that I had no place complaining, that I had no right thinking my afflictions were “something”. After all I hadn’t been to the hospital, I could get out of bed every morning. I didn’t have cancer or lyme disease. I would read other blogs, I saw drastic and scary before and after photos, even comments here from my readers, going through just terrible, awful things – it all made me feel like I had no right thinking I wasn’t well. I felt like I was being nit-picky, complaining about having no energy and having chronic digestive issues. So, instead I would chronically repeat to myself “it could always be worse”. While this positivity served it’s purpose for me in some ways, in many ways it was a very dangerous addiction to “positivity” that was actually hindering my healing.
I realize now that while I was taking care of myself, eating well and doing so much right, I also was the last thing standing in my own way on those most important steps to healing more fully and completely. It took till this year, to working my ass off to find the vitality and vibrancy I knew I had within me and to finally feeling the best I had in over 20 years – to realize that I actually let myself suffer far too long, because deep down I didn’t believe I was worthy-enough of healing. It took getting a diagnosis of kidney disease, an autoimmune form called IgA Nephropathy, in 2014, to scare me into finally seeing that I really actually wasn’t well and that despite no hospitals stays or a truly life-threatening diagnosis, I needed to step up, show up and honor this sacred body, before I did end up in a much worse place.
While I have been 100% gluten-free since 2005 and I cut out processed foods in 2010, for many of the last handful of years I experimented with grain-free, here and there, but I never noticed a huge difference in the way I felt, so it wasn’t something I stuck to exclusively. I realize now in hindsight, it was because I was chronically bloated, dealing with leaky gut, a parasite and pathogenic bacteria, that of course occasionally eating grain-free didn’t garnish major results for me. How could it? It wasn’t enough. These days after a year of gut healing with my naturopathic doctor, eating almost exclusively grain-free (without the labels, rules or guilt) and really and truly being connected to my body and my health in a much deeper and more intuitive way – I finally see the major changes in my body when I do eat grains. Gluten-free grains are manageable and tolerable in small amounts for me and really for those special occasions when someone buys me a gluten-free cupcake as a treat, when I head out of town and the restaurant has incredible gluten-free waffles or I just want a dang sandwich – it usually just means a bit more bloating. Nothing too bad, but after a few days of that (see also a couple days in a row of vacation splurges), I start to feel the overall inflammation, my joints hurt more, I feel tired, I see the bags under my eyes. It’s all pretty surreal and definitely not fun and rarely worth it. Those splurges happen less and less these days and I am more than OK with it.
All of this brings me to my most important point, having good grain-free treats for those times you want a little something fun, it’s a must. You have all heard me say this over the years, I am not a sweets person. I actually crave sweets very infrequently these days, less than ever before, but for my husband it’s still a daily occurrence (we’re working on it). A few weeks ago I was craving a good classic chocolate chip cookie and he was of course seeking dessert, as always and I realized it had been sometime since I made just a classic chocolate chip cookie. I have a load of grain-free cookie recipes here on the site, but they all have a little twist on them, how had I not shared my classic, traditional recipe, yet? Well, here we are! These cookies are the real deal. Slightly crisp on the outside, chewy and big, like you get at a bakery. They are naturally grain-free, egg-free and they can be easily made vegan/dairy-free.
- 2¼ cups blanched almond flour
- ¾ cup tapioca starch or arrowroot starch
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ cup honey or maple syrup
- 6 tablespoons unsalted grass-fed butter, room temperature, not melted (or coconut oil to make dairy-free/vegan)
- ½ cup dark chocolate chips
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- coarse flake sea salt for serving, optional
- Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In a medium mixing bowl add the almond flour, starch, baking soda and salt. Whisk well to combine.
- In the bowl of your standup mixer (or in a large bowl with an electric hand mixer), add the butter (or coconut oil) and honey, cream together on high, add the vanilla extract and mix a bit more. Slowly add the flour mixture and mix until well combined. Fold in the chocolate chips by hand.
- Divide the dough into 12 equal parts. Roll each into perfect dough balls and place the balls on the parchment lined baking sheets with at least 3 inches between each cookie. Gently press down the dough ball into a disk, about 3-inches in diameter (it will spread about 1-inch more as it bakes).
- Bake one tray at a time, for 13-15 minutes, till golden brown. Let the cookies cool on the baking tray for 5 minutes then transfer to a rack to cool for another 10 minutes. Sprinkle some flaked sea salt on top, if that's your thing!
- I find these do best when stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator. They will keep up to a week