So the other day I was wandering around Whole Foods when I came across the bakery section. I stopped dead in my tracks at the enormously diverse and delicious looking display of Italian cookies, which happen to be my weakness. I thought to myself: what if I just get two? But then I thought to myself: “Are those two cookies really worth it?” And without coming up with a decent answer as to why they would be worth it, I grabbed a macrobiotic cookie from the pastry case and moved on. I had never had a cookie of this sort before but the ingredients looked appealing enough and so I thought I would give it a go. Later on when I ate it, I was more than happy with the satisfactory feeling I had inside. It was more than yummy. So I decided to whip up a batch myself. I didn’t seek out a recipe, rather I googled Macrobiotic diet and made these cookies based on what I saw were acceptable ingredients. From what I can gather, macrobiotics is about eating a high grain diet with an emphasis on legumes, vegetables, nuts, etc. The diet doesn’t allow for processed foods, refined foods and most animal products. While I won’t be changing over to a focused macrobiotic diet, I can certainly get used to most of the ideals.
After my run this morning, my fellow runners and I had a chance to sit and chat. While enjoying these cookies, nutrition became a large part of the conversation. Three of the four of us are training for Boston and of course, we are all trying to figure out how to nourish our bodies, while maintaining sanity with jobs, kids, etc, as well as train well. Although I’m no expert, my weight loss journey the past year has taught me a lot about how to eat better without feeling like you’re missing out. I tried to give them some of the tips I have found in my own struggles with food. Specifically, dealing with the “sugar monster,” a very ridiculous sort of demon who makes you beat children and flip tables for a piece of chocolate. We also spoke of decreasing the amount of gluten in our diets. Although I don’t think gluten is bad for you and I would never give up my bread, I think these days, we consume a bit much, and I think anyone looking to cut back their intake is smart. I think what we all figured out is that, it’s hard to always do the right thing for ourselves, sometimes, time just doesn’t allow it. And for some, they just don’t know better. I mean, I am constantly finding out new facts. Sometimes, it can be overwhelming and hard to keep up. But if we can provide our bodies with the right balance most of the time, I think that we can safely say, we’ve done good.
Jenny’s Macrobiotic Oatmeal “Jam” Cookies
1 cup almond meal (Almond flour, you could also use barley flour)
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup chopped fine almonds
1/2 cup chopped fine pecans
1/4 cup flax seeds
(I threw a handful of chia seeds in my recipe too for an extra boost, but you don’t have to)
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/4-1/2 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (I used my homemade stuff)
For the “jam filling”
1 cup fresh strawberries, chopped fine
1/4 cup local honey
To make the jam filling, simply place the strawberries and the honey into a small saucepan and heat on low until the strawberries start to break down and the mixture starts to thicken. As the strawberries break down and combine well with the honey, stir constantly while turning the heat up a bit. After 5 minutes or so, remove from heat and set aside.
To make the cookies, mix all the ingredients (except for the filling) in a bowl. (use your hands for best results). Roll into walnut sized balls and put on a lined baking sheet (parchment paper works best) Note: The cookies will be slightly wet and will take a little extra time forming, be patient and remember, they are not going to look perfect. They harden up quite a bit after baking/sitting for a bit)
Poke little wells into the cookies (depending on how finely the nuts are chopped, this may require some shaping) and fill with your jam mixture.
Bake at 350 for about 12 minutes or until the bottoms turn light brown. The cookies will firm up as they cool. (Do not try and eat one right out of the oven.)