Monday, June 8, 2015

Two pantry Must haves for a health conscious baker

A couple weeks ago I was experiencing Giver Burn Out. You know, that feeling you get when what you are doing for others is far outnumbering what others are doing in return? This wouldn't always bother me but I had a lot on my mind and was fairly stressed and it just peaked to the point that I was googling the term and mentally preparing to say no to the next person who asked (unless they were on my mentally made list of selfless givers).
I think I just needed to give myself permission to say no. The Ogre and I reconnected over a walk, ultimate stress relief as those opportunities are rare, and I was ready to go again. 
Then the tables flipped. 
We are expanding our household suddenly and our To Buy list was getting lengthy for this No-Buy household. 
And suddenly we were Major Takers.
A mattress from a coworker and one from a neighbor. Linens from my mom. Clothes from the Ogre's friend. A Target run by my sister. Furniture handed down from the in - laws and the API community. A package en route from Tennessee. 
Whoa, the scale was getting unbalanced, and in a big way. 
Then my friend Fatima stopped by with news of a good grade in her college math course and the return of the graphing calculator we lent her. 
Oh, and cookies, a delicious tin of grain free cookies with thick gobs of chocolate chunk. Grain free, knowing I don't do gluten. What?! People amaze me!
She also was kind enough to act like my squatting on the side walk, hands digging the weeds out of a chosen square foot of lawn, sowing grass seed in Boo's requested game of "Let's Play Farm!" Was perfectly normal. She smiled so genuine, almost to make me believe that was what she too was rushing home to do. 

But ooh that tin of cookies, and ooh that simple gesture that reminded me it is time to start giving back. 
The grain free cookies were delicious and I had a two pound and five pound bag of almond for I had been to distracted to dig in to. I ransacked my cupboards for cookie ingredients, came up with coconut flakes, raisins and yacon syrup, and googled myself the best looking paleo Coconut Raisin cookies I could find. 

They turned out DELICIOUS. The only problem with these paleo cookies is that I end up convincing myself that they are healthy. Almond, coconut, raisins, some low glycemic sweetener  (The yacon syrup), I guess they really aren't that bad. 

You will notice in this video that the coconut flakes and raisins are run of the mill/store brand. I bought the raisins bulk when the Rainbow stores were closing. The expiration dates were far out, and even if they dried out a bit I mainly use them for Cookies or oatmeal where there is plenty of fluid to help reconstitute their chewiness. I bought the coconut flakes, just one bag as I rarely use the stuff, around Christmas time after finding a coupon on PYD that lowered the price to 19 cents. 

Where the importance of quality comes in is the almond flour and yacon syrup. 

Living gluten free I have purchased many a bag of almond flour. I tend to be loyal to Bob's Red Mill. 

Unfortunately there are some rancid almond flours out there. You can really sacrifice quality in the interest of price and turn out with some off tasting baked goods. 

With Bob's Red Mill I never found the flour to be rancid.

Loyalist that I was I decided it wouldn't hurt to TRY the Morning Pep brand of almond flour

Well, let me tell you I was surprised by what happened when I opened the bag and took a sniff. 

Thankfully, there was no rancid scent, but there was something else. A deep, filling scent of, get this. .. ALMONDS! 

Yep, in my paranoid sniff out for rancid grains I had completely missed what had been missing. Past flours were not rancid, but they had NO smell at all! How does that happen? I might not even want to know. 

After baking these cookies I quickly put the larger bag of almond flour up in my freezer to preserve that freshness and the smaller bag in the fridge waiting for me to whip up a loaf of banana bread later this week.

Gluten free sandwich bread upgrade: This loaf was sweetened with yacon syrup
Before I start whipping up that banana bread I am going to have to place another order for some Peak Fusion yacon syrup. You see I have used it all up. Between these cookies and my weekly loaf of gluten free bread I am hooked on the this natural, low-glycemic, supposed appetite suppressant of a sweetener.
With the dark,thick sweetness white sugar lacks, and the genuine flavor Stevia and other wannabes can't deliver, Peak Fusion's yacon syrup definitely ranks up there with the honeys and maple syrups of the world, but with a glycemic load that has this momma doing back flips! 

Anyhow, the cookies turned out delicious! After cooking a few minutes I let the kiddos gorge themselves and divided the remainder into "share" and "not to share" per Boo's request (poor boy has a bit of anxiety about his mother giving everything away, caused by my desire to fulfill others needs and not be overly attached to objects I suppose).
Tin of cookies waiting to be delivered to the next Do Gooder
I cleaned up the tin from Fatima, grabbed some fresh tissue paper, and piled some cookies in. 

Going to start to tip back that scale. ...

*I received product in exchange for my review. All opinions are my own*

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