Hope you guys are doing well on this beautiful Sunday afternoon in the Midwest. Be blessed! Here is a recipe for Chocolate Chunk Cookies:
2 cups of oatmeal
2 cups of almond flour
1/2 cup of chocolate chip chunks
3/4 cup of sugar
1/3 cup of coconut flakes
2 tablespoons of flax seed meal
1/3 cup of sunflower seeds
1/3 cup of sliced almonds
1/3 cup of walnuts
3/4 cup of almond milk
Grab a large bowl, mixing all of the above ingredients.
Place parchment paper onto two cookie sheets.
Scoop the mixture with a small ice-cream scooper, making sure that you press the sides of the scooper against the bowl in order to drain off excess liquid before placing the scoop on the parchment paper.
Right now, in our world, we are faced with a situation that we have never had to deal with before. We have a virus that is worldwide, and there are lockdowns with specific instructions that are given, and each set of instructions are different for each region. No matter what these instructions are, we have been asked to stay home. Unless we have essential jobs or errands to run, we are told to stay put for the safety of ourselves, our loved ones, and the extremely vulnerable.
During this season, we have all felt a little bit of some form of anxiety or fear. Change brings anxiety. Sicknesses/Diseases bring on fear and anxiety. And lastly, but definitely not least, the unknown brings on anxiety. One unknown is that we don’t know how long the worldwide lock downs will last. We don’t know how long the shortages in the grocery stores or hoarding/panic buying will last. We don’t know how long it will be till we feel a sense of normal again. To be honest, when we think about it, will things ever really be “normal”? Those of us who haven’t had to deal with trauma are now having to ride these waves. Those of us who already have PTSD are dealing with compounded trauma.
One of the best things that we can do for ourselves during this time is to come up with a schedule that we can stick to in order to keep our bodies/minds/souls rested, renewed, and refreshed.
This is a good time for creativity. There will be times that we’ll get stuck. The important thing is us coming up with a schedule and sticking to it for the sake of our own, emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual health, as well as that of the other members of our household. There will be times that we’ll have to just stop and have that cry or meltdown. It releases the trauma hormones, stress, and anxiety from our bodies and will definitely help us to feel better. This is an area that I have to remind myself of over and over again. “Get the cry out. Have self-compassion and empathy for all you have gone through. Then move forward.” Sometimes we might have to rinse and repeat several times a day.
So, what are some of the things that I have been enjoying during this time? 1) Getting to spend some time with my almost 22-year-old son. 2) Listening to the birds in the morning and then again at 8 at night when they are rounding up for the day. 3) Baking banana bread, zucchini bread, and cookies. 4) The creativity juices to write poetry as I sit on my bed among my pillows in the morning. 5) Extra time to read. 6) Time to work on writing two books.
Background on Almond Cookies-Lately, I have realized that baking and cooking does the same thing for me that writing does. First, It helps to open up those creative and healing juices. Secondly, it helps me to see the unending possibilities of connecting certain things together.
When you are writing, one thought can connect to five other thoughts, and then, in turn, inspire you to a Holy Spirit-infused bible story and revelation. When you are cooking and baking, one ingredient can get the wheels turning to the possibilities for other ingredients. And with me, this starts the whole beginning of my concoction madness.
Within the last week, I have baked over 120 cookies. It was therapeutic, as I was using my hands, measuring, adding a dash of this and that. And then at the same time, praying that everything came out fine.
I finally tried out my “head idea” of making almond cookies. Of course, as you know me, I added oatmeal of course. However, these Almond cookies turned out so “almondy”, and of course, that isn’t a word, that you don’t even notice the oatmeal. The slivered almonds added a nice, extra crunch to the cookie.
A week ago, I made the recipe again. However, I substituted the slivered almonds for pecans just to try out something different. I promise you, they didn’t disappoint.
Here’s the recipe:
Yields about 24 cookies
Almond flour -1 1/4 cup
Oatmeal – 1 1/4 cup (Rolled Oats give a chunkier look and feel!)
Brown sugar – 1/2 cup
Almond Extract- 1/2 teaspoon
Slivered Almonds- 1/3 cup (Can also substitute with pecans!)
Almond Oil- 2 tablespoons
Almond milk- 3/4 cup
Flaxseed Meal – 2 Tablespoons
Mix all of the above ingredients into a large bowl using a whisk
Use a small cookie scoop to make the balls, making sure that you press the side of the bowl with the cookie scoop to get any excess liquid off
Place scoops on parchment paper-lined cookie sheets
Bake at 330 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes depending on your oven.
Most people who know me have figured out the fact that I don’t bake a lot. However, it is something that I have wanted to learn how to get better at, and lately, I am becoming a little bit more courageous about this new adventure. I usually leave the baking up to my daughter, who can whip up something in a minute. Yesterday’s adventure was oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.
I was pleased with the result, and I had to force myself to stop after cookie number three. The flaxseed meal makes these cookies really moist on the inside. The bonus to making these cookies is that I had everything at home already.
Activity: Baking Oatmeal Chocolate Delights
Total Prepping and Cooking Time: 45 minutes
(1 1/2) cups of oatmeal
(1/4) cup of semi-sweet organic chocolate chips
(2) tablespoons of flaxseed meal mixed with 3 tablespoons of water
(1 1/2) cups of flour
(1/4) cup of brown sugar
(2) teaspoons of vanilla extract
(1/4) cup of coconut oil
(1/4) cup of grapeseed and sunflower oil blend
(1/4) cup of sunflower seeds
(1) teaspoon of baking soda
(1/4) cup of vegan milk (soy, almond, etc.)
(1/4) cup of cinnamon
Prepare two cookie sheets by greasing them with the grapeseed oil using a paper towel or optional, using parchment paper. (I ran out, so there was no option.)
Whisk together the flour, oatmeal, cinnamon, sunflower seeds, and baking soda in a bowl.
Mix together the brown sugar, vanilla extract, coconut oil, and vegan milk in another bowl.
Pour the brown sugar mixture into the dry mixture.
Add the grapeseed blend and stir.
Fold in the chocolate chips.
Use a small cookie scoop to place the dough on the cookie sheets.
Bake at 350 degrees for 22 minutes.
How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, “Your God reigns!” –Isaiah 52:7