Paleo Pumpkin Cookies

Remember that interview I mentioned a few months back? Well, I got the position and recently relocated to begin my new job. Unfortunately with the new position comes a new – longer – commute, which means I’m now waking up at 0430 so I can have coffee and devotion time with Kevin and still leave the house in time to get to work.

These cookies have been a lifesaver.

paleo pumpkin cookies | eatwriterunrepeat.com

Leaving the house so much earlier means that I’m eating breakfast at 0530, and somewhere around 0830 I’m starving again. These cookies – packed with sunflower seeds, carrots, pecans, and pureed pumpkin are just what I need to pick me up and keep me satisfied until lunch.

I stumbled upon a similar recipe while searching for a way to use the can of pumpkin we had in the pantry, and making cookies seemed like a brilliant idea. Frankly though, you can’t even taste the pumpkin, so even if you aren’t a fan of the hearty orange autumn vegetable, I highly suggest you try these anyway!

paleo pumpkin cookies | eatwriterunrepeat.com

The beauty of these cookies is that you can easily substitute your favorite mix-ins. Don’t like sunflower seed butter? Use almond butter, or if you aren’t following a paleo diet, use peanut butter. If you aren’t a fan of carrot, use zucchini – or omit it entirely! (The first batch I made didn’t include carrot at all.) Experiment with what you like and see what happens!

Paleo Pumpkin Cookies

yields 16 cookies

INGREDIENTS

1/2 sunflower seed butter (or almond butter, or peanut butter…)

1/2 cup pureed pumpkin

1/4 cup raw honey

2 eggs

2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp vanilla

1 cup sunflower seeds*

1 cup grated carrot*

1 cup raisins*

*Feel free to experiment with your own mix-ins! Just be sure to use about 3 cups of mix-ins, or your “batter” will be too wet.

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto a greased cookie sheet. Bake approximately 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.

paleo pumpkin cookies | eatwriterunrepeat.com

* Please note that although you can’t tell in the pictures, the sunflower seeds started to give the cookies a greenish hue. Don’t worry – this is perfectly normal! According to the internet, this sometimes happens because of the chlorogenic acid content in sunflower seeds. However, when I handed my husband a slightly green cookie made with sunflower seeds, he immediately dubbed these, “Bear Poop Cookies”. You’re welcome.

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Cantaloupe Lassi

You ever get an idea in your head that just won’t go away, no matter how weird it is? Even though you wonder how it will ever possibly turn out and in fact it could end up to be something totally disgusting, yet it could on the other hand turn out to be something completely awesome?

That’s what happened here.

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Allow me to explain. Last week in California, The Man got an absolutely beautiful cantaloupe. Like, perfect. It was deep orange, sweet and juicy…it practically melted in your mouth.

In a good kind of way. Not in a mushy, overripe melon kind of way. Did that make any sense?

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Anyway. As I was eating this delectable melon, I got this craving to just…drink it. Again, weird? And then the idea of drinkable cantaloupe just sort of morphed into my version of lassi.

Invisible internet friends: meet cantaloupe lassi.

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For those of you who don’t know what lassi is, it’s an Indian beverage traditionally made with yogurt and spices – usually savory, with ground cumin and almonds, but it can also be made sweet by adding fruit and/or sugar. And for the record, it’s 100% refreshing. A little too much for me to drink with a meal, but as a dessert it’s just about perfect.

In the spirit of paleo, I nixed the yogurt for this recipe and used coconut milk instead. Then I added some ice, honey, and cinnamon.

And then, with just a little trepidation, I took a sip.

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*cue cheesy picture*

Yeah, it was that good. But so worth it. As in, I expected this to be a total waste of melon and coconut milk and instead I ended up drinking both glasses by myself. For lunch. True story.

I guess you kind of have to like cantaloupe for this to work for you, although I imagine substituting strawberries or mango would be almost as good. Although in that case, I guess this could also be called a smoothie. Oh well, whatever.

Lassi sounds much more exotic, don’t you think?

WHAT YOU’LL NEED (makes two small or one large beverage)

2 cups cantaloupe chunks

1/2 cup coconut milk, chilled

1/2 cup ice

tbsp honey

cinnamon for sprinkling

WHAT TO DO

In a blender, combine melon, ice, honey, and cococonut milk and puree. Pour into glasses and serve with cinnamon on top. Done!

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A Tropical Treat

So, I’ve never had much of a sweet tooth. I know it may sound crazy to some of you (like my sisters), but yeah. Most of the time if I’m given an option between something sweet and something salty, I take the salty. Usually in the form of french fries.

Apparently, I get this from my Mom.

But tonight I wanted something…sweet-ish. Nothing too crazy, particularly because if I DO eat something sweet, I don’t like it to be too late or it messes with my sleep, but I did want a little something-something. And as I stood there in my kitchen waiting for inspiration to strike, to what did my wondering eyes appear but…a lovely brown plantain!

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Ok, so the plantain didn’t actually appear…it was one of my spontaneous purchases during last week’s shopping trip. But I needed to use it up, so everyone wins!

Anyway, it looks like a banana, right? It’s like, banana’s surly cousin. I mention surly because it’s essentially unsuitable to eat raw. According to the internet, it’s a starchy, lower in sugar member of the banana family that can be used in sweet OR savory dishes…which essentially means it’s perfect for me.

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I haven’t had too much experience with the savory side of plantain cooking, but one thing I can do pretty well (basically because it’s super simple) is make caramelized fried plantains. Yum.

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Basically all you need to do is slice your plantain (I cut mine in half and then slice it longways, you can also slice it in little rounds like coins), toss is in a skillet with some hot ghee or coconut oil (I find the coconut oil lends a little taste of the tropics to the already-somewhat-exotic-plantain), sprinkle with cinnamon, cloves, and chile powder, and voila!

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I like to add a little bit of chili powder for just a hint of a kick – it’s one of those things where you take a bite and there’s some sort of je ne sais quoi that you can’t put your finger on, but you know you love. It’s beautiful. Plus, chili powder + cinnamon? C’mon, people!

The plantains get a nice, crystallized outer edge but inside they are soft and creamy. It’s perfect for an after dinner dessert that’s not too heavy or sugary…if you’re in to that kind of thing.

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One thing to be aware of – you need to use very, very ripe plantains in order to make sweet plantains. You can buy them in the grocery store when they are green or bright yellow, but take ’em home and let them sit on your counter until they are black. Or at least dark yellow with a lot of black spots. Trust me on this – the more black and spotted they get, the sweeter the plantain flesh will be. (Alternatively, if you want to use your plantains in a savory dish, you can use them when they are still yellow and spot-free. Interesting, no?)

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I bet if you ate this while wearing a bikini and floppy hat, it would totally be like you’re in Belize.

Or not.

What you’ll need (serves two)

one medium-large ripe plantain (not green or bright yellow!)

coconut oil

cinnamon, whole cloves, and chili powder to taste

What you need to do

– Slice your plantain as desired – either in round coins, or slice in half and then slice longways into slices

– Heat your coconut oil (or ghee) in a skillet with a couple of whole cloves tossed in

– Once the oil is hot, carefully add your plantain slices and sprinkle with ground cinnamon and chili powder to taste – I use less because I find the subtle-sweet flavor of the plantain and the coconut oil to be enough for me. Fry til golden brown and caramelized on either side (about 1-2 minutes each side). You can do this in batches depending on how many slices you have.

– Drain the plantain slices on paper towels

– Sprinkle plantain slices with a hint more cinnamon just before serving. Enjoy!

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PS. I totally took those photos with my new iPhone. Sweet!