COCONUT PECAN COOKIES
I've been testing out a new cookie recipe- a knock-off of my favorite Girl Scout cookies- Samoas, and I have to say these turned out reeaaaally good. Just in time for Valentine's Day, I hope you'll whip up a batch of these nutritious Coconut Pecan Cookies and fall in love with these sweet things as much as I have.
It's Girl Scout cookie season right now, and I'll be the first to admit it's next to impossible to turn down those familiar boxes of trusted deliciousness, those sweet kids and their hard lined sales pitch! Since I developed food allergies as an adult, I'm simply prohibited from munching any flavor of Girl Scout cookies anymore thanks to the oils, flavorings and preservatives that are prevalent in their recipes. So for me it's a no brainer- Girl Scout cookies are off limits. Allergies or not though, it's worth considering that these sentimental treats are unfortunately another processed food laden with the not-so-good stuff- processed sugar, preservatives and GMOs. Here's the ingredient list for the famed Samoa's:
Girl Scout Samoa's INGREDIENTS:
Sugar, vegetable oil (partially hydrogenated palm kernel and/or cottonseed oil, soybean and palm oil), enriched flour (wheat flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamin mononitrate [vitamin B1], riboflavin [vitamin b2], folic acid), corn syrup, coconut, sweetened condensed milk (condensed milk, sugar), contains two percent or less of sorbitol, cocoa, glycerin, invert sugar, cocoa processed with alkali, cornstarch, salt, caramelized sugar, dextrose, soy lecithin, carrageenan, leavening (baking soda, monocalcium phosphate), natural and artificial flavors.
If that gets your attention, then I'd like to suggest what I do each year (now that I no longer eat Girl Scout cookies by the box-full)- a two step process...
STEP 1: Make sure to buy plenty of boxes of Girl Scout cookies to support our strong young girls, but request that your cookies be donated rather than taking them into your house and trying to resist all that tempting sugar. The Girl Scout's have a system in place already for donations, called "Gift of Caring" or "Cookie Share" program that enable you to send cookies to military personnel or local charities. Check it out here and support your local girls! We can also hope that someday Girl Scout cookies might be made with organic or healthier ingredients if there's enough consumer demand.
STEP 2: Make my homemade whole food allergy-friendly super healthy nutrient packed delicious Samoa knock-off recipe, Coconut Pecan Cookies! :)
Coconut Pecan Cookies
1 1/2 cups raw unsalted pecans
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
12 pitted dates
3/4 teaspoon salt
5 Tbsp ground flaxseed
1/3 cup raw coconut butter
2 Tbsp cinnamon
2 Tbsp vanilla extract (no alcohol)
2 Tbsp filtered water
1/2 cup vanilla almond milk
Preheat oven to 350. Place nuts and oats in food processor and pulse until you've achieved a crumbly texture (not too fine, but no huge chunks). Add all other ingredients into the processor and process until you've created a chunky dough that’s somewhat crumbly but holds together when pinched between your fingers. Press into small flat cookie shapes on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Note this dough will not change shape or rise during the baking process, so be sure to make the dough into the shape you'd like for your cookies before baking. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown on the bottom. Enjoy!
*NOTE: This recipe calls for coconut butter, which is similar to but not the same as coconut oil. Coconut butter is made of pure dried coconut flesh, the white meat, whereas coconut oil does not contain the meat at all. Coconut butter is thicker and creamier than coconut oil, it contains fiber in addition to beneficial fat, and it's delicious eaten raw, as a spread, or baked into desserts like these cookies. Coconut oil and coconut butter are not interchangeable (think of the different uses for peanut butter vs peanut oil). Like coconut oil, coconut butter can be found on the shelf in a glass jar at Whole Foods or in most health food stores, or ordered online, and no refrigeration is required.
AND, one more thing about cookies and donations! Check out this great Cookie Monster painting by amazing artist and friend Caroline Chandler! This is just one of a group of new paintings Caroline is selling at fancy cake prices ranging from just 50.99 to 250.99 at Mrs. in NY this month with all proceeds benefitting the ACLU and Planned Parenthood. So much to love this Valentine's month <3 <3 <3