Best Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

Thursday, March 24, 2016

We are not totally gluten free in our home, but I do love to bake with gluten free flours. I love almond flour and almond meal. They are definitely a staple in my pantry. If you make your own almond milk, be sure to dry your leftover pulp into meal.
If you are gluten free then you will absolutely LOVE these chocolate chip cookies. The almond meal creates a moist, macaroon type texture. They taste so sweet but only have two tablespoons of honey as the sweetener.

With minimal and simple clean ingredients these cookies are a breeze to whip up. And they are easily made dairy free if you use dairy free chocolate chips!

This cookie scoop is one of my favorite kitchen utensils.  Ha! I just gave it away that I bake a lot of cookies. Yes I do! Using this scoop, this recipe makes exactly 12 cookies. Look at that moistness!

Perfectly scooped....well except for that one guy that got flipped over somehow.

Perfection right there folks! Since the recipe only makes a dozen, with only three of us in the house we divide them evenly and don't over do it! Eight for me and two each for them!! The recipe is easily doubled if you want more than a dozen. Not that I do that often.....

Best Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup + 1 Tbs. almond flour or meal
1/8 tsp. baking soda
1/8 tsp. sea salt
3 Tbs. virgin coconut oil - melted
2 Tbs. raw honey
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 Tbs. milk (almond or coconut)
1/4 cup dark chocolate chips

Add flour, soda and salt to a small bowl. Then add remaining ingredients and stir well. Scoop onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 12 minutes.

my Dash of Wisdom... make this your go to chocolate chip cookie recipe. Gluten free, no refined flour or sugar and all wholesome good clean ingredients.

Are You Still Drinking Diet Soda?

Thursday, March 17, 2016
I'm on my soapbox today, so here goes. Are you still drinking diet soda? Oh, you say it's your "one" vice. Well, first of all, no one has just "one" vice. We are human and temptations are strong. Second of all, if I had just one vice it certainly wouldn't be drinking chemicals. Yes, basically that's what soda is. A can full of no nutrition what so ever and full of chemicals. So let's see what you are putting in your body when you drink soda.
  • Carbonated Water
  • High Fructose Corn Syrup (in regular soda)
  • Caramel Color
  • Phosphoric Acid
  • Natural Flavors (whatever that means)
  • Caffeine
  • Aspartame (NutraSweet)
  • Potassium Benzoate
  • Citric acid
The caramel color used in soda is made with ammonia and sulfites. It is made under high pressure and temperatures, and in the process contaminants like a cancer-causing agent called 4-methylimidazole can form. The levels of 4-MI are much higher in Diet Pepsi than in Diet Coke, according to testing by Consumer Reports.

Aspartame, the artificial sweetener, is a neurotoxin. " Its components easily transcend the
blood-brain barrier, interfering with normal nerve cell function.  This affects the glutathione and calcium mechanisms in place, destroying nerve cell integrity.  The methanol then breaks down into formaldehyde-formic acid components, which denaturizes/mutates the DNA" read the rest of this study and another here:FDA/GOV: Dangers of Aspartame  Aspartame/Neurotoxin

Diet soda is so acidic, it leeches the body of essential minerals.  Iodine is a key mineral for the thyroid to function.  A job of the thyroid is to regulate metabolism.  If the thyroid does not produce, metabolism usually slows down, causing weight gain.

I Drink Diet Soda To Lose Weight

Well that's a good excuse I suppose. Study after study has shown that diet soda can actually make you gain weight, increase your risk of metabolic syndrome and increases your risk of Type II Diabetes. study here: diet soda increases diabetes risk

Metabolic syndrome is a group of risk factors for disease that often occur together and raise your risk of diabetes, stroke and heart disease. Do you have at least three of the following:

  • Abdominal obesity (belly fat)
  • High fasting glucose
  • High triglycerides
  • Low HDL cholesterol
  • Elevated blood pressure

In a study published in the journal Circulation in 2008, which followed 9,514 people for 9 years, drinking artificially sweetened beverages was associated with a 34% greater risk of developing metabolic syndrome. study here: diet soda and metabolic syndrome

Are You Depressed or Moody?

There is an association between diet soda and depression and mood swings. Imagine that, considering aspartame is a neurotoxin. In a study of 263,925 adults aged 51-70, individuals who drank soda were 30% more likely to be diagnosed with depression over a period of 10 years. The link was stronger for diet soda than regular soda. study here: diet soda and depression

A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition discovered some pretty frightful facts that should make us all ditch diet drinks and products.

  • Diet sodas raised the risk of diabetes more than sugar-sweetened sodas!
  • Women who drank one 12-ounce diet soda had a 33 percent increased risk of type 2 diabetes and women who drank one 20-ounce soda had a 66 percent increased risk.
  • Women who drank diet sodas drank twice as much as those who drank sugar- sweetened sodas because artificial sweeteners are more addictive and are hundreds to thousands of times sweeter than regular sugar.
  • The average diet soda drinker consumes 3 diet drinks a day.
  • It will age you! Studies have shown that a regular soda habit has been linked to accelerated aging. If the long-term effects aren't enough to scare you, diet soda lowers your pH levels, which can cause acne and leave your skin looking dull and tired.
  • It alters your mood: The aspartame found in diet soda has been linked to headaches, dizzy spells, and even mood swings. It's especially potent in people with a predisposition for anxiety or depression.
  • It leads to weight gain: A University of Texas Health Science Center study found that the more diet sodas a person drank, the greater their risk of becoming overweight. Downing just two or more cans a day increased waistlines by 500 percent.
  • It increases your risk of heart attack: One University of Miami study found that people who drank diet soda every day were 44 percent more likely to suffer a heart attack than those who did not drink diet soda.
  • It will never quench your thirst as it dehydrates rather than hydrates your body. Therefore you will want another and another.....just like an addict!

So...... go ahead and keep drinking your COKA-KILLYA

and just FYI: Diet Mountain Dew may well be the riskiest diet soda because it has the greatest number of questionable additives. Not only does it contain aspartame, ace-K, and sucralose, but it also has more caffeine than most diet sodas, and it gets its color from yellow #5, Diet Mountain Dew also contains the emulsifier brominated vegetable oil (BVO) (which is banned in many countries), which has been shown to leave residues in body fat and the fat in the brain, liver, and other organs.

my Dash of Wisdom.... get off the diet sodas and soda in general. It's just not worth it! 

and one more thing before I get off my soapbox..... Don't give your children soda! You are setting them up for diabetes and other health issues.

Energy Bites

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Want a quick and simple snack that's actually good for you? ENERGY BITES! These little babies contain protein, fiber, carbohydrate, and omega-3's just to name a few. They are addictive, so eater beware.

Just 6 basic ingredients
These energy bites have just six basic ingredients. The great thing about these are you can put just about whatever you want in them. You could add some protein powder, superfoods powder, flaxseeds, ground oatmeal or other seeds. You can use whatever dried fruit you would like. I happened to only have craisins around when I made these (yes, they do have added sugar).

My youngest and I ran a 5K in February and the temperature was 38 cold windy degrees. And it was a polar plunge in the Atlantic Ocean......yep.....we opted out of that part! These little energy bites kept us going! No....I'm not a long distance runner so 3 miles, sorry, don't forget the tenth, the 3.1 miles was all I wanted to do on that frigid day.

Energy Bites

1/2 cup unsweetened coconut
1 cup nut butter (almond, peanut, etc)
1 cup chopped dried fruit
1/2 cup raw honey
1/4 tsp - rounded sea salt
2 Tbs chia seeds
Optional: 3 drops Wild Orange essential oil (I only use this brand)

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl.
Scoop out in 1/2 tsp size balls.
Roll and coat in unsweetened coconut.
Refrigerate in closed container.

Yields: about 4 dozen