If life hands you lemons, you should obviously make lemon bars

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LEMON BARS!

With MEYER LEMONS!!

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Life doesn’t get much better than that.

Especially since we had a random little heat wave in the middle of last week. And of course, it hit Thursday and I immediately wanted cookies because apparently Thursday=cookies. But seeing as it was waaaayyy too hot for any normal person to want to even consider turning on the oven, I wisely opted for no bake, raw lemon bars. Because they took about thirty seconds to throw together and then all I had to do was shove them in the fridge for chill time until I ate them. Lazy lazy and very nearly instant cookie gratification. Wheee!!!

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Also, I love lemon desserts but I’m wildly picky. For instance, I find most lemon loaf cakes to be waaaayy too sweet—almost cloying and definitely icky. I love lemon scones and lemon curd—both of those are usually a good balance of not too sweet and just sweet enough. These bars totally fall into that category too—they’re not overly tart, but neither are they stupid-sweet.

Besides all that, they also happen to be raw, vegan, gluten free, and refined sugar free! Sooo…. breakfast, anyone??

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And really. Anything with Meyer lemons: sign me up. They are SO much more exciting than a regular lemon (although these bars would also be delicious with regular lemons, I’m sure). Lemons=spring! Perfect springy dessert/breakfast/feelgoodtreat/younameit/please eat it.

That being said, these take pretty much five minutes to make so you have nooooo excuses. Lemon bars!! With nearly instant gratification!! YAY! Do it.

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Raw Meyer Lemon-Coconut Bars

Recipe lightly adapted from Pure Ella, here! Raw, vegan, no bake, gluten free, and refined sugar free. They’re full of healthy fats and whole grains… AND they’re delicious. Recipe makes about 9 squares—I did mine in an 8 by 8 pan, but I think next time I’ll use something smaller so there’s a  better crust to icing ratio.

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For the crust:

  • 1/3 c almond flour
  • 1/2 c rolled oats
  • 1/2 c raw buckwheat groats
  • scant 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
  • 3/4 c dates, pitted (and soaked if they’re hard)
  • 3/4 c unsweetened, shredded coconut
  • 1 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • fresh zest of one meyer lemon

For the icing:

  • 1/4 c unrefined coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp coconut butter
  • 2 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • fresh juice of 1/2 a meyer lemon

Line your preferred pan with a parchment paper and set aside.

In a food processor, whiz together almond flour, oats, buckwheat, salt, dates, coconut, maple, and lemon zest until thoroughly mixed and blended (you’ll need to scrape the sides a bit). Upend the processor over your prepared pan, and pat the crust down with your hands until it’s evenly distributed.

In a microwave-safe bowl (or on the stove), melt coconut oil and maple syrup together. Once everything is fully melted, stir in coconut oil and stir until that melts as well. Set aside until this cools off a little, then stir in the lemon juice. Pour all this goodness over your prepared crust, and carefully transfer to the fridge to chill for at least an hour before cutting and serving. Keep it stored in the refrigerator, assuming there’s any left to store…

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Whiny ultrasonic phone calls and soothing cookies

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Scientific fact: rainy weather = tea + baking.

Obviously. Ask Stephen Hawking, I’m sure he would back me up.

Well… okay maybe not. But the fact that it’s actually FINALLY raining over here in droughty California meant that I obviously had to make cookies and drink tea. Not that those are things I don’t usually do… but I enjoy them so much more when it’s drizzly. Or pouring. Preferably pouring, actually.

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And then I can eat a cookie, go dance in the rain, and then come back in and drink tea. A perfect combination of fun things.

Which is a really nice thing after a day at work where apparently the theme of the day was me repeating myself over.and over.and over. and over: *cue really high octave, rather whiny voice*

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Caller: “Ummm, hiiiiiii, I was just wonderinggggg” (Seriousy. I’m not joking. For some reason, EVERY SINGLE PERSON that calls the store speaks in whiny-ultrasonic. WHY?!) “if you had this puffy jacket…”
Me: “Yes, actually we do, but I’m sorry, we can’t do holds (as per company policy)..”
Caller: “Okayyyyy so can you do a hold for me?”
Me: “Um, no, I’m sorry… we don’t do holds”
Caller: “But um, you could just hold it for me, riiiight?”
Me: “No. I can’t do holds, I’m sorry.”
Caller: “Buuuuut, you could do one for me, riiiiight? Like, you could just hide it somewhere?”
Me: “Um. No. That’s not really possible… Sorry.”
Caller: “But… I neeeeeed it! Like, can’t you just do one little hold?”
Me: “… “

Really?! The answer the first time is no…and the answer the thirty thousandth time is also no. The more you wheedle, the less likely I am to even consider making an exception… what don’t they understand about the first no?! And speaking in ultrasonic is in no way making me want to be helpful, also taking into consideration that the first “hiiiiiii” pretty much shattered my ear drum? Yeah. No.

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BUT! As annoying as these phone calls are, they make excellent stories. So there you have it, my retail annoyance of the day. Go soothe yourself with a cookie, I know it was traumatic…

Now I think I’m going to go locate my snuggle buddy (kitties make the best snuggle buds), my tea, and my novel and go park myself on the couch. It’s a mellow kind of day today… frankly that seems like the perfect activity. Snuggles, tea, and cookies? I’m in.

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Almond-Date Cookies

Gluten free, refined sugar free, and vegan! Yay! These little guys are also high in fiber, low in sugar, and filled with healthy fats and good carbs. They’re a little crumbly around the edges, and chewy-dense in the middle. Awesome snacky cookies, or dessert if you’re not into super sweet things. Yield: 15 cookies. Recipe lightly adapted from Running on Real Food, here!

  • 1/2 c almond flour
  • 1/4 c raw almonds, finely chopped (or run through the food processor)
  • 1.5 c rolled oats, finely ground (I also used the food processor for this)
  • 2 tbsp buckwheat groats
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/3 c light coconut milk (canned variety)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp refined coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 c extra dark chocolate chips
  • 1/2 c dates, finely chopped* (Mine were hard as rocks so I soaked them in hot water for a bit first)
  • 1/2 tbsp coconut sugar*

*I was a little short on dates and really only had between 1/3c and a scant 1/2 c, so I supplemented slightly with 1/2 tbsp coconut sugar. The cookies are lightly sweet.

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In a large bowl, whisk together almond flour, chopped almonds, ground oats, buckwheat groats, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon. In a slightly smaller bowl, stir together coconut milk, vanilla, and melted coconut oil. Mix wet into dry, then stir in dates, coconut sugar (if using) and chocolate chippies. Chill the dough for 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 325, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper (or lightly grease). Roll the dough into balls, and flatten slightly. Bake for 13 minutes, until lightly browned on the top! Remove to a cooling rack after a few minutes to cool completely.

These do best if stored in an airtight container in the fridge.

Happy rain and cookies!

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Of course avocado belongs in cookies. What did you think?!

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AVO!

Obviously it belongs in cookies. I mean… I put spinach in oatmeal and tons of other places where normal people usually don’t (but what’s the fun in being normal, I ask you?). So clearly avocado in cookies was a logical next step for the girl who is borderline obsessed with green things.

Wait.

Maybe not even borderline obsessed. Let’s just go with obsessed? Good, I’m glad we got that one settled.

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Anyway. Happy Thursday-Almost-Friday! I have virtual cookies for your inbox, hooray! (Unless you are, of course, one of the lucky few who might be a recipient of these cookies… see what happens when you’re nice to me? I feed you!!). And not just any cookies, oh no. I would never ever just give you ordinary cookies, that goes against my principles.

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These little guys are nutrient-dense powerhouses, ready to smack down your afternoon slump. What slump? Not when you have these. Chewy and a little crunchy from the buckwheat groats, full of healthy fats (almond flour and avocado) and complex carbs (buckwheat groats and oats). Apparently buckwheat contains all eight amino acids! Bonus. And besides that, it’s an excellent source of manganese, copper, magnesium, and fiber. So that means I can eat these for dinner, right?? I mean, they have the requisite green things in them that apparently ALL of my food has to have…

Ps. How is it already February?? Can someone answer that? I’ll give you a cookie…

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Avo Chocolate Chippie Cookies!

Yield: 17 smallish cookies. Gluten free, refined sugar free, and dairy free (with appropriate dairy free chippies). Recipe only slightly adapted from Imma Eat That, here! Oh. And these took me about 15 minutes start to finish, so you have no excuses to not make them!

Rustle up:

  • 1/3 c raw buckwheat groats
  • 1/3 c almond flour
  • 1 c rolled oats
  • 2 tbsp flaxseed
  • 1/8 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1/4 c coconut sugar
  • 1/3 c mashed ripe avocado
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda+1/2 tsp warm water
  • 1/3 c dark chocolate chips
  • 2 tbsp raw buckwheat groats

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Preheat the oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

This part couldn’t be simpler. Muscle out your food processor (assuming it weighs a metric ton like mine), toss in 1/3 c buckwheat groats, almond flour, oats, flaxseed, salt, and coconut sugar. Whiz together until every thing is mostly finely ground. Pour all this goodness out into a large bowl and set aside. In a separate smaller bowl, vigorously whisk together the mashed avocado and egg until the whole thing is homogenous with only a few chunks. Whisk in vanilla. Combine baking soda and warm water in a small bowl, and once dissolved, whisk it into the avo-egg bowl. Pour liquid into dry, add chocolate chips and remaining buckwheat groats, and stir to combine.

Roll the dough into roughly ball-like shapes and pat them down flattish on the cookie sheet (they won’t really spread). Bake for 8-9 minutes, until the tops are just firm to the touch. Cool for a few minutes, then move to a cooling rack for immediate consumption…

I found I liked these cold, and have been storing them in the fridge. I would assume they keep better longer in the fridge anyway, but I doubt mine will last that long with all the vultures around here!

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