Boo! The definitive celebration of the season is here!
We are carving pumpkins and doing the usual decorating and treat preparation. What's different is that in the current pandemic, we are just going to be more careful to keep our distance and do a little more at home. This is one of the recipes I will be playing with to up the nutritional value with different ingredients. I am not a purist about these things. In contrast, I'm always curious about how to make something better for us. After all, why not make a treat less of a trick in our bodies by bumping up the positive nutrition to support our gut, help our mood and support immunity?
Pass the cookies! Love this one from doTERRA and also played with it to my tastes.
First of all, let's look at the basic ingredients.
If you typically use all of the ones listed, go ahead and make them as is.
But if you have food allergies, intolerances, sensitivities or just curious then this exploration is for you.
A note about Organic - In general I prefer to eat organic so I found a canned organic pumpkin. Local and organic is a double win! Avoid pesticides and chemicals that are known to harm animals and humans, cause hormone and cellular disruption and are often so long-lived in the environment that we just can't get rid of them from our air, water and food supply.
Hydrogenated vegetable shortening - this is a no-go for me. We want to avoid hydrogenated fats no matter where they are. Lots of research has shown that by making liquid oils into a solid by hydrogenating them in a factory probably adds to clogged arteries. I choose to avoid this one and substitute with vegan non-hydrogenated options.
Sugar - So we all know we should eat less sugar. But did you know that sugar is also one of the most inflammatory foods? Especially the processed kind. The more processed, the more inflammatory. The worst is high-fructose corn syrup and glucose-fructose syrup. Read your labels - it's everywhere!
Pure vanilla extract - goes without saying, avoid artificial stuff.
Essential oils - added to this dish for amazing flavour, be sure you are only using the brand safe for ingestion. I only ever trust doTERRA because of their intense commitment to ethical, sustainable, and extremely tough scientific testing processes.
Flour - you've all heard the term "Gluten-free". Not everyone will have problems with wheat flour, but my family and I sure do so I avoid if I can. So a gluten-free flour can be acceptable but read ingredients carefully. Many will have a ton of corn, potato, rice starches which are not great for some people's blood sugars or inflammation. I also play around with non-grain flours like almond, coconut, quinoa but you need to experiment because it will change textures.
Corn starch - the majority of corn grown in North America is heavily modified genetically and treated with chemicals. So I avoid conventional corn starch and choose organic or use a substitute like Arrowroot flour.
Pumpkin seeds - yes!! Packed with great healthy fat, fibre and protein. I choose raw and organic if possible.
Let me know how yours turn out and what substitutions you made. I love to learn what works for others! Comment below!