Vegan Monster Cookies– and my thoughts on food freedom and body relationships
For a very long time I have struggled with my relationship with food and with my body. I can remember being in middle school and feeling fat and how that made me ugly. I remember being in high school and weighing 105 pounds and feeling proud of that, feeling good that I was a size 0. I remember throwing up my food because I had eaten far too much. I remember all of these things and they make me sad. After I had my daughter I tried to focus on what my body had just done, which if you don’t know what grow freaking baby, and how proud I should feel about that. But I won’t lie and say that I didn’t feel pressure to lose all of my baby weight, I looked in the mirror and I did not like my body and that’s a shame.
Writing this actually brings me to tears, because I have been so horrible to myself.
This relationship of highs and lows continued. I would smash out HIIT workouts, go to the gym as often as I could, do endless amounts of cardio and I didn’t even realize that all of these things that were considered healthy were actually hurting me because I was doing them for the wrong reasons.
These past few months, as I have recognized that I need to make some changes in order to really make my relationship with myself better I started to consciously pay attention to my actions.
I found that every time I lifted my shirt to look at myself, touched my belly, I was judging myself, only finding myself worthy if there was nothing to pinch or grab, and I realized how sad that was. I actually feel shame writing this.
That I had allowed myself to worry about things like calories, when there are so many with nothing to eat.
That I had allowed myself to develop a toxic relationship with food, something that brings me so much joy.
That I had allowed myself to be reduced to a physical body that had done great and beautiful and wonderful things for me.
That I had allowed myself to take away the meaning of true beauty and replace it with a fabrication of meaningless nothing.
So I have started to try to speak to myself with love, with gratitude, with kindness.
Because I am worth more, and so are you.
With all of this being said, now let me get to the point, which is a recipe for vegan monster cookies.
Being on this journey has caused me to examine my relationship with food. I have tried every fad you can possibly think of, deprived my body of carbs and loaded it with protein, and all of these things left me feeling bad about food. Now, the only “diet” I follow is a vegan one, and that has nothing to do with my health and everything to do with my beliefs. Now, if I want a cookie I eat a cookie and I don’t feel bad about it. If I want two cookies, well then I eat two cookies, and I still don’t feel bad about it. And if I want a salad then I eat that salad and I don’t give myself a high-five over it. Nothing is off limits, nothing is good or bad, it is simply food. Cooking allows us to create, to nourish the souls of others through the love we pour into our cooking, and to bring us together.
These cookies are an expression of my love and creativity however stupid or trivial that may seem. My three-year old loves them and helped make them, so making them allowed us to share time together. Eating them together helped us to bond and have fun and enjoy the fruits of our labor. I hope making these also brings you joy and laughter, and I hope anyone who reads this post who struggles with body issues, or eating disorders knows they aren’t alone.
1 ½ cups oat flour (you can use white flour, whole-wheat flour whatever you want. I like oat flour for the fiber, because happy poops make for a happy tummy)
2/3rd cup Coconut Sugar (again use white sugar if you want, but probably use less or it might be too sweet. Or use maple syrup, or whatever sweetener suits you)
3 tbsp. Chickpea Flour + 3 tbsp. water for the egg replacer
2/3rd cup peanut butter (or whatever nut butter you like)
3 tbsp. coconut oil
1 tsp. baking powder
1tsp. vanilla extract
¼ tsp. salt
2 tbsp. Almond Milk
1 cup dairy free chocolate chips ( I use enjoy life), 1 cup unreal vegan dark chocolate peanut gems, and ½ cup of Justin’s Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter cups cut into pieces. Now these are the additions I added because that is what was in my pantry, but this is what makes them monster cookies, using whatever sweets you have on hand.
Pre heat your oven to 350° F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper, or use a silpat mat, or grease your baking sheet and use nothing. Combine the chickpea flour in water in a small bowl and set aside. Next combine all of the other dry ingredients, so the oat flour baking powder, salt, and coconut sugar and stir this mixture together. In a microwave safe bowl heat up the coconut oil and peanut butter so that they are runny. Add the melted mixture to the dry ingredients. Next, add the chickpea flour mixture, the vanilla extract and about 2 tbsp. of almond milk. Next, fold in all of your toppings and taste test this batter. No need to worry about salmonella because no eggsJ. Finally use an ice-cream scoop and scoop the cookies onto the baking sheet. I had to do this twice to make all of my cookies. As a rule of thumb I only like to put one baking sheet in at a time. I know this may be more time consuming but the cookies will cook better. Place these bad boys in the oven for about 8-12 minutes depending on your oven, and how you like your cookies. Let these cool on the baking sheet for about five minutes, and remember they will continue to cook a little on the baking sheet. Enjoy.