Why Sugar Cookies Can Be An Option For You

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Everybody wants cookies, and I don’t  believe a lifestyle change should deprive you from foods that have brought comfort to your life. Aside from everything nutrition, FOOD IS EMOTIONAL. We all have emotions tied to food. Even with years that have passed, we can all acknowledge that the smell of a certain something, or feeling a certain way can make us miss foods from the past. Food represents memories that warmed our hearts and bellies. 

I find it to be so amazing that since I’ve returned to a plant based way of living, it has brought me closer to the heart of my own memories. I hope you can find the same experience with yourself.

Here’s a favorite of mine that you can welcome into your kitchen this winter 🙂

To accommodate those that are more sensitive to grains and gluten, this recipe has been modified to accommodate you 🙂

Originally, I attempted to experiment with millet, but was not drawn to it after some research due to its effect with the thyroid and hormone communication. Aside from the US being in a gallbladder epidemic…The people are also in a chronic state of iodine deficiencies. Millet, if consumed in great amounts, can contribute to this issue. Millet contains what are called “Goitrogens.”

If you have every seen in individual with a larger than normal looking neck, as if it has an inflatable tube around it, this is what is called, “Goiter.”

Millet contains these naturally occurring chemicals, Goitrens. If you are not actively intaking iodine within your food or in a clean supplement, There is good reason to support that you should limit your millet intake when you choose to eat it.

PLANT GOITROGENS

Many plant foods contain naturally-occurring chemicals which disrupt normal thyroid function.

The main job of the thyroid gland is to combine the salt iodine with the amino acid tyrosine to make thyroid hormone.  Whenever the thyroid gland has a hard time making enough thyroid hormone, it becomes stressed and grows bigger to try to do its job better, forming a “goiter” (enlarged thyroid).  Substances that interfere with normal thyroid function are called “goitrogens” because they have the potential to cause goiter.

GOITRIN

Goitrin is the most powerful plant goitrogen.  Unlike most other goitrogens, this chemical can cause goiter even if there is plenty of iodine in the diet.

Goitrin weakens the activity of the enzyme thyroid peroxidase, which is required to insert iodine into thyroid hormone.

Foods containing goitrin:

  • Seeds of Cruciferous Vegetables
  • Rutabaga (aka Swede, Yellow Turnip)

rutabaga

[Source]

With this information, if you’re intaking iodine in a food or supplement form, millet can also be beneficial for you as well.

It’s loaded with…

Heart-Protective Properties

Although oats have been widely publicized for their heart-protective properties, millet is a grain that should also be included on your list of heart-healthy choices because of its status as a good source of magnesium.  Magnesium has been shown in studies to reduce the severity of asthma and to reduce the frequency of migraine attacks. Magnesium has also been shown to lower high blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart attack, especially in people with atherosclerosis or diabetic heart disease.

Development and Repair of Body Tissue

The phosphorus provided by millet plays a role in the structure of every cell in the body. In addition to its role in forming the mineral matrix of bone, phosphorus is an essential component of numerous other life-critical compounds including adenosine triphosphate or ATP, the molecule that is the energy currency of the body. Phosphorus is an important component of nucleic acids, the building blocks of the genetic code. In addition, the metabolism of lipids (fats) relies on phosphorus, and phosphorus is an essential component of lipid-containing structures such as cell membranes and nervous system structures.

Millet and Other Whole Grains Substantially Lower Type 2 Diabetes Risk

Millet and other whole grains are a rich source of magnesium, a mineral that acts as a co-factor for more than 300 enzymes, including enzymes involved in the body’s use of glucose and insulin secretion.

The FDA permits foods that contain at least 51% whole grains by weight (and are also low in fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol) to display a health claim stating consumption is linked to lower risk of heart disease and certain cancers. Now, research suggests regular consumption of whole grains also reduces risk of type 2 diabetes. (van Dam RM, Hu FB, Diabetes Care).

In this 8-year trial, involving 41,186 particpants of the Black Women’s Health Study, research data confirmed inverse associations between magnesium, calcium and major food sources in relation to type 2 diabetes that had already been reported in predominantly white populations.

Risk of type 2 diabetes was 31% lower in black women who frequently ate whole grains compared to those eating the least of these magnesium-rich foods. When the women’s dietary intake of magnesium intake was considered by itself, a beneficial, but lesser—19%—reduction in risk of type 2 diabetes was found, indicating that whole grains offer special benefits in promoting healthy blood sugar control. Daily consumption of low-fat dairy foods was also helpful, lowering risk of type 2 diabetes by 13%. Enjoy a hearty breakfast and get the benefits of both millet and dairy by serving a hot bowl of millet topped with low-fat milk and your favorite dried fruit, nuts or seeds.

 Helps Prevent Gallstones

Eating foods high in insoluble fiber, such as millet, can help women avoid gallstones, shows a study published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology.

Studying the overall fiber intake and types of fiber consumed over a 16 year period by over 69,000 women in the Nurses Health Study, researchers found that those consuming the most fiber overall (both soluble and insoluble) had a 13% lower risk of developing gallstones compared to women consuming the fewest fiber-rich foods.

Those eating the most foods rich in insoluble fiber gained even more protection against gallstones: a 17% lower risk compared to women eating the least. And the protection was dose-related; a 5-gram increase in insoluble fiber intake dropped risk dropped 10%.

How do foods rich in insoluble fiber help prevent gallstones? Researchers think insoluble fiber not only speeds intestinal transit time (how quickly food moves through the intestines), but reduces the secretion of bile acids (excessive amounts contribute to gallstone formation), increases insulin sensitivity and lowers triglycerides (blood fats). Abundant in all whole grains, insoluble fiber is also found in nuts and the edible skin of fruits and vegetables including tomatoes, cucumbers, many squash, apples, berries, and pears. In addition, beans provide insoluble as well as soluble fiber.

With all of this being said, there are other options available for baking flours.

Brown rice & amaranth flour are great alternatives in the “clean eating” culture. I don’t mention coconut flour because I’m really not a fan of it. At all…

So, let’s get to it 🙂


Ingredients

  • 1 cup brown rice or amaranth flour (use your four of choice if not these)
  • 1/2 Tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 Tsp Vietnamese Cinnamon
  • 1/2 Tsp Pink Salt
  • 1/2 Cup Unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 flax eggs
  • 1 cup Xylitol
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup coconut butter
  • 1/4 cup Oil Free Tahini (optional)

Directions

Preheat your oven to 350°

Make your flax eggs by mixing 2 tablespoons of flax meal with 4 tablespoons of water. Let sit for at least 5 minutes so it can thicken up.

Add all ingredients into food processor, and pulse until smooth.

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Line your baking sheet with natural parchment paper.

Spoon your cookie batter out on the sheet.

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Your batter should not be super firm like traditional cookie dough. This batch should be a little runnier.

Lay them on the baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, or until golden on the edges.

Let them cool before eating.

Enjoy, indulge, and be happy with sugar cookies!

They’re delicious when you dip them into a matcha latte!

Xoxo,

Tannisha

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