It’s taken me a couple years to truly adjust to the fact that Southern California is not the Midwest. Particularly in the fall, I find myself disoriented with the differences.
Our first October here, I insisted we find a pumpkin patch. Nick actually had to sit me down and map out just how far we would have to drive to arrive at any semblance of a pumpkin patch. And it’s an arid climate, so it wouldn’t be the sprawling landscape I’m accustomed to. This year I bought a pumpkin and a cinnamon broom from Trader Joe’s like a normal city-dweller.
Despite the differences, there are pumpkins to be carved, roasted and baked into goods.
Last year was my first fall eating sugar/dairy free and low carb, and I over-compensated by making elaborate pumpkin “cheesecakes” made with cashew cream and layers of crumbled toasted pecans for crust. I went kind of crazy. Which was fun, but a lot of work.
I think I was so afraid of being deprived of seasonal goodies that I went overboard. I know I went overboard because I had my first little relapse into symptoms after going so pumpkin crazy last year. There is natural sugar in them, so if you’re sensitive, you have to limit yourself.
This year I’m more balanced and embracing simplicity. I like eating the way I do now and I feel so much better for it. I’m not without the nostalgic desire for an autumn morsel or two, but I wanted just that: something simple and classic. I also wanted to offer a recipe that didn’t require anyone to run out and buy six different kinds of alternative flour.
I’ve finally worked up the nerve to eat completely grain free for the next few months, since I keep reading that it’s an essential step in permanently healing the digestive system. It’s only been three weeks, and I’m really feeling a difference.
I’d encourage you to do the same if you’re in a yo-yo with feeling well. It’s actually not bad at all once you do it. There are plenty of things to eat that don’t come from grain. And it’s so worth it to just feel better for good!
I really wanted to make a cookie similar to the ones my mom used to make. They were these cute, puffy, imperfectly shaped pumpkin drop cookies. I tested quite a few batches as Nick, my handy extra cookie eater, can attest to. This one is the best. It’s simple, quick, makes puffy and moist pumpkin spice cookies.
My mom used to make half the batch with chocolate chips, half without. I always liked that because chocolate and pumpkin both have a sort of dark, earthy flavor and they complement each other so well. But sometimes, you just want a pure pumpkin cookie where the pumkin-ness can be a star. So I chopped up a half a bar of Lilly’s Dark Chocolate with Almonds and stirred it into the batter after I had spooned out my first dozen cookies.
I very rarely each chocolate these days as it’s a stimulant which basically acts as sugar in the bloodstream. Bad for Candida battlers. But when I do, I only eat Lilly’s because it’s sweetened with stevia instead of sugar. When I keep it very occasional and to small amounts, after my almost year and a half on the diet, I have no problems. Yay! What a godsend Lilly’s is for we who love chocolate, but have to be extremely cautious.
Best of all, it’s completely grain free and, since pumpkin is rich source of Vitamins C, A and antioxidants, you’re actually giving yourself a little health boost too as the weather turns and colds become oh-so-common.
Sink your teeth into these with a nice glass of cold almond milk or ginger cinnamon tea, take a deep breath of chilly air and enjoy fall!
Have you considered going grain-free for a while? It’s not bad at all. You just have to get a little creative. Let me know how it’s going for you.
- 1 Cup 100% Unsweetened Almond Butter
- 1¼ Cup 100% Pumpkin puree
- ½ Cup almond flour
- ½ Cup Xylitol
- 1 Egg
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
- Spread parchment paper onto two cookie sheets
- Combine all ingredients
- Use a spoon to drop dough onto the paper
- Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until barely browned on the bottom
- (NOTE: You can make these without the almond flour if you don't have it on hand, but the cookies will turn out flat. Still tasty, but they won't have the little bit of spring the flour adds.)