My Dietary Changes
I’ve been making some changes in my day-to-day eating habits… again. I promise the end result in this post is a recipe for my incredible Almond Monster Cookies but hear me out on the journey. If you’ve been following me for very long, you might know that I was vegetarian for a while. There is so much that I love about a vegetarian diet but right now, it just isn’t realistic for me. If you’re curious, about the details, you can read more here. Family members of mine recently changed their diet to include gluten-free, dairy-free, and intermittent fasting. I know that intermittent fasting is not something I want to follow but their changes got me thinking and exploring. I’ve been curious about anti-inflammatory foods for a long time and have been reading up on some beginner level information. I certainly don’t claim to have a background in nutrition or medicine. Please don’t look to my choices as any type of advice or expert recommendation. I am simply sharing what is currently working for myself. Right now, I am significantly reducing gluten, dairy, and caffeine in my diet. As I do not have a true allergy to any of these items, I am not holding a strict elimination of these items.
What I’m Noticing
That Almond Monster Cookie recipe is still coming. First, let’s talk about what I am noticing most by reducing gluten, dairy, and caffeine. An INCREASE in energy. That’s right, more energy with less caffeine! It seems almost counterintuitive but it is a remarkable change. I have an easier time waking up in the morning. My energy maintains throughout the day rather than crashing once the coffee wears off. The other big difference I’m noticing is reduced puffiness under my eyes. I’m not talking slight puffiness from not sleeping well, I’m talking significant puffiness for which I’ve seen multiple doctors for. My docs have happily offered me lots of allergy meds and even botox type of injections. Not one of them ever mentioned diet change to me. I am so thankful to say the puffiness under my eyes has reduced significantly. No it isn’t completely gone, but I’m not self-conscience about it like I have been for a few years now.
Alright, let’s get down to the Almond Monster Cookies – that’s really why you’re all here, right?! I’m sure many of you have at least tried a gluten free and/or dairy free dessert at some point. You know how bad that experience can be. Listen, I love baked goods and I am not willing to completely give them up. You know what? I’m also not willing to give up quality flavor or texture in those baked goods. In other words, I’m up for the challenge of creating fantastic gluten-free, dairy-free dessert options. These Almond Monster Cookies are definitely monster sized and absolutely delicious. They have a lighter flavor and texture compared to the traditional peanut version but still include the candies and oats you expect in a monster cookie. Give these a try and tell me, do you miss the gluten? I think you’ll be too busy reaching for a second cookie to even reply here.
Almond Monster Cookies
- 2 ½ cups almond flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup vegetable shortening (butter flavored)
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- ½ cup sugar
- 3 large eggs
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup creamy almond butter
- 1 ½ cups old fashioned oats
- 1 cup mini chocolate chips
- 1 cup plain m&m candies
- ½ cup almond slivers
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together almond flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat together shortening, brown sugar, and sugar.
- Beat eggs and vanilla into sugar mixture.
- Mix in almond butter.
- Gradually mix in dry ingredients.
- Stir in oats, chocolate chips, m&m's, and almond slivers.
- Cover and chill dough for a minimum of 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Roll dough tightly into golf ball sized balls and space out six on a parchment lined baking sheet.
- Bake 18-20 minutes or until cookies are golden in color.
- If you are baking these for someone who has a gluten allergy, please be sure to use gluten-free certified products.
- I used an ice cream scoop to make it easier to get the dough into such a large ball.
- I have made this dough up to 2 days ahead of when I planned to bake the cookies. Just be sure the bowl is covered with a lid or plastic wrap so it doesn’t dry out.