molasses ginger cookies (vegan + gf)

you might all be all tired of cookies after the holidays, but i didn't get my fair share this year! i was too busy to do any baking, didn't have time to host my annual cookie party, and took off for a week-long climbing trip smack in the middle of the holidays. so i've been craving a wintery treat! i've also been rummaging through my pantry since the new year, organizing everything and deep cleaning every cupboard (sooo satisfying!)... anyhow, i realized i have three half used bottles of blackstrap molasses, so in an effort to tidy and a desire to bake, i made some killer molasses cookies. i ate the entire batch last week, made a few tweaks to the recipe, and made another batch this week! the fresh ginger is spicy and the blackstrap molases provides a luscious flavor and healthy minerals and nutrients! these gems are also gluten free and vegan, so practically everyone can enjoy them!


molasses ginger cookies ~ makes about 20 small cookies
1 cup almond flour
1 1/2 cups rolled oats or 1 1/4 cup oat flour
1/3 cup blackstrap molases
2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon clove
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup melted coconut oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup coconut sugar *see note

preheat oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with parchment or non-stick silpat.

if using rolled oats, pulse in food processor until you have a fine flour. otherwise, you can use packaged oat flour if you don't own a food processor. in a small sauce pan, melt coconut oil over low heat. combine melted coconut oil in a bowl with all remaining ingredients. two options: you can take a shortcut and include the coconut sugar in the cookie dough, or spend a few extra minutes and use it instead to coat the cookies with a light dusting of sugar.

roll a heaping tablespoon of the dough in your palm until smooth and round and then either lay directly onto lined baking sheet or roll in coconut sugar to coat.

bake for 12-15 minutes, but watch closely. they will be soft when you remove them from the oven, and a shade darker brown on bottom. let cool on baking sheet for a few minutes to set than transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

turmeric tahini sauce

i spent new years in las vegas, far away from the insanity unfolding on the strip and packed into a tiny one-bedroom rental condo with my guy and six of our climber friends. we raised a toast at midnight, sipped a pour of fancy champagne and then promptly fell asleep. honestly, i was stunned we all had made it to midnight! we had spent a full day bouldering in red rocks canyon and had plans to wake up early on new years day to get back outdoors. 

david and i had driven from seattle to vegas in one straight 17-hour shot the morning after christmas. we stayed for a full week and climbed everyday for as many daylight hours as we snag. we went down with a fun crew of friends and ran into probably 20 more familiar faces gathering in the nevada sunshine from all over the west coast. the combination of getting to see so many far away friends, the sunshine, the world class climbing, the best all-you-can-eat-sushi and a wildly entertaining burlesque cirque du soleil made driving 2.5k miles so worth it... this trip may is turning into an annual pilgrimage for us! 

after an incredible getaway like that, it's a challenge to come back to work and real life (my health insurance saga continues to weigh heavy on me...) and while it's gratifying to settle back into some routines, the initial push to get those routines back into place isn't easy. i spent the week playing catch up to emails and bookkeeping, running around all over town teaching and cooking, and relying heavily on leftover chocolate from christmas for energy. i finally had a few free hours today to prepare some nourishing foods to have on hand for the week ahead! the resulting marco grain bowl might be the most vibrant plate of food i've had all winter!! it was so easy and full of nutrients and antioxidants! put this tahini sauce recipe on your to do list this weekend... because if i had to guess, nearly all of us probably set intentions to eat clean in 2016! 

turmeric tahini sauce ~ makes about 12oz
1/2 cup tahini 
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 
3 tablespoons grated fresh turmeric 
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
2 teaspoons honey 
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 + cup hot water
black pepper & cayenne to taste

whisk together, adding enough warm water to make sauce pourable. adjust spice to taste.


free-style macrobiotic superfood bowls 
steamed whole grains
mint, parsley or other fresh herbs
roasted root vegetables or squash 
kraut or other fermented veggies 
red cabbage or dark leafy greens 
slow cooked beans, lentils or fresh tofu
pomegranate seeds, avocado, hemp seeds or other superfoods to garnish 

be inspired by whatever veggies are in season or on hand. today, i sliced a red cabbage into 1/4" wedges and pan-roasted them in a cast iron skillet with a bit of olive oil until browned and gently wilted. i piled the cabbage with steamed quinoa, turmeric sauerkraut, mint, pomegranate and spoonfuls of turmeric tahini sauce. delightful!