Pumpkin Cookies!

Photo courtesy of "The Girl Who Went Paleo"

I always knew I wanted to be a “stay at home mom” once I finally had children. I just knew.

However, once I finally graduated and became uber passionate about nutrition and wellness, I wanted both. I wanted the career, the kids, the marriage, the house, the works. I THOUGHT I could handle it.

Then I actually HAD a baby. As much as I loved my job as a dietitian, my priorities IMMEDIATELY changed upon meeting my little love. Suddenly, instead of worrying about my next blog post or the latest nutrition article, I was consumed with caring for Hannah. And while all moms go through that “transitional period,” I honestly loved every minute (gripes and all).

The closer I got to going back to work, the more I dreaded it. Even though I would only be working 24 hours a week, I couldn’t bear the thought of someone ELSE taking care of Hannah. I couldn’t bear the thought of someone ELSE getting to see her “firsts.” Plus, it wouldn’t just be 24 hours a week away from Hannah, there was still 35-45 minute commute both ways, house cleaning to get done, groceries to buy, food to cook, etc. When would all this get done? I didn’t want those things replacing quality time with my family. Was the extra stress and being away from Hannah worth it?

After weeks of agonizing, we came to the conclusion that I needed to stay home for my little nugget. And the funny thing? October 15th (my start back date) came and went, and there wasn’t an ounce of me that felt remorseful. You KNOW that’s when you did the right thing. :)

I know staying at home isn’t for everyone and some don’t even have the option. For those moms, my hat goes off to you. I do not know how you do it and I’m so sorry if you want to do it but can’t. Taking care of a little life and maintaining a house is a FULL time job and I don’t care what anyone says about it. It’s tough work.┬áThen add 20-40 hours more work to that? Phew. How do you do it!!???

Yup.

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With all the being said, now that my title IS “stay at home mom,” I am embracing getting my butt back in the kitchen! I am researching lots of new recipes and nutrition concepts that I’m excited to share. I’m hoping to get my blog back in the swing of things and the easiest way to do that right now is experiment in the kitchen (ya gotta eat anyway right?).

Lately I’ve been reading more in-depth about this “grain-free” lifestyle. I have been following Mark’s Daily Apple since last January and read about others going “grain-free,” so I thought I would educate myself and do some experimenting with “grain-free” recipes. It’s a very interesting concept and the more I read, the more I agree that as a society…we eat way too many grains (whole grain or not). While I may write a post about this in the near future, for now I’ll just be sharing some grain-free recipes with “y’all” as I collect my thoughts and true opinion about this concept.

This particular recipe is for a Paleo Pumpkin Cookie. It’s absolutely delicious, SUPER easy to throw together, full of healthy fats, and grain-free! The presentation ain’t so pretty, but it’s masticated in your mouth anyway, so who cares as long as it tastes good!? I shared these cookies with my neighbors last week and they loved ‘em! I know you will too!

PALEO PUMPKIN COOKIES

courtesy of The Girl Who Went Paleo Blog

Ingredients:

Makes 10-12 large cookies OR 22-24 small/medium cookies

  • 1/4 cup┬ácanned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix!)
  • 1/2 cup raw almond butter
  • 1/2 cup raw honey
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup TJ’s almond meal (or you could just use regular all-purpose flour)
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice or 1tsp ground cinnamon (I used a little of both)
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (optional), dried fruit works well too!
  • 1/2 cup walnuts (or choose whatever nut you prefer)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper (I sprayed the pan and the parchment paper with cooking spray). Combine pumpkin, almond butter, honey, and vanilla and whisk together thoroughly, then add the dry ingredients until combined. Scoop batter on to the cookie sheet and flatten slightly. The cookies spread tremendously for me (did not look like the picture above) and I’m not sure why. So if you don’t want a HUGE cookie, use a 1-2 tablespoon measure. Bake approximately 10-15 minutes, according to thickness.

Remove from cookie sheet after you let set for ~2-3 minutes. Allow to cool or eat warm!

Nutritional Profile (per one small/medium cookie): 124 calories, 8.6g fat (1.4 g sat, 2.6 poly, 4.2 mono), 0.8 mg cholesterol, 18 mg sodium, 117 mg potassium, 11.5 g carbohydrate, 1.2 g fiber, 6.8 g sugars, 2.5 g protein, 17,5 % Vitamin A, 12.3 % Vitamin E, 18.1% Manganese

 

I found these cookies to be super chewy, moist, and overall amazing. As large cookies, the blogger referred to them as “breakfast cookies,” but I did not find, as a large cookie, they left me “satisfied” enough to use as a meal. I just thought of them as a treat! Whatever you choose to eat them as…savor every bite!

Question: What is your opinion about a grain-free lifestyle?

 

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6 comments to Pumpkin Cookies!

  • I”m very happy for you. I made that same decision some twenty something years ago and never regretted it. And if feel very fortunate to have been able to do it.

    Thanks for the great sounding recipe. Interesting – cookies with no grains. And we use raw almond butter in our house so I have it on hand. I think I”ll have to try these!

  • I am a bit far away from having kids, but I totally know what you mean and I think I will want to stay home until my kids are 3, with maybe some work from home going on. But hopefully I will eventually be able to get into the workplace after that. I can’t imagine missing it all!

  • 2 things I needed – to hear your work story. As I am about to welcome our first child I have bookmarked this to make sure I consider all my options before feeling like I have to hop back into the workforce.

    Second – I love anything pumpkin right now. WOO!!

  • I think it is a great decision! My mom is a stay at home mom and I always loved having her around.
    It’s funny cause my boyfriend and I talk about this already. I feel like I may be in the same boat as you. I know, for sure, that I would have to work only part time.
    If you don’t mind me asking, did you work in a hospital? Thinking way ahead but if I had to work, it is nice to know of an option that offers less hours.

  • My mom stayed at home with my sisters and I, so I’ve always imagined myself being a stay at home mom, too. We’ll see when the time comes, but I don’t know how working moms do it either. I wouldn’t know how to balance everything!

  • imknow how hard would be for me to go back to work in 2.5 months. the more I spend time with my baby, the more I can’t imagine being aay 8-10 hrs from her. sometimes, I do something by myself for just 1-2 hrs, even its just in another room, I miss her. I never believed that thismcould happen to me when I heard others saying it, but it is true I’m grateful for being able to feel this much love. :)

    i don’t eat much grains except corns.:)

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