One of my clients was recently recovering from a C-section and I wanted to bring her some nourishing food for her and her husband to enjoy while she healed and they devoted their attentions to their amazing little newborn. The spread included an assortment of nutrient-dense whole-food fare, but naturally, I wanted to make her a sweet treat as well.
Cookies, in my opinion, are one of the most comforting foods. And yes, I could go into the science of “why” – namely the combination of carbs and fat that humans are so drawn to for past survival needs. There’s lots of literature on the subject, so I won’t belabour it, and thus distract from what is supposed to be a light-hearted little anecdote, but the point is that from both a biological/anthropological perspective, and from a place of emotional experience (think your mom giving you cookies and milk before bed), there’s no question cookies make people happy.
But you know what makes ME happy? Cookies that aren’t made with blood-sugar-spiking, inflammation-inducing, disease-causing, refined crap! And of course cookies that adhere to the specific dietary considerations of the person I’m making them for...
So, wanting to make some grain-free, dairy-free treats, that also worked to reduce inflammation and aid in tissue recovery from the wounds of the C-section, I constructed my client some anti-inflammatory recovery cookies, and man are they tasty! My client even mentioned to me that they were the perfect thing to munch on during midnight nursing when baby is needing a snack of his own.
So check out the nutritional benefits below, and give these guys a try, because so many of us could do with a little anti-inflammatory and reparative love these days, even if we didn’t just bring another beautiful life into this world…
Turmeric: One of the most potent anti-inflammatory foods in the word, turmeric is incredibly healing, but also immune-boosting and detoxifying. Countless studies have showcased the many powers of turmeric, and its incredible uses akin to traditionally prescribed NSAID’s and other anti-inflammatory medications, but without the detrimental side-effects and downfalls.
Cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg: All three of these comforting spices have been shown to lower blood sugar, boost immune function, and of course, reduce systemic inflammation - a winning combination health-wise!
Collagen powder: Amongst the many amazing benefits of consuming high quality collagen, the shining glory of this nutrient is its unrivalled ability to repair tissue. Whether reducing symptoms of leaky gut, healing injured or overworked muscles and tendons, or just giving you skin that incredible youthfully glow, collagen is a serious winner in the nutrition world!
Pumpkin seed protein powder: One of my favourite forms of protein powder, a minimally processed pumpkin seed protein powder is a highly beneficial addition to your power balls, protein bars, smoothies...and baked goods! Stellar levels of magnesium aid in stress management, heart health, and muscle function, and a high content of zinc helps with immune function, digestion, insulin regulation, and male reproductive health. Pumpkin seeds are packed with omega-3's, the anti-inflammatory essential fatty acid, and were even shown in one study to work as well as the anti-inflammatory drug Indomethacin in treating arthritis, but without the terrible side effects.
Almond butter and flour: Loaded with antioxidants, vitamin E, and manganese, almonds are great for tissue repair, skin health, and immunity. The magnesium hit also helps with stress management, blood sugar balance, and blood pressure control. Almonds are also a pretty solid source of protein for added satiety and muscle maintenance.
Coconut oil and flour: Coconut-based products (oil, flour, chips etc.) in their unrefined natural form are one of the best immune boosters thanks to their antiviral, antifungal, antibacterial, and anti-parasitic, properties. Coconut is also high in antioxidants, and can improve skin and hair. Not only that, but they’re super-packed with vitamins and minerals (calcium, magnesium etc.) that are integral for bone and teeth health, and the healthy fats diminish blood sugar imbalances while keeping you satiated and energized for longer.
Golden flax meal: With solid levels of omega-3’s (the anti-inflammatory essential fatty acid), B-group vitamins, manganese, magnesium, phosphorous, and selenium, flax seeds are some pretty impressive little powerhouses and are fantastic for tissue growth and repair. They’re also loaded with fibre, and a pretty decent amount of protein, both necessary for weight balance.
Eggs (specifically the yolks): Egg yolks contain almost all the vitamins and minerals in the egg. They aid in cardiovascular health, cognitive function, and inflammation management. They contain high levels of vitamin E and selenium, as well as carotenoids, all necessarily for healthy tissue repair and growth. Most importantly, egg yolks are high in Vitamin K2, which you cannot get this from plant-based foods. This nutrient is important for bone and teeth health, and has even been shown to fight cancer.
Walnuts: Of all the nuts, walnuts are arguably one of the best sources of omega-3 (the anti-inflammatory essential fatty acid). They also contain the amino acid l-arginine, which offers multiple vascular benefits to people with heart disease, or those who have increased risk for heart disease due to multiple factors. They contain a number of rare and powerful antioxidants, including the quinone juglone, the tannin tellimagrandin, and the flavonol morin. They’re fantastic for cognitive function and blood sugar management, and studies have even shown that they’re beneficial for male reproductive health in that they improved sperm quality, including vitality, motility, and morphology.
Recovery Cookies (grain-free, dairy-free, paleo)
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 10-15 minutes
*Makes 12 cookies
- 1 free-range/ pastured egg
- 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
- 1/3 cup raw almond butter
- 1/3 cup unrefined coconut oil, melted
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup almond flour
- 1/3 cup coconut flour
- 1/3 cup golden flax meal
- 1/4 cup collagen powder
- 1/4 cup pumpkin seed protein powder
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 2 tsp turmeric powder
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp clove
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 cup walnut crumbs
*Optional toppings include: walnut crumbs, flax seeds, unsweetened coconut flakes...
- Preheat your oven to 350F, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- With an electric mixer (or by hand), beat together the egg, maple syrup, almond butter, coconut oil, and vanilla extract until thoroughly combined.
- In a separate bowl, mix together the almond flour coconut flour, flax meal, collagen powder, pumpkin seed protein power, sea salt, baking power, and spices.
- Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet, and using the paddle function on your mixer on medium speed (or by hand) mix until well combined.
- Fold in the walnuts crumbs and let the batter sit in the fridge for about 10 minutes to firm-up slightly.
- Form 12 evenly-sized balls and spread them out on your baking sheet.
- Gently flatten each ball down slightly with your thumb or spoon and sprinkle with your toppings of choice.
- Bake for 10-15 minutes, until golden brown on the bottom and let cool on a rack before serving.
*Leftovers should be stored in the fridge