I believe in eating well ...but that doesn't always mean the same thing. With the exception of no animal products ever (I just don't see them as food), sometimes 'eating well' can look like a marcobiotic bowl full of kale, fermented veggies and seaweed and other times 'eating well' is an entire of plant-based pizza if that's what I am really craving - I try to avoid the distinction between 'bad' and 'good' and instead focus on what feels right in my body at the time. 'Eating well' means caring for yourself, and that looks very different from day to day. I believe in trying to strike balance through food and I don't think you achieve that my making hard and fast rules because, well, rules are for breaking. Despite my moniker, I don't believe in limiting yourself to 'clean' foods all the time - for me, 'clean' is a feeling of peace and clarity not eliminating carbs or sugar or fat. This is important for me to stress because as I dive deeper into my business I never want to be about one particular way of eating or living as 'the answer' for all - we all have our own path, or own past and our own preferences. Balance, tolerance and loving acceptance are huge in my life.
I never want anyone to feel bad about food. Food is to be enjoyed. To me, its divine, its alchemy, its magic. Food can heal ... and I'm not just talking about kale, I think a cupcake or a fried mac and cheeze ball can be just as healing as a steamed bowl of greens - it all depends on what you need - physically, emotionally, psychologically - at that point in time. I don't believe in shaming yourself for eating an entire chocolate bar if it's what you really want. I don't believe in limiting yourself if you're in tune with what you want. Just like movement (I teach yoga if you didn't know), I believe in food as a tool of exploration - a way to observe what feels good, what does not, a way to find joy in the simple things, a way to nourish and grow.
With all of that said, here is a recipe that may not be thought of as healthy but the process of making these cookies was healing for me and exactly what I needed. I'd seen this concept bouncing around the internet recently and this morning I got hit with the sudden urge to test it out and these turned out perfectly. Well, perfectly imperfect and exactly what shortbread cookies should be -light, crumbly, crisp and slightly sweet. Perfumed with rose water, lemon juice and edible flowers these are not only visually stunning but taste divine as well. I've been really struggling lately, if I am being honest, but the process of making food (especially for others) gets me fully present, grateful and back on my path.
Give these simple, easy cookies a try and let me know how you like them.
Makes: 16 cookies • Prep Time: 10 min • Cook Time: 20-22 minutes
- 2 cups all purpose, unbleached flour (you could use GF flour, spelt or whole wheat with mixed results)
- 1/4 cup stevia/sugar baking blend (use 1/2 cup regular sugar, if substituting)
- 1 cup + apx. 2 tbsp vegan butter or margarine (you could sub room temp. coconut oil but I have not tested this)
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1 tsp. lemom juice
- 1 tsp. rose water extract *optional
- 1/2 tsp. sea salt
- 1/4 cup edible flowers
PRO TIP: I bought my edible flowers through a food distributor but you can find small packages at health food stores or forage your own. There's plenty of edible flower varieties - here's some suggestions.
Preheat the oven to 350*F.
In a large bowl combine the flour, sugar and salt together using a whisk. Measure out 1 cup of slightly cold to room temp. vegan butter and use your fingers to evenly work it into the flour - it should resemble a course meal or sand after about a minute or so. Add in the lemon juice, rose water and vanilla. Use your hands to once again bring the dough together - it will feel very crumbly but should press into a ball when squeezed in your fist. If this is not the case, add another tablespoon or two of vegan butter, being careful not to over work the dough - it should still be very dry and not sticky in any way.
Note: You could also mix in a variety of different flavorings and superfoods into your dough - lemon zest, blood orange, chia, turmeric powder, ginger powder, cacao powder, maca, cortaceps - make it your own!
Transfer your dough onto a well floured surface and form it into rough circular mound. Use a rolling pin (I don't have one, I use a clean glass jar) to press and roll the dough out into an even 1/2" round. As you are working, sprinkle over your edible flowers and use the rolling pin to gently press them into the surface of the dough.
Working delicately, use a small circular cutter (I used a small glass juice cup that was apx. 2.5" in diameter) to press out your cookies. Add them to a parchment lined and coconut oil sprayed baking sheet. You don't have to worry about how far you place them apart because these cookies have no spread and no rise! Once you've cut as many cookies as you can from the first round of dough, gather it back up and roll it back out with more flowers - continue cutting out cookies and continuing this process until there's little to no dough left.
Bake the cookies for 15 minutes and then give them a turn in the oven to ensure even baking. Cook for a total of 20-22 minutes - you should be able to pick the cookies up without them crumbling and they should be slightly golden brown on the bottom. Allow to cool fully before enjoying. They store well in the fridge for up to a week!
Note: Due to the drying nature of the oven, these cookies do look better prior to baking so take a photo or two (lol) but I love the light perfume the flowers give the finished product - you can always garnish with a little more flower petals right before you're ready to serve.