Well, it’s been almost two weeks and I’m still hanging in there! Impressive, I know.
Studies conducted by prestigious, Ivy-league universities (this is almost definitely true and only a teeny bit made up) have proven that people primarily crave either sweet foods, or salty foods. I have friends who have confessed to sitting down and devouring a family sized bag of ketchup chips. That’s just disgusting. My penchant for an entire package of double stuff vanilla Oreo cookies is much classier.
So during this restricted diet that I’m on, I didn’t really notice the lack of chicken or even, surprisingly, the lack of cheese. What I noticed was how damnably few store-bought sweets there are out there that don’t have gluten or flour or sugar or dairy. I actually have an exact count for you: there are precisely ZERO.
After a couple of days satiating myself with raw sugar poured onto, and licked directly off of, a plate, I decided that simply wouldn’t do. I needed a real, honest to goodness cookie! I began my desperate internet search. I looked up every permutation of gluten-free, vegan (no egg, remember?) flour-less and “simple” sweet stuff. What I found was disheartening. Either you needed sixteen different kinds of gluten-free flour, or you had to stand on your left foot holding your right ankle with the ring finger of your right hand and hop in clockwise circles while mixing. The recipe I finally did try was a relative failure. They were so dry that even dipping them in rice milk didn’t help (if you think that’s partly due to the fact that I was drinking rice milk, you’re not wrong). The ones left over, after I had given up trying to convince myself that they were cookies and not mounds of sand and rainwater baked by six year olds in the backyard, actually ended up in the garbage can this evening. They were replaced by something spectacular.
After deciding not to buy sixteen types of flour, I started looking for recipes that didn’t call for any flour at all. I found a few, but most of them had a bunch of ingredients that were scratched out with those big nasty x’s on my diet list. Then I came across the needle in my metaphorical hay (er….gluten-free oat) stack. Flourless Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookies. Now, the recipe called for peanut butter (which I can’t have) and egg (which you already know I can’t have), but never fear. My tendency to forget to buy half the groceries I need means that I just so happen to be awesome at modifying recipes. In place of peanut butter? Mashed banana – oh yeah. And in place of egg? Well, I can’t actually take the credit for coming up with this, but these little chia seed thingies that you can buy at the bulk foods store turn all gelatinous when mixed with water. As long as the egg is only serving as a binding agent, these babies work like a charm. (They also work in meatballs, just if you’re interested…)
The first batch lasted two days, and only because I forcibly removed myself from the kitchen and politely requested that my roommate tie me to the couch with my exercise band. They were THAT GOOD. They honestly tasted like banana bread, and they were soft and chewy and wonderful. Exactly what a girl deprived of perogies and mac n cheese needs to make her willing to go on living.
You might have noticed that I said “first batch.” I definitely made these again tonight. I do have an excuse this time, though. I’m part of Relay for Life tomorrow night (if you don’t know, don’t be afraid to Google) and the food there will pretty much consist of every single thing I can’t have, and nothing else (I forgot about this little event when I was getting all excited about being responsible and sticking to my diet). Anyway, this time I replaced the PB with applesauce, and added a little maple syrup swirl on top before I baked them. Um, yeah. They’re epic. And as a testament to my new-found self control, I managed to only eat one. Mind you, the night is young…
I did it! I brought my own food – a bunch of fruit and veggies, and the whole batch of cookies (if I had run out, there’s no telling how many cupcakes I would have devoured straight out of my friends’ hands). I also brought some meatballs, because generally I like cold meatballs straight out of the fridge the next day. Turns out, though, that the concessions I have to make to be allowed to eat meatballs right now make them not so tasty when they’re cold. I was a little disappointed that no one tried to steal my cookies, but I guess when you tell someone you can’t have wheat or dairy or eggs and then announce that you brought cookies, their excitement sort of wanes…
My cookies! I know they taste fantastic, so I can’t tell: do actually they look good? Also, I’m pretty sure that I’m not allowed to eat flowers.
But it’s such a pretty garnish!