Before I get into the details of my peanut butter burdock cookies, let me explain a few things.
Everybody likes a good cookie. They are the foods of childhood. We have memories of gobbling up every morsel with greedy satisfaction. Their scent flows through the oven door, directly into the limbic region of our brains and sets off a parade of olfactory memories. Cookies are good. Cookies are wonderful.
Cookies are loaded with sugar and refined flours.
We eat a pretty healthy diet around the farm, producing a great deal of our own meats, dairy, vegetables, fruit and nuts. We are not vexed by chronic disease or too many complaints. Over the last few months we have greatly reduced our consumption of refined carbohydrates such as white (wheat) flour and sugar. Much to the chagrin of our very neglected teenagers. And much to the delight of our bellies and energy levels. After an initial “carb detox”, we are now re-incorporating complex carbohydrates into our daily meals.
But what happens when a healthy eater craves a cookie? Enter my quest to find a few virtually sinless cookies.
The key, my friends? Fiber. Fiber is not a sexy subject. We all know that fiber keeps us, ummm, regular. Fiber also acts to slow the rate of sugar absorption in the gut, thus preventing dramatic spikes in blood glucose and the long term effects of insulin resistance. The ideal balance of fiber to added sugar in the diet is 1:1, while the standard American is consuming a ratio more to the tune of 1:12. Wow, can you now see why obesity has reached epidemic levels?! In designing this recipe, I wanted to get that ratio as close to 1:1 as I could get it. Using coconut flour, almond meal and ground flax, we are looking at about 1:2.5 (roughly 65 grams of fiber from the almond meal, coconut flour, flax and peanut butter and about 163 grams of sugar from the honey and granulated sugar for rolling), which doesn’t seem too bad really… I am not going to fool myself – I am making cookies here, not health food.
Wanting to up the health ante, I sought another ingredient to balance the sugar quotient. What does and herbalist do? She adds ground burdock root, I tell ya! Burdock(Arctium lappa) is a remarkable weed. While I don’t love picking her burrs from the shaggy coats of my Pryenees/Komondor cross livestock guardian dogs, the health benefits of burdock root are outstanding. In addition to acting as a liver supportive, blood cleansing, skin clearing herb, burdock contains an active constituent called inulin. Inulin is associated with normalizing blood glucose levels and promoting good gut health as a “pre-biotic” (a food source for the beneficial gut bacteria). Burdock is abundant in areas of moderately rich, undisturbed soils and produces an enormous, almost parsnip like, tap root. Once identified, burdock can be foraged, cleaned, finely chopped and dried, then ground for the purposes of this recipe. It can also be purchased from a well stocked bulk herb retailer such as Mountain Rose Herbs. So peanut butter burdock cookies it is!
I really hope that you enjoy these peanut butter burdock cookies and that they satiate your deepest cookie desires. In the coming days, I will be experimenting with virtually sinless brownies and virtually sinless chocolate chip cookies.
- 1 cup natural, unsweetened peanut butter
- 1/2 cup organic butter, softened
- 1/2 cup honey or maple syrup
- 1 egg
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup coconut flour
- 3/4 cup almond meal
- 1/4 cup ground flax
- 2 tablespoons ground burdock root
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 tablespoon organic sugar for rolling
- Blend together peanut butter, butter, honey, egg and vanilla extract.
- In a separate bowl mix dry ingredients.
- Add dry ingredients to wet and blend until evenly incorporated. Chill dough for 30 minutes. NOTE: Different grinds on coconut and almond meals may affect texture of dough; your dough should be relatively firm and not too sticky — consider adding more or less dry ingredients as appropriate.
- Roll dough into walnut sized balls, then roll into sugar, coating evenly. Place on a parchment or silicone mat lined cookie sheet and press down firmly with the tines of a fork creating a cross hatch pattern.
- Place cookie sheet with formed cookies in freezer for 15 minutes (this helps control cookie “spread”).
- Bake cookies in a 350 degree (F) oven for 9 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool on cookie sheet for 10 minutes before removing
Petersen, Dorene. HERB201 Herbal Studies. ACHS, Portland, OR. 2015