Figgy Almond Cookies with Anise

Figgy Almond Cookies with Anise 

Approx. 2 dozen cookies inspired by Veganomicon's Fig Smushed-Anise-Almond Cookies but with only 1/2 the fat!

Lower Fat Figgy Almond Cookies with Anise

These are neither whole foods nor what I consider healthy but they are vegan :-) A bit better than some other cookie options, these yumbos worked their way into my oven because I did not have the ingredients for much else. When we returned to our little home base in rural Maine, I had to do some recon in our pantry to be sure the mice did not have a party with any food D left out and about when he joined me in GA. When I found the open bag of what were once beautiful dried (but still moist) Organic Black Mission Figs I knew I had to use them up. The sugar had started to seep out of them and they really looked horrible. I was on the verge of the purge when I decided to soak them in some boiling water to see what would happen. In the meantime I looked for other ingredients and found a recipe in Veganomicon which I could modify to suit my needs and found ingredients. Here is what I came up with:

Oven - 350
1 T. Ground Flaxmeal
1/4 c. non-dairy milk
1 c. sugar (I used succanat/sugar mixed)
1/3 c. organic canola oil (for full fat feel, use 2/3 c. oil and no applesauce)
1/3 c. unsweetened applesauce (for less fat, use 2/3 applesauce and no oil. I can't promise what will happen but they will be virtually fat-free cookies!)
1 t. vanilla extract
1 t. anise extract
2 c. unbleached all purpose flour (next time I will try a mixture of Spelt or WW Pastry flours with the all purpose)
1 t. baking powder
1/2 c. almonds (finely chopped)
12 dried Black Mission figs cut in 1/2
notice the Fuhrman products still on the counter! I'm hoping for inspiration!

smushing the cookie dough with moistened hands
placing cookie dough onto silpat using a Tbl. sized cookie scoop

1. Mix flax meal and non-dairy milk together with a whisk or electric mixer
2. Add sugar, oil, applesauce and extracts and mix thoroughly.
3. Mix flour(s) with baking powder and sift. Add to wet ingredients one cup at a time.
4. Mix thoroughly then add almonds and continue to mix until fully incorporated.
5. Using a tablespoon of cookie dough or a cookie dough scoop such as this one, make balls of the dough and place on silpat or parchment lined sheet pans and flatten with the palm of your moistened hands or glass.                                 
6. Press a fig half in the center of each cookie, cut side down.

7. Bake for approx. 12 minutes (depends on your oven, convection or not, etc.) until browned on the bottoms only.
8. Leave on pan for a few minutes before moving to cooling rack.

The Skinny on Smoothies and Juicing

Talking Juicy!

Yesterday, about a dozen or so Veg-strong people gathered in the kitchen at Magnolia House for a Smoothie and Juicing Demonstration. We discussed the benefits of both blending and juicing, the drawbacks, when to do either and perhaps when to avoid altogether. Thanks to friends loaning different equipment, we were able to demonstrate the difference between masticating and centrifugal juicers such as the Omega or Champion Juicers, the Breville and the Cuisinart as well as checking out high speed blenders such as the Vita-Mix and the Ninja.
We learned the masticating juicer is one of the best juicers because it retains all of the vitamins, enzymes and minerals from fruits and vegetables but the centrifugal is fast, takes on more veggies quickly and seems easier to clean although the nutrients oxidize faster and actually these juicers leave a lot of the nutrients in the pulp. But have no fear, we talked about what to do with all the leftover pulp and participants took home recipes for capturing all of this deliciousness in flat breads, carrot cake-lettes and more.

located in front of 1610 Antiques on Frederica Rd. SSI, GA
 We were fortunate to have Don Maxey of Uncle Don's Local Produce Market as our special guest. "Uncle" Don talked about his efforts to bring Georgia grown organic produce to our community from places such as Berry Farms located near Vidalia, GA. Don brought a huge cooler full of plant-based nutrition in the form of greens, beets, the most beautiful multi-colored carrots, Watermelon radishes, Broccoli and more.
Berry Farms Organic Broccoli via Uncle Don's Market

Green Goddess takes on a meaning other than salad dressing!
 We enjoyed at least 4 combos of juices and 3 smoothies/blended salads.
Carrot tops are edible so we will save these. Uncle Don suggested to chop fine and toss over roasted or steamed potatoes!
Vita-mix love, you can see it in my eyes!
 The favorite juice was the Immune Boost from Kris Carr's Crazy Sexy Juices and Succulent Smoothies and fave smoothie, a Chocolate Cherry mixture based on some of Dr. Joel Fuhrman's Blended Salad Recipes. 
It was a fun way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

Here are the recipes. Thanks go out to Kris and Dr. Fuhrman!


Immune Boost Juice

Makes 24 oz.
2 c. kale
1 c. spinach greens
1 lg cuke
1 knob ginger
½ lemon
2 apples
1 pear
6 carrots
3 celery stalks
¼ c. parsley
Optional wheatgrass

Chocolate Cherry Smoothie 

Serves: 2
Preparation Time: 6 minutes

4 ounces organic baby spinach
1/2 cup unsweetened soy, hemp or almond milk
1/2 cup pomegranate juice, cherry juice or cherry pomegranate juice
1 tablespoon natural non alkalized cocoa powder
1 cup frozen cherries
1 banana
1 cup frozen blueberries
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
If using a regular blender, liquefy the spinach with soy milk and juice. Add remaining ingredients and blend about 2 minutes until very smooth. If using a high powered blender, blend all at once.