Hi, I'm Kim

Hi, I’m Kim Christensen, M.Om., Dipl.OM, L.Ac. I’m a licensed acupuncturist, herbalist, and owner of Constellation Acupuncture & Healing Arts in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Back before going to school and becoming a healthcare practitioner, Affairs of Living was my creative outlet while healing from chronic health issues. These days, I'm in a new phase of life, and this website is no longer updated.

Want to stay up to date? Check out my new website www.constellationacu.com.

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Unless otherwise noted, all recipes on this blog are free of gluten, peanuts, soy, corn, tomatoes, potatoes, shellfish, cane sugar, oranges, and yeast. Most recipes are also free of egg, dairy, and tree nuts (if used, reliable substitutions will be provided for these when possible). Check out my recipe index for a full list of recipes by category. 

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Whole Life Nutrition's Amazing Chocolate Chip Cookies (gluten free, vegan, sugar-free)


I've had a totally inappropriate urge for chocolate chip cookies lately.  Part of it, of course, is seasonal - this time of year just CALLS for baking.  But part of it because my sweets cravings are a little out of control.  After getting the Lyme diagnosis six weeks ago and dealing with some added financial and emotional stress, I totally fell off the anti-Candida diet wagon.  It's  not like I started eating straight up cane sugar or anything, or even using a ton of sweetener.  But I certainly started indulging more than usual in sweet stuff and starchy stuff.  Tasty baked goods, homemade pumpkin pie, sunflower cacao fudge, black bean fudge, that amazaké, lots of squash and roasted beets, general overeating...the list goes on...and on...and on....

 Accordingly, my pants are a little tight, I feel fat, and I'm pretty sure that Candida I was having issues with before are back in full swing.

Damn it!  What am I DOING?!  Seriously, where did all that self-restraint and control go?  I think I used it all up last year.  I need to find it again.

Anyway, despite all this, I made cookies not all that long ago.  I was invited to a Holiday Cookie Party, and just couldn't help myself.  My compulsive urge to bake overtook me, and I fell prey to an amazing looking cookie recipe on the Whole Life Nutrition blog.  After meeting great success with a variation on a millet muffin recipe from their cookbook earlier this week, I had decided to make a cookie recipe from the book for this party.  But when I saw this recipe for chocolate chip cookies on their blog, I knew I had to do it: no gluten, vegan, no flour or binders or starches.  A high protein cookie using quinoa flakes and ground nuts and nut butter.  What?!?!? It sounded too good to be true.  I wanted to try it. I needed to try it.  Well okay, not really, but it sure felt like it.

So, I made a few tweaks.   I baked the dough.  The toasty tasty smell while they baked was truly magnificent.  Plus, the extra heat from the oven was a real treat in my chilly apartment.   Then I removed them from the oven, let one cool a little, and tasted it.  Holy crap.  Then I let it cool completely, and finished it off.  This cookie was like a real, bonafide cookie.  The best cookie I have eaten - by FAR - in over a year and half.  Chewy in the middle, crisp on the outside, rich and sweet and flavorful.  Awesome.

Ali, you rock my world. 

Ali's original recipe is posted HERE.  I made the following changes:

  • used 1/2 cup pitted deglet noor dates instead of medjool dates, probably about 12 of them
  • substituted 1/4 cup coconut oil with 1/4 cup grapeseed oil
  • substituted 1/4 cup honey with 1/4 cup rice milk and 1 tsp stevia extract powder
  • substituted mini chocolate chips with 1/2 cup finely chopped Ghiradelli unsweetened chocolate
  • substituted almond butter and almond meal with 1 cup cashew butter and 1/2 cup ground cashews 
  • baked 14-16 minutes instead of 10-12
Okay, I know the unsweetened chocolate sounds weird. Let me explain: the intense and bitter flavor totally works for me, especially when combined with something just a little sweet.  So, I think it is perfect in these cookies; the sweet flavor from the dates and stevia counteracts the bitterness of the unsweetened chocolate, providing a rich and appealing flavor combination, a lot like dark chocolate.  No one that ate these cookies guessed it was unsweetened chocolate - seriously, they all thought they were dark chocolate chips.  You could also use store-bought carob or chocolate chips (Enjoy Life makes a vegan, soy free chocolate chip, but it has can juice), raw cacao nibs, or make your own carob or chocolate chips - it's easy!  Go the bottom of this post for a homemade carob chip recipe that will make your day.  I shouldn't even be eating chocolate.  But again, I just couldn't resist.

Next time I think I will also reduce the amount of oil; I think that 2 T oil might cut it, with a couple extra tablespoons rice milk.  I think it would make the cookie just a little lighter.  I'd also like to try the recipe with Sunbutter and ground sunflower seeds.

This recipe is a winner!  Everyone that tried them at the cookie party really like them, honestly.  The texture was wonderful; dense, chewy, soft, not at all crumbly or grainy or sandy like GF cookies can be sometimes.  They stayed tender and chewy. I froze part of the batch, and was thrilled how well they thawed - and how delicious they were frozen, actually.

Anyway, I just finished off the last ones a couple days ago, and will probably make a batch for the holidays. Then I have to take a serious break from all this cookie business.    Once I start antibiotics in a couple weeks, I really need to be super careful about the sugar - long-term antibiotic use aggravates Candida big time, and I've already got issues.  That road will be rocky.  At least I was enjoying these cookies in the meantime, for better or worse...

When I finally decide to stop eating these slightly cheaty foods, I have an excellent place to turn: Ricki, from the wonderful blog Diet, Dessert, and Dogs, just published her Anti-Candida Feast e-book!  I bought my copy last night, and you can be sure I'll be trying out some of the wonderful sounding recipes!  Some of them need some tweaking to fit with my allergies, but it is full of inspirational, healthy, and TOTALLY ACD-friendly food.  Leave it to Ricki - she is a wonder woman!



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Reader Comments (4)

Hi Kim,
Your post totally struck a chord with me. I have been following your blog for quite a while and always am excited to see what you have to post about.
I have also been falling of the bandwagon of late. I used to stay away from sugar, it made me feel so much better if I did. But stress, especially stress from college life, my strict diet, and an accident I was in (that caused lots of other problems), caused me to loose my control. I began eating sugar, cane sugar, even refined cane sugar! I just didn't seem to care anymore. But soon after eating it, I would feel terrible. But yet, I would find myself going back for another "normal" treat yet again. Like the other night, a friend gave me a chocolate caramel bar and honestly I didn't even think it tasted that great. But I kept eating it, for seemingly no reason but just because I was feeling bad. Yet, that night, very soon, I was sick. And crying. And I knew I had to stop. I wondered where my resolve had gone. I mean, seriously!?! I used to be sooo strong. I could say no to anything! I mean, only recently have I started to eat gluten and milk products again (which who knows if I will even be able to continue these) , and so I used to say no to all of that! What is wrong with me? Could it be all the constant gift giving of homemade cookies and other goodies? Or the want to go out with friends and just be "normal" for once to get an ice cream? Not only was I indulging in sugar, I was indulging in lots of refined and processed junk. And I overate a lot. My pants also feel tight and I definitely don't feel so skinny anymore. I haven't been able to exercise either because of a sprained ankle that won't seem to heal. So, long story short, I do understand, at least to some extent, what you are going through. I also tried anti-candida diet this summer and it was the most excruciating 2 weeks of my life- that's all I lasted. I'm sure it would help me but I don't know if I will ever be able to do it. Anyways, keep up the good work. We can do it! :) I will be posting the recipes I make for Christmas treats on my blog so watch for them. I am hoping to make at least half with only stevia and no honey/agave as I think that will help me loose my sugar addiction (I HOPE!) Have a Merry Christmas! Sincerely, Ari

December 19, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAri-Food Intolerances Cook

Wow, these look great! Your soy-free pumpkin pie is already on my holiday baking list, but these may need to be added.

Do you think that the dates are OK for the ACD? I've read that dried fruit is especially bad for us candida sufferers. I haven't added fruit back into my diet much lately...just a few berries once in awhile.

December 21, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLeah

Ari- Thanks for your comment. I'm sorry you are feeling so frustrated right now; I understand! It is hard to keep ourselves under control sometimes, isn't it? I really recommend trying out the ACD for longer than two weeks, if you can - the longer you stick with it, the more it heals. Not like I should talk, I've fallen halfway off hte wagon, but it relaly is helpful. I did it very intensely for about 9 months, and it made a world of difference. I'll have to look up your blog, and good luck!

Leah - Uh, no, I don't think dates are okay on the strict ACD. I think they are big CHEAT. :) I've never been much of a cheater, but I totally cheated with these! and after getting my Lyme diagnosis, I think most of my symptoms are due to that (although I know I still have yeast issues). However, the way I look at it, if the dates are used in a recipe it really isn't that bad. 1 cup of chopped deglet noor dates supposedly has 93 grams of sugar. If you make 18 cookies, that's only 5 grams of sugar per cookie - roughly one serving of raspberries, what many people consider an ACD friendly fruit. Or, for example, Rice milk has 10-16 grams of sugar in a cup, depending on the brand. So, combined with the glycemic lowering power of the nut butter, I justified these cookies as really not being all that sugary, especially since I subbed the honey for stevia. Maybe that's just a desperate cookie-lover trying to cheat on a diet :)

December 21, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKim

I, too, have been craving chocolate of late--I think once you introduce it in an ACD, pandemonium ensues! But it's the holidays, and even us ACD-ers needs some treats! These cookies sound fabulous. I'm also planning to make your pie over the holidays (I made it once already and just loved it!). And thanks for the shout-out re: the ebook! :D

Hope you have a fabulous holiday, Kim!

December 21, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRicki
Sorry, no comments/questions allowed right now.
Hi reader! My schedule as full-time grad student with two part-time jobs doesn't allow me the time to manage comments. I hope you enjoy what you find and can figure out answers to any questions you may have. xo