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 These days, I'm in a new phase of life, and this website is no longer updated.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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Three-Bite Sunflower Cookies (gluten free, vegan, sugar free)

While my new apartment is perfect for so many reasons, it is lacking one thing: garden space.  So, my friend Amy is letting me use some of the garden space in her backyard.  Since it was the perfect day to garden - sunny, lightly breezy, and about 65* -  I  dedicated the afternoon to preparing the soil and planting.  There is nothing more grounding than working the earth with your hands, feeling the soil between your toes, and nurturing the promise of a summer harvest.  I planted all sorts of things: butternut, delicata, and buttercup squashes, zucchini, summer squash, cucumber, beets, kale, swiss chard, peas, and a variety of lovely herbs (parsley, basil, rosemary, savory, thyme, tarragon, and lemon balm).  I can't wait for my garden to grow! 
Anyway, tilling the soil, fertilizing, planting, and putting up a fence to protect the plants from Pickle, Amy's crazy Boxer,  worked up a serious appetite.  By the time I got home, I was ready to gnaw my dirt-covered clean hand off.  After a lovely and satisfying dinner of salmon, steamed parsnips and broccoli, and seared brussels sprouts (leftovers from my pickled brussels sprout project), I wanted something a little sweet.  A cookie.  Yes, I wanted a cookie.  So, I whipped these up.  
Oooh, and yummy, yummy, yummy, these petite three-bite cookies satisfied my sweet tooth.  Why "three-bite"?  Because they can be gobbled up in one, two, three little bites.  Perfect.  That means you can eat a few, and it equals one normal cookie, right?  
Studded with sunflower seeds and chopped up chocolate chunks, and sweetened with stevia, they have a bit of crunch and are just sweet enough.  I used SweetLeaf sweetener; it is a mixture of stevia and inulin.  If using pure powdered stevia, use a little less than my recipe calls for.   My chocolate "chips" are an experimental homemade mixture of ground raw cacao nibs and agave nectar; feel free to substitute any kind of carob chip, chocolate chip, or chopped up carob/chocolate product of your choice.   For moisture and binding ability, I used a little Sunbutter (sunflower seed butter) and pureed cooked peach (substitute applesauce or any fruit puree).  Yum!  These are soft and cakey, and would be very tasty with a glass of your favorite milk substitute.  I'm totally out of rice milk, so I had mine with some licorice tea instead, and that was pretty good too.  
I really like making petite cookies, and think these are totally charming in their diminutive size.  If you insist on baking a bigger cookie, I'd suggest flattening the dough slightly with a fork, probably baking a little bit longer. I also froze a few scoops of the cookie dough for baking later, and will also be freezing the leftover baked cookies; I'll update on how those bake/thaw.   Enjoy!


yield: about 30 petite cookies

3/4 c millet flour
3/4 c amaranth flour
1/4 c arrowroot starch
1/2 tsp salt
2 T sunflower butter (or other nut/seed butter)
1/2 c fruit puree (I used peach)
3 T sunflower oil, safflower oil, or other light tasting oil
1/3 c hot water
1 tsp SweetLeaf sweetener (stevia-based sweetener)
1/3 c toasted sunflower seeds
1/3 c carob chips, chocolate chips, coarsely chopped bittersweet chocolate, etc...
  1. Preheat oven to 350* and prepare a baking sheet.
  2. In a medium bowl, sift or whisk together flours and starch.  Add salt and baking powder, and whisk together.  Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, mix sunflower butter, fruit puree, and oil with a hand mixer until smooth.
  4. In a microwave or saucepan, heat 1/3 c water; once heated, dissolve stevia in the water. SEt aside.  
  5. Add flour mixture to fruit/sunflower butter mixture, adding in batches, and mixing in between.  Before the last batch of flour, add the hot water, mix, and then finish adding flour, stirring only until moistened.
  6. Quickly and gently fold in sunflower seeds and carob/chocolate chips, stirring only until evenly mixed.
  7. Scoop by the tablespoonful on prepared baking sheet, and back for 10-12 minutes, until firm to the touch and lightly golden.
  8. Remove from oven, let cool on baking sheet a few minutes, then transfer to cooling rack.


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Reader Comments (4)

I'm sure these would satisfy my sweet tooth, too! And I love the addition of peach puree.

May 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRicki

I really like using fruit puree in recipes - I make a whole bunch at once then freeze it in ice cube trays so I always have some on hand! : ) Peach is my latest favorite; pear is good, nectarine, and of course, apples... I'd like to try plums when they are in season and much less expensive! Let me know what you think if you try out the recipe!

May 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKim

You use two flours I haven't yet tried: millet and arrowroot. How do you find that they handle? What flavors do they add? I love the idea of the fruit puree base: that's another thing I've been intending to try!

May 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterGina

HI Gina! Thanks for stopping by!

Here's my (long) spiel on the flours:

Millet is awesome! Millet is high in protein and fiber, iron, and B vitamins. It is naturally antimicrobial, so it helps regulate good gut bacteria, and is the only alkaline grain. The whole grain can be cooked fluffy like couscous or (with more water) ends up thick and porridge-like, almost like polenta. And millet flour is great - it is a pale, creamy yellow color, and it has kind of a nutty, sweet flavor. It tends to bake up kind of dry, but has a definite crumb, and it gives a nice crust. I've used it alone and in lots of different blends for muffins, breads, cakes, etc. I really like to use it mixed with garbanzo flour for flatbread tortillas.

Arrowroot flour/starch is from the root of the arrowroot plant, it is white and very finely textured, and very easily digestible. I think it is totally tasteless, and makes a good thickener in sauces and gravies. In baked goods it helps add a chewy texture and helps to bind - It is a nice counterbalance to the dryness of millet flour or rice flour, just like tapioca starch.I don't use it all the time, and I've never tried using it alone,. Truth be told, I probably never will, because it is just starch - I like using more nutrient dense flours for the base of my baked goods. But added as part of blends it seems to add a nice touch!

May 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKim
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