I have been working diligently on creating a gluten free chocolate chip cookie that tastes just about as good as Rosie’s regular one. Once that is done I will focus on a vegan one that tastes ALMOST as good. Let’s face it, there is no way that a cookie without butter and eggs can possibly be as good as one with at least one out of those two ingredients., but I will do my best.
My first foray into the art of alternative baking was a whole wheat chocolate chip cookie made with olive oil instead of butter and, as well, I replaced the white sugar with brown rice syrup ( the lowest glycemic count of any of the sweeteners). It was amazingly delicious, but when the kitchen tried to replace the ingredients that I used at home for experimenting with those from the supplier, it was just never consistent, so I kind of gave up. I do want to take up the challenge again at some point, but now it seems that gluten free is at the forefront of everyone’s mind
I am personally very conflicted about all the dietary information that seems to come and go and, sometimes, it make me crazy about what to eat and what not to eat. Most certainly I am not discounting those who have serious allergies to different specific types of food or ingredients, but putting aside this segment of the population, here in the US, we are becoming obsessed with restricting many things from our diet that we have been told are not good for us. I have lived long enough to see that belief systems about diet are constantly changing. Eggs are good for you, eggs are bad for you and now eggs are good for you again. Fat is bad, fat is good. Red meat is bad and now the Paleo diet is the hottest thing. Sometimes I feel like the stress of it all is less healthy than harkening back to the age old adage of “everything in moderation”.
I myself have been a victimized by the conflicting information and have spent much of my life of struggling to stay away from foods that made me fat or foods that were considered unhealthy; this effort has caused me a great deal of stress and imbalance. Certainly we should eat a basically healthy diet with fruits, vegetables, nuts and grains but must we deprive ourselves of the sensual joy we experience from a great hot fudge sundae or a just-out-of-the-oven chocolate chip cookie? Do we ignore the fact that this kind of enjoyment contributes to our happiness, and is happiness not a component of being healthy? Is the act of constantly restricting and controlling good for you? Must we not on occasion relax and enjoy and not worry about technical definitions of “healthy”?
It has taken me so many years to finally calm down about occasionally injecting some “unhealthy” foods into my diet. So now, for example, when I am in Cape Cod once over the summer, I can actually have a small container of fried clams and not feel the least bit guilty; it is an integral part of the Cape experience and definitely enhances my visit.
So let us pay tribute to that occasional indulgence that does us the service of reminding us sensual joy in small doses is part of the “healthy” equation. None the less, in good faith in the spirit of being an American, I will create for you a great gluten free chocolate chip cookie… and maybe even a vegan one as well…. stay tuned