It’s hard to think about celebrating today without paying attention to the food that we eat. How our food is produced is what ties together our own health to the health of the planet. The food we eat on a regular basis can impact our personal health as much as it impacts climate health— both for good, and for not so good. Consuming the standard American diet (SAD) has lead to inefficient and unsustainable demands of food production including: depletion of healthy soil; increased pollution of our water systems; and increased carbon emissions. So depending on the choices we make when it comes to the food we eat, it is important to remember that our habits and roles as consumers will continue to have a very large influence in creating either a more, or a less, sustainable planet.
In contrast to the standard American diet, a higher consumption and demand for more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds has been associated with many personal and planetary benefits, some of which include: a lower risk of chronic illness including heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and certain cancers; increased biodiversity of the earth’s soil which allows for higher nutrient density in food growing out of the ground; increased quality of life and longevity; lower carbon emissions in production of food; a stronger immune system, leading to increased ability to fight off infection.
So to honor Earth Day, I’m sharing my recipe for Earth Day Cookies. They are dense, flavorful, filling, oil free, and made of whole food plants. What’s great about these cookies? They contain a diversity of fruit, vegetables, beans, whole grains, nuts and seeds (yes all in one cookie!). These cookies are plant based. Which means they are inseparable from being planet based.
Rene’s Earth Day Cookies
3/4 cup of pecans
3/4 cup of walnuts
1 1/2 cup of rolled oats
1/2 cup of maple syrup
1 T vanilla extract
1/2 cup of chickpeas rinsed and drained
1/2 cup of baked white sweet potato
1 t baking powder
2 T chickpea flour
1/4 cup shredded carrots
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup of sunflower seeds
1/4 cup of pumpkin seeds
- Preheat oven to 400. Set aside 2 baking sheets lined with parchment paper.
- In a food processor, place pecans, walnuts, and oats, and process on high until approaching flour like consistency. Place in a large mixing bowl with the baking powder and chickpea flour.
- Mix in maple syrup and vanilla extract.
- In a smaller bowl, mash together chickpeas and sweet potato. Stir into the nuts and oats mixture.
- Fold in the solid ingredients, the carrots, seeds, and cranberries.
- Scoop out the cookie mixture filling slightly less than 1/4 cup measured, roll into a ball, then press down each center onto baking sheet.
- Bake 400 for 18 to 20 minutes.
Yields 12 to 15 cookies, depending on size you make.
I hope you enjoy these! Share this recipe in recognition of Earth Day 2021. Let these cookies be a reminder that the net effect of true sustainability is a stronger connection between people and planet. So whether you’re plant curious, or brand new to plant based eating, consider it a micro shift toward better health—-for you and for the planet.