In a few minutes I am going to share a recipe with you that has more coconut oil and evaporated cane juice than this blog has seen in quite awhile. And it's going to be good. This recipe is going to blow your New Year's health resolutions out of the water (sorry about that) and make you drool. However, we are first going to have a quick chat about drinking water. I debated about bringing this drinking water conversation up, but I think it's important to talk about. (If you really want to skip it, I won't be offended if you scroll down to the part about chocolate chips.)
As I have moved away from processed foods over the past couple of years, I have tried to shift other areas of my life as well. On the most recent part of this journey I have embraced more and more natural cleaning and beauty products to help rid my home and body of unnecessary chemicals. Not surprisingly, the more I have shifted away from using chemicals, the more chemical-sensitive I have become.
Most recently I have begun to notice the smell of chlorine in my drinking water. I kept thinking that I was smelling residue from our dishwasher detergent and thus began investing better methods for washing dishes. (Soap nuts, anyone?) I mentioned this to my partner the other day who questioned, "You know that there is chlorine in tap water, right?" Um, no. How did I miss that one?
This point about chemicals in our water really got to me. It brought me back to when I was in grad school and one of our class speakers was a woman who crusaded for years to get flouride removed from Oregon's water supply. I was immensely fascinated because both of her parents were dentists who were opposed to flouride use. She cited several studies that have actually shown flouride to be toxic to our bodies over time, but (contrary to what we hear form the ADA) she said there have been no studies proving flouride's effectiveness in treating tooth decay. And, flouride is too small to be removed from water, even with a Brita filter.
Since I am a water and herbal tea fanatic, this has really had me thinking lately. Water is such a basic necessity for all forms of life and it deeply pains me to know about the water wars going on around this globe and how many people are deprived of such a vital resource. (If you are interested in learning more about this I highly recommend the documentary Flow or reading any of Vandana Shiva's work.) Of course I am grateful to have daily, reliable access to water, but it also really bothers me that I have no control over what goes into my water and that chemicals like chlorine or flouride are allowed because they are at "safe" levels. And if you drink bottled water, you should also be aware that bottled water is regulated even less than tap water.
Do you ever have concerns about your water? What do you think about chlorine and fluoride being added to drinking water?
I think I'll spare you the rest of my rantings and just say that my Brita pitcher is no longer collecting dust on the shelf. (Even if it doesn't remove everything that I wish it would.)
Now that I am pretty sure I have either depressed, enraged, or deeply bored you, how about I cheer you up with some cookies? Look! I baked!
These cookies are my new favorite recipe and not only are they easy to make, they are vegan (of course) and gluten-free! This recipe comes from Erin McKenna's book, BabyCakes: Vegan, (Mostly) Gluten-Free, and (Mostly) Sugar-Free Recipes from New York's Most Talked-About Bakery. In case you've never heard of Erin McKenna or BabyCakes, you should know that Erin is the founder of BabyCakes, an organic, vegan bakery in New York City. She has also recently released her second cookbook, BabyCakes Covers the Classics. I have never been to BabyCakes, but if I am ever in NYC it will certainly be on my list of places to visit.
Due to copyright laws I cannot post her recipe here, but I highly encourage you to check out her cookbook, or you can also view this recipe over on Oprah's website.