Lavender isn't just the relaxing scent of your favorite essential oil. You can find culinary grade lavender in most spice sections, and it will add a unique flavor and scent to any dish. We've chosen shortbread cookies as the perfect host for lavender. The simple flavor and texture allow the lavender's subtle taste to shine. These are great on a maintenance diet or on the cleanse with some easy substitutions.
LAVENDER SHORTBREAD COOKIES TO REDUCE ANXIETY
There's a reason lavender is so common in candles, lotions, and aromatherapy - its smell has been shown to help relax the nervous system. Its oil has been used medicinally to help treat depression and anxiety for centuries. Studies have also shown that consuming lavender oil daily helps to reduce anxiety in those with general anxiety disorder. It has been shown to improve symptoms of insomnia, improve digestive health, and help with PMS symptoms. Lavender also contains vitamin A, iron, and calcium. Lavender also adds beautiful speckles throughout your dough so these shortbread cookies come out with an amplified taste and visual.
SAY NO TO PROCESSED SUGAR
We've eliminated processed sugar from the classic shortbread recipe. We've dramatically reduced the quantity as well, including just one-third cup of coconut nectar to sweeten the entire batch. Coconut nectar is the perfect choice for this recipe because of its subtle taste and low-glycemic level, but you can also use maple syrup if you aren't currently cleansing. It contains antioxidants, which helps decrease inflammation and improve overall health. Specifically, the manganese present in maple syrup is responsible for killing free radicals.
Using gluten-free flour is key to making these cookies cleanse-friendly. Just be sure to check your specific blend for any eliminated ingredients (such as potato flour). Reducing gluten has been shown to improve gut health, which is linked to better immunity, mental health, and skin clarity. Many people notice increased energy as they cleanse, and when adding gluten back in, many report an immediate slump in energy and mood. You may notice less bloating, gas, and cramping without gluten in your diet.
HEALTHY FATS FOR HEALTHIER COOKING
Removing processed dairy in favor of ghee or coconut oil will also benefit your digestion. If you're looking for a vegan or cleanse-friendly version, use coconut oil for this recipe. Ghee is a form of clarified butter, that has been used in Asian cultures for centuries. Its milk proteins have been removed, so it is often tolerated well by those who are sensitive to lactose. It's rich in fat-soluble vitamins like A, D, and E. Ghee and coconut oil bot have a high smoke point, so beyond baking they're healthy fats to cook with at higher temperatures. Grass-fed ghee is high in conjugated linoleic acid, which has been shown to prevent cancer, lower blood pressure, prevent heart disease, and has even been linked to lower body fat.
2 1/2 cups gluten-free flour blend (if cleansing, check the ingredients to make sure it is free of eliminated foods)
2 teaspoons dried lavender flowers
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup ghee (or coconut oil, if cleansing) at room temperature
1/3 cup coconut nectar (or maple syrup if you aren't cleansing)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoons vanilla extract
zest of 1 lemon
Step 1: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream together ghee (or coconut oil), maple syrup (or coconut nectar), vanilla, lemon juice, and lemon zest in a medium bowl until creamy and fully combined.
Step 2: In a separate bowl whisk flour, lavender flowers, and salt. Add flour mixture slowly to butter mixture until thoroughly blended, and form into a ball.
Step 3: Place your dough between two sheets of parchment paper and roll out until even and ~1/3" thick. Use a cookie cutter or a knife to cut even cookies.
Step 4: Continue rolling out dough scraps and cutting until your dough is used up. We used a fork to create a simple design on our cookies.
Step 5: Place cookies on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes, starting to check at 12 minutes for doneness. The cookies should be very lightly browned and firm.
Serve immediately, or save in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks!
Recipe and photography by Kaitlyn Noble
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