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Grain Free Pecan Sandies (and a Book Review)

Grain Free Pecan Sandies (and a Book Review)

I am always on the hunt for easy, nutrient-dense, grain and dairy free recipes for my food sensitive family. How could you go wrong with a low-sugar, grain free version of the Pecan Sandie?

I must confess that this recipe is so yummy and so easy, that my family and I have enjoyed a batch of these at least once a week for the last month. (Babyzilla can’t get enough of them, as you can see from the photo above!)

But I don’t feel guilty about it, and when you see the ingredients in these little bits of heaven, you’ll understand why.

This recipe for grain free Pecan Sandies came out of a wonderful new e-book I just finished called Nourished Baby, by Mommypotamus blogger Heather Dessinger.

Not only does this book have some amazing grain and dairy free recipes, but it also affected me in a profound way…

My Real Food Story

We all want our babies to be healthy. And what we feed our babies—and how we feed ourselves as mothers when we are pregnant and nursing—is vitally important to their health.

I learned this too little, too late.

I really wish I had this book before I got pregnant with Babyzilla. Babyzilla was a total surprise, and so my diet and lifestyle before conception—well, let’s say, while not totally SAD, left a lot to be desired.

While I cleaned out all the obvious no-nos like coffee and blue cheese, and followed the Brewer diet during pregnancy (which is not a bad diet if you do it with whole, organic foods), I was brand new to whole food eating, exhausted and nauseous all the time, and really didn’t eat in a way that would fortify my body for the mental and physical stresses of pregnancy and childbirth. In fact, for many months, white rice and organic, store-bought yogurt were all I could keep down.

Consequently, the “new mom exhaustion” I experienced after giving birth to Babyzilla just never went away, and in fact grew worse as the months of breastfeeding progressed until just the act of getting up to go to the bathroom would give me frightening heart palpitations, spots before my eyes, and shortness of breath.

I ended up bedridden for over a year with Chronic Fatigue Immune Deficiency Syndrome, burnt out adrenals and fried mitochondria. I even lost a tooth as my reserves depleted more and more. It crumbled right out of my mouth.

Meanwhile, my newborn daughter developed severe colic and eczema, and cried unconsolably for four or five hours every night. I began frantically researching possible solutions, and I learned that, because my digestive health was so compromised, she could be allergic to foods that I had eaten via my breastmilk. Over the course of many months, I eliminated and reintroduced dozens of foods and food groups in search of the combination that would stop the pain in my dear baby’s gut and skin.

It turns out she was allergic to almost everything I liked to eat—especially white rice and cow’s milk. Finally I found the answer to her miserable colic, eczema and green poop, but it required eliminating artificial anything, all grains, all dairy, most tropical fruits and nuts, soy and most beans, most fish and seafood, onions and garlic, celery, and a handful of other odd things.

And, after I cut these foods out of my diet so they wouldn’t be in my breastmilk, I discovered that I felt a lot better too, and about a third of my energy and health returned, just like that. And within two weeks, Babyzilla’s colic and her horrible eczema were gone! Just like that.

But living the rest of our lives on such a restricted diet was just not acceptable to me. I had to learn why we were allergic to everything, and why I barely had enough energy to pump my heart if I ate the wrong things. I had to learn to cook and I had to learn to heal.

Thus began our real food journey.

Hindsight is Always 20-20

If I had had Nourished Baby before I became pregnant five and a half years ago, I would have had the information I needed to make sure my body was up to the sacred and stressful task of providing the raw materials for the growth of a whole new person.

After all, a woman’s blood volume has to double during pregnancy to support the fetus. Imagine the level of nutrition it must take to do that, let alone build the bones, muscles, organs and skin of your developing child!

As I learned the hard way: If a steady, robust supply of raw materials for the baby’s growth is not coming from the mother’s diet, it will come from the mother’s own body

Such depletion often has consequences to the health of the mother’s teeth, skin, thyroid, adrenal and sex hormones, digestive system and even her ability to feel happy and think clearly. (How many women do you know who had issues with these areas during or after pregnancy?)

Nourished Baby shows you how to get optimal nutrition during pregnancy, nursing and weaning, ensuring both a healthy baby and a strong, resilient mother.

In hindsight, while I was eating plenty of calories, I was clearly not nourishing myself or my child how I really needed to. I’m confident that eating a nutrient dense diet like Nourished Baby recommends could have made a big difference in the health of both myself and my baby, and possibly have saved us years of digestive problems, rashes and other painful symptoms of nutrient deficiency and food sensitivity.

I know this because the same nutrient dense diet recommended in the book is exactly what is healing us today.

This is why I think every mother and would-be mother should have a copy of this important book.

While not every mother develops health problems after giving birth, and not every child develops food allergies and eczema, gestating a child is a tremendous stress on a mother’s body—a stress that can only be successfully managed with know-how and wise action.

Therefore, it is vital that every mother have the knowledge to get the very best nutrition she can during this critical time in both her and her child’s life. 

Nourished Baby Helps You Optimally Nourish Your Baby

You are what you eat, as the saying goes. And so is your child.

And, according to two new genetic studies, you are what your mother, father, grandparents and great-grandparents ate, too.

In fact, we now know that diet, be it poor or healthy, can so alter the nature of one’s DNA that those changes can be passed on to the progeny. 

It turns out that many so-called “genetic” diseases might not be so hereditary at all. Rather, they are simply the result of passing down poor eating habits from one generation to the next. This means that biology is not destiny, and that real food can turn the tide for your children and for generations to come!

But while modern science is just figuring this out, our ancestors have always known that deeply nourishing parents results in very healthy children. Most cultures had “sacred foods” that they reserved just for couples trying to conceive and for pregnant mothers and nursing children. Many still do.

What’s even more impressive is that these “sacred foods,” if eaten regularly, can actually prevent the need for braces or fillings! They can make it less likely your kids will need glasses, even if you have worn them all your life. And these sacred superfoods can help your kids act less cranky and learn better, too. These foods can even provide your daughters with the bone structure needed to give them an easier labor with their own future children!

Wow!

In Nourished Baby, Heather tells you all about these superfoods, and how to prepare them in a way the whole family will enjoy. She even shows you how to make bone marrow look and taste utterly delicious!

For someone like me, who is extremely squeamish of organ meats and other extremely nutritious animal parts, this is worth the price of the book alone!

Nourished Baby explains:

  •  How eczema and allergies can be prevented if you establish good gut bacteria in your baby or child (Oh how I wish I had this information 5 years ago!)
  • How you can prevent your child from needing braces
  • How you can actually heal decayed teeth!
  • How the actual birth experience can affect a child’s cravings for life
  • Why a 2001 study found that the breast milk of North American mothers did not meet the minimum requirements for many essential nutrients–-and how to make sure your baby gets the absolute best at your breast
  • How to decode your cravings while nursing so you get the nutrients you need most
  • Why you should skip rice cereal and go for digestion enhancing stews instead
  • What the latest research says on introducing peanuts, eggs and other “allergenic” foods, and how improper feeding can lead to food allergies.
  • When children’s “picky” eating habits can actually indicate a serious problem—and how to correct it
  • Tips for raising an adventurous eater

Blackened Wild Salmon With Pineapple Mango Salsa

There are also over 30 baby- and kid-friendly (not to mention parent-friendly) grain-free, dairy-optional recipes—with gorgeous color photos.

From Blackened Wild Salmon With Pineapple Mango Salsa (right) to Kale Chips to the Pecan Sandies below, every dish I’ve made so far has been grain free and dairy optional, nutrient dense, easy to prepare, and ridiculously delicious—even to my finicky 4 year old.

Click here to get an excerpt!

I know you will enjoy these outrageously yummy, very healthy, grain free cookies. They are just a small taste of all the good stuff in this invaluable book.

Be sure to get a copy of Nourished Baby for more recipes that make deeply nourishing your baby (and the rest of your family too) delicious, easy and fun.

Grain Free Pecan Sandies

Tools

  • Food processor

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Pulse all ingredients (except 12 whole pecans and 1/4 teaspoon butter or oil) in food processor until the dough just comes together. It will look “sandy.” Do not overprocess.
  2. Scoop out cookie dough in heaping tablespoon increments and place on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper
  3. Toss whole pecans in butter or oil and press into cookies
  4. Bake at 375 for 12-15 minutes (check often so they don’t burn)
  5. Enjoy with a tall glass of homemade coconut milk!

PAID ENDORSEMENT DISCLOSURE: I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog, including Amazon.com links. These small earnings make it possible for me to continue writing this blog for you. That said, I only recommend products I genuinely love, and that I believe would be of value to my readers.
Thank you for your support!

MEDICAL DISCLOSURE: Your health is between you and your health care practitioner. Nothing in this blog is intended for the treatment or prevention of disease, nor as a substitute for medical treatment, nor as an alternative to medical advice. Use of recommendations is at the choice and risk of the reader.





22 Comments

  1. Total fail! Is there a missing ingredient in the list? What I ended up with was flattened mounds of buttered ground nuts. :( Thoughts?

    • You have to pulse the ingredients gently until they just come together– in other words, pulse carefully so you can stop the moment it all becomes dough. Sorry if that was not clear. Overprocessing will turn the ingredients into nutbutter, which will just melt all over your baking sheet. :(

      • Yep that’s what I got… :( Thanks for your help!

  2. Your Pecan Sandies look amazing. Thank you so much for sharing with Wednesdays Adorned From Above Link Party last week. This weeks Link Party is opened at http://www.adornedfromabove.com/2012/08/tangerine-toner-and-wednesdays-adorned.html
    Hope to see you there.
    Debi Bolocofsky
    Adorned From Above
    http://www.adornedfromabove.com

  3. Saving your recipe, I’ve never tried anything like this before. Great book review, I have a friend who may benefit from it like you have :)
    Hopping over to you from Homestead Simples Wednesday Link Up, have a great week!

  4. Thank you for your submission on Nourishing Treasures’ Make Your Own! Monday link-up.

    Check back tomorrow when the new link-up is running to see if you were one of the top 3 featured posts! :)

  5. Thank you for sharing your own story so openly and honestly. I found your post really interesting.

    Those pecan sandies sound absolutely delicious, as well as wholesome!

    • Thanks, April! I think you’ll love the cookies!

  6. Thank you for stopping by our Gluten Free Fridays link up http://vegetarianmamma.com/gluten-free-friday-recipe-link-up-1/
    I have pinned your recipe to our Gluten Free Fridays (recipes) board on Pinterest! And tweeted it out!~ Thanks again for making it a huge success! We had over 100 gluten free recipes this week :)
    Cindy

  7. Super easy and yummy! The cookbook sounds great! My name is Cindy and I blog over at Vegetarianmamma.com I wanted to invite you to link up your recipe at our Gluten Free Fridays Recipe Link up party! It happens every Friday and we’d love to have you join us with some of your awesome recipes! You can find this week’s link up here: http://vegetarianmamma.com/gluten-free-friday-recipe-link-up-1/

    Thanks,
    Cindy

  8. I’ve made something similar to this as well and love it. Great recipe! Thanks for sharing with Hearth and Soul.

  9. These look yummy!

  10. These look really good! I want to make some.

    The books looks great, too.

  11. I will have to check this book out for sure!! I wish I had known more about how to eat when I was pregnant too – but I can learn more for the next one! :)

  12. Love the recipe! I’ve been working on reducing the wheat in my family’s diet. School time will be pretty stressful since it’s so easy to pack a sandwich. I can’t wait to make these with my kids.

  13. These look delicious. I have a link party on Wednesdays, and I would love it if you would link this post. It is called Wednesdays Adorned From Above Link Party.
    http://www.adornedfromabove.com/
    I hope to see you there. Have a great Day.
    Debi Bolocofsky
    Adorned From Above
    http://www.adornedfromabove.com

  14. Thanks for sharing your story, Dawn, and for sharing this over at Fill Those Jars Friday. I hope to see you back again!

  15. I am going through some of what you describe and I am breast feeding my 15 month old daughter. Fortunately my kids have not suffered such severe symptoms, but I am working on our diet. I can’t do many e- things at the moment because I have limited access to the Internet at the moment (via my phone), but I appreciate your inspiration to keep me going. And your sweet recipes!!

  16. What a story you shared… I feel for you ;)
    I also got sick when my girl was 4 months old and she was also not a good sleeper and cried a lot. I sometimes go back in my head and try to piece the puzzles together – nutrition wise, I think I could have done better.
    So good a great resource is out there…. not for me at this time, but for other new mamas ;)
    Happy to hear you’re doing better and glad you liked this gorgeous cookie recipe to the Potluck! Yum! ;D xo Ella
    http://www.lifeologia.com/potluck-party-summer-loving/

  17. Wow, what a great post! From the cookie recipe to your story of recovery to the book (although not necessarily in that order). That book will be helpful to so many and the cookies are definitely a “must make”!

    Shirley

    • Thanks, Shirley! We are still recovering, but Babyzilla and I are sensitive to fewer foods than ever before, and I only end up bedridden during really stressful times. We can eat beans, onions and garlic now, for instance. I credit a nutrient dense, allergen-free diet high in bone broth and fermented foods (like in Nourished Baby) for making the biggest difference for us.

      I hope you enjoy the cookies as much as we do!!

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