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Are you trying to be ‘good’ this January? Are you avoiding the ‘bad’ foods from your ‘naughty list’? I think it may be time to rethink your inner monologue.

I’ve got a real thing about it when food is labeled as ‘good’, ‘bad’ or ‘naughty’. Our internal monologues can be incredibly mean and demoralising.

Particularly where food and weight is concerned, we seem to turn into our own harshest, most cruel critics.  Obviously, some foods have very little nutritional goodness while others are healthier, less processed, more nutrient dense. But surely, it’s the balance that makes our diet varied and interesting. How often can we hear parents calling chocolate ‘naughty’ in front of their kids? What would be your reaction if you’re told you can’t do something? ‘Forbidden fruits’ and all that comes to my (somewhat stubborn!) mind. I’m really trying to help my boys understand that chocolate for example is delicious and tastes great, while at the same time, eating too much of it isn’t good for their health or teeth. I’d love them to enjoy food when they eat it instead of feeling guilty or even rebellious.

Listen out for your inner voice – make it a little mission today – and occasionally switch off that grumpy old so-and-so! By embracing all kinds of foods and by allowing them a space in your diet I hope you will start to feel a sense of liberation and choice.
The vegan food pyramid chart below is a brilliant resource for general meal combining. I’m quite happy that in between the lines, my pyramid shows up the occasional Squishy-Squashy Cupcake, Cinnamon Chocolate Pudding and Cheeky Chaps Biscuit.vegan-pyramid
© Joshua Wold http://veganfoodpyramid.com 

So how about this… if you fancy some cookies today but want to cut down on the heavily processed ingredients in the shop bought varieties, these little beauties will fit the bill. The dried prunes, walnuts and rolled oats make me almost forget that they are still cookies. As I said… balance is everything.
Could I get away with calling them health-food? Nah, I didn’t think so either 😉

Vegan Cinnamon Cookies

Cinnamon Cookies with Prunes and Walnuts

Makes 2 large trays full
This made quite a big batch which was great for sharing. You could freeze these or make half the quantity if you prefer.

3/4 cup margarine
1/3 cup sugar
3/4 cup muscovado sugar
1 cup self-raising flour (mix white and wholemeal as required)
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 heaped tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
a generous pinch of ground clove
3 cups rolled oats
10 ready-to-eat prunes, chopped
a small handful of walnut pieces
up to 1 cup of dairy-free milk

Preheat the oven to 350˚F/180˚C.
Mix the sugar and margarine together until fluffy. Add the spices, chopped prunes, walnuts, oats and flour and baking powder. Stir in the soya milk until you have a soft, sticky dough. Don’t worry if it’s quite soft as you don’t have to shape the cookies with your hands.

Use about a tablespoon of the mixture and drop it onto a lined baking tray (with the help of another spoon). Leave some space between the cookies as they will spread a little.
Bake for 10-15 minutes until the edges turn a golden brown colour. Cool on a wire rack and then store in an air-tight container.

Click on www.flavourphotos.com for more simply delicious food photographs.

Disclaimer: I am not a nutritionist or health professional. If you have specific questions about diet and nutrition please contact a registered nutritionist for further advice.
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