For Kids – Young and Old

Holiday time is extra busy for many and especially if you have children in your house. I did foster care when my kids were young, so I remember struggling to get everything done, especially at this time of year – the shopping, the decorating, and often preparing for company. It all left me challenged for time to prepare nutritious foods.
My kids and others might have been thrilled to try these Orange Breakfast Cookies. I know, it’s kind of odd to have cookies for breakfast, but these are actually good for you and taste great, too!

[Foodie Tip: “The vitamin content of honey is notably higher than that of maple syrup. It provides a source of vitamins B-6 and C – maple syrup contains neither of these. Honey also contains more than three times the amount of riboflavin than maple syrup. Maple syrup, on the other hand, contains more minerals than honey. It provides much more iron, calcium, zinc, manganese and potassium. Maple syrup also contains more sodium than honey.”]

This month I worked at finding or creating a chocolate recipe that kids might be more attracted to, as many children and some adults prefer milk chocolate to dark. I wanted to come up with a recipe that “looked” more like milk chocolate but with the use of coconut cream instead of dairy. I didn’t have much luck making these truffles look like milk chocolate but I did create a new recipe that will be attractive to some, young and old. These taste great!

These are truffles with easy-to-buy ingredients and a special topping for the adventurous souls among you. They also look pretty festive and make a nice gift for the chocolate-lovers in your life. Remember, you don’t need many of these to enjoy their splendor!

*Each Fall I collect sumac seeds from my yard and grind them for various sweet or savory recipes. Sumac has a nice citrus flavor – contact me if you would like more information on Sumac Seeds. And try the The Spice & Tea Exchange on Haywood St., Asheville, or one of our local natural food shops for Sumac powder.

[Foodie Tip: To keep flying critters out of your pantry, put a few drops of lavender essential oil on a cotton ball/pad and tuck into the corners of your pantry – refresh with oil as needed.]

So as you celebrate life and/or holidays,
I wish you much joy!

[Foodie tip: Mouse repellent that actually works! 1/2 cup of food grade diatomaceous earth, about a 1/4 cup water and 20 drops of lemon essential oil (or try mixing 1/2 lemon and 1/2 peppermint oils). Mix everything together and set out in small open dishes in places where mice travel. You can refresh it by adding a few drops of essential oil on top.]

Sandy McCall’s day job is working as the Broker/Owner of Southern Life Realty. When she’s not being the “mad scientist” in the kitchen or loving-up her cat and dogs, she enjoys being the Food Editor for WNC Woman Magazine and volunteering in the community. Check out her Blog on Facebook: Sandy’s Food for Thought. You can contact her at or call 828.273.9755

Orange Breakfast Cookies

2 cups blanched almond flour (not almond meal)
1/4 cup finely shredded unsweetened coconut
2 tbsp coconut flour
1/2 tsp each sea salt, baking soda, and ground cinnamon
2 large eggs
1/3 cup coconut oil or organic unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup pure maple syrup or raw honey
Zest from 1/2 orange
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup unsweetened *dried currants, rehydrated
1/2 cup unsalted pecans, chopped

Preheat oven to 325°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
Boil 1/2 cup water and turn heat off. Add currants and make sure they are covered with water. Let currants sit in water for a few minutes until rehydrated. Drain and set aside.
In food processor, mix together almond flour, shredded coconut, coconut flour, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon. Whisk together eggs, oil, maple syrup, orange zest, and vanilla. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix until well combined. Add rehydrated currants and pecans and mix briefly to combine.
Form balls with a 2” disher (scoop or melon-baller) or use a teaspoon and place 1 inch apart on parchment paper.
Bake until golden and centers are no longer doughy, about 25 minutes. Let cool on sheet for 5 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool completely.
Store cookies in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
*Don’t be afraid to change the dried fruit to your liking or availability. You might try unsweetened dried cherries or cranberries instead of currants. And you can use maple syrup instead of honey and coconut oil instead of butter if you prefer. Either way, they taste great!

Truffles with Sweet Sumac ‘n Snow

1 stick organic butter
3/4 cup organic 100% cocoa powder (Extra for sifting at end)
1 cup organic coconut cream
1 tsp arrowroot powder
1/8 cup local honey or organic maple syrup
1 Tbsp organic vanilla

1/8 cup unsweetened organic coconut
1/8 cup ground sumac
1/8 cup organic palm sugar

Truffles: Heat butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Allow the butter to melt completely and then whisk in cocoa powder until completely smooth. Increase heat to medium and whisk in coconut milk. Stir the mixture constantly for about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in vanilla. Carefully pour the mixture into a heat safe container and cover tightly. Place in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 hours or more. When completely chilled, use a small disher (scoop) to form balls and place on plate close together.

Toppings: Grind coconut in a food processor or high-powered blender until very fine. Set aside. Grind sumac seeds* (or use ground sumac) and palm sugar together in blender or food processor until very fine.

Sprinkle a small amount of coconut on each truffle and top with a small amount of sweetened sumac powder. Keep truffles refrigerated.

Sandy McCall
Written by Sandy McCall