Before I dive into sharing this autoimmune paleo recipe for Gluten Free Pumpkin Cookies with Maple Frosting, I’m going to give you a little life update that has nothing to do with the recipe. Keep scrollin’ if you want the recipe deets!
Wow, I’m finally writing a blog post for the first time since spring. 2020 has been a really challenging year for me on so many levels (who wouldn’t say that, ha?). After navigating hashimotos, mold, heavy metal toxicity, and candida for 5 years, I was finally encouraged by my doctor to conceive. I had been feeling really great for a while, all my hair loss had subsided, my periods were stable.. so my husband and I went for it… and, welp, we pregnannnnt.
I got my positive pregnancy test the same week the country shut down because of the pandemic. In the midst of the world’s chaos, we decided to sell our home during one of the biggest home buying surges in Denver’s recent history. That meant we had a whole lot of showings and made way more off our house than we were anticipating we would (yay for finally having a savings account that feels really safe… my husband called us mini rich which feels accurate after having to spend 50% of our savings on mold remediation last year). The only problem was that since the market was so competitive, it was also challenging for us to find a house we wanted. When we finally found one, we had to put in a high offer and agree to not moving in for 2 months post closing (3 months after our offer was accepted). Luckily, we had arranged the same set up with our buyers, so we only had to rent a home for 3 weeks between houses.
I thought I was holding it together okay, but then one of the most important people in my life died from lung cancer right before we moved out of our house in August.. while I was 7 months pregnant and after not seeing him for nearly an entire year. My heart was broken but I didn’t have time to grieve because we needed to keep moving. I felt like what was left of my foundation and security were slowly slipping away from me and found myself spiraling into a really deep depression. For the first time in a long time, I had extreme bouts of bed-ridden sadness, almost violent emotional outbursts, and suicidal thoughts.
When we moved into our new home the beginning of September, it didn’t get much better. We had arranged to start a kitchen remodel immediately. Despite finally being in the place where we’d bring our baby home in November, the chaos seemed to persist. At this point, we had been in a state of limbo since we decided to sell our home in April. Six months and most of my pregnancy!
I considered going back on anti-depressants to help my increasingly scary mood, but I had been heavily medicated with anti-depressants, mood stabilizers, and other drugs for 16 years before diet and lifestyle changes made my depression go away. I knew medication wasn’t the answer for me, despite my desperate need to feel better. Thankfully, I had the awareness to recognize that this was situational and my brain had been trapped in fight or flight mode for most of the year (understandably). I had become hyper focused on everything bad and all the potential things that could go wrong, and I spiraled into a place of deep fear and feelings of lack of control. I knew I needed extra support so I did some deep inner child work with my therapist and focused on some things I had learned about neurolinguistic programming. These are tools I used to help heal my autoimmunity and settle my brain after mold illness, and they were incredibly helpful in these circumstances, too. One of the most important things, I’ve found, is recognizing when my nervous system is agitated and learning how to self soothe. “In this moment I am safe” and “I’m doing the best I can in these circumstances,” were two helpful self-coaching phrases. We also started getting our home cleaned up/organized, we’re no longer exclusively cooking on a grill and eating outside, and the baby’s room is almost ready. Those things helped me feel stable, too.
I oftentimes tell folks feeling overwhelmed by their personal lives to zoom out and see the big picture. If the world feels crazy and anxiety inducing, then I encourage them to zoom in and focus on their little bubble. Unfortunately, this year, many of us find that both zooming out and zooming in are terrifying. So the best advice I have for others (and myself) is to try to come home to ourselves, our breath, our hearts. It’s cheesy but WTF else can we do? It’s imperative we don’t let 2020 destroy us and our ability to cope with life.
Anyway, it’s mid-October and after seven months of instability, and being just 6 weeks away from our due date, I finally feel somewhat grounded again. I wish I could have spent this year in a different state of mind.. that the baby didn’t have to feel my stress and grief and fear. But I can’t change what happened or what’s going to happen, so I’m choosing to trust that life will work out. Call me naive, I don’t care.. it’s keeping me sane.
AND WITHOUT FURTHER ADO — I’d like to introduce you to..
Gluten Free Pumpkin Cookies with Maple Frosting
These decadent spiced gluten free pumpkin cookies with maple frosting are soft, chewy, and have a creamy maple frosting. Naturally sweetened with only maple syrup, they’re a fall treat that’s dairy-free, autoimmune paleo friendly, paleo, and so simple to make! You are gonna love whipping these up.
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Gluten Free Pumpkin Cookies with Maple Frosting (AIP, Paleo, Dairy-free)
- 3/4 cup tigernut flour
- 1/2 cup arrowroot flour
- 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ginger
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 tsp gelatin
- 2 tbsp coconut butter softened
- 2 tbsp palm shortening
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- Preheat the oven to 375° F and line a cookie sheet with parchment
- In a medium bowl, sift together the tigernut flour, arrowroot flour, baking soda, salt, and gelatin, then set aside
- Add the pumpkin puree, maple syrup, and coconut oil to a large mixing bowl and stir until smooth and combined
- Mix in the dry ingredients, stirring well until a dough forms
- Form dough into 1 in ch balls, place on the cookie sheet and flatten slightly with the palm of your hand
- Bake at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes, remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before frosting
- While the cookies are cooling, add the coconut butter, palm shortening, and maple syrup to a medium mixing bowl. Using a hand mixer, beat on high until combined and slightly fluffy
- Spread the frosting over the top of the cookies and sprinkle with some cinnamon if desired!
This recipe was written for Rooted in Healing by Molly Leavitt, a Natural Chef and Functional Nutritional Therapy Practitioner. A strong believer in the power of real food, Molly’s biggest passion is helping others discover that eating healthy should be easy, delicious, and never boring! Check out her Instagram and website to follow along on her holistic adventures.
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