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All Things Pumpkin 2019

This October Pumpkin Spice Cookie recipe reflects my most recent experimentation with gluten-free baking. I’m happy to say the experiment turned out well—though I regret it was in response to my newest food sensitivity!


Sadly, I seem to have developed an intolerance to nuts, including almond flour. Eating nuts or baked goods with almond flour make me itch. From an Ayurvedic perspective, it makes sense: nuts increase pitta, and high pitta can cause itching. Since nuts are also a common allergen and cause of food intolerance, I decided to explore baking with another high-protein flour for my growing readership.


Long before I heard of Paleo or Keto, I winced at the high-carb content of so many gluten-free baking recipes proliferating on the web. I had turned to almond flour as the go-to foundation for all Sacred & Delicious dessert recipes years ago, and those recipes on my blog and in the book do get praise everywhere I take them.


However, almond flour doesn’t suit everyone’s needs, so I’ll be working with some different options. Today, I turned to millet flour. If you’re not familiar with millet, it’s a seed similar to quinoa but easier to digest and, in my view, better tasting. Although millet is not a complete protein like quinoa, still it’s a good protein source for vegans and vegetarians. When milled into flour, millet has a higher percentage of protein per cup than standard all-purpose flour (with gluten)—16 grams for millet vs. 12 for standard flour used in traditional baked goods.


I made these cookies and all my pumpkin dishes with freshly baked pumpkin, as I always prefer fresh over canned. Yes, it’s definitely more labor- and time-intensive, but only by the 10 minutes required to dig out the pulp and seeds and whatever time it takes to bake a pumpkin and let it cool. But then you get to roast some delicious pumpkin seeds—another delicious and very healthy treat!


Chocolate chips made their way into my early test runs, and that’s another kind of delicious altogether. My husband says the chocolate overwhelmed the spices, and as much as I love chocolate, I agree! So, for purists who revel in pumpkin spices this time of year, you may prefer to enjoy this pristine approach. Either way, enjoy these Pumpkin Spice Cookies—vegan and gluten-free!



PS  Looking for other great pumpkin recipes?  Don’t miss these links for Pureed Pumpkin Soup and Spiced Pumpkin Pound Cake. Both gluten-free…of course!



Pumpkin Spice Cookies
Vegan and Gluten-Free


1¾ cups pumpkin puree from 1 small sugar pumpkin or a 15-ounce can of pumpkin purée
9 tablespoons melted coconut oil
1½ cups millet flour
½ cup King Arthur Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour
¾ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 tablespoon psyllium husk (whole flakes)
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon fresh or ½ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1¼ cups coconut sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons warm water
1 cup rolled oats
9 ounces dark chocolate chips (optional)


Baker’s Tip: These cookies are not overly sweet. For the holidays, you may want to sprinkle some powdered maple sugar on top of the warm, baked cookies.


1. If using a fresh pumpkin, preheat the oven to 375°F. Cover a large baking dish with parchment paper. Cut the pumpkin in half and scrape out the seeds and pulp. Place the halves in the pan with the cut side down. Cover with foil and bake for about an hour, until the pumpkin is tender. Remove from the oven and uncover the pan to allow the pumpkin to cool.


2. When ready to make cooking dough, scrape the pumpkin out of the shell with a spoon and place in a food processor. Set aside 1¾ cups for the dough.


3. Melt the coconut oil and set aside to cool. Combine the flours, salt, soda, psyllium, and spices in a small mixing bowl, and mix them with a whisk or fork.


4. In a larger mixing bowl, combine the melted oil, sugar, vanilla, 1¾ cups pumpkin, and warm water, and whisk well. Add the flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture, and mix well with a spatula. Finally, add the oats and the optional chocolate chips, and mix well. Cover the dough and refrigerate for at least a half hour. (It’s OK to leave it overnight.)


5. When ready to bake cookies, preheat the oven to 350°F and line a cookie sheet with parchment. Use a small scoop or measuring tablespoon to gather dough and drop 12 balls onto the parchment, leaving space between the cookies for them to spread. Bake for 13 to 15 minutes, until slightly browned. The edges will have begun to set, but the centers will still be soft. Let the cookies cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet; then transfer the baked cookies on their parchment sheet to a rack to continue cooling. Keep the cookies in an airtight container for up to 3 days.


Ayurvedic Note: Sugar and coconut oil do increase kapha, but the warming spices are quite balancing—making these cookies a fine treat for kapha types when eaten in moderation.


Use fresh ginger instead of dry, or use less dry ginger—especially if you have heartburn.

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