Chocolate Indulgence for Valentine’s Day
Today’s joyful offering is a recipe for vegan and gluten-free Double Chocolate Chip Cookies. With this dish, I offer my salutations to the Goddess of Chocolate and my gratitude to the chocolatiers of yore who infused an ancient pagan holiday with the chocolate tradition!
Who doesn’t love an excuse to revel in Mother Nature’s finest flavor? Whether you prefer extra dark, semi-sweet, or milk chocolate, February 14th gives you full permission to indulge your chocolate fix—yes even on the Ayurvedic path. Made with almond and oat flours, and sweetened with unrefined coconut sugar and dark chocolate chips, these cookies fit my guilt-free version of desserts…when eaten in moderation, of course!
The Scoop on Chocolate, According to Ayurveda
According to Dr. Vasant Lad, a renowned Ayurvedic physician and educator, it’s good to eat chocolate mindfully as it increases all the doshas, the body’s innate organizing intelligences. The stimulant theobromine (or caffeine-like chemical) in chocolate, increases vata, and boy, do I know it! If I eat too much chocolate at night, I have difficulty falling asleep, and too much any time of day makes me feel uncomfortably jumpy, as if I’ve had a strong cup of coffee.
Chocolate’s acidic quality increases pitta. Because chocolate is always mixed with some amount of sugar to make it edible, it increases kapha.
Enter cardamom! You may have first encountered this lovely flavor with a cup of well-prepared Indian chai (which is far better than Starbucks, which I find sickeningly sweet!) I’ve heard Dr. Lad say that cardamom is the “antidote” to chocolate’s problematic effects. So, if you enjoy cardamom’s flavor, you’ll love adding a teaspoon of ground cardamom to this recipe. If you’re a chocolate purist, you may prefer these cookies without the added flavor, which I admit to being my preference. But either way, they’re delicious.
Choose Your Chips Wisely
My personal favorite chocolate is dark chocolate anything. When buying chips, I get 65 to 70 percent chocolate, just a little sweet to overcome the bitterness, but not enough to bring on the sugar blues. If you’re gluten or dairy intolerant, read labels carefully. I buy the Enjoy Life brand, which is vegan and gluten-free.
Enjoy this awesome chocolate treat on Valentine’s Day and whenever you want to hear murmurs of pleasure. That’s what happens when someone bites into one of these Double Chocolate Chip Cookies!