Finding the Beauty in Holiday Baking, + Gluten Free Pumpkin Spice Cookies!

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It’s nearly impossible to get through the holiday season without baking up a pie, a batch of cookies or a loaf of quick bread— and who would want to skip that anyway? Warm kitchens brimming with good smells are one of the pleasures of fall, and baking is a holiday tradition that many of us enjoy year after year.

The question is, how do we make baked goods— specifically desserts— more beauty-friendly without taking away the pleasure?

Here’s my must-do list for beauty-friendly baking:

1) Remove the gluten. Not because it’s trendy, because gluten is a common allergen that can cause digestive issues and major inflammation in the body. Inflammation contributes to wrinkles, redness and breakouts, among other beauty and health issues.

2) Reduce the sugar content and use sweeteners that are less refined than table sugar. My favorite sweeteners to bake with are maple syrup, raw honey, molasses and organic coconut sugar.

3) Pack in ingredients that support your skin, hair and nails. Raw nuts, flax and chia seeds, pastured eggs, and spices are easy ones to start with!

Ready to whip up a batch of sweet fall cookies that won’t sabotage your skin? Try these Pumpkin Spice Cookies, made with coconut flour. They stay moist in the middle, for a pumpkin pie-esque texture that’s just what you crave on a fall day.

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Spice Cookies

To ramp up the anti-aging benefits, increase the spice content to your tastes.

Makes about 15 1½-inch cookies

¼ cup organic butter, softened

½ cup organic coconut sugar

1/3 cup cooked pumpkin

2 eggs

1/3 cup coconut flour

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

1/8 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a medium bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add pumpkin and eggs and beat until fluffy with an electric mixer. In a separate bowl, combine coconut flour, spices and salt. Add dry mixture to wet and beat on low until combined. Let the dough rest for 5 minutes. Form dough into 1½-inch balls and position one inch apart on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake about 25 minutes, until slightly browned.