Low Carb Oatmeal Cookies. Or: How I Learned to Stop Slacking and Love the Fat

It’s been a really rough ride these past few months.

First, I fried my laptop. In a computer science class, of all places. It was working just fine, then I went into class, tried to boot it up and…nothing. Except for an awful sound coming from the fan. It had been overheating in recent months (like, the past year) and I figured it was on its last leg…but couldn’t it have waited until AFTER I was done with a class that I actually needed it for recitation?

My health has been meh lately too. I’ve been completely worn out, dizzy and unable to function – and no one can figure out why. My thyroid has been fully checked twice, I got the most half-assed adrenal check ever and a “mostly normal” brain MRI that landed me in a neurologist’s office. The “minorly abnormal” part happened to be nothing more than some serious sinus congestion, odd considering I haven’t been stuffy, but a report was forwarded from the neurologist to the immunolgoist to see what he wants done about it. Since it’s been two weeks and I haven’t heard back, I’m going to assume that he just doesn’t care. Which, given the vibe I got from him, wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest. CVID is such a boring disease, after all. A second MRI was done with contrast and at least from a brain standpoint it looked normal, but if those sinuses are still clogged methinks I may be headed toward a sinus surgery. Good thing I have an appointment scheduled with an ENT next month and she can access the MRIs herself. We’ll discuss it then.

Then there was the binge I went on a couple of nights ago. We’ll start this story talking about the discovery I made yesterday that with my whole-foods low-carb everything-from-scratch diet I don’t get anywhere NEAR the daily recommended 2300 mg of sodium for women. Even when eating a tuna casserole made with homemade alfredo (AKA sodium city) I still was at 1800 mg by the end of the night and had to eat some cheese to get myself up. Now that we’ve covered that, Tuesday I was craving pretzels. BAD. So, I ate them. A TON of them. Which included me shooting up (blindly, might I add) 8 units via syringe with the intent of eating half the bag. What happened was a blood glucose roller coaster that I have no intentions of ever repeating again. I started at 319 mg/dL (a result of my previous pretzel binge – which was adaquately covered by insulin, BTW). An hour later, I found myself at a delicious 32 mg/dL – and by my estimation, a good 10 units of active insulin. A 20-oz bottle of cherry Coke and half a bag of pretzels later and I was at a whopping 72 mg/dL. Which became 519 mg/dL by 3 in the morning.

Thankfully I was able to get it down and woke up at 82 mg/dL in the morning. But I awoke with a new mission to get things under control. My neurologist had dropped the words “autonomic neuropathy” at my last appointment and had suggested getting a blood pressure cuff and keep an eye on that as well. After Googling “autonomic neuropathy,” I thought it would be a good idea to monitor EV-UH-RY-THING. So, I have a notebook monitoring EV-UH-RY-THING…and that was how I discovered that I don’t eat anywhere NEAR enough sodium. I also noticed that I feel dehydrated ALL the time despite drinking very close to a gallon of fluids a day. A result of the lack of sodium? Perhaps. Further investigation is required…the four words in a journal article that translate to “we’re putting off doing the research so that we can have another publication. Because publications = grants.”

Which brings me to the reason I actually plopped myself on the desktop despite the toddler I have walking around dumping my pencil case all over the living room floor…

Another thing I have been craving lots of have been sweets, and in particular my mother’s oatmeal cookies. But I really had yet to find a recipe that I felt could even come close to matching the deliciousness of them. They’re moist, tasty, not too sweet and all-in-all absolute perfection. And then I came across this recipe from Low Carb Yum. These cookies, friends, are a game-changer. They taste just like your carb-laden chocolate chip cookie and you need to go make them. Now. However, when I say they taste just like a carb-laden cookie that means I found them a little TOO sweet and I found the erythritol a little strong in it. Knowing that the erythritol was a major component in the cookie dough being actual dough and not a puddle of nut butter, I thought about what I could add that would give them the structure they need while cutting back on the erythritol? The answer: shredded coconut.

Shredded coconut has become the darling of the low-carb cookie world. It makes for a wonderful substitution for oats in baking as the texture is pretty similar with only mildly noticeable coconut flavour. You can find dozens of low-carb fauxtemal cookie recipes using unsweetened shredded coconut. But even with my tweaks, I couldn’t get any of them to taste like Mama’s.

Until now.

No, this is not generally a food blog but I’ve been spending a lot of time in the kitchen and have note cards up the wazoo with my creations that I think I am going to share. Because I’m excited about them. Get excited with me. At 1.18g net carbs per decent-sized cookie you should get excited. And without further ado, the low carb oatmeal recipe you have been waiting for, inspired by Lisa at Low Carb Yum.

Low Carb Oatmeal Cookies

Makes: 24 cookies

Per cookie:
Fat: 7g
Sodium: 31mg
Total Carbs: 2.12g
Total Fibre: 0.94g
Net Carbs: 1.18g

Ingredients

1 C Walnut halves and pieces
2/3 C Pecan halves
1/2 C Cashew halves and pieces
1/2 C Erythritol
1/4 tsp Liquid stevia drops (it’s roughly about 15ish drops, to taste)
1 Large egg
1/2 tsp Baking powder
1/4 tsp Salt
1 tsp Pure vanilla extract
1 tsp Pure almond extract
1/2 C Unsweetened shredded coconut

Destructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Place the walnuts, pecans and cashews in the bowl of a food processor and process until nut butter is formed. It will first get grainy, then clump together, then it will become a smooth nut butter.
  3. Stop the food processor for a second and add the erythritol and liquid stevia. Pulse until combined.
  4. Add egg, baking powder, salt, vanilla and almond to processor and pulse until combined.
  5. By now it should look like a runny cookie dough. Remove processor blade and add coconut. Alternatively, you can transfer the dough to a bowl and add coconut. I just hate dishes.
  6. Roll into balls about 1″ in diameter. Place on cookie sheet and press gently to flatten.
  7. Bake in oven for 12-15 minutes or until golden around edges.
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