Love. All the time.

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Yep, love is a commodity. And while people everywhere spent time and money buying, selling and trading it last Friday, others simply embodied it, as they always have and always will. We are all love incarnate. So why do we all feel obligated to make a big deal about showing it on a certain day, in certain ways? Few are immune to the powerful cues that begin on February 1, manipulating our thoughts and emotions. Reflecting on our relationships, we may feel ashamed, guilty, obligate to pacify a perceived accusation, convincing ourselves that maybe we aren’t showing our love well enough. That we are not enough. Maybe an elaborate gesture can do it better, say more.

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As a daily practice of faith, I like to remind others, and most importantly, myself, that love is the constant current flowing under all of our skin, through all that we do, all of the time. To me, expressing love to others is the key to happiness, and is inherently impossible without self love. Or maybe for you, self-love is generated by loving others. No matter how you go about cultivating love, there’s no better time than the present to draw on this spring of happiness.

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How do I do this? There are many love languages…5 common ones are words, actions, quality time, gift-giving, and touch…but for me, in the day to day, it’s usually through food, which I think falls into several of these categories. It’s one of the best ways I know, and the most certain to get your message across. Well, unless I come on too strong and dump in enough hot pepper to make my lover cry at the dinner table (he secretly loved it…). The gestures of preparing, serving or sharing food are small and can seem mundane, but to me it’s the small gestures that, over time, mean the most.

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Anyone who knows me is probably aware that I am a firm believer in treating yourself. And yes, this means that for no particular reason, even though it happened to be Valentines Day, I baked myself love cookies on Friday! It may have had something to do with coming in from the cold after a day of riding powder and skipping lunch…but instead of simply eating, I decided to celebrate. And you can too…right now!

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Chocolate Cranberry Love Cookies

  • 1 cup whole spelt flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • ½ cup chocolate chips
  • ½ cup shredded coconut
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries, cooked down in coconut oil for 10 minutes, or 1 cup dried unsweetened cranberries
  • 1 cup sunflower seed butter
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • ¼ cup apple cider syrup (if you don’t have this… ¼ cup apple cider reduction, as syrupy as possible)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ cup almond milk

If using fresh cranberries, heat 1 tbsp coconut oil in a small saucepan until melted. Add cranberries and cook on low, stirring occasionally, until burst and soft, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, measure out your oats, chips, and coconut and set aside in a bowl.

Measure syrups into large bowl, and then add sun butter, almond milk and vanilla. blend with hand mixer until smooth. Turn mixer to low and add powders (flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon) until just combined. then fold in remaining ingredients  (cranberries, chocolate, coconut, oats) with a spoon.

Drop in tablespoon gobs onto a silpat or parchment lined baking sheet, spacing 2 inches. Bake at 325 for 15 minutes or until edges brown. Cool for 2 minutes on pans, then transfer to wire racks. Eat while gooey, lick your lips, and give yourself over to love. Share cookies widely, but save plenty for yourself.

Do you feel it? I thought so…♥

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