Faculty Recipe: Ojas Cookies

Feeling a little stressed by the seasonal transition? These nourishing cookies build ojas, or vital essence. Eat them after lunch (the best time to have dessert, according to Ayurveda, because the digestive fire is highest) or serve them to the kids as an after-school snack.

In Ayurveda, ojas is the subtlest manifestation of your immunity. It’s your vigor, endurance, and general strength; it helps you to sleep like a rock and have stable moods, glowing skin, and stellar digestion.

Both almonds and dates are lauded in Ayurveda as ojas-producing superfoods. Cinnamon and cardamom offer both flavor and medicinal benefits: Cinnamon helps stimulate the digestive fire, increase circulation, and regulate blood sugar; and cardamom is a digestive stimulant that can alleviate gas and bloating.

Makes 1 dozen cookies.

1½ cups whole raw almonds
7 large Medjool dates, pitted and roughly chopped
2 tablespoons coconut oil
¼ teaspoon cardamom
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon salt
1 jar of your favorite jam (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place almonds in a food processor and pulse for several minutes until coarsely chopped.

Add remaining ingredients and pulse until a sticky dough is formed. If the dough is too crumbly to roll into balls, add more dates to make it stickier. (Feel free to play around with the recipe, using different nuts and/or more oil; flaked coconut would also be good in combination with the almonds.)

Roll dough into 2-inch balls, place on nonstick or greased baking sheet, and flatten with the palm of your hand. If you are using jam, indent the center of each cookie gently with your thumb to form a well to fill with jam after baking. I've heard that apple butter works great, too!

Bake for 12–15 minutes, or until cookies are golden brown on the bottom. Allow to cool. If using jam, fill before serving.