Paleo, Gluten Free Gingerbread Cookies

By Denise Nassar © 2012

Nothing says Christmas like the flavor of winter spices on gingerbread cut-out cookies... except for maybe gingerbread houses? I guess that should be my next experiment. These cookies were a lot of fun to make. My 3 year old, Lilah, loves to help me cook and she often makes cookies with play dough and pretends to be writing recipes for "Willoughby Wallaby" (Edible Harmony). This was the perfect opportunity to get her involved in the kitchen and let her experience cookie making with real ingredients. She was so proud of this cookie she made for her daddy all by herself (below).

To create Paleo-Friendly, Gluten-Free Gingerbread Cookies I modified the traditional recipe by substituting wheat flour with coconut and almond flour, and I replaced the molasses with a mix of dates and maple syrup. The end result was delicious; I couldn’t even tell that the molasses was missing!

For other grain-free cookie recipes, you may also wish to try my chocolate chip cookies or my thumb-print almond cookies.


  • 2 cups of almond flour
  • 1 tbsp of coconut flour
  • ½ cup of pitted dates, packed (about 12 deglet dates)
  • ½ cup of maple syrup
  • 3 tbsp of coconut oil
  • 1 tsp of ground cinnamon
  • 3 tsp of ginger powder 
  • ½ tsp of ground all spice 
  • ¼ to 1/2 tsp of ground cloves 
  • ¼ to 1/2 tsp of ground nutmeg 
  • ¼ tsp of salt 

To decorate use coconut butter, currants, raisins, nuts or goji berries.

Cookie decorated by my 3 year old for her Dad. 


Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Using a blender or food processor, blend the dates, maple syrup, coconut oil and spices until smooth.

Add the coconut flour and blend for a few seconds.

Add the almond flour and run the food processor until a ball is formed with the dough. If you are using a blender you will need to transfer the dough to a bowl and mix in the almond flour by hand.

Let the dough stand for 15 to 20 minutes at room temperature before rolling out.

Set the dough on a piece of parchment paper. Flatten it with your hands. Place another piece of parchment paper on top of the dough and using a rolling-pin, a bottle or a large glass to roll the dough flat until it is about a ¼ inch thick.

Cut the dough with cookie cutters and transfer cookies to parchment paper lined cookie sheet. To prevent the dough from sticking to the cookie cutter, dip it in water before cutting each cookie, wetting your hands will prevent them from sticking to it as well.

Roll the remaining cut out pieces into a ball, flatten the dough again and cut out more cookies until all the dough is used.

Bake for about 12 minutes or until golden brown.

Decorate as desired. If you are using nuts and raisins you can decorate before baking. If you are using goji berries put those on the cookie right after they come out of the oven - you can use raw honey to help them stick. If you are using coconut butter put it over the cookie once it has cooled down, soften it with your hands as if you were kneading play dough.

Christmas at God's House

Twas' 11 days before Christmas, around 9:38,
When 20 beautiful children stormed through heaven's gate.
Their smiles were contagious, their laughter filled the air.
They could hardly believe all the beauty they saw there.
They were filled with such joy, they didn't know what to say.
They remembered nothing of what had happened earlier that day. 
"Where are we?" asked one little girl, quiet as a mouse.
"This is heaven," declared a small boy. "We're spending Christmas at God's house." 
When what to their wondering eyes did appear,
But Jesus, their savior; the children gathered near. 
He looked at them and smiled, and they smiled just the same.
Then He opened His arms and He called them by name.
And in that moment was joy, that only heaven can bring,
Those children all flew into the arms of their King.
And as they lingered in the warmth of His embrace,
One small girl turned and looked at Jesus' face.
And as if He could read all the questions she had
He gently whispered to her, "I'll take care of mom and dad."
Then He looked down on earth, the world far below,
He saw all of the hurt, the sorrow, and woe. 
Then He closed His eyes and He outstretched His hand,
"Let my power and presence re-enter this land!
May this country be delivered from the hands of fools.
I'm taking back my nation. I'm taking back my schools!"
Then He and the children stood up without a sound. 
"Come now my children, let me show you around."
Excitement filled the space, some skipped and some ran.
All displaying enthusiasm that only a small child can.
And I heard Him proclaim as He walked out of sight,
"In the midst of this darkness, I AM STILL THE LIGHT." 

~ Cameo Smith, Mt. Wolf, Pennsylvania 


For the babies (forcibly) born this 12.12.12 day...

For all the babies who will be forced out into the world today, before they are ready...

"There are no birth dates more special than those our babies choose for themselves. Let's honor them with this." ~Danelle Frisbie, whose first son almost arrived 08-08-08, but was allowed to choose for himself when he was ready.

Expecting? Here you will find a collection of quality reading on pregnancy and birth. Or visit, Instead of 'What to Expect When You're Expecting.'


One Minute in Time: 12:12 12.12.12

We had such fun with this last year (at 11:11 on 11-11-11) that we have to do it again. Plus, it's the last chance we'll ever have!

If you'd like to participate in our One Minute in Time gallery, snap a picture of what you're doing, where you are, who you're with, or anything that is meaningful to you, at 12:12am or pm your local time today (12-12-12).  Send to or upload to the peaceful parenting Facebook page. Be sure to include any notes if you wish to tell us what is happening in the picture you snap.

We look forward to pooling our experiences and taking a glimpse into the lives of peaceful parenting families everywhere on this day in history.


A Bris Shalom Ceremony

Shared with permission from CIRP. This ceremony may be freely copied and distributed. Find additional resources on Bris Shalom at the Judaism & Circumcision Resource Page.

Bris Shalom: An alternative Bris ceremony for concerned Jewish parents

"My heart and flesh will sing with joy to the living God." ~Psalms 84:3


Many Jewish mothers and fathers have long recognized the painful, harmful, and dangerous aspects of the surgical procedure of circumcision. Many have wished for some alternative to traumatizing their little boy on the eighth day of his life, while still welcoming him into the Covenant of Abraham. Unlike the Bar Mitzvah, Bris Milah is not a spiritual experience for their son. Furthermore, it entails surgical pain and trauma, medical risk and long-term harm. It is a violation of their child's body and his sexual organ.

In response to these concerns, several alternative Bris ceremonies have been created which fulfill the spiritual and communal obligations of Jewish circumcision without its traumatic effects or violation of rights. These ceremonies lovingly welcome a Jewish boy into the community of Jews while maintaining his bodily integrity and his human rights.

What follows is one such alternative ceremony, and it borrows from the others. This one is based largely on the traditional Bris service and carefully maintains its integrity, devotion, and spirit, while sharing the wisdom of this modern age.

While the text of this ceremony specifically refers to a baby boy, this ceremony could, and should, be modified and applied for a Jewish baby girl.


Since the medical and hygienic merits of circumcision have been disproved, little can be found to justify its continued practice by most American Jews.

Circumcision cannot be claimed as a symbol of Jewish identity. By Jewish law, any child born of a Jewish mother is a Jew. Furthermore, Judaism did not invent circumcision. According to Ashley Montagu, a renowned anthropologist, the practice was well-established in ancient Egypt over 6,000 years ago. Muslims throughout the world also circumcise. Sixty-percent of non-Jewish boys in the United States are circumcised. Who then, can claim circumcision as either the source of Jewish identity or of its strength?

Circumcision cannot be redeemed by American Jews with medical or hygienic claims. According to Jewish law, circumcision simply cannot be justified for any reason other than as an act of faith. Circumcision performed in a hospital by a doctor does not meet the ritual standards required by Jewish law. and is therefore invalid as a Bris Milah.

In Hebrew, the foreskin of the male is called the orlah. Whenever the term orlah is used in the Tanakh, it refers to a barrier standing in the way of a beneficial result. The Tanakh refers to a person's resistance to holiness as the orlah of the heart. In Judaism, the foreskin came to symbolize all of man's barriers to holiness.

Jews have had to acknowledge that the real barriers to their faith were the ones they themselves created or perpetuated. Changing these barriers to Judaism has involved Jews changing their traditions as well as themselves. This process began over 150 years ago and continues today. Bris Milah is only one of many traditions that has changed as Jews take personal responsibility for their faith.


The Covenant between God and the Jewish people will continue after this symbolic token - circumcision - is abandoned. No one who truly understands the spiritual depth of Judaism can say otherwise. Rest assured, Judaism will continue forevermore.

It shouldn't hurt to be Jewish. No Jew has the right to blame you for following the dictates of your conscience by foregoing a bloody ritual against your son.

Relax, and rejoice in the birth of your wonderful, intact son!

The Bris Shalom Ceremony

A group of invited family and friends assemble at the parents' home for the occasion.

The honored participants, in order of appearance:
  • the Jewish Leader (Chazzan) of this ceremony
  • an honored guest (Sandak): often he is the grandfather or sometimes the father, a patron of the child
  • the mother and father
  • godfather (Kvatter): passes the baby from the godmother to the Sandak
  • godmother (Kvatterin): carries the baby into the room
  • the baby boy, on his eighth day of life
The participants standby in a separate room. Family and friends wait in the main room for the participants to appear. An empty chair is provided as a symbol for the presence of the prophet, Elijah. A cup of wine is poured.

The Leader enters the room by himself and begins with the following passage from Genesis 22:10:

Abraham stretched forth his hand and took a knife. And the angel of the Lord called to him out of heaven, and said: ‘Abraham, Abraham!'

And Abraham said: ‘Here am I.'

And the angel said: ‘Lay not your hand upon the lad nor do anything to him.'

A procession of the other honored participants begins. The baby is brought in last.

All rise and say:

Ba-ruch Ha-bah! Blessed is the one who has come!

The Leader says:

Ba-ruch Ha-bah! Blessed is the one who has come for the Covenant on the eighth day!

Blessed are You the Lord, our God, Creator of the Universe, who has sanctified us with Your commandments.

We assemble now to welcome this newborn into Your Covenant and into the community of Israel.

Each of the parents then say:

Blessed are You the Lord, our God, Creator of the Universe, who has granted us life and sustained us and permitted us to reach this season!

Blessed are You the Lord, our God, Creator of the Universe, who has commanded us to welcome our son into Your Covenant.

This child, created in Your image, is whole, complete and perfect.

We give to him Your Covenant of Peace.


The Sandak points to the chair of Elijah, and says:

This is the chair of Elijah the prophet, who is remembered as the protector of children.

The baby is passed from the godmother, to the godfather, and then to the Sandak. The Sandak now sits with him on the chair of Elijah. He says to all:

From Leviticus 19:28:

And the Lord said, ‘You shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor imprint any marks upon you'.

Everyone says:

Let this boy be happy in this world, 
In the goodness of this home, 
In the holiness of this place.

The parents say:

Blessed it is that we are made holy with commandments and are charged to keep the Covenant.

Blessed it is that we are made holy with commandments and are charged with welcoming our child into the Covenant of Sarah and Abraham.

Everyone says:

As he enters into the Covenant, so may he enter 
into Truth, 
into Love, 
and into Happiness.

The Leader holds up a cup of wine and says:

Ba-ruch ah-ta Ah-do-nai, el-o-hey-nu mel-ach ha-o-lam, bo-rey pri ha-ga-fen.

Everyone says:

Blessed are You the Lord, our God, Creator of the universe, who creates the fruit of the vine.


The Leader passes the wine to the godparents. The godparents take a drink of the wine and share it with the parents.

The Leader says:

Blessed is the way of the universe which makes children holy and beloved as their birthright, which keeps the laws of the world in our flesh, and seals our offspring with a mark of holy promise.

The parents say:

We pray that our son grow up in a world free of violence and with great joy and peace.

Everyone says:

Blessed are all who are assembled here and who join in this holy Covenant.

The Sandak holds up the baby and says:

Give thanks to our Lord, for He is good. His kindness endures forever! This little one, may he become great! Go forth, you are perfect!

The Sandak passes the baby to the mother and father.

The godparents say:

May this child thrive with his mother and with his father.

Let his name be known among us as: __________ son of: ___________. 

Everyone says:

As he enters into the Covenant, so may he enter into Truth, into Love, and into Happiness.
The Leader says:

May the Lord bless us and keep us. May He make His countenance shine upon us, and be gracious unto us. May the Lord turn His face unto us and give us Peace.

And all say:

Mazel Tov!

Great rejoicing takes place. Food and drink are served. A true reason for celebration! 


Related reading, websites, video and communities at: Judaism & Circumcision Resource Page

Paleo Pumpkin Donuts

By Denise Nassar © 2012
Find more delicious, healthy recipes from Nassar at Edible Harmony.

These Paleo Pumpkin Donuts are grain-free, soy-free, dairy-free, nut-free and by far the most fun, healthier breakfast I’ve made in a while!

I never thought I’d be having a donut for breakfast again. I had completely forgotten they even existed, until I was invited to a breakfast potluck that my midwife was putting together. Every time I get invited to a potluck type event I am torn between providing a healthy dish or providing a dish that everyone is going to like. Let’s face it, not everyone enjoys healthy or appreciates the extra efforts of providing an unprocessed snack or selecting good quality ingredients, and it is so much easier to just pick up something already made. Since this event was going to be in the morning I was tempted to just stop by a bagel place, but then guilt started setting in... Why would I feed others something I wouldn’t eat myself? And so the paleo pumpkin donut idea came to mind.

These are baked instead of fried and you will need a donut mold or donut maker (it looks like a waffle maker).


½ cup of coconut flour
½ cup pumpkin puree
½ cup of pitted dates (about 10 deglet dates)
6 eggs
1/3 cup of coconut oil
5 Tablespoons canned coconut milk
1 tsp of vanilla extract
1-2 Tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
½ teaspoon baking soda

Ingredients for the glaze (optional):

Softened coconut oil
Softened raw honey


Preheat oven to 350 F.

Using a food processor or blender, combine the pumpkin puree, dates, eggs, oil and spices until the dates are completely ground.

Add the rest of the ingredients and run the food processor for a few more seconds (If you are using a blender you may have to combine these ingredients manually in a bowl.

Grease the donut mold, if you are using a silicon mold this step is not necessary.

Pour the batter into the mold, do not fill to the top or will get a donut with a muffin top.

Bake for about 25 minutes or until donuts are golden brown and a tooth pick inserted in the middle comes out dry. Baking time varies depending on the oven and the size of the mold. If using mini donut muffins, it will take about 15 minutes.

Set in a cooling rack

If you wish to glaze these grain-free pumpkin doughnuts, wait for them to cool off and just combine in a medium bowl some coconut oil and raw honey to taste, soften a little bit by setting the bowl over hot water for a few seconds, and whisking the mixture with a fork. You want this to be creamy and not liquid. Using a butter knife spread the glaze over the top of the donut. You can also sprinkle some cinnamon or shredded coconut on the top.


Additional Recipes by Denise Nassar:

Have Your Cake and Eat It Too! Gluten-free, Grain-free, Dairy-free, Soy-free, Fruit Sweetened Pound Cake

Gluten-free Chicken Nuggets

Raw Cacao-Avocado Pudding or Frosting (Gluten-free / Dairy-free)

Home site:

❦ Halloween Milk! ❦

The Halloween Milk album at peaceful parenting on Facebook is always having photos flagged by lactiphobic onlookers - especially the cute little nursing 'pumpkins.' In 2011, half of all uploaded photos were removed by Facebook from the album. As a result, we're moving the gallery here and are excited to add your fun, furry-and-feathery milky photos to the collection this season.

You are welcome to upload or tag at the peaceful parenting Facebook page if this is easiest for you, or send to and we will add yours in. We will watermark photos with your first/last name before posting, unless you request otherwise. If your photo or information was lost in past years' deletion, we invite you to email as well so we can update.

It's all just for fun ~ to celebrate the joys of gentle parenting as we plant some seeds and raise awareness throughout this month of pumpkins, costumes (and momma milk!).  If you're a mother seeking info on nursing your baby, we invite you to visit the Breastfeeding Resources Page and write to us anytime.

 ❦ Happy Halloween! ❦

Ashley's little duckie grabs a snack.

Milk maid, Alyssa nurses her calf. 

Little Red Riding Hood has no need to fear the big bad wolf when Mom's around!

Hippie Karah, walked around nursing her 15 month old monkey for 1/2 the evening!  

This little pilot (26 months) landed to grab some goodness.

Kealy's little butterfly stops flying for some milk on her first halloween. 

Dragons need mommy milk too!

Stacey's little nursing apple, Eden. 

Heidi's bumblebee tastes mom's sweet honey. 

Nancy's little rabbit kept finding his ears drooped into his soup. 

Bo Peep (aka The Heady Housewife) nurses her sheep!

Christa's dear little caterpillar munched some lunch. 

Tiffany's little calf gets some of the good milk!

Lena's 7 week old, Yoda, out on his first halloween. 

Tin [Wo]man, Tabitha, and her little lion. 

Jennifer's dragon get refueled.

Christa's beautiful butterfly pauses for a snack.

Dear little pumpkin, you are so sweet. 

Even Hulk Hogan needs to recharge! 
[Note: that is an eyeliner pencil in Sarah's hand.]

Marsha's costume clad son nurses while secure in his rear-facing car seat, mom forward facing in back seat. Raise your hand if you've done this!

Wet nurse, Denae cares for her little one. 

 Momma milk keeps Kelly's Spiderman out of sticky situations.

Pirate mom, Jenny, nurses her parrot baby.

 Lil' lobsters need mommy milk too!

Ruthie's 1 year old daughter, Indigo, grabs a snack before heading out as Rosie the Riveter ~ with Mom as her backdrop!

 Selia's little bumblebee collects the good nectar.

Candice's little strawberry gets some cream.

Libbi's little Super Jazz recharges on momma milk!

Jami's little lion gets his 'nummies' before trick or treating.

Dara nurses her little pumpkin before putting on her body as the sting ray photobomb.

What does the 2 year old fox say?
More milk, please!

Emily's busy little 2 year old dino grabs some night time milk.

Lisa's 8 month old Superhero, Marshall, charges up.

Karen's lil calf, Duncan, gets milk made just for him from one beautiful Momma Cow. ;)

Superman needs mommy milk too!

Ice Princess Melanie, and Flying Unicorn, Adrianna, fueling up before trick or treating.

Sweet little 2 1/2 year old witch with stitches gets the best treat after an evening out. 

Tuckered out Ruby the Ladybug gets some momma candy after trick-or-treating.

Have you nursed a triceratops lately?!

Elaine's little dragon re-charges.

Kylee nurses her little ballerina kitty.

Hillary's sweet little skeleton gets some halloween milk.

Nursing Snow White.

Meggan nurses her 12 month old lil' devil.

Michelle's 22 month old puppy lapping up her milk.

Kaylin nurses her firefighter!

Rrroar! Monsters need mommy milk too!

Desiree's Mario is all jumped out.

"May the milk be with you!"

Rachel's 3 year old ladybug pauses for some milk.

No better treat this Halloween!

Leilani nurses her baby cow. Got Milk?

Strawberry milk!

Amber's Super-Girl! Just 11 days shy of 16 months.

With Mom close by, no skeletons go hungry this Halloween!

Nursing Batman!

Krystle nurses her little candy corn.

Harry Potter and the Breastfed Toddler.

7 month old Kermit grabs some milk.

Lindsay's 10 month old little monster was hungry after an evening of trick-or-treating at the mall.

Amber nurses her big, bad, hungry wolf!

Josie's little Link charging up.

Parrots need milk from their pirate mommies too!

Nursing Yoda...

Aaarrrgh! To be a hungry pirate...

Sarah nurses her little Dopey, whose sister was Snow White.

Bethany's little Trekkie takes a break.

Bethany's sweet dalmatian nurses during trick-or-treating.

Sweet lil' pumpkin' growing on goodness.

Beth's one year old takes a milk break.

Who doesn't prefer "B" over "C"?! Surely this Cookie Monster does!
Thank you to readers for sending in this meme.



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