FFTF (Food For Thought Friday): Coconut Oat Cookies and Asperger’s Syndrome

Coconut Cookies and Caue.jpg

Ok, it’s finally over.  The whole holiday thing.  The business of hustle and bustle.  I thought it was time to get up another FFTF (Food For Though Friday).  It’s been a while.

Coconut Oat Cookies

Today’s post offers a recipe for coconut oat cookies with dark mint chocolate chunks. Can I get an ummmmmmmm? =)  Ok, this one is simple and quick and great alternative to the butter-laden, high-sugar cookies that we are all too familiar with.

  • 1 cup whole oats
  • 1/3 cup ground flax seed (flax flour)
  • 1/3 cup dessicated coconut (unsweetened)
  • 1 Tbsp melted butter
  • 3 very ripe bananas
  • 1-3 Tbsp agave syrup or honey ( or maple syrup -*I can’t it here =( )
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup dark mint chocolate chips or chunks (if you can’t get dark chocolate chips, you can add peppermint extract to the cookies by mixing it in with the melted butter and coconut)

Mix all of the dry ingredients.  Mash the bananas and add to the dry ingredients along with the rest of the wet ingredients.  Mix in the chocolate.

All done.  Simple eh.  You must let me know what you thought if you do decide to make them ok.

Caue - Asperger's.jpg

Ok, if you’ve noticed in the top right hand corner of my blog, it’s all about the 5 ‘Fs’ – Faith, Family, Fitness, Food and Fun.  Today’s FFTF topic is about Asperger’s Syndrome because my little cutie (6 almost 7 years old), Cauê has it.

Asperger’s Syndrome is on the ‘Autism Spectrum’ and is considered high-functioning autism.  As one adolescent American boy put it, it’s like he’s half autistic, half neuro-typical.  If you were to see Caue and talk with him and see him playing on his own, you’d have no idea that he has autism.  However, after getting to know him a bit and seeing the way he is in school and the way he learns – as well as his obsessions – you would start to think that there is something a little different about him.

I’m not going to share too much on the subject, but I am going to share a really awesome music video that my husband found on Youtube about it.  Please check it out and let me know what you think.  Being that we live in Brazil and my husband is Brazilian, it is in Portuguese.  I have, however, translated it for you to understand the message of it.’s Syndrome

Translation: 10 things that a child with Asperger’s Syndrome wish you knew…

  • 1. Before anything, I am a normal child!!!
  • 2. I have horrible motor coordination – buttoning a shirt or tying up shoelaces is a sacrifice
  • 3. I have an extraordinary ability to comprehend – I have an exceptional memory to for facts and dates. I can learn to read on my own.
  • 4. I am a concrete thinker and don’t understand the abstract.
  • 5. I have an extensive vocabulary – I have a pendant, repetitive and stereotyped language.
  • 6. I can’t look into your eyes when I speak with you.
  • 7. I believe in everything you tell me and I don’t understand irony.
  • 8. I can be mistaken as a little genius.
  • 9. Please help me with social interactions.
  • 10. And above all else, love me unconditionally!
  • And just 3 more words – Patience, Patience, Patience!

PATIENCE! Oh my goodness.  I am NOT a patient person.  But I am so thankful that God has given me Caue to raise and love and teach and ‘be patient with’.  God is developing this much needed virtue and fruit in my life through my relationship with my son.

Have you ever heard of Asperger’s Syndrome before? Do you know anybody that has it?  Tell me your experience.

Food and Nutrition, Food For Thought Friday - FFTF, Spiritual

FFTF – Spirit: Breath of Heaven Body: Healthy Prestigio (Chocolate Coconut) Tarts


Ok, it’s another FFTF (Food for Thought Friday) – Food for the body and the spirit.  I loooooovvve the Christmas season, so this post is very befitting.  For the spirit I will be sharing a bit about how the Christmas song, “Breath of Heaven” has impacted me.  And for the body, “Healthy Superfood Prestigio (Chocolate Coconut) tarts.  Hope you enjoy.

Breath of Heaven Pic

I have traveled many moonless nights
Cold and weary with a babe inside
And I wonder what I’ve done
Holy Father, You have come
And chosen me now to carry Your Son

I am waiting in a silent prayer
I am frightened by the load I bear
In a world as cold as stone
Must I walk this path alone?
Be with me now, be with me now.

Breath of Heaven, hold me together
Be forever near me, Breath of Heaven
Breath of Heaven, lighten my darkness
Pour over me Your holiness for You are holy
Breath of Heaven

Do you wonder as you watch my face
If a wiser one should have had my place?
But I offer all I am
For the mercy of Your plan
Help me be strong, help me be, help me

Amy Grant

Listen to a version by Eden’s Bridge here:

Sometimes when I listen to this song I start to cry.  I think it’s because of the simplicity of it and the way that Mary addresses God, “Breath of Heaven”.  She was just a young girl when a unexepected visitor showed up and shared a message with her that essentially changed the entire course of her life.  She was engaged to be married to a simple carpenter, and she herself, was just a simple girl – that loved God.

As she silently prays to her maker, she’s extremely vulnerable and expresses to Him just how scared she is.  She knows that the world is a cold place and she is feeling all alone.  And rightly so.  Imagine being in her place.  A virgin, engaged to be married, in a society where it is absolutely unacceptable and punishable to have had sexual relations before marriage.  And now she is carrying the son of God.

She pours her soul out to the only one that could possibly understand what she is going through.  God, hold me together (I’m losing it).  God, be forever near me (I feel so lost).  God, lighten my darkness (the stone cold reality of this world is blinding me (I can’t see you).  God, pour over me your holiness (for you are the only one that can ease my anguished heart and replace the lack of tranquility with overwhelming peace).

I think it’s amazing how she addresses God as, “Breath of Heaven”.  The word breath signifies life.  Every bodily function depends on breathing as breathing is the most fundamental of all the body’s systems.  It’s at the very core of life.  When one stops breathing, one dies.

She also recognizes that she’s weak.  She doesn’t see herself as one that is wise enough to be carrying such a serious responsibility.  But the beautiful thing is that, even though she’s full of doubts and even though she considers herself as unwise, it didn’t matter to God.  What mattered was that she was willing to offer all that she is.  What mattered was that she had a heart of humility and recognized she needed His strength, and not her own.

What do you think of this song?  What are your thoughts concerning it?  Leave a comment and let me know.

Ok, who else out there loves a good dessert or tasty little treat, but hates the refined sugar?  Being that it’s the Christmas season and all, I thought I’d create this little goody for my kids (ok, for me too, I confess).  Try it out and let me know what you think.

Healthy Prestigio Tarts Pic

Yes, this is my little girl enjoying what’s left over of the filling

Healthy Prestigio (chocolate & coconut) tarts


  • 1/2 cup chopped cashews
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup dates
  • 1 Tbsp melted butter or coconut oil
  • pinch of salt

Place all ingredients into a food processor or blender and blend until incorporated.  Fill mini cupcake tins with paper liners.  Press 1 heaping teaspoon of the mixture into each to form a crust.


  • 4 small bananas or 2 large
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/4 honey
  • 4 Tbsp coconut milk
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 Tbsp melted butter or coconut oil

Place all ingredients into a blender and blend until fully incorporated.  Spoon around 2 good teaspoons of the mixture into the cups.  You can garnish with some shredded coconut and then place in the freezer until ready to enjoy.

Food and Nutrition, Food For Thought Friday - FFTF, Spiritual

FFTF – Spirit: Then he smiled at me… Body – Kale Salad with Mango and Coconut


I absolutely love this time of year and the Christmas holiday.  I have such good memories growing up, with the house all decorated and all of the pretty lights, time with friends and family, gift giving (and receiving) and, of course, good food.  I figure that, since it’s the Christmas season – and I love it so much – I would write a bit about some of my favorite Christmas songs and what they mean to me.


(I had to take this picture because it was my little guy that put the presents in baby Jesus’ arms and I thought it was so cute)

The Little Drummer Boy

Come they told me,
A new born King to see,
Our finest gifts we bring,
To lay before the King,
So to honour Him,
When we come.

Little Baby,
I am a poor boy to,
I have no gift to bring,
That’s fit to give a king,
Shall I play for you,
On my drum?

Mary nodded,
The ox and lamb kept time,
I played my drum for Him,
I played my best for Him,

Then He smiled at me,
Me and my drum.

(To hear Josh Groban’s version of the song:

This song, “The Little Drummer Boy” has really spoken deeply to me in the past and I absolutely love its message.  I started my missionary career in 2000 and have been all over the world since then.  But when I got pregnant with my first son I fell into a bit of a depression, thinking that my life was all over.  I couldn’t see how I would be relevant as a missionary anymore.  I would say to God, “So what then God?  Am I just going to be a mother and wife?  Is that all you have for me now?” (as if that wasn’t important and relevant enough already).  

Soon after having Caue (that’s my son’s name), we left Brazil for a time of training and investing in our areas of work.  It was during that time that God really spoke into my life, using this song.  I was doing a music for missions school and was really seeking God about how I could really be relevant.  Finally, after a few weeks of praying and pleading for an answer God brought the remembrance of this song to mind.

The first verse speaks of a king being born.  Now, being a king was a big thing.  He was the one who created all the laws, led the justice systems and overseed his kingdom as he saw fit (  Three wise men came to see this new king and bring him gifts in order to show their respect and reverence.  In order to honour him.

The second verse speaks of a poor little boy.  He wasn’t of any importance.  No one knew who he was.  No one traveled half way across the world to visit him.  He was just a humble little guy.  He didn’t even have enough money to bring the king a gift.  He thought he didn’t have anything of worth. So he offered to play his little drum for him.

Now the third verse is the one I love the most.  It speaks of how this little guy didn’t let social differences stand in the way of him giving his all for the king.  He played his drum for him.  He played his best for him.  With the little he had.  I’m sure he wasn’t the best drummer in the world.  He just gave it his all, no matter what.  And then it came… the king… the son of God… the ruler of all… SMILED AT HIM.  How precious is that.  He didn’t smile at him because he had kept good rythm. He didn’t smile at him because he was perfect.  He didn’t smile at him because he was refined and well-trained.  NO! He smiled at him because of his humble heart.  Because in his humility he offered his best.

Do you think you have to be perfect to be relevant? Do you think you have be well educated and trained to make a difference in this world.  I couldn’t see how I could be relevant after having children. Now I know that – in what ever I do – if I do my best out of humility of heart – that is a powerful tool in the hands of an almighty God.  And the king will smile on me.

Please leave a comment and let me know what you think.


Ok, now for the food part.  I know that it is winter time for most that are reading this and soups, stews and other hot dishes are what’s popular right now.  However, in Brazil we celebrate Christmas in the summer and it is blazing hot.  My recipe for you today is something that many would probably prefer in the summer, but I really like this salad so am sharing it with you today.

  • 1 1/2 cups kale
  • 1/2 tomato
  • 1/4 red pepper
  • 1/4 cup shredded carrot
  • 1/2 Tommy mango
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut
  • your choice of protein
  • top with cilantro and season as desired.

I used a can of tuna as my protein, but you can use whatever you desire.