I’m so happy to introduce to you Natalia Gill. As a certified nutritional consultant, yoga and Pilates instructor, she has helped hundreds of people on their road to health. This is a woman who walks her talk and shares with us her knowledge and everyday recipes. You can follow her on Pinterest or like her on Facebook to stay on top of the wonderful things she is doing or simply head to her website AnAppetiteForJoy.com.

This complex little cookie is light, fluffy and slightly chewy all at once. Cooling anise gives it character, while chia adds a delicate texture, similar to poppy seeds.

If you really want to dazzle your family and friends (or yourself, why not?) drizzle over this lemony yogurt glaze for a burst of sweet and tart!

Nobody has to know how easy these are to make. That can stay between us.

Anise seeds not only add flavor to foods, they can also contribute to good health.

  • For one, anise seeds are a powerful digestive aid and this is why they are the essence of digestifs around the world (Greek ouzo and French absinthe for instance).
  • Anise is antispasmodic which means that it quiets muscle spasms and, for this reason, can help to relieve menstrual cramps. It is also thought to increase breast milk supply and in some cultures, a spoonful of seeds boiled in water (as a tea) is given to nursing women.
  • Anise seeds can be chewed after a meal as a natural breath freshener.

So keep in mind, if you are ever bothered with a stomach ache or cramps, all you need is a few of these cookies and a cup of hot green tea to set you right. Kidding! Seventy-five percent kidding.


Cocoa Cookies with Chia and Anise Seeds and a Lemon-Yogurt Glaze

Makes 18-24 cookies

1 1/4 cup whole spelt or whole wheat flour
2 tbsp plus 2 tsp cocoa powder
3/4 tsp anise seeds
1 tbsp chia seeds
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup sucanat
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg


1 tbsp plain yogurt
1/2 tsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp lemon zest
2 tbsp powdered sucanat

Preheat the oven to 350 and lightly grease a couple of baking sheets.

Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, seeds, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to cream together the butter, sucanat and vanilla. Beat in the egg. Add the flour mixture and beat until well combined.

Scoop tablespoonfuls of the dough onto the prepared baking sheets. Bake for 11-14 minutes. While the cookies are in the oven, whisk together the glaze ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.

Remove the cookies from the oven and let them rest for 5 minutes. Sparsely drizzle the glaze over the cookies when serving.

They can be enjoyed right away or, better yet, wait a couple of hours to really let the flavors open up. Good luck with that.

A little about the author:

Natalia Gill

My name is Natalia Gill. I live in the “city in a forest” (Atlanta, GA) with my dream husband, 7-yr old ninja and 2-yr old ladybug.

When I was five, my heart took flight while I was watching a commercial for a home remedies book. Healing with food & plants became my passion. Thankfully, I grew up in the right house for it – my parents are Russian and Dutch and we ate fresh and nourishing meals. When we were sick, my mom used herbs or just a comforting hand to support the natural healing process.

During my teens and twenties, I strayed to more faddish ways to keep up my health. But the color returned to my cheeks only when I came back to a time-honored way of eating (which is really the most delicious, anyway!) I love helping others make a graceful, sustainable transition to whole foods. Less is more.

Visit me at AnAppetiteForJoy.com.