The Best Ginger Cookies EVER!!!

In an attempt to eat without grains… crazy right? Well it is an experiment to get all in my family healthy and happy and reestablish some really good GI flora and gut healing. I’ve been super inspired by this amazing book Breaking the Vicious Cycle by Elaine Gottschall, B.A., M.Sc. It is a SCD or Selective Carbohydrate Diet, meaning no starches since they are longer chain carbohydrates and extremely hard to digest when you have compromised gut flora or food sensitivities. What I do like about this diet so far is that instead of focusing on grains + veggies + fruit + nuts = my diet, I do lots more veggies…. which come on are the super nutrient rich foods anyway.

In my search of craving something sweet that is on this diet I found the most delicious Ginger Cookie Recipe EVER! You might think I am joking, but for real the texture is gummy and chewy with a little crisp on the outside. So satisfying!! I got the recipe from: The Comfy Belly Blog and here it is… just a side note that this blog is definitely gluten free and grain free, but NOT vegan. Some recipes are vegan friendly though.

Ginger Snap Cookies (from www.comfybelly.com)

  • 2 cups blanched almond flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup or honey
  • 4 tablespoons coconut oil

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C, or gas mark 4).
  2. Prepare baking sheets with parchment paper or non-stick baking mat.
  3. Blend the dry flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves together in a mixing bowl.
  4. Add the maple syrup and coconut oil to the dry ingredients and blend well until a soft dough forms.
  5. If the dough is too soft to shape into small balls, place it in the freezer for 5 to 10 minutes.
  6. With a spoon or your fingers roll up to 1 tablespoon of dough into a small ball and place it the baking sheet. Place them about 2 inches apart.
  7. Press each cookie with the palm of your hand to flatten it out into a disc shape. Optionally, sprinkle some sea salt on top of each cookie.
  8. Bake for 10 minutes or until the cookies are turning golden brown and dark around the edges. Careful not to burn them because they do so easily.
  9. Cool for 10 minutes.

Makes about 24 small cookies…. ENJOY!!!

Jade Helping Make Ginger Cookies

 

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Healthy Holiday Cookies

Christmas CookiesI usually don’t make Christmas Cookies or Holiday Cookies, but am motivated to send some to my brother. He has moved to his on the road lifestyle, I decided that I needed to send him some holiday cheer in the form of vegan and gluten free goodness!!! You can follow my brother, Michael and Tara’s blog here at RVegan Adventures. Get it RV and Vegan… Awesome!!! Currently they are stopped in Texas, which in my mind is a far, far away place you don’t mess with that is even farther away from vegan goodies.

Hence my inspiration this year to attempt to make healthy Holiday Cookies. They are the same base dough with some slight tweaking. Although there is still some sugar there is 1/2 of what would normally be in a cookie and plenty sweet from all that coconut. Also coloring is from plant sources: chlorophyll and turmeric.

Here is the base dough: (Split into 4 balls, each kind of cookie makes a dozen or more)

  • 3 cups Bob’s Redmill GF flour
  • 1 cup oat flour
  • 2 cups powdered sugar (organic that has tapioca flour and no corn starch is preferred)
  • Sprinkle of salt
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 cup coconut oil (unrefined and melted)
  • 1/2 cup or more rice milk or nut milk (see directions)

Mix all ingredients and add just a little more rice milk until dough is easy to form and you are able to roll it out. I know some sugar cookie recipes require refrigeration to make the dough easier to work, but honestly I am not that patient and I have a two year old running around so it is a better idea to just get it done as quickly as possible. I then divide the dough into 4 equal balls.

Here are the variations:

Green Christmas Trees with Red Lentil Ornaments

Add 10 drops chlorophyll to turn dough green, roll out, cut cookies and then sprinkle some red lentils on the top. Bake 10 minutes at 350.

Tree Cookies

Christmas Cookies

Lemon Almond Drop Cookies

Add juice of 1/2 lemon, pinch of turmeric (for color), zest of one whole lemon, and I also added 5 drops lime essential oil (since I was out of lemon). Roll into balls and then bake for 11 minutes at 350. I pressed an almond into the center and although the picture doesn’t look very yellow they are yellow.

Christmas Cookies

Chocolate Star Cookies

Roll out dough and cut into star shapes. Bake 10 minutes at 350. After cookies are cooled I melted equal parts vegan chocolate chips and coconut oil. Then I dipped the cookies in the super runny chocolate mixture so just the face side had chocolate, but hey you could dip the whole thing in too!!

Christmas Cookies

Raspberry Walnut Linzer Cookies

First I made 1/4 cup walnut meal and put that in a bowl. Then I added 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and a pinch of cinnamon. Mix this up. Then add your last dough ball and thoroughly incorporate. Roll out balls and put a generous thumbprint indentation in the center. Then add small spoonful of raspberry jam to make a pool in the center. Bake these for 12-14 minutes at 350. Don’t make the mistake I did and sample while still warm!!!! The jam inside turns into runny liquid hot magma and burns your hand, mouth, whatever it touches. Once these are cool the jam becomes semisolid again.

Hope you enjoy these cookies!!! Happy Holiday! And remember Peace on Earth starts with Peace on Your Plate, GO VEGAN!!!

Hemp Hazelnut Power Cookies

Hemp Hazelnut Power CookiesThese raw and good for you cookies are a snap to make in your food processor. No waiting time to bake or let cool, just blend up and form into balls and done!!! They are a great treat or even a filling snack when you are on the go. Even our 14 month old daughter Jade loves them too!

 

Hemp Hazelnut Power Cookies (yield: 1 dozen)

  • 1 cup oats
  • 2 TBS hempseeds
  • 1/2 cup hazelnuts (I blended them into a meal first)
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 5-7 medjool dates
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 TBS coconut oil
  • super tiny pinch of sea salt

 

I blended the dry ingredients first just to make sure they were a smaller size our toddler wouldn’t choke on, but you can just blend them all at once for a more chunky consistency. Then after blending the dry ingredients I added the others to the food processor. When it is done it is still pretty crumbly, but you know it is the right consistency when you can form into balls, makes a dozen almost golf-ball sized cookies.

 

 

 

Delicious Almond Sesame Cookies

I love this time of year… yes the holidays! Because there are always amazing vegan potlucks and great times to share with family and friends. I have always loved anything almond or sesame inspired especially when it is combined with sweet. These cookies are super fun and easy and are kind of cheating because I use a cake mix.

I typically don’t have sugar in the house and I was almost out of medjoul dates, but I really wanted something sweet. I did have Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Vanilla Cake mix so I used some of that to be the base of these super chewy cookies. I took these to a vegan white elephant Holiday Party and they were a hit, everyone kept asking for the recipe and here it is!!!!

Cookie Dough

Almond Sesame Cookies (375 for 8-12 minutes)

  • 2 cups Bob’s GF Vanilla Cake Mix
  • 1/2 cup sesame seeds
  • 1 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • 1/2 cup water (maybe slightly more if needed)

Mix all dry ingredients first and then add the tahini (ground sesame seeds) and water. Slowly mix it up and you may need a couple more teaspoons of water to achieve the right cookie consistency. Roll into balls (slightly smaller than ping pong balls) and you will get about 3 dozen cookies.

Almond Sesame Cookies

Super Low-Fat Strawberry Ice Cream (Vegan of Course)

Super Low-Fat Strawberry Ice Cream

Super Low-Fat Strawberry Ice Cream

It was a warm night… and I was craving something cold and sweet. How about some strawberry ice cream!!! This would be a snap to make if you have an ice cream maker, but if not do not fret… Just blend all the ingredients, freeze and blend again. Still quick and easy! This ice cream has just over 100 calories/serving making it super low calorie, and guilt-free!

Strawberry Cashew Ice Cream (1 pint)

  • ½ c. cashews
  • 1/2 pint strawberries
  • 1 teas. vanilla
  • 1-2 TBS agave or maple syrup for added sweetness (optional)
  • 1 ¼ c. water (approximate, see directions below)

-Soak cashews to soften, then add all ingredients including only enough water to make 2 c. total or 1 pint. Amazingly ice cube trays hold exactly 2 cups! Blend until creamy and either use ice cream maker or pour mixture into ice cube tray, freeze and blend again until smooth.

A Perfect Breakfast for Summer Solstice… Banana Flax Crepes with Strawberries!!!

Banana Flax Crepes with Soy Yogurt and Fresh Strawberries

Banana Flax Crepes with Soy Yogurt and Fresh Strawberries

I love this time of year!! It’s when I get to go the Farmer’s Market and always have super fresh delicious produce. Today even when I first woke up (before 6am) it was already a sunny gorgeous day at the beach! How lucky I am to be here.

Last night before falling asleep I was dreaming of what I wanted to make for breakfast and it came to me… crepes!! Topped with lots of fresh strawberries! YUM… no wonder I woke up so early excited to make a scrumptious meal.

Banana Flax Crepes (makes 3-4)

  • 1 cup Bob’s Gluten Free Flour
  • 1/4 cup whole flax seeds (grind into flour/meal)
  • 1/2 ripe banana
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • sprinkle of salt
  • water (enough added for crepe batter consistency-thinner than pancake batter)

Grind whole flax seeds into meal and add to GF flour. Mash up ripe banana before adding to powdered ingredients. Then add vanilla, salt and water. Start with a small amount of water and work your way up to desired consistency. You will have to add more water than you think because the flax will just keep soaking up that water.

Heat a skillet to medium heat and add some coconut oil to coat the pan. Then pour some of the mixture in and spread out in a circle as thin as possible. No need to flip… the crepe is done when you can tell there is no raw dough on the surface. Then top with soy yogurt and fresh berries… Enjoy!!!

Quickest Carrot Cake Ever!!!

Carrot Cake with Cashew Cream Cheese Frosting

Carrot Cake with Cashew Cream Cheese Frosting

So I have really been into juicing lately… and of course that means tons of carrot pulp, usually I just compost it. One time I did try to make soup with it, but don’t ever make that mistake… super grainy and all the juice was out of the carrots so the soup was NOT sweet and creamy like it normally is. I know there are a ton of recipes out there for using carrot pulp for the fluffy consistency of raw, dehydrated cookies, but really I wanted something sweet and QUICK!

I happened to have Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Vanilla Cake Mix on hand, so I thought to myself… “why not try to make it carrot cake?” I juiced 4 carrots and added the juice back to the pulp. Then I dumped in the whole cake mix and eventually it turned into thick cake consistency. I did add a couple of other things and they are in the recipe below. I love cashew cheesecake, so I made a variation for a Cashew Cream Cheese Frosting and DELICIOUS!!!

Carrot Cake Recipe

  • Bob’s Red Mill Vanilla Cake Mix
  • 4 carrots (juice and pulp mixed)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon pie spice
  • Optional: coconut flakes, chopped dates, raisins, pecans, whatever you like!

Juice 4 carrots and mix the juice and pulp together. Then mix in all the other ingredients until uniform in consistency. Use coconut oil to oil the pan (to avoid sticking). Bake at 325 for 20-30 minutes (depending on pan size and oven size)

Cashew Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1/2-1 cup raw cashews
  • juice of 1/4-1/2 lemon (depending on how lemony you like it, and a little zest never hurt anyone)
  • 2 TBS maple syrup or agave
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 TBS coconut oil (unrefined organic tastes best)
  • water (just enough to make creamy)

If you are using a food processor to make frosting then I would highly recommend soaking cashews for at least 4 hours prior. I used my vitamix and didn’t have the foresight to soak beforehand and it still turned out super smooth. When you refrigerate this frosting it will thicken or if you use more cashews. I liked it more like a glaze when I first made it and then after refrigerating it was thick like a super buttery frosting. Just use frosting as needed and don’t put on the whole cake (since you need to refrigerate the frosting and that would dry the cake out). Top piece by piece and enjoy!