Gluten-free Ginger Cookies

These tasty cookies are a modification of one of my favourite recipe assignments during the Culinary Nutrition Expert program!  The modifications came when I was asked to create GF, DF cookies as a birthday party goody bag for one of my sweetest little Kids in the Kitchen pals ever!  Sometimes GF flours are harder to work with when making cookies.  Up until taking the CNE program I had never attempted GF cookies because they were that intimidating!  You want them to be crispy outside, chewy inside and sometimes that is hard when using GF flours!  This recipe has a tonne of flavour and is really easy!  

prep

15 minutes

Bake time

7-10 minutes

makes

24 cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 C brown rice flour
  • 3/4 C buckwheat flour
  • 1/4 C coconut flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp Gingerbread spice
  • 1/4tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 C coconut oil
  • 2/3 C coconut sugar
  • 1/4 C raw honey or pure maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp grated fresh ginger
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • extra coconut sugar for rolling on dough

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 350. Line a baking sheet with silicone baking mat or unbleached parchment paper.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, baking soda, gingerbread spice and sea salt. Set aside.

3. Gently heat the coconut oil in a saucepan until liquid. Remove from heat and whisk in coconut sugar, honey and fresh ginger. Allow to cool until you can touch it.

4. Once cool, whisk in egg and apple cider vinegar. If you add egg too soon it will begin to cook.

5. Pour wet mixture into dry ingredients and stir until just combined.

6. Scoop dough into 1 Tbsp measures. Roll into balls and roll in extra coconut sugar for nice sparkly texture on finished cookies.

7. Place a few cm apart on baking sheet. Press with cookie stamp, flatten with spoon or leave as balls.

8. Bake 7-10 minutes until fragrant and puffed slightly.

Notes

The fresh grated ginger and extra coconut sugar for rolling are what take this recipe over the top!  If you don’t LOVE fresh ginger, use less but don’t give up on it entirely!  It’s a tuber that grows in the ground – this is one worth sourcing locally and organic!!! 

Coconut flour is great in cookies because it gives a little bit of extra sweet and helps with the chewy texture. However, it absorbs A LOT of moisture so don’t use more than the 1/4 C suggested or your cookies will be dry and fall apart.  You could also use almond flour, but then they aren’t nut free and I wouldn’t be able to send them to school with the girls!

Lemon Chia Pudding

I’ve been bored with breakfast lately….the girls will eat the same thing over and over and never seem to get bored! Food is love to me and I’ve been feeling meh about breakfast for weeks (perhaps the Covid loop we’re living more than anything….) so I decided I needed something exciting to change it up! 
Enter chia pudding! This one can be made ahead and kept in the fridge so it’s there and ready when you’re not feeling breakfast inspiration!  Double the batch if you’re making enough for multiple people, or so you can have something ready for multiple days!  Change the whole thing by changing the toppings!
Did you know chia is a nutritional power-house seed?
They’re high in calcium, magnesium and iron. High in fibre, protein and minerals. A complete protein source full of omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants and are soothing to your digestive tract and therefore help the body to excrete toxins. That’s a whole lotta awesome for a teeny, tiny little seed! And in this super simple recipe, they’re also delicious!!

prep

5 minutes

set time

2 hours or overnight

makes

4 servings

Ingredients

  • 2C milk of choice 
  • 6Tbsp chia seeds
  • 2Tbsp pure Maple Syrup
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • pinch (no more than 1/8 tsp) of turmeric or  Mango Lassi  

Instructions

  1. Mix all ingredients in a 4C bowl, whisking to get the lumps out.
  2. Cover and leave overnight in the fridge.
  3. In the morning give it a stir, and split between 4 bowls. Top with fresh or frozen fruit, nuts or granola.  If not using all at once, scoop out 1/2C per serving.
  4. Get fancy and you can top with whipped coconut cream, toasted coconut and fresh lemon curd too and serve as a dessert!

Notes

Coconut and cashew milk are both smooth and creamy and delicious in this recipe!  But any milk will work depending on your preference, allergies or availability.  Want to get really fancy and add some gut-loving kick?  Use 1 C of plain Kefir + 1 C of milk instead of the 2 C of milk.

Use pure maple syrup not imitation.  If not available, raw honey or coconut sugar make a great alternative.  Coconut sugar will require more stirring to dissolve.

Pure vanilla or vanilla bean.  Again, no artificial stuff!

The turmeric or Mango Lassi helps give it a glorious yellow colour (often something we expect with Lemon flavoured food??) and a little bit of extra anti-inflamatory goodness!

Chocolate Hazelnut Spread

This recipe is a modification on one we found in the Oh She Glows Cookbook and a mix of Epicure’s Chocolate Hazelnut Spread.  The Epicure recipe uses almonds and hazelnuts and calls for icing sugar.  The Oh She Glows Cookbook uses pure maple syrup on the nuts and roasts them before grinding into a nutbutter and includes the addition of healthful ingredients like hemp seeds, chia seeds and ground cinnamon. I personally enjoy the flavour of the roasted nuts and have used Cocoa Acai booster in place of plain cocoa powder.  I find that using the maple syrup instead of the icing sugar is sweet enough but feel free to modify as needed for your personal taste!  Enjoy!

prep

 20 minutes

Bake time

20-25 minutes

makes

12 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 C raw Hazelnuts (or combine almonds and hazelnuts)
  • 2Tbsp Pure Maple Syrup
  • 2Tbsp hemp seeds
  • 2Tbsp chia seeds
  • 1tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 -2 tsp coconut oil
  • 1/4tsp fine grain sea-salt
  • 1-2 scoops Cocoa Acai Smoothie Booster (depending on how chocolatey you like it!)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 300F (150C).
  2. Combine nuts and maple syrup in a large bowl and toss to coat evenly.  Spread the nut mixture in an even single layer on a sheet pan lined with bake & roll and bake for 20 -25 minutes until fragrant and golden.  Stir once halfway through the cooking time.
  3. Let the nuts cool on the baking sheet for 5-10 minutes.  If you want crunchy nut butter, keep 1/4 cup of nuts set aside, otherwise pour entire amount of roasted nuts into food processor. 
  4. Process for 5 to 10 minutes, stopping to scrape the bowl every 30-60 seconds as needed.
  5. Add the hemp seeds, chia seeds, cinnamon, cocoa acia, vanilla, 1 tsp of coconut oil and sea salt.  Process until the nut butter is smooth and thin enough to drip off a spoon.  Add more coconut oil as needed in order to get it smooth and thin enough.
  6. For crunchy nut butter, finely chop the 1/4C of nuts that were set aside and stir in.

Notes

If you don’t have Cocoa Acai Smoothie Booster, 2-3 Tbsp of cocoa powder will do the trick!

We keep ours in a glass jar on the counter for a week, or in the fridge for up to 3 weeks (although it NEVER lasts that long!!) If you keep it in the fridge, it will be hard, so spread it on a warm bit of toast or let it sit at room temperature for 10 min or so before trying to spread it cold.

Protein Power Banana Squash Muffins 2

Protein Power Banana Squash Muffins

Who doesn’t love banana bread? It was a classic in my Nana’s kitchen when we were kids. Sad bananas become something magical with just a few basic ingredients and a little love. This recipe is an inspired creation based on years of memories in the kitchen with my Nana. A new spin on an old classic to appeal to my kids and husband alike. And I daresay something that might appeal to you too.

The other inspiration for this recipe came from an overabundance of squash!  A friend grows a prolific garden every summer and always has plenty of bounties to share.  When she asked if I’d like a blue squash they’d grown I said sure. She assured me it was a firm squash similar in texture and flavour to butternut and that we’d love it.  I imagined a decent pot of creamy soup and perhaps some roasted squash with a dinner that week. And then she delivered a squash the size or my then two-year-old!!! Suddenly I had A LOT of squash and absolutely no idea what I was going to do with it!  I made many pots of soup, I roasted large amounts of it, I cut it up into slices, chunks and cubes for roasting, steaming and pureeing. And then I froze all sorts of it! And then it hung out in my freezer for ages with no inspiration for what to do with it…

Protein Power Banana Squash Muffins 1

“It was a classic in my Nana’s kitchen when we were kids. Sad bananas become something magical with just a few basic ingredients and a little love.”

And so this recipe was born.  I had created a version of these muffins that used shredded zucchini as well as the banana before, and it was a big hit!  I imagined that switching the type of squash would only marginally change the overall muffin. Making it gluten-Free, dairy-free and refined sugar-free took a little more tweaking but was still a fun process!  The best part about these muffins is that they do contain fruit, vegetables, protein, no refined sugar and are gluten-free. They also contain coconut oil and coconut milk for a punch of high-quality fat as well as hemp hearts for added Omega-3, Magnesium and Zinc!  Not to mention the delightful touch of dark chocolate chips for antioxidant power and if desired, even more brain food with the addition of chopped walnuts! As far as healthy snacking goes, these should hit all the marks for you and your kids! If you try it I’d love to hear from you!

prep

15 minutes

Bake time

18-20 minutes

makes

24 servings

Ingredients

  • ½ C coconut oil, liquid
  • ½ C coconut palm sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1 C steamed firm squash
  • 1 ½ C all-purpose GF flour 
  • ½ C hemp hearts
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½  tsp salt
  • 1 serving of your favourite protein blend or collagen powder
  • 1 C non-dairy milk
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 C dark chocolate chips or chopped walnuts (or both!)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400F
  2. Add the vanilla to the milk while you mix everything else. Set coconut oil in a bath of warm water to bring it to liquid if it is solid.
  3. In a high-powered blender add sugar, coconut oil, eggs, banana and cooked squash and blend until smooth.
  4. Mix dry ingredients in a separate bowl.
  5. Add half wet ingredients and half the milk to the dry ingredients. Stir until moist.  Add the rest of wet and rest of milk and stir until just combined.
  6. Fold in chocolate chips or walnuts if using.
  7. Fill silicone muffin pans (or lined muffin tins) ¾ full.
  8. Bake for 18-20 min depending on your oven. This recipe makes 24 perfect portion muffins!

Notes

Every oven is different and will 100% have an effect on your final result!
Always start with the lower end of cook time!

For the squash – I use a Blue Hubbard but butternut squash, pumpkin or sweet potato would work as well.

For the non-dairy milk: coconut milk is dreamy, but use what you prefer or have on hand. Adding the vanilla while you prep the rest of the ingredients helps to “curdle” the milk which allows for acid to work with the baking soda in this recipe so that you get the “fluff” of a muffin you might not always get with GF baking.

For the coconut oil – I find it is easier to mix in the blender if you use liquid.  Setting it in a warm water bath to liquefy is best rather than microwaving it. The microwave can de-nature all of the lovely health-promoting benefits of the oil.  The consistency of the oil will also affect your final results so keep this in mind! Using solid oil will result in a more crumbly texture in your final muffins.

For the Collagen or Protein Powder – use a good quality vegan Protein powder so you are avoiding things like whey and soy (these are often used in protein powders because they are byproducts of other “food” manufacturing).  If you want to avoid all other additives (as protein powders are often sweetened with things like Stevia) using an organic, high-quality collagen is a great way to get just added protein. When adding a protein powder, make sure that one serving contains at least 20g of protein but doesn’t equal more than 1/3C of dry powder as this can affect the moisture ratios.  For collagen I like Great Lakes Gelatin and the Vegan Protein I use comes from Epicure.