Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies (Gluten, Nut, Dairy Free)  

ImageThis past week I have been feeling like I eat too much of my baking without working it off. I keep choosing TV over the gym. What on TV you ask? Survivor, naturally. I sit on my comfy couch, while I watch people work hard and starve. I decided that because I keep doing that, my baking would have to be healthier for now. Oh what a struggle. No lava cakes, crème brûlée, brownies, or tiramisu. *Sigh!*

I made these cookies in an effort to make something I wouldn’t want to eat. It didn’t work! These cookies are great. They are crisp on the outside, gooey on the inside. The sweetness of the cookie is balanced well with the bit of salt. The coconut oil makes for a nice base flavor. I had to give the cookies away so I didn’t eat them. If that isn’t a first world problem, I don’t know what is!

 

Recipe adapted from Summer Harms Blog

 

1/2 cup. Coconut oil, softened

1/2 cup. White sugar

1 Egg

1/2 tsp. Vanilla extract

3/4 cup. Brown rice flour

1/2 tsp. Baking soda

1/4 tsp. Sea salt (heaping)

1 tsp. Cinnamon

1/2 tsp. Nutmeg

1 1/2 cups. Rolled oats (gluten free)

3/4 cup. Chocolate chips (milk free)

 

Preheat oven to 350º. In a large bowl, cream together the coconut oil, sugar, egg, and vanilla until smooth. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and oats. Mix dry ingredients into the wet, and stir in the chocolate chips.

 

Drop 1-2 inch balls of cookie dough on a parchment lined baking sheet and flatten. Bake for 10-12 minutes, and then let sit on the hot pan for a few minutes more before transferring to a cooling rack. Makes about 20 cookies.

 

If you want to make this vegan friendly, you could switch the egg for 1/3 cup of mashed banana.

 

I loved these cookies! Give them a try and let me know what you think.

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Fabulous Flour

flour

Today I want to talk about gluten free flour. There are many types of gluten free flour, but the most commonly used is rice flour. When you substitute one type of flour for another, it doesn’t work well. Rice flour is a common alternative, but it is the flour that has a gritty texture. I have found personally that the only way to make gluten free all-purpose flour is a combination of flours and starches. As well for many recipes adding xanthan gum is useful. What I recommend doing is making a big batch of gluten free flour and then using it just as you would regular flour.

Gluten Free All-Purpose Flour:

6 Cups. White Rice Flour

2 Cups. Potato Starch.

1 Cup. Tapioca Starch of Flour

2 Tbsp. Xanthan Gum

 

I hope you guys think this works as well as I do. What do you use as a alternative to wheat flour?

 

Image courtesy of: Sweetlyvegan

Cinnamon Apple Crisp (Gluten Free Option)

ImageApple anything is always a big hit in my house—apple crisp especially. When I was a kid, my Grandma would make it for us and I always loved it. My family always said that I could never make it better than hers, and anytime I used her recipe I didn’t make it better. I decided to stop trying to beat her at her own game and I came up with my own recipe.

I love this recipe! The apples have a gooey caramel-type sauce. It’s not too sweet. The crumble on top is crunchy and compliments the apples nicely. I also think this is one of the easiest apple crisp recipes, because it doesn’t involve cutting the butter in, just pouring the melted butter.

I hope you love it as much as I do!

8 Apples, peeled and sliced (I recommend Granny Smith, Gala, or Macintosh)

1 Cup. Brown Sugar

1 Tbsp. Cinnamon

1/2 Tsp. Nutmeg

1 Tbsp. Flour (Can use a gluten free substitute, like Cup4Cup)

1/4 Cup. Lemon Juice

1/4 Cup. Hot Water

1 Cup. All-Purpose Flour (Can use a gluten free substitute, like Cup4Cup)

1 Cup. Oats (Can use gluten free)

3/4 Cup. Brown Sugar

1/4 Tsp. Baking Soda

1/4 Tsp. Baking Powder

1/2 Cup. Melted Butter

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place peeled and sliced apples in a 9×13 baking dish. In a measuring cup add brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, flour, lemon juice, and flour, and then stir. Then add hot water and mix until smooth. Pour brown sugar mixture over the apples and mix it up. In a separate bowl add flour, oats, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and stir. Drizzle the melted butter over the mixture slowly stirring as you do so. The mixture should look like course crumbs or just small clumps of yumminess. Sprinkle the flour mixture over the apples and put it in hot oven for 35-40 minutes. Remove when topping is golden brown and apples are soft.

Eat it while it’s still warm and it is FANTASTIC (especially with ice-cream). The next day it is still great too, the flavours have had time to really combine and intensify.

What do you think of this recipe?

Healthy Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

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Since I started this blog, I had several people ask me for healthy baking ideas. Why? I have no clue—a balanced diet or something. Originally I was not excited to pursue this, I would rather be baking sinful, melt-in-your-mouth brownies. But I decided to look into treats that wouldn’t show up on your bathroom scale. I began on pinterest and quickly found TheSkinnyFork.com, a blog with these wonderful cookies. I altered the recipe a bit, but not much; the credit really should go to Amanda Plott, for creating these magical morsels. They are lactose free, oil free, egg free, gluten free and DELICIOUS! I was concerned that you would taste the applesauce, but you definitely can’t. This is probably my new favourite recipe.

 Ingredients:

2 Ripe Bananas, Mashed

1/3 cup Reduced Fat Nut Butter (Almond, Cashew, or Peanut Butter)

2/3 cup Unsweetened Applesauce

1 tbsp. Honey

1 tsp. Vanilla

1/2 tsp. Salt

1/2 tsp. Cinnamon

Dash of Ground Cloves

Dash of Ground Nutmeg

1 1/2 cup Quick or Old Fashioned Oats (Can use gluten free oats)

1/4 cup Unsalted Cashews, Peanuts, Pecans, or Walnuts

1/3 cup Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips

1/4 cup Reduced Fat Unsweetened Shredded Coconut

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Mix together the bananas, nut butter, applesauce, honey, vanilla, and spices.  Add in the oats, nuts, chocolate chips, and coconut; stir until well combined.

Scoop rounded 2 tbsp. of the cookie dough onto baking sheet, leaving an inch or two between each and flatten slightly. Place a few more chocolate chips on top of each cookie. Bake for 20-30 minutes and allow to cool. Store in air-tight container.

Approximate Nutritional Values
Servings: 18 • Size: 1 Cookie • Calories: 99.3 • Fat: 5.1 g • Carb: 12.3 g • Fiber: 1.6 g • Protein: 2.9 g • Sugar: 4.4 g • Sodium: 91.1 mg

Gluten Free Chocolate Marbled Banana Bread

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Yesterday I spent my morning watching team Canada play hockey in Sochi and baking gluten free banana bread.

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Apart for almost cooking my computer on the stove, it all went well. The bread turned out great and WE WON! Go Canada! I was going to make this blog post all about hockey, but then I realized I know  nothing… definitely not worth your time. What I do know a lot about is baking. Here is my Gluten Free Chocolate Marbled Banana Bread adapted from mysanfanciscokitchen.com:

Ingredients
  • 3/4 cup brown rice flour
  • 3/4 cup white rice flour
  • 1/2 cup tapioca starch
  • 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¼ cup butter, softened
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 2 eggs
  • ⅓ cup plain low-fat yogurt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ½ cup semisweet chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. In a mixing bowl, whisk the flours, starch, xanthan gum, baking soda, salt and cinnamon together.
  3. Add sugar and butter to a large bowl and beat with a mixer at medium speed until blended and fluffy.
  4. Add banana, eggs, vanilla and yogurt; beat until blended.
  5. Add flour mixture and beat at low speed until just blended.
  6. Melt chocolate chips in a microwave or in a double boiler, stirring until smooth.
  7. Add 1 cup batter to chocolate, stirring until well combined.
  8. Spoon chocolate batter alternately with plain batter into a greased 8½ x 4½-inch loaf pan.
  9. Swirl batters together using a knife.
  10. Bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in centre comes out clean.

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Swirled batter before baking

I loved this banana bread, chocolatey, sweet, and a great texture. Also, it uses some yogurt instead of butter (for more tips like this check out this post). Delicious! Let me know if this is the type of recipes you want. Do you need a recipe for anything?

Best Ever Gluten Free Chocolate Macaroon Recipe

I was surprised last week when I went to four coffee shops and they all served gluten free coconut macaroons. Why? Do celiacs just adore them? I don’t get it! Despite my lack of understanding, I figured there must be a reason so I am going to share with you the BEST chocolate macaroon recipe. This is easy to change to gluten free, just buy oats that aren’t contaminated. I bought Highwood Crossing Organic Rolled Oat Flakes and they worked perfectly. Most people who eat gluten free avoid oats, because they are easily contaminated; but if the package says manufactured in an “oat only facility,” they should be fine. For more on gluten free oats, go to Gluten Free Traveller’s Blog 

Chocolate Macaroon Recipe

Ingredients:

6 tablespoons Cocoa
½ cup Butter
½ cup Milk
1 ½ cups White Sugar
½ teaspoon Vanilla
2 cups Gluten Free Rolled Oats
2 cup Shredded Coconut

Directions:

Boil first four ingredients for 3-4 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and add vanilla. Add in oatmeal and coconut and mix well. Drop by teaspoons onto wax or parchment paper and put in the refrigerator to cool. Lift off paper and store in an airtight container for up to one week, or in the freezer for up to one month.

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Cookie Comparison

A few days ago I became aware of a lack of gluten-free snacks available at coffee shops.  I decided to see what snacks are available and then compare them. I went to four different cafes: Good Earth, Starbucks, Tim Horton’s, and Second Cup, and I found macaroons, TONS of gluten-free coconut macaroons. (I’m curious why these establishments think celiac people love this mediocre cookie.) Next my little sister, my celiac mom, and I tried a bit of each of the cookies I purchased and wrote down what we found.

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Findings

Place

Good Earth

Starbucks

Tim Horton’s

Second Cup

Snacks

Coconut Macaroons and Chocolate Macaroons.

NOTHING!

The barista said they are working on it.

Coconut Macaroons.

Several options, including Coconut Macaroons.

Taste

They both tasted awfully sweet and the almond extract made them taste like chemicals, or maybe that was the chemicals. They were gritty, dry, and crumbly. The chocolate one was ever so slightly better than the other.

This had a distinctly absent taste, rather like air or water.

Unfortunately this cookie was the worst. It was hard, artificial, and extremely sweet. It also had a disgusting aftertaste. 

This one held together, had a better texture, was more moist, and the chocolate on the bottom improved the flavor. It also wasn’t overly sweet.

Healthy?

No nutritional information available.

Zero Calories!

This cookie had twenty-three ingredients. Twenty-three! Most of which I cannot pronounce. It had 250 calories and 14 grams of fat.

This cookie only had 13 ingredients, but was 440 calories and 28 grams of fat. Definitely not healthy.

            Honestly I do not recommend any of the options that I tried today. Julia spat out the Good Earth cookie and my mom spat out the Tim Horton’s one. After eating a small bite of four cookies, I felt sick. It was so much sugar. Once she finished eating some of each cookie, Julia said, “I think food tasting is not going to be my career.” The situation made my seven-year-old sister not want to eat for a living. To say the least, I was disappointed with the options available. Today I am grateful to be able to eat wheat and gluten. I hope companies will realize the need for more allergy friendly alternatives and supply GOOD options. 

Carrot Cake Anyone?

I’m thrilled to start blogging. I figured I would start with one of my favourite recipes that I have been making for years, carrot cake. I originally got the recipe from the cookbook, Clueless in the Kitchen, by Evelyn Raab; however, I adapted it to be gluten free. My seven-year-old sister helped me make the cake. Although I think I could have frosted the cake better, it turned out well. And it tasted great. My brother-in-law told me he couldn’t even tell it is was gluten free.

I hope you enjoy it!

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All the ingredients (except xanthan gum).

Gluten Free Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Icing

1 cup White Rice Flour

¾ cup Brown Rice Flour

¼ cup Tapioca Starch

½ tsp Xanthan Gum

2 tsp Baking Powder

1½ tsp Baking Soda

2 tsp Cinnamon

2 cups Sugar

1 cup Vegetable Oil

4 Eggs

2 cups Grated Carrots

1 cup Canned Crushed Pineapple, Drained

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We got a little messy with the carrots. 

Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease two 8-inch cake pans. In a medium bowl, stir together brown rice flour, white rice flour, tapioca starch, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon. In a large bowl, combine sugar, oil, and eggs, beating until smooth. Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture and stir. Blend the crushed pineapples in food processor or blender. Then add the carrots and crushed pineapple to batter. Mix well. Pour half the prepared batter into each pan. Bake for 35 minutes, or until a toothpick in the middle comes out clean.

Remove cake from the pan and let it cool thoroughly.

If you were curious, xanthan gum works in place of the gluten, making the cake stick together better. It is available at most grocery stores in the Gluten Free section. 

 

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Icing

1/2 cup Softened Unsalted Butter

1 cup Softened Cream Cheese

3 cups Icing Sugar

2 tsp Vanilla Extract 

2 tsp Cinnamon

 

In a medium bowl, beat together all ingredients until fluffy and smooth. An electric mixer is really useful here. If the consistency is too runny, add more icing sugar. It should be thick and stick to your spoon.

Frost the cake once it is entirely cool.

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Finished product.

Note: If you want to make this cake with regular wheat flour, you can. Just omit the first four ingredients (flours, starch, and gum) and use two cups of all purpose flour. 

Let me know what you think in the comments!