Gluten-Free White Chocolate Chip Cookies- The Perfect Holiday Treat

I really don’t make cookies often. That’s because if I make them, I end up eating all of them way too quickly. However, this holiday season I decided to treat myself.

One of the things that I have learned along my health journey is that the act of indulging in treats can be either really rewarding or very guilt-provoking. It really depends on what the remainder of your diet looks like. I have figured out my own balance of eating healthy 80-90% of the time and allowing myself a treat  10-20% of the time. Now, when I eat a treat, I am able to enjoy every bite, without feeling guilty about it.

Another aspect that helps reduce the “guilt factor” is the selection of ingredients I choose to bake with. By using natural ingredients, we I am choosing to avoid the conventional ingredients that cause inflammation in the body. Conventional ingredients are stripped of 90% of the nutrients during the refining process, whereas natural ingredients still contain valuable vitamins, minerals and fiber content.

Here are the ingredients that I substituted in this recipe:

  • a blend of almond flour & coconut flour instead of white or whole wheat flour
  • coconut oil instead of vegetable oil
  • organic raw honey instead of white sugar

Gluten-Free White Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Ingredients

  • 2 cups blanched almond flour
  • 3 Tablespoons coconut flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup raw organic honey, melted
  • 1/2 cup organic coconut oil, melted
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 organic egg
  • 1/3 cup organic white chocolate chip cookies

Directions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 325F degrees.
  2. Combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl: almond flour, coconut flour, baking soda, cinnamon, sea salt. Mix well.
  3. In a separate bowl combine all wet ingredients together: honey, coconut oil, vanilla, egg. Mix well.
  4. Combine wet ingredients with dry ingredients. Mix until well incorporated.
  5. Fold in the chocolate chips until spread throughout the batter evenly.
  6. On a large parchment lined baking sheet, scoop out 1 Tablespoon of dough for each cookie. Leave room for cookies to spread. (You will need to use 2 baking sheets if you are using small baking sheets)
  7. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until bottom of cookies are cooked.
  8. Set out on a cooling rack for 15 minutes before serving.

Servings 24

If you are looking for more baking recipes that use natural ingredients, take a look at some of my favorite blogs:

www.elanaspantry.com

www.againstallgrains.com

www.civilizedcavemancooking.com

Homemade Pumpkin Bread (Gluten Free)

I am not much of a baker. Yet for some reason, this pumpkin bread recipe from the Comfy Belly blog, was calling my name yesterday (aka the first day of fall). It is such an easy recipe to make and the spices really won my tastebuds over.

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Oftentimes gluten-free bread has a chalky or crumbled texture. This recipe definitely breaks that stereo type. The pumpkin puree keeps the texture nice and fluffy.

Ingredients
1/2 cup pumpkin puree (canned)
1/2 cup honey or maple syrup
2 eggs
2 cups almond flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp  each:
sea salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, ginger
1/2 cup walnuts

Directions
1. Pre-heat oven to 350 F degrees
2. Combine the wet ingredients in a bowl, whisk.
3. Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl.
4. Combine wet and dry ingredients. Mix well (no clumps)
5. Fold in walnuts
6. Using organic butter or melted coconut oil , grease a bread pan. Pour mixture into bread pan and bake for 40 minutes (or until outside is brown.) When it’s done, a toothpick inserted in the middle will come out clean.

If you live in San Diego and are looking for some healthy holiday recipes, join me for my Healthy Holiday Cooking Series. These classes are a great way to learn how to cook with healthier ingredients. We will discuss the benefits of using natural sweeteners and flours and how to improve your nutrition during this holiday season.

Holiday Carob Mint Truffles

Holiday Carob Mint Truffles
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If you are looking for a crowd pleaser this year for the holidays, go no further! This is the ultimate holiday dessert. They are unbelievably simple to make and the flavor will take over your guest’s tastebuds. The best part about this dessert is that it is actually good for you! In moderation that is.. This dessert is different to most desserts in that it is anti-inflammatory. There are a lot of nutrients packed into these little bites of goodness.
Fun fact: Sunflower seeds have the highest protein content of all seeds.
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 8 medjool dates, pitted (try with 6, see if you need to add more)
  • 3 Tablespoons coconut butter
  • 2 teaspoons spirulina powder**
  • 3 Tablespoons + 1 teaspoon carob powder
  • 1 Tablespoon water + 1 teaspoon if necessary
  • 2 drops peppermint extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup dried coconut flakes

Recipe adapted from Bauman College

**Spirulina can be found in the vitamin section at your local health food store. It is a blue/green algae that is packed with vitamins and minerals. Be sure to use this ingredient as it is both health supportive and it provides for the deep/rich/dark color

 Directions
  1. Add sunflower seeds to food processor and pulse until finely ground. Add medjool dates and pulse again until well incorporated
  2. Add coconut butter, spirulina, and carob powder until combined. Add the water a little at a time to get the desired consistency. To test, try rolling some of the mixture in a ball. It should stick together when pressed but should not be wet.
  3. Add the peppermint extract and salt. Start with 1 drop peppermint and increase if necessary.
  4. Pinch off a little of the mixture and roll into a ball about the size of a quarter. Roll in the dried coconut and set on a platter.
Best part is that the coconut looks like SNOW!

Natural Sweeteners

Do you have a sweet tooth? Do you find it hard to stay away from sugar? Well, you are not alone. As humans, we are naturally inclined to be attracted to sweet flavors. The problem is that we are consuming low-quality, highly-processed sweeteners rather than quality whole ingredients that provide nutritional benefits.

Sugar is hidden in many different packaged-food products using different alias names such as:

Sucrose, Glucose, Fructose, Sorbitol, Mannitol, Corn Syrup, High fructose corn syrup, Saccharin, Aspartame, Sucraloe, Aceulfame potassium, Neotame

Agave is another controversial sweetener that is made out to seem like it is healthy. When an ingredient is overly controversial, I choose to use an alternative ingredient.

It is not necessary to deprive yourself from sweets and desserts all together. If you do so, you are setting yourself up for stong-cravings and failure. The point is to choose high-quality sweeteners as opposed to poor quality products. You are SO much more worth it than to slump down to low-quality sweeteners. One parallel example that I have heard is “choosing low quality standard sweeteners is like lowering your standards for your intimate relationships. It may be easy and feel good at the time but later on you are bound to regret it.” 

Rather than buying food products that have harmful sweeteners in them, you can buy the unsweetened version and add your own natural sweetener.

Natural sweeteners

  • Coconut Palm Sugar
  • Raw Honey
  • Maple Syrup (grade B)
  • Blackstrap Molasses
  • Fresh or Dried Dates
  • Fresh or Dried Figs
  • Berries and other fresh fruits

Set your standards high. Start living with more energy and less mood swings.