Category: Grain free

Gluten Free Anzac Biscuits

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Gluten Free Anzac Biscuits

For my non Australian and New Zealand readers I will need to explain what Anzac Biscuits are.
ANZAC is a term derived from the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps which fought during World War I at Gallipoli in Turkey.

Anzac Biscuits are often assumed to have been sent to the soldiers in care packages at the time. Whether that is true or not I don’t know but what is true is that the biscuit has become a popular part of Australian and New Zealand culture. It is traditionally made with rolled oats, flour and golden syrup (light treacle) and interestingly doesn’t contain eggs. Again, reasons for this range from egg shortages at the time to needing to use ingredients that wouldn’t spoil on a long ship journey. Whatever the reason, the biscuit is delicious and one I remember fondly from my childhood.

Fortunately it can be made gluten free, and by substituting the butter in the original recipe with coconut oil, can also be dairy free and vegan. The end result is a tastybiscuit that is both chewy and crunchy at the same time,and one you can snack on and not feel guilty.

So here they are, my gluten-free, dairy-free, refined sugar free, vegan, Anzac Biscuits.

Ingredients

1 cup almond meal
1 cup slivered almonds
1 cup organic desiccated coconut
1/4 cup honey or maple syrup
1/4 cup organic virgin coconut oil
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon water

Method

In a large mixing bowl combine almond meal, slivered almonds and desiccated coconut. (If you don’t have almond meal, simply put a cup of almonds in the spice grinder or food processor and grind into a powder).

In a small pot combine honey/maple syrup and oil and heat gently.

In a small bowl mix the baking soda and water together and then pour into the honey/maple syrup pot and mix until it starts to froth.

Once it froths pour into the dry nut ingredients and mix completely until combined. You might need to add a small amount of water to ensure the mixture sticks together.

Take spoonful’s at a time and roll into balls in your hands and then place on a baking paper lined oven tray. With a fork gently flatten the balls (not too much or they will break apart).

Place in a preheated oven for about 25-30 mins at 120 degrees C until golden brown.

Remove and allow to cool before removing from the tray. While hot they are still fragile but will harden up once cool.

Enjoy!

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Naan Gerdooee – Persian Walnut Cookies

Persian Walnut Cookies
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Persian Walnut CookiesI’ve made Walnut Cookies  before but after my recent trip to Iran I decided to try some Persian sweets and found this recipe for Naan Gerdooee, or Persian Walnut Cookies to give their English name. I have to say these are much tastier than my earlier recipe. They are crispy on the outside but nice and chewy in the center. Next time I may add some dark chocolate chips to the recipe as this I think will complement the walnut quite well.

Naan Gerdooee are usually made with powdered white sugar, I instead used organic Coconut Palm Sugar and ground it to a powder in the mixer.

Coconut Palm Sugar is made from the sap of the Coconut Palm flowers. Although it is not  an ingredient used in Iran I prefer to use it because it has a lower GI than white sugar and it is full of minerals and vitamins. It also contains a fibre called Inulin which helps slow the absorption of glucose keeping blood sugar levels down. Coconut Palm sugar is used in many Asian herbal medicines and is a great cure for acidity. Just dissolve a teaspoonful in warm water and drink it. It is high in calories though so don’t overindulge in it thinking that it is a health food and you can eat as much as you want to.

These Persian Walnut Cookies are of course gluten-free, and dairy-free.

Ingredients

6 egg yolks
1/3 cup powdered organic palm sugar
1 tsp vanilla powder
3 cupswalnuts
(Optional) 1/3 cup of dark chocolate chips, darker the better

Method

Put the walnuts in a food processor and chop into a coarse meal. Keep to one side.

In a bowl whisk the egg yolks with an egg beater until combined. Add half the palm sugar and mix. Add the remaining sugar and keep whisking for a few minutes until the consistency is creamy.

Add the vanilla powder and walnut meal (and chocolate chips if you are adding) and mix until you get a moist dough.

Using two teaspoons place dollops of the mixture on a baking paper lined oven tray and garnish each one with half a walnut.

Cook for 20 minutes at 150 C.

Remove and cool before serving.

Enjoy with a nice hot glass of Iranian black tea!

For more Cookie recipes like this take a look at my Cookies eBook on Amazon:

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Quinoa Superfood Cookies

Quinoa Superfood Cookie
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Quinoa Superfood Cookie

Quinoa Superfood Cookies

This recipe is packed full of nutrition and is another cookie you can eat a lot of without worrying about the effects on your health.

Quinoa is an ancient grain originating from Central and South America and has become very popular in recent times.

It is gluten-free, and packed full of vitamins and minerals, including the B vitamins, vitamin E, Iron, magnesium, phosphorous and potassium. It also has higher protein content than wheat flour. It contains plant anti-oxidants which are anti-inflammatory and anti-viral, and is high in fiber.

Goji Berries are another superfood which has become increasingly popular. Originating from China and Tibet, they are an excellent source of Vitamin C   and contain high levels of antioxidants. Apparently they have been used in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years as treatment for a number of ailments. In any event, adding more fruit to your diet, especially in the form of berries is always a good thing.

This recipe makes a delicious soft cookie and of course is gluten and dairy free.

Ingredients

1 cup almond flour

1 cup cooked Quinoa

2 eggs

¾ tsp baking soda

¾ tsp salt

1/3 cup almond butter

¼ cup virgin coconut oil

¼ cup honey

1 tsp vanilla essence

¾ cup goji berries

Method

In a food processor mix together the quinoa, almond flour, salt and baking soda until you get an even crumb. Pour into a large mixing bowl and stir in the goji berries.

In another bowl whisk together the honey, almond butter and oil. Once combined add in the eggs and mix well.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.

Using two spoons put dollops of the mixture onto a baking paper lined oven tray, making sure to leave enough space between them as they spread while baking.

Bake in a pre-heated oven at 150 degrees C for approx. 12-15 mins.

Remove and allow to cool before serving.

Enjoy!

To see more cookie recipes like this why not check out my new Cookies eBook on Amazon!

 

 

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Dairy Free Banana Kheer

Dairy Free Vegan Banana Kheer
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Dairy Free Vegan Banana Kheer

Banana Kheer

I had some bananas veering on the wrong side of ripe so rather than toss them in the compost I decided to make my version of a popular Indian dessert called Kheer.

Kheer is usually made with milk, ghee and lots of white sugar, none of which form part of my diet. So I made a dairy free, refined sugar-free, vegan version using coconut milk and coconut palm sugar.

It’s delicious, nutritious and very easy to make.

You can adjust the sweetness to your own preference. I always prefer desserts less sweet and the raisins in this lend their own sweetness to the dish. You could also use any other sweetener like honey or maple syrup.
Another option is to make the Kheer with cooked rice instead of the banana and make it into a rice pudding.

Ingredients

2 cups Coconut milk

1 ripe Banana chopped into small pieces

½ cup slivered almonds and cashews

¼ cup Raisins

½ tsp Cardamom powder

Pinch of cinnamon powder

1 tbsp palm sugar (adjust to taste)

Method

First lightly toast the almonds and cashews in an oven tray on a low heat and put to one side.

In a saucepan pour the coconut milk and add the banana pieces, raisins, cardamom powder, cinnamon, and palm sugar. (Start by adding half the palm sugar and add more if you require more sweetness)

Bring to a boil, stirring all the while, until the banana pieces are soft and almost falling apart.

Then add the toasted nuts and stir for another minute or so.

Pour into individual dessert bowls and either eat immediately as a hot dish or refrigerate and eat later cold

Enjoy!

 

  www.usrg.com

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Lea’s Mum’s Amaretti Cookies

Amaretti Cookies
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Amaretti Cookies

Lea’s Mum’s Amaretti Cookies

A few years ago my wife and I made a trip to Italy. Being lactose and gluten intolerant I was understandably nervous about eating in the land of pizza and pasta. However I was pleasantly surprised as Italy is well set up for people with these food allergies and I had plenty of delicious options to try.

While in Milan, Lea, a good friend of ours, invited us around for dinner and, along with her mother, had prepared a beautiful array of dishes which were gluten and dairy free.

One of my favorite items were the Amaretti cookies, which also became my go-to sweet snack while in Italy. I made sure I got the recipe from Lea’s Mum and was surprised at how easy they are to make.

These are gluten-free and dairy-free, and only have 4 ingredients. Very simple to make and delicious. Crispy on the outside and soft and chewy in the middle.

I have changed the recipe a little and substituted palm sugar for the refined white sugar that normally goes into these cookies.

Palm sugar has a lower GI and contains more micro nutrients than it’s refined cousin. However it is not as simple as substituting one for one and it took me about 3 attempts to get the cookie right, adjusting proportions and cooking temperatures. But apart from the sugar proportions and the cooking temperatures this recipe remains faithful to the original that I tasted on that lovely evening in Milan.

So here we go with thanks to Lea and her Mum:

Lea’s Mum’s Amaretti Cookies – Gluten free, dairy free, and now refined sugar free.

Ingredients

200 gms almond flour

100 gms palm sugar

2 egg whites

1 tsp almond essence

Method

In a mixing bowl add all the ingredients and mix until combined. The mixture will be moist and sticky but don’t worry.

Cover the mixture and place in the fridge for two hours. This will firm it up and make it easier to work with.

After two hours, roll a teapoonful of the mixture at a time into balls and place on a baking paper lined oven tray.

While cooking they will spread slightly into dome shapes.

Place in the oven at 175 degrees C (don’t preheat the oven) for approx. 10 mins.

Monitor them closely so that they don’t burn or brown too much.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool and harden. You can, while they are still soft, place a piece of candied fruit or an almond sliver in the middle of each.

Buon Appetito!

To see more cookie recipes like this why not check out my new Cookies eBook on Amazon!

 

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Coconut Macaroons

Coconut Macaroons
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Coconut Macaroons
Coconut Macaroons

I am a coconut-a-holic! Put coconut in anything and I love it. This is a very easy macaroon recipe with coconut as the main ingredient and is delicious.
Most recipes for Coconut Macaroons contain white sugar and often condensed milk as well. However it is just as easy to make without either and the version below is much healthier.

These Macaroons are gluten-free, dairy-free and refined sugar-free and can be mixed together by hand in a matter of minutes in a mixing bowl.

Ingredients

2 egg whites
¼ cup organic honey
¼ teaspoonsea salt
2 ½ cups desiccated coconut

In a mixing bowl, whisk together the egg whites and honey

Add the salt and then the desiccated coconut. Mix until it forms a dough. It shouldn’t be too dry, but should be moist and sticks together easily.

Chill in the fridge for about ½ hour. Don’t keep it for any longer as it will dry out and become too crumbly. If it does, you can just add in another egg white to make the mixture moist again.

Fill a 1 tbsp. scoop with batter and pack the batter in firmly.

Turn out each scoop onto a baking tray lined with baking paper.

Bake for 10 -12 minutes at 175 C until the macaroons turn a golden brown colour.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about an hour.

Enjoy!

To see more cookie recipes like this why not check out my new Cookies eBook on Amazon!

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Almond Biscotti

Biscotti
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Biscotti

Almond Biscotti

Most biscotti recipes you see are made with flour or at least a gluten-free flour mix. But actually they are very easy to make without either. This is a very simple recipe and the actual making of it doesn’t take long. If you are vegan you could substitute the honey for maple syrup.

There are any number of ways you can flavour these. I have included a couple of options below. You could also add chopped pecans instead of the toasted almonds.

Now if you are gluten-intolerant like me, you too can enjoy a lovely biscotti with your coffee. These are gluten-free, dairy-free, refined sugar-free and grain-free.

Ingredients

1 ¼ cups almond flour
1 tablespoon arrowroot powder
¼ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ cup organic honey
¼ cup chopped and toasted almonds

Flavouring of choice:
3 tsp Organic Coffee Powder or raw cacao
Or
1 tbsp. orange or lemon zest

In a food processor , combine almond flour, arrowroot powder, salt and baking soda.

Add in the honey and flavouring until the dough forms a ball. You might need to adjust the honey content if the dough is too dry and crumbly.

Remove dough from food processor and add in toasted almonds with your hands.

Make a log on a baking sheet lined with baking paper.

Bake at 175°c for 15 minutes, then remove and cool for about 1 hour.

Slice the log into 1 cm thickness slices with a sharp knife.

Spread slices on a baking sheet and bake at 150°c for 12-15 minutes. Remember to turn them over after about 6 minutes.

Remove from the oven, leave to cool and become crisp.

Enjoy!

To see more cookie recipes like this why not check out my new Cookies eBook on Amazon!

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Banana Pancakes

Gluten free Banana Pancakes
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Gluten free Banana Pancakes

Banana Pancakes

I don’t normally eat breakfast, preferring instead to start the day with a green smoothie, however on the odd days when I am feeling hungry, this is a quick and healthy breakfast option. But it doesn’t just have to be for breakfast. These Banana Pancakes can also be a between meal snack or even for dessert.
(Note: These are thicker than normal pancakes, more like what we called pikelets when I was growing up in New Zealand)

They are gluten free, grain free, dairy free and refined-sugar free.

Ingredients

3 ripe bananas (riper the better)
1 cup Almond flour (just put a cup of whole almonds in the mixer and process into a powder)
1tsp cinnamon
1 egg

Put all the ingredients in a food processor and process until combined to a smooth batter.

Heat a tbsp. of organic coconut oil in the frying pan and then put spoonful’s of the mixture into the pan, frying on both sides until golden brown. I tend to fry one side and then after flipping, press down on the pancake to make it a little flatter and thinner.

Serve with a drizzle of honey or maple syrup, or even with some whipped coconut cream.

Enjoy!

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Gluten Free Christmas Cake

Gluten Free Christmas Cake
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Gluten Free Christmas Cake

Gluten Free Christmas Cake

Who says you can’t eat healthy at Christmas time? I made this last year and it is such a delicious rich, moist, gluten-free Christmas Cake that people have a hard time believing that it is gluten-free, dairy free and refined sugar-free. Ok, not fully refined sugar-free as it does contain rum, but hey it is Christmas!

It’s a very simple recipe and can be made in two days (the dried fruit has to be prepared the day before).

Ingredients

600 gm assorted dried fruits (e.g. raisins, sultanas, apricots, cranberries, cherries)

2 cups rum

2 cups water

4 tbsp. organic honey

organic eggs

1 cup organic virgin coconut oil

2 cups organic almond meal

1 tbsp. organic cinnamon powder

1 tbsp. mixed spice

Whole nuts for decoration.

Method

Put the dried fruit (I chopped the apricots into small pieces), water and 1 cup of rum into a large pan.
On the lowest heat cook for about an hour, stirring occasionally so it doesn’t stick to the bottom. After one hour cover with a lid and leave overnight to cool and to soak up the liquid.

The next day add the honey, coconut oil, cinnamon and spices and heat gently till the coconut oil is melted and all combined.
Allow to cool and then add the beaten eggs and almond meal.
Line a large cake tin with baking paper. Pour in the cake mixture. Decorate the top with whole nuts.

Put a wet newspaper on to an oven proof tray put the cake tin on this and place in the oven on it’s lowest setting.
Cook for 2-3 hours till the top is firm. (My oven’s lowest temperature is 100 degrees C and the cake took 3 hours)
Remove from the oven and pour on the rest of the rum while the cake is still warm.
Leave the cakes to cool completely before removing from the container as it will be fragile while hot.
You can moisten with more rum as you see fit which my teetotaler wife proceeded to do over the next few days!
Enjoy with a large dollop of whipped Coconut Cream!

Have a great Christmas!

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Walnut Cookies

Walnut Cookies
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Walnut Cookies

 

I like recipes that are simple and can be made in minutes. Eating healthy shouldn’t be difficult or time consuming, and actually it isn’t. Ok it takes a little bit more time to whip up a batch of cookies (only 25 mins with this recipe!) than to buy a packet in the store but think of the benefits to your health. These walnut cookies are gluten and dairy free, refined sugar free, grain free and completely devoid of any preservatives, emulsifiers or any other additives. That’s worth 25 mins to me!

I made these with walnuts but you could substitute the walnuts for hazlenuts or brazil nuts.

Walnuts are a great source of Omega 3 fatty acids. Eating foods rich in Omega 3’s is important because the body cant manufacture them itself, we have to get them by eating them. Omega 3’s reduce inflammation and are said to be beneficial in the case of heart disease, cancer, and arthritis. Research has also linked consumption of Omega 3’s to improved brain function and to alleviating depression. Lots of good reasons to eat the humble walnut.

Walnut a good source of Omega 3's

The recipe also has the benefits of coconut oil and raw honey in place of sugar (read about the benefits of honey instead of sugar here)

Ingredients

1 ½ cups walnuts
1/2 cup almonds
¼ cup organic virgin coconut oil
1 tbsp raw honey
1 egg
Pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 175 degrees C

In a mixer powder the nuts into a crumbly flour.
Add the other ingredients and blend until smooth.

On a baking tray drop spoonfuls of the mixture and place a walnut piece in the centre of each.

Bake for 15 mins or until golden brown.

Enjoy!

To see more cookie recipes like this why not check out my new Cookies eBook on Amazon!

 

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