Category: Refined Sugar 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 Berenji – Persian Rice Cookies

Naan Berenji - Persian Rice Cookies
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Naan Berenji - Persian Rice Cookies

During my recent trip to Iran I visited a small town called Qamsar which is famous for making rose-water and I was fortunate enough to see them making it in front of me. The rose petals are picked in the early morning and then boiled in a large vat. The steam condensates and is then collected and cooled and the resulting rose infused water is then bottled. I brought some back with me and wasn’t sure what to do with it until, while researching traditional Persian recipes, I found a recipe for Rice Cookies which are gluten-free as well as contain rose-water.

Qamsar Roses

Qamsar Rosewater Still

 

(I have found rose-water available on Amazon here)

 

The original recipe calls for white rice flour and confectioner’s sugar. I have replaced these with red rice flour and coconut palm sugar but you could also use brown rice flour. I find palm sugar to be quite sweet so after experimenting found a ratio that is not too sweet and consequently the sugar content is much lower than the original recipe.

Red rice flour has many advantages over white rice flour. The process of milling the rice grain to make white rice removes the bran and germ thereby removing all the good stuff.
The rice germ contains B vitamins, calcium, zinc and iron, manganese, selenium, magnesium and other nutrients. We need calcium and magnesium to maintain healthy bones and teeth and to reduce the risks of osteoporosis and arthritis. Magnesium is also useful in lowering blood pressure. Because red rice is higher in fibre the rate at which it is converted into blood sugar is slower so you don’t get the insulin spike associated with white rice.
The thing that makes red rice stand out though is that it contains an anti-oxidant called anthocyanin. This is what gives it it’s colour. This anti-oxidant is believed to be anti-inflammatory and in lab tests have been shown to inhibit tumours.

Poppy Seeds are used as a garnish for the cookie and they come in two colors, black and white. The traditional rice cookie with it’s use of white rice results in a white cookie, and black poppy seeds are sprinkled on top. However using red rice flour and palm sugar the resulting cookie is brown and therefore as a contrast I used white poppy seeds, but the choice is up to you.

Poppy seeds contain minerals like calcium, potassium, magnesium and iron and are rich in dietary fibre and essential fatty acids (EFA). They are a good source of the EFA, Oleic Acid which helps lower the “bad” cholesterol LDL and increases the levels of the “good” cholesterol HDL.
The seeds are also an excellent source of the B-complex vitamins.

So here is my version of Naan Berenji – Persian Rice Cookies, gluten-free, dairy free and refined sugar-free.

Ingredients

2 cups Red or Brown Rice Flour

1 cup Coconut Palm Sugar (blend into a fine powder in the food processor)

1 cup Virgin Coconut Oil

½ cup rose water

2 eggs

Poppy Seeds

 

Method

Separate the eggs and keep the whites to one side. In a bowl mix the egg yolks, palm sugar and coconut oil. Mix well.

Add the red rice flour and rose-water and mix well

In a separate bowl beat the egg whites then fold into the rice flour mixture.

Wrap the dough in cling film and rest overnight in the fridge. This will prevent the cookies spreading into each other when cooking and to ensure a more even consistency of the dough. It will also make the dough easier to work with when it is chilled.

The next day preheat the oven to 150 C.

Take teaspoonfuls of the mixture and roll into balls and place them on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Using a fork press them flat, at the same time making criss/cross indentations in the top of each ball. Sprinkle poppy seeds on top and bake in the oven for 20 mins.

Allow to cool before serving.

Enjoy!

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

 

 

  www.usrg.com

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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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Chocolate Chilli Ice Cream – Dairy free

Chocolate Chilli Ice cream - Dairy free
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Chocolate Chilli Ice cream - Dairy free

 

Chocolate Chilli Ice Cream – Dairy free, Gluten free, refined sugar-free

I’m not a big ice cream eater usually but given that it was 39 degrees C outside today I wanted to make something to cool me down. I adapted this from a Thai recipe. Now the Thais love their chillies and I must confess I too like a bit of spice in my food. Chilli and chocolate are always a great combination and fill you with serotonin to make you feel great and capsaicin to boost your endorphins.

Eating this ice cream gives a wonderful sensation from  the coolness of the ice cream and then pow! you get hit by the zing from the green chilli!

Very easy to make and providing you have the frozen bananas ready, you can make it in a matter of minutes.

You can make it vegan by using maple syrup or date syrup instead of honey.

Ingredients 

2 large ripe bananas chopped and frozen

1 small green chilli

2 tbsp raw cacao powder

2 tsp raw honey

 

Combine all ingredients in the mixer and blend to a smooth consistency. Either eat immediately as a soft serve ice cream or put back in the freezer to harden up.

Do you want to see more RAW Dessert recipes like this? Take a look at my Raw Desserts book 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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