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Favorite Gluten Free Christmas Cookies – with Paleo Option

Favorite Gluten Free Christmas Cookies – with Paleo Option

A shortbread cookie classic, perfect for holiday time. These are adorned with sugar sprinkles, but if you find those objectionable, use any preferred frosting or icing, raisins, grated dark chocolate, or cinnamon. For a sugar free frosting, click here.

Favorite Gluten Free Christmas Cookies - with Paleo Option
Print Recipe
Easy and less sugary than most cookies. Coconut sugar is used here, but brown sugar is excellent too, if your family can tolerate it. Makes a couple dozen cookies, more or less depending on how thick you like them. See notes below for organic and dye free sprinkle ideas. For a Paleo version, see substitutions below.
Servings Prep Time
24-36 cookies 40 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
9-15 minutes 9-15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
24-36 cookies 40 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
9-15 minutes 9-15 minutes
Favorite Gluten Free Christmas Cookies - with Paleo Option
Print Recipe
Easy and less sugary than most cookies. Coconut sugar is used here, but brown sugar is excellent too, if your family can tolerate it. Makes a couple dozen cookies, more or less depending on how thick you like them. See notes below for organic and dye free sprinkle ideas. For a Paleo version, see substitutions below.
Servings Prep Time
24-36 cookies 40 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
9-15 minutes 9-15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
24-36 cookies 40 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
9-15 minutes 9-15 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: cookies
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease two cookie sheets with coconut oil, and line with parchment paper.
  2. Place butter or ghee (at room temperature, not melted) in a stand mixer and cream until white. This may take a few minutes. Meanwhile, blend the flours, xanthan gum, and salt in a separate bowl and set aside.
  3. When butter is soft and white, add sugar, and continue beating til fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add vanilla, and stir in the dry ingredients. Keep mixing til you have a soft cookie dough.
  4. Lightly dust a counter top with GF (white rice flour will work better than brown rice) or Paleo flour (tapioca or manioc will work better than almond flour). Roll the dough out into a round that is 1/3 to 1/2 inch thick. If you like a golden glaze finish, brush with egg yolk and coconut milk (or heavy cream). Use cookie cutter rounds or holiday shaped cutters to cut cookies, and place on baking sheet. Dust with your choice of sprinkles, grated chocolate, or cinnamon.
  5. Roll leftover pieces out again, and repeat the process of cutting cookies, placing on sheet, and sprinkling with whatever you like. After cookies are on sheets, you can set raisins in each cookie if preferred.
  6. Bake for 9-18 minutes, depending on thickness. Don't over bake. Edges will be light golden brown. Transfer to cooling rack. Once cooled, you may frost the cookies if you like.
Recipe Notes

Sprinkles are available dye free, organic, or plain old artificial everything - use what works in your house. If kids can tolerate these, an occasional exposure is something to let them enjoy and celebrate with friends and family!

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Honey Brownie Cake

Honey Brownie Cake

Can’t eat cane sugar, coconut sugar, or any granulated sugar? Or gluten? Or dairy? Need a chocolate cake? Try this recipe, sweetened with honey and applesauce. The result is a moist, dense, chocolatey intersection between brownies and cake.

Honey Brownie Cake
Print Recipe
Cake? Brownies? You decide.
Servings Prep Time
9-12 servings 20 minutes
Cook Time
35 minutes
Servings Prep Time
9-12 servings 20 minutes
Cook Time
35 minutes
Honey Brownie Cake
Print Recipe
Cake? Brownies? You decide.
Servings Prep Time
9-12 servings 20 minutes
Cook Time
35 minutes
Servings Prep Time
9-12 servings 20 minutes
Cook Time
35 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9 x 9" baking pan on bottom and sides with coconut oil, and dust lightly with cocoa powder.
  2. In a small bowl, blend flour and xanthan gum and set aside.
  3. In a mixer, beat 2 eggs, honey, and salt until thick and uniform.
  4. Add coconut oil (preferably soft but not liquid), vanilla, applesauce, and stevia to the honey mixture and blend well.
  5. Add cocoa powder and stir until evenly blended, then stir in GF flour blend.
  6. Separate whites from 3 eggs. Blend the whites to soft peaks in a separate bowl. You don't need the yolks for this recipe. Store them in refrigerator for another purpose, and use with 48 hours.
  7. Fold egg whites gently into the rest of the batter until evenly mixed; stir as little as possible to blend these in.
  8. Bake at 350 x 35 minutes or until knife in center comes out clean. Serve warm with coconut whipped cream, fresh raspberries, or cherry-raspberry sauce. No frosting needed!
Recipe Notes

This recipe emphasizes the flavor of dark cocoa over the sweet. Adjust it to your taste by increasing stevia; for a sweeter version, try 1/4 teaspoon of SweetLeaf Organic Stevia Powder if you prefer. For serving with coconut whipped cream, try this recipe - though I like it with much less stevia (5 drops instead of 25 drops). This Cherry-Raspberry sauce is also delightful with Honey Brownie Cake. For a Paleo-friendly version of this recipe, substitute 1/2 cup coconut flour and 1/2 cup almond flour for the GF flour blend.

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Banana Bread, Gluten Free with Coconut Sugar

Banana Bread, Gluten Free with Coconut Sugar

I’ve been getting requests lately for a not-so-sugary treat that kids can pack to school. This banana bread recipe, adapted from Rebecca Reilly’s book Gluten Free Baking, fills the bill.

If you know this book, you know it is definitely not Paleo, and that it’s full of delicious recipes from sweet (like, molten chocolate cakes that are grain free) to savory (salmon quiche) – all gluten free.

I love this book. My copy is very well worn! When my son was little, there were precious few gluten free products on store shelves, and they pretty much all tasted really, really terrible. This book helped me bake anything for any occasion. He was no longer left out of holidays, birthdays, or gatherings because of gluten intolerance. But, sugar is still not his friend, and this is true for virtually all the kids in my pediatric nutrition practice. Still, kids need to be kids and enjoy treats that work for them once in a while. This recipe works well with coconut sugar instead of cane sugar. Using very ripe bananas enhances both digestibility and sweetness, so save those black and bruised bananas for this – don’t use firm bananas here.

For the flour, you can either mix your own “Bette Hagman Blend” with brown rice flour, tapioca starch, and potato starch, or purchase a pre-blended gluten free flour like Authentic Foods  GF Classical Blend. Note: Don’t use GF baking mixes, as these add xanthan gum, baking soda, salt or other ingredients not needed here. As always, use organic ingredients as much as possible.

Don’t like grains? There are grain free versions out there –  I haven’t sampled this recipe, but if you’re looking for a Paleo-ish version of banana bread, it may be worth a try. It will not rise as much and may be more grainy in texture. Neither recipe is necessarily better in terms of nutrition; what is better is what your kid tolerates well and likes to eat! Many kids do fine on gluten free grains – as long as these aren’t 24/7 calorie sources in your kid’s diet. Both versions offer healthy supportive food in a not-too-sweet treat. For kids with tree nut allergies, skip the grain free version (which relies on almond flour) and go with this recipe below.


Banana Bread, Gluten Free with Coconut Sugar
Print Recipe
Moist, just sweet enough, and it will disappear fast. If you like, reduce the sugar to 3/4 cup and add 2 drops of stevia to the batter.
Servings Prep Time
1 9 x 5 inch loaf 20 minutes
Cook Time
1 hour
Servings Prep Time
1 9 x 5 inch loaf 20 minutes
Cook Time
1 hour
Banana Bread, Gluten Free with Coconut Sugar
Print Recipe
Moist, just sweet enough, and it will disappear fast. If you like, reduce the sugar to 3/4 cup and add 2 drops of stevia to the batter.
Servings Prep Time
1 9 x 5 inch loaf 20 minutes
Cook Time
1 hour
Servings Prep Time
1 9 x 5 inch loaf 20 minutes
Cook Time
1 hour
Ingredients
Servings: 9 x 5 inch loaf
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan with coconut oil or butter and dust with rice flour. You can also line with parchment if you like instead. Both work well. Parchment lets you lift the loaf neatly out of the pan after baking.
  2. If you have a stand mixer such as a KitchenAid, place the butter in it and cream til pale or white. While the mixer is running, in a separate bowl, blend the GF flours, baking soda, xanthan gum, and salt.
  3. When the butter is pale or white, add the sugar. Beat til fluffy and smooth, about two more minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, and blend thoroughly. Stir in the mashed bananas and mix well.
  4. Add the dry ingredients and stir until just blended, then fold in nuts or chocolate chips. Spoon batter into loaf pan. Bake for 40 minutes and test for doneness, add more time if needed.
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Grain Free Carrot Waffles

Grain Free Carrot Waffles

Kids love starchy starts in the morning like cereal, pancakes, muffins, toast… and waffles. The trouble is these can spike blood sugar early, then drop it in an hour or two, leaving kids droopy, crabby, and inattentive at school. Make this type of breakfast worth it – less empty starch, more brain-powering protein, fats, vitamins and minerals. Stir up a batch of these and freeze ahead. On school mornings, give them a light toasting for a fast and nourishing option. Credit to Boulder Bike Life Magazine for publishing the inspiration version of this recipe in their Spring 2016 issue.

If juicing the carrots is out of the question, buy fresh carrot juice, leave out the carrot pulp, and increase the hemp hearts by adding an extra tablespoon. You’ll still get a boost of healthy sweet and beautiful carotenoids! Check out this primer on carrot pulp here. For nut flours, you can buy these already ground (pricey), or grind them in an instant to fine powder from fresh whole raw organic nuts yourself. Use a coffee grinder or an immersion blender with the cup attachment (pictured below). For the fat in this recipe, I prefer ghee for its rich and lightly sweet taste. Ghee is well tolerated by most dairy sensitive children in my practice, but see other options below.

Grain Free Carrot Waffles
Print Recipe
Deliciously sweet thanks to the carrot, easy to prepare in about 20 minutes plus juicing time, or prepare ahead and freeze for fast breakfast on school mornings.
Servings Prep Time
4 large waffles 10 minutes juicing
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 large waffles 10 minutes juicing
Cook Time
20 minutes
Grain Free Carrot Waffles
Print Recipe
Deliciously sweet thanks to the carrot, easy to prepare in about 20 minutes plus juicing time, or prepare ahead and freeze for fast breakfast on school mornings.
Servings Prep Time
4 large waffles 10 minutes juicing
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 large waffles 10 minutes juicing
Cook Time
20 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: large waffles
Instructions
  1. Plug in your waffle iron and oil it, so that it is at ready temperature when your batter is mixed.
  2. If grinding flours yourself, combine almonds with coconut flour, hemp hearts, and/or hazelnuts. Grind to a fine powder. You can use a coffee grinder or an immersion blender with its cup attachment like the one shown here. If you're using nut flours already ground, blend them thoroughly together in a medium bowl. Either way, combine nut flours and hemp hearts. Add remaining dry ingredients, and mix together.
  3. In a separate small bowl, whip the separated egg whites to soft peaks. Set aside.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine carrot juice, egg yolks, and melted ghee.
  5. Add the wet ingredients to the dry mixture and mix until flour is thoroughly incorporated. Add carrot pulp - the batter will be a little lumpy. Your carrot pulp will look like this:
  6. Fold the egg whites gently into the batter.
  7. Spoon batter into each waffle form to nearly but not completely fill it - batter will expand when pressed. Cook til steam stops escaping from the waffle iron and edges feel crisp to touch. If you have extra batter, repeat and make smaller waffles - don't over fill the waffle iron as the batter will spill and be wasted.
  8. Makes 4 large waffles. Serve immediately from waffle iron with favorite toppings - or slice on some banana, drizzle with sesame tahini, cinnamon, and a dash of maple syrup. Or, let cool then store in freezer for later use.
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