Strawberry Cookies GF, DF, Low Carb

strawberry.cookiesI had a bunch of organic strawberries last weekend, and I didn’t want them to go bad, so I made this recipe based on a paleo recipe I saw.  You can also substitute blueberries, blackberries or raspberries.  And, because of their nutritional value, they make a great breakfast! This makes 36 small cookies.  You can freeze them too.

The one thing our family has learned is once you stop eating processed food, most of it taastes too sweet once you try it again.  So, these cookies have only ½ cup of raw honey for 36 cookies.  I like using natural sweetners vs. others, but you may want your carbs even lower.  There are websites you can look up substituting Stevia for the honey, I just haven’t done it.  Each cookie has about 5-6 carbs and they are full of protein from the almonds, and net carbs are probably lower due to the fiber.

preheat oven to 375°F (190°C)

Ingredients

3 cups blanched almond flour (Honeyville is my fav)
½ cup raw honey
1 tsp sea salt
¾ tsp cinnamon
2 eggs
1 Tbs. chia seeds
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp vanilla extract
½ cup raw almond or cashew butter at room temp or slightly warmed
¼ cup unsweetened coconut milk (or almond milk or hemp milk)
1 cup berries, I quartered the strawberries, which were tiny to begin with

parchment paper or baking sheet or grease cookie sheet with coconut oil

Directions

In mixer, “cream” the honey, eggs, salt, cinnamon, soda, vanilla and chia seeds.  Add the milk.  With the mixer running on low, slowly add the first cup of almond flour.  Then, add the almond or cashew butter. Mix well.  Continue with the last two cups of almond flour slowly.  When the batter is ready, stir in the strawberries carefully.

Scoop small tablespoons onto a prepped cookie sheet.  They cook more evenly if you flatten the tops a bit.  Bake for 12-14 minutes, they will brown nicely.  Cool on rack.  I don’t put these in a covered tin, they get kind of “wet”, so we leave them on a plate and lightly cover them with a clean cloth.  For some reason, they disappear! 😉

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Raw Dark Chocolate Brownie Bites

I’m always looking for snacks that are low sugar and have some protein, but taste good!  I made these today, and they are good!  So, throw this all in your food processor with the metal blade, and violà!  You have a snack that will give you some holding power.

Why does it have holding power?  It has three crucial ingredients:  fiber from dates, fat and protein from nuts.  Some things are this simple!

Raw Dark Chocolate “Brownie Bites”

Ingredients for ~ 12 balls:

You can use any good quality cocoa, dutch, dark, etc.

You can use any good quality cocoa, dutch, dark, etc.

1 ½ Cups Raw Walnut Halves
1 tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract
¼ Cup Dark Chocolate Cocoa Powder
10 Medjool Dates, pitted

The ingredients are partially processed here. You want the nuts finely ground, so pulse some more if it looks like this.

The ingredients are partially processed here. You want the nuts finely ground, so pulse some more if it looks like this.


Here's how the finished "dough" should look.

Here’s how the finished “dough” should look.

Grind the above ingredients in a food processor. Continue processing until a dough-like texture is formed. Scoop out the mixture and roll into bite sized balls. Store in frig until ready to eat!  Yum.

 

Here are some finished Brownie Bites ready to eat!

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You can dust them with cocoa powder if you want them to look like truffles. I leave them plain.

Wheat Free Snickerdoodles

IMG_0192It’s raining here today, as it usually does on Memorial Day weekend.  I decided to play around with a recipe that I had for wheat free snickerdoodles, one of my husband’s favorite cookies.  Success!  Here it is.  (These are higher in protein and lower in carbs, but they still have some carbs due to the maple syrup — those of you who want no carbs, you may know how to replace the maple syrup with sugar alternatives, but I haven’t tried that yet.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper or Silpat liners.

Makes approx. 2 dozen small cookies.

Ingredients

1 teaspoon baking soda
½ cup arrowroot powder
½ teaspoon sea salt
1-2 teaspoons cinnamon
2½ cups ground blanched almond flour (it should be beige, blanched means no almond skin, I use Honeyville)
6 T shortening (I use Nutiva, a combination of palm, red palm and coconut, Spectrum is another brand)
½ cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons vanilla extract (I use Penzey’s double strength)

cinnamon sugar for garnish (optional)

I have made these with a mixer and by hand.  The mixer cookies turned out much better.

Instructions:

Mix dry ingredients baking soda, arrowroot, cinnamon and salt together.  Set aside almond flour.  Next, beat in maple syrup, shortening,  and vanilla, beating until combined.  Add the almond flour slowly, and beat until well mixed.

Using a teaspoon, shape into small balls, coat in cinnamon sugar if you like more cinnamon, (I didn’t add any extra, I like them less coated.)

Then press the circles with your finger(s) to flatten a bit.

Bake approx 7-9 minutes until lightly golden brown.  Cool before removing.

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Dairy Free Chocolate Mousse

avocadoWho didn’t eat instant or boxed Chocolate Pudding when they were young?  Now that I know what’s in it (read the label sometime…  ugh), I stay clear.  Besides, there are lots of reasons to not eat heavy cream and milk.  I do not eat dairy at all.  I would recommend, if you are trying to lose weight, that you avoid all dairy for the first two months.  Then, re-introduce it slowly ONLY if you can’t live without it.  I’ve found my body feels much better when I do not eat any.

Today I’m sharing with you one of my favorite “legal” desserts.  This is a healthy alternative to chocolate pudding/mousse.  The avocado, if soft and not over-ripe, has an almost neutral flavor, can be mashed and mixed with cocoa, and you can use Agave, or if you want it to be completely sugar free use Stevia!  I recommend using a food processor for this, it makes it much easier.  Experiment with it, and add a bit of water or almond or rice milk if it’s too thick.

Avocado Chocolate “Mousse”

Yields 4 servings

Ingredients

2 Avocados, soft but still slightly firm — no brown spots!  no bruises!
6 tablespoons cocoa powder – I use the best I can find
¼ cup maple syrup or honey (or Stevia or monkfruit to taste) (adjust to desired sweetness)
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ teaspoon lemon juice (optional)

choc.orgInstructions

Pulse in a food processor until creamy.

Decorate the dessert cup with raspberries, mint leaves, oranges, coconut or shaved dark chocolate.  Guilt free!

Nutrition Information:

Calories per serving approx. 250 – 300 (depending on avocado size and honey  vs. stevia or monkfruit, which have lesss calories).  Yes, this has FAT in it.  From the avocado.  GOOD FAT.  And it will keep you full longer.

If you’re trying to lose weight, have something like this once in a while.  I try to stick to the 90%/ 10% rule:  This is actually mostly on the 90% side, but has a bit more sugar than I normally eat.  A whole avocado has 4 g protein and 13 g of fiber, making it a great occassional treat.

Dad is great, he gave us chocolate cake!

Have you heard the infamous 1982 Bill Cosby bit where he let’s his small children have chocolate cake for breakfast? (Yes, I wrote this before Cosby was a bad word, but stay with me here…)  It went something like this:

“The child wanted chocolate cake for breakfast! How ridiculous! … And something in my brain thought about the ingredients: eggs! Eggs are in chocolate cake! And milk! Oh goody! And wheat! That’s nutrition! … And their father said, ‘Chocolate cake coming up!!’ … And five children sat at breakfast and the morning music was playing and they were eating chocolate cake and singing songs to me:  ‘Dad is great! He gave us chocolate cake!'”

IMG_0710-2Mrs. Cosby, upon arising, did not find this scenario remotely amusing.  And we know why.  The average chocolate cake is not the healthiest thing for anyone any age.  But, there are ways to tweak the recipe, and not only make it better, but make it healthier.  Now, this is NOT a recipe I condone for everyday eating.  I made this for Easter dinner.  It was a huge hit.  And I thank my friend Mariefrance for sending it to me!  This is a wheat-free cake.

I served this with Vanilla Rice Dream (as we don’t do dairy), and I ate it plain.  Warm out of the oven, this is similar to a freshly baked brownie!  People have no clue there is flour missing.

Remember, everything in moderation.  And you should enjoy these simple pleasures in life.  Life is NOT about total denial, rather 90%/10%.  This is my 10% for this week!!!  That means you stay on task 90% of the time.

 Wheat Free Chocolate Tarte

• 1 cup lightly toasted walnuts
• 3 TB plus 1/2 cup sugar (I use raw or turbinado sugar, which has a lower glycemic load.)
• 5 eggs
• 2 TB dark rum
• 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, very finely chopped
• pinch of salt
Preheat oven to 350.  Butter and flour 8-inch springform pan; if your pan is not absolutely tight, wrap the outside in aluminum foil.  Finely grind walnuts with 3 TB sugar in food processor.  Add the chopped chocolate, and pulse a few times, so there are no large chunks of chocolate left.  Beat egg yolks with 1/2 cup sugar for a few minutes, until mixture looks like mayonnaise.  Beat in rum.  Stir in walnuts and chocolate.
Beat egg whites with salt until stiff but not dry; fold into chocolate mixture.  (I didn’t do this very well, and it still turned out, so don’t sweat it).
Bake about 35-40 minutes and cool in pan on rack.  Remove sides of pan.  Decorate with cocoa powder and/or chopped chocolate/walnuts.  Serve warm or room temp.