So. Funny thing. Cute funny thing. My bro is a brilliant digital designer (web and print), and he made my webpage for me. When he set it up, he threw in a little blurb that would appear after the site name whenever it comes up in a search engine. He insists that I wrote it and that I’m remembering wrong. But I recall discovering it weeks after he built the site, and laughing about it. Here’s what it says:
He thinks I have a soggy brain and am remembering it all wrong, but I’m convinced he wrote it. Maybe I’m nutty – that’s not being disputed. But anyway, the point is that this is a pretty cute little description, whoever wrote it. A friend googled me recently and found it, got excited for some good gluten-free cookies, looked around my site, and could find nothing to do with them. Wuh-oh! Something must be done!!
I thought I’d send her some recipes just for fun, but then decided that it would be even better to share them with everyone. Gluten-free cookies for all!
But before I give some recipes, I must tell you: you don’t need a special gluten-free recipe. Here’s what to do:
You can take any recipe you like and switch the flours to make it gluten-free. There’s a lot of gluten in wheat, the most commonly used grain, and this is partly why it is so commonly used: gluten is sticky and helps the food hold together. This is also one of the reasons it causes so many health problems: gluten is sticky, and it’s like glue in your intestines! Because gluten-free grains are therefore not so sticky, foods tend to be crumbly if made with a single gluten-free flour. I always get the best results when I blend 3 different types of flour together. You can try it with just 2 different kinds, or even 4 if you want… just play!
So if a recipe calls for 3 cups of all-purpose flour, instead try something like 1 cup brown rice flour, 1 cup chickpea flour and 1 cup quinoa flour. Easy peasy!
Here are some gluten-free flour options:
- Quinoa (light)
- Brown rice (light)
- Millet (light)
- Amaranth (light)
- Chickpea (medium)
- Buckwheat (heavy) *note: this is a grain with a name that confuses many, and is actually NOT related to wheat
- Hemp (heavy)
- Coconut (very heavy)
I wrote “light” or “heavy” after each one because if you combine 3 heavy flours, you will end up with a very dense, heavy baked good. Unless I specifically want to make something very light, I like to use an approximate balance of light and heavy flours. In my favourite muffin recipe which calls for 3 cups of flour, I typically use 1 cup buckwheat, 1 cup millet, and 1 cup either brown rice or amaranth.
Another great tip: throw whole grain “old-fashioned” oat flakes in a coffee grinder for fresh, more nutritious flour. Oats are NOT GLUTEN-FREE but contain very, very little gluten and are much better tolerated than other gluten-containing grains. Unless you have a true gluten intolerance (celiac) or allergy, oat flour is worth a try too.
Hopefully that’s enough information to help you tweak the favourite recipes that you probably already have. It’s a way to make baked goods a little better for you whether you are gluten-sensitive or not.
Here are a couple of my favourite gluten-free cookie recipes:
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
¾ cup organic peanut butter
1/3 cup melted coconut oil
½ cup sucanat
½ tsp green stevia powder
3 tbsp almond milk
1 tbsp whole vanilla bean powder
½ a banana, or 2 tbsp ground flax seeds mixed with 4 tbsp water
1 cup amaranth flour
1 cup millet flour
1 tsp baking soda
a pinch of sea salt
½ cup dark chocolate chips
- Cream the peanut butter and melted coconut oil together.
- Stir in the sucanat, stevia and vanilla.
- If using, mash the banana in a separate bowl and add to the mixture. Otherwise, combine the flax and water separately dump it in with the rest.
- Stir in almond milk until smooth.
- Slowly add dry ingredients, a bit at a time until well mixed.
- If batter seems too dry/crumbly, add more almond milk, 1 tsp at a time, until creamy and holds together.
- Stir in chocolate chips last.
- Blob spoonfuls onto a cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. Flatten each slightly with a fork.
- Bake at 375° F for 7-8 minutes.
I make this differently every time and there is no solid recipe for it – I made up this version as I typed just now, so this exact recipe has never been made, but I think this is essentially what I do…. Anyway, they are really yummy.
Eva’s Choice Chocolate Chip Cookies
-this one is from the wonderful Eva Cabaca, CNP, RNCP: a teacher of mine. It can be found in her cookbook “Earthly & Divine” which, upon my purchasing of it, immediately became my favourite cookbook.
1/3 cup unrefined coconut oil
¾ cup apple sauce
¼ cup maple syrup
5 drops stevia extract (I use ¼ tsp green stevia powder)
1 pinch Celtic sea salt or Himalayan rock salt
½ cup rice flour
½ cup buckwheat flour
½ cup quinoa flour
½ tsp baking soda
½ cup organic chocolate chips
½ cup pecan halves, chopped
½ cup frozen wild blueberries
- Preheat the oven to 300° F. Grease a large cookie sheet with coconut butter or coconut oil.
- Soften the coconut oil in a medium heat-proof bowl in the oven. Add the apple sauce, maple syrup, stevia, vanilla extract and salt, and cream together with a wooden spoon until smooth.
- Grind the buckwheat flour yourself in a coffee grinder or blender. Store-bought buckwheat flour is too fine and produces a “muddy” texture. Measure all three flour types into a large mixing bowl and mix thoroughly with the baking soda.
- Add chocolate chips and chopped pecans into the flour.
- Add the wet to the dry ingredients and mix quickly with broad strokes.
- Stir in the frozen blueberries with a few quick strokes, trying not to release the colour into the dough, or your cookies will turn blue!
- Drop by tablespoonfuls onto the greased cookie sheet. Improve the shapes with your fingers or with a spoon, if necessary.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until tops and bottoms are slightly browned.
- Let cool on the sheet until firm, and transfer onto a cooling rack.
For more recipes, gluten-free stuff, holistic health info and whatever else, check out my new business here: thefeelgoodfoodies.com – there’s not much on the site yet but lots to come, and you can read about what I’m up to and can hire me to come over and make cookies with you and your friends sometime. Just sayin’.
Usually this isn’t exactly relevant so I probably won’t mention my other life as a nutritionist again on here, but this was my chance! Mad Rabbit Art: fine art by Candace Osborne Bell, mixed media, illustrations and gluten free cookies. Sounds good to me!