SMOKINCHOICES (and other musings)

April 24, 2013

GF Cookie – Healthy Sweeteners

(This is a recipe I found in the Fall of 2012. Meant to try these cookies, but have not. I’m thinking seriously about them now. First, I’ll have to get some Coconut flour and Almond Flower and of course that fancy Stevia that Truth Caulkins speaks of. 24 Carrot Health is a lovely site, so I left the “Home” link up for you to investigate.

At the end, I have a footnote comment on “Healthy Sweeteners” which we could all use if our intention is to have somethin’ lovin’ from the oven once in a while.)

Eat Well Look Good Feel Better

Easy Gluten Free/Paleo Cookie Recipe

I’ve been working on an easy sugar free cookie recipe for a friend who’s father isn’t supposed to be eating sugar, but he sure loves his cookies! To make it more challenging, he doesn’t like the flavor of coconut. I wanted to use coconut flour to help keep the cost down because almond flour can be so pricey; so the compromise was half and half. This cookie is barely sweet, and has a really nice flavor. If you are just looking for a healthier option and don’t need a sugar free cookie you can add some minced dried fruit or mini chocolate chips to yours. Enjoy!

Easy GF/Paleo Cookies

Makes about 20 cookies

If you can’t find the flavored Stevia drops use 12 drops of plain and add 1/2 t orange extract and an extra 1/4 t vanilla extract.

Ingredients:

1/2 c almond flour
1/2 c coconut flour
3 eggs
7 drops Valencia Orange Sweet Leaf Stevia drops
5 drops Vanilla Creme Sweet Leaf Stevia drops
1 t vanilla
1/2 t salt
1/2 t orange flower water, optional

Up to 2T of additional ingredients: mini chocolate chips, chopped fruit, chopped nuts, etc., optional

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment.

In a small bowl combine the almond flour and coconut flour. In a larger bowl break your eggs and whisk them together, add the remaining ingredients and whisk them all together thoroughly. Add the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients, if you are adding optional fruit, nuts etc. add them with the dry ingredients, and combine all thoroughly with a spoon or fork, but once combined your hand will be the best tool to finish the job.

Shape small balls of dough, about 3/4″, flatten them between your palms, and transfer them to the parchment lined baking sheet. This may be easier with slightly damp palms.

Bake the cookies 10 – 13 minutes. I like mine baked longer, but a shorter baking time makes a softer cookie.

After baking transfer to a cooling rack and allow to cool 10 to 15 minutes. These cookies taste best after cooling.

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(Wanted to share some of the notes I have saved from  Kelley Herring  of the Healing Gourmet on Healthy Sweeteners.  Some of the pointers are that one can have the sweetness desired, but will  have to combine a couple of products to get what you are after.    I have been using Xylitol and it is successful and was recommended by several people including   JJ Virgin whom I’ve spoken of.  It is not as sweet as I would like however.   Kelley Herring uses ERYTHRITOL   which is a sugar alcohol which is also found in  food (grapes, melons and peaches) and fermented foods such as  wine, beer and soy sauce and in human tissues.  I include this information for you as it is  good to know that the body recognizes Erythritol as an acceptable food.  That’s important!  Synthetic sweeteners such as Sweet and Low,   Equal and so on are not !  [Both contain Aspartame] They are a burden to the body and in fact cause many of today’s major problems.   

  • Erythritol works well in baking  and candy making as it has a clean, sweet taste like sugar.  It is granular and works cup for cup to replace sugar. It browns and even candies like sugar.  And it has “O”  calories and “O ” glycemic index.    Will not spike your blood sugar or contribute to cavities.  Is safe for diabetics.   Is beneficial – acts like an anti-oxidant.  Good for arteries so won’t cause heart disease.   

The only drawbackit’s about 70% as sweet as sugarso add one of the three other safe sweeteners in combination with it.

  1. Stevia which is up to 300 X’s sweeter than sugar.  “O” calories – Glycemic Index.  Stevia is used to boost the sweetness of Erythritol
  2. Coconut Sugar, (better for you than brown sugar), made from evaporated sap of the Coconut flower and tastes similar to brown sugar which is 65 on GI, while coconut is 35 GI
  3. Coconut Nectar is a superior substitute for Agave.  Has 35 GI rank – is a syrupy sweetener like Agave, made from sap of coconut bl9ossoms;  is rich in amino acids, high in vitamins and minerals and phytonutrients (potassium and magnesium). Is 10% of fructose while agave  is 90%

So much for Sweeteners, let us speak of flours now.

And we are speaking of this why?   Because sugars contribute to almost all of the diseases modern man is experiencing!  Obesity, diabetes and let us not forget “INFLAMMATION” – –  the root cause of most of the PAIN  we are acquainted with.   And of course the GRAINS even tho there probably aren’t too many of us who don’t just love everything about grains.  They are a major cause of a great many allergies and food sensitivities which react in us as a craving  [for that to which we are addicted].  

The human gut is not built for eating grains.   Mankind, however, IS eating bread and all kinds of breadstuff. We love it.  It is comfort food.  It is part of our history. It goes back in our recorded time through and beyond the Bible.  One wonders “how could this be bad?  Why?”   No matter what  “They” tell you,  we didn’t evolve to eat grains.  Nor did our cattle and chickens and pets.  It’s making all the animals sick and diseased and folks,  we are one of those animals 

I have tried to explain this so many times – – but at the moment, I’m not up for it!  Find one of my other posts where I explain it or better yet – go to Dr Loren Cordain of Paleo Diet fame (go to FIND IT).   This was supposed to be a simple post and it has gone on much too long and I’m really tired tonite.  It’s my own goof, not unhappy,. . . . just sayin’  

So, back to the Flours. . .  we don’t want to consume “GLUTEN”  because it will put holes  in the lining of our intestines (gut).  That’s a big NO-NO because those holes allow passage of  food particles into our blood stream where much damage is caused therefrom. These particles require our body to go into battle mode to fight these foreign invaders, thereby using up vital resources of the body which take it off task from managing their regular job.  Please settle for this recap version. 

We want to use NUT  flours instead.    Good news and bad news.    Good news:  our body is healthier and slimmer as nuts are a protein food.  Contain healthy oils.  And if we are no longer eating grains, we are saving a boat load of calories if that happens to be a concern.  Nuts and seeds are healthy and good for us on so many levels.    The bad news is that the NUT flour costs a lot more than grain flour.   So maybe one won’t bake as much or as often,  but hey, when you do with these Paleo-style pleasures  – – there’s no SIN  involved.  Health won’t go to hell in a hand-basket, but actually, could improve.  One can certainly see why. 

Coconut flour is quite a bit cheaper than other nut flours.  Not everyone likes coconut like I do, so in that event, try mixing with 1/2 coconut and 1/2 other like Almond, Hazelnut or Pecan and or Walnut.  Coconut is more dense and fiber rich, not light and fluffy. A general rule is to use 1 egg for each Tbsp of coconut flour used in  a recipe. (Like the above recipe)  Also, it must be sifted or can seem  dry. Try Hazelnut or Pecan with Coconut flour for a nutty flavor – cookies and pie crusts.

Storage:  One must keep the flours away from heat and light Refrigerate is best. [Can freeze in air-tight bags].

One last thing and I’m outta here.   Am told one can make flour out of BEANS  and that this is the secret to springy, moist cakes;. . . Yellow cake made with Cannelloni beans,  Chocolate cake made with chick peas.   Isn’t that interesting?   There is a caution with the “bean” flours.  Baked goods with beans can have a slightly “beany” flavor for up to 12 hours.  So it is worth the wait to delay enjoying the treat.   If using canned beans;  Eden Organic is supposed to be excellent.  They also use  BPA free cans.    One can buy Bean Flours from BOB’S Red Mill  across the country.

I intended to relate Dr Wright’s suggestion that when one is using “beans”,  they can be far more healthy if one takes the time to sprout them.    I read through it and it made sense to me and I do favor sprouting.  This took only a few days and wasn’t too complicated to do.  I’ll find it and get back to you.  That’ll do it.  g’nite y’all  Jan)

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