Grain-free Gingerbread Cookies

 

gingerbread cookies

Gingerbread cookies are a must for the holiday season. It’s one of the things I always remember about Christmas growing up so it’s something I want to share with my children. Something even better is that gingerbread has a lot of very healthy ingredients. The warming spices in gingerbread are great for digestion and the blackstrap molasses is a natural source of iron. Blackstrap molasses is also a naturally balanced source of calcium and magnesium. I used to make a point to eat molasses when I was pregnant because I was borderline anemic with both of my pregnancies.

I love this recipe because there aren’t too many ingredients, it’s very quick to mix together and it’s a really fun project for little children to help by cutting out the shapes with cookie cutters. The main ingredient in this recipe is almond flour which also makes them a healthier alternative to traditional grain based cookies. They are higher in protein and lower in carbohydrates.

These cookies can also be frosted but they never seem to last long enough for me to make frosting and actually decorate them.

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Pumpkin Pie Recipe

Pumpkin Pie is one of the requirements at our Thanksgiving table. My husband loves it so much I make it several times even before Thanksgiving arrives. Over the years of experimenting this recipe has been updated and refined so it turns out very well. This recipe is grain-free and dairy-free and if you didn’t know that before trying it you probably wouldn’t notice a difference. The crust is made with almond flour instead of a traditional white flour crust and the cow’s milk has been replaced with coconut milk. The coconut milk works very well and makes this pie very creamy.

For a pie recipe, this one is relatively quick to make. I put this one together in less then an hour including the crust.

Pumpkin Pie

Crust

  • 1 1/2 cups almond flour
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients together and press into a 9″ pie plate. Bake for 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Let cool before filling. While the crust is in the oven, mix together the filling.

Filling

  • 2 cups pumpkin
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • ¾ cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • ½ tsp allspice
  • Pinch cloves
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 425°. Mix together all ingredients with a mixer or a whisk until blended well. Pour the filling batter into the pre-baked pie crust. Bake in oven for 15 minutes at 425° then reduce temperature to 350° and bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean.

What is your favorite way to make Pumpkin Pie?

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Grain-free Chocolate Chip Mini-Muffins

 

Healthy snacks are great to have around the house. Mini-muffins work really well as a snack especially when they are made with almond flour instead of grain flour. Almond flour muffins are high in protein and have lots of great minerals and fiber so it is a satisfying snack. This version is made with chocolate chips so it works as a snack or as a desert. They are not overly sweet since there is only a small amount of maple syrup in the recipe which also makes them a healthier option then traditional muffins or baked items. This recipe uses coconut oil as the fat. Coconut oil has some great health benefits so I try to use it whenever possible. It has been said that coconut oil can help with digestion, immune function, diabetes, cholesterol, and might even help prevent Alzheimer’s disease (read more about that on Mercola.com).

This is a very easy recipe. It usually takes me only about 10-15 minutes to make them (not including baking time). I have also made them the same way with different add ins instead of chocolate chips. Blueberries, cranberries, and cacao nibs are all good alternatives to chocolate chips in this recipe.

Almond Flour Chocolate Chip Mini Muffins

Ingredients:

  • 2 ½ cups almond flour (my favorite is from Benefit Your Life)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ¼ cup coconut oil, melted
  • 3 eggs
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • ¼ cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325. Mix together all ingredients. Line mini muffin tins with If You Care Mini Baking Cups. Fill each cup to the edge of the paper with batter. Bake for 25 minutes. Makes approximately 24 muffins.

Let me know how you like this recipe!

 

Grain-Free Baking with Almond Flour

 

If you follow a grain-free, gluten-free, or GAPS diet then I am sure you familiar with almond flour baking.  Almond flour is one of my favorite flours to use in baking because it tastes great and it is a very healthy alternative to using common baking flours.  The above photo is a great recipe it is the recipe for Snickerdoodles in Elana Amsterdam’s The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbookwhich I highly recommend.  Next time I am going to make a double batch because these weren’t around for very long!  I also just recently made the savory pie crust in this book and used it for a spinach and mushroom quiche that was awesome. Elana’s blog also has a lot of other recipes that look great too.

Why is Almond Flour Better then Wheat flour or other Grain Flours?

  • Almond flour is very low on the glycemic index and it is very high in protein, which is great for diabetics and everyone else as well.  When you eat a baked good made with almond flour instead of white flour you are getting a high protein snack instead of a sugar high.
  • Almonds are high in magnesium and potassium which are essential for optimum health.
  • Almonds are high in monounsaturated fats, the same type of health-promoting fats as are found in olive oil, which have been associated with reduced risk of heart disease.
  • Almonds are a great source of the anti-oxidant vitamin E.
  • There are a number of health benefits that almonds may provide such as clear skin, better digestion, cancer prevention, and lowering LDL cholesterol.

There are little health benefits to using wheat flours and many people have digestive problems caused by it but they are not aware of it.  It may take a little getting used to eating baked goods that do not contain wheat flour because that is what everyone is used to eating.  Once you try a few recipes with almond flour you will see how tasty it can be to use.  The health benefits make this absolutely worth a try.

There are a few almond flour brands available.  Although it may be the most accessible, Bob’s Red Mill is not my first choice.  A brand that Elana recommends is Honeyville.  I have used that brand but since it is not organic I prefer to use Benefit Your Life

Do you use Almond Flour?  What is your favorite recipe?