Friday, March 2, 2012

Paleo Pagan: Flax and Coconut Sweets!

We've had a sweet tooth in our house this week and true to my sweet nature (wink, wink) I have delivered some yummies for my little family.  I'm sure this has nothing to do with the that darn sugar addiction I have, but we'll save that for another day.

First on the list was trying my hand at some grain-free chocolate chip cookies.  While they definitely needed a few improvements and tweeks, they didn't last long.
Grain Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup flax seed meal
1/3 cup almond meal
2/3 cup coconut flour
1tblspn baking powder
1/2 tspn salt
1/2 cup - 3/4 cup sugar (just depends on how sweet you want it; dehydrated cane juice, or other preferred granulated natural sugar)
1/2 cup (or more!) chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)
5 beaten eggs
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup oil
1/4 to 1/2 cup nut butter (optional)

1.  Preheat oven to 350F.
2.  Prepare cookie sheet. (grease pan directly, or if you prefer, use parchment and grease the parchment).
3.  Mix dry ingredients well.
4.  Mix wet ingredients separately, then add to dry and combine well.
5.  Add water if needed.  The coconut flour will absorb a lot of moisture, so add water if needed.  You want it to be a smooth but spoonable batter. 
6.  Spoon onto cookie sheet nice tablespoon sized portions.
7.  Bake 20 minutes and let cool before removing from the pan.  The longer they cool, the less they crumble.
Makes about two dozen cookies.

These cookies didn't get that heavy feeling that wheat cookies normally have, which is to be expected since all of the flour and meal has a huge percentage of fiber.  While they are not sugar-free, they do reduce the carb count significantly because of the fiber and lower the glycemic index as a result.  And being grain-free, they give us a sweet treat that we can enjoy without indulging in grains. 

Definitely let the cookies cool well before trying to eat them.  They crumble easily at first, but I found that waiting a few minutes improved that significantly.  And while they weren't filled with corn syrup and gluten, they filled the tummy, satisfied the sweet tooth, and disappeared quickly. 

Grain Free White Chocolate Cranberry Muffins

1 cup flax seed meal
1/2 cup almond meal
1/2 cup coconut flour
1 tblspn baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup sugar (dehydrated cane juice, or other preferred granulated natural sugar)
1/4 cup to 1/2 cup chopped nuts (I used almonds)
1/4 cup to 1/2 cup white chocoloate chips
6 beaten eggs
1/3 cup oil
1/2 cup water (see cranberry note)
1/2 cup or more of soaked dried cranberries (use the water from this)

1.  Preheat oven to 350F.
2.  Heat a cup of water to boil and pour over dried cranberries. Let soak while mixing ingredients.
3.  Grease muffin pan.
4.  Mix dry ingredients in large mixing bowl.  I just use a fork to make sure it's all blended.
5.  Mix wet ingredients in small mixing bowl (this does not include the 1/2 cup of water, since that is coming from the cranberry soak).
6.  Pour wet ingredients into dry and mix well with fork or spoon and then add soaked cranberries.  Slowly add the water from the cranberries until the consistency is smooth but not liquid.  The longer you let it sit, the more it will swell as the fiber absorbs the moisture. 
7.  Spoon into muffin pan.  I usually fill one muffin pan, then add the left overs to a greased bread pan. 
8.  Bake 20 mins.  Use a toothpick or knife to check.  When it comes out clean then they are done.  The bread will likely need more time.
9.  EAT!

This could definitely be made without the white chocolate chips and might even be better without them.  Increase your cranberry and nut quantity and the taste would be nice and tart.  I had the chips left over so I wanted to try it this way.  So far, there are no complaints!

Let me know if you try them!