Monday, September 23, 2013

Any Time Cookies - No Sugar and Gluten-Free!

Yes, you read the title correctly.

Any. Time. Cookies.

These cookies are full of ingredients that are both healthy and delicious, so you can eat them without feeling guilty! They are gluten-free, and sweetened with fruit, so there is no sugar either! For a quick on-the-go breakfast or afternoon snack, these really hit the spot! I found one to be filling, but my fiance needed two of them to be satiated.

Thanks to Danielle, who was a guest blogger at Nourished Kitchen, for creating and sharing this amazingly delicious recipe!

The Any Time Cookies are super easy to make, and if you don't have the exact dried fruits/nuts called for, you can easily substitute. For example, the fiance finished off our dried cherries and I haven't bought more yet, so I used raisins instead. I'm curious about adding some cacao nibs in too! Maybe next time...

Any Time Cookies (makes 12 cookies)
1/4C Coconut Flour (you can find this at Whole Foods, Bob's Red Mill makes a great one!)
1/2C Almond Butter
6 Dates, remove pit and soak in warm water to soften (about 15 minutes)
3/4C Shredded, Unsweetened, Dried Coconut
1/2C Apple Sauce, unsweetened
2 Eggs, beaten
1 1/2t Cinnamon
1t Vanilla Extract
1/4t Sea Salt
1/2t Baking Soda
2T Dried Cherries, unsweetened
2T Walnuts, chopped
3T Currants

Note: If you have a food processor, use it! I don't have one, so I used my VitaMix. While a blender will work here, it is not ideal.
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In your appliance of choice, combine the coconut flour, almond butter and dates. Blend for about one minute, until the dates are in small pieces.
- Add the dried coconut, apple sauce, eggs, cinnamon, vanilla, salt and baking soda. Blend for about 30 minutes, until combined and a wet dough forms.
- Add in the dried cherries, currants, walnuts (or whatever dried fruit and nut combination you're using) and pulse to combine. You don't want to chop up the fruit!
- Using two large spoons, measure out about 12 cookies onto the baking sheet. They do not rise or spread, so make them the shape you want (dip the spoon/spatula in water to prevent sticking) before they go in the oven.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes (depending on thickness), until golden brown on the top and edges.
- Let cool, and eat immediately. Danielle also recommends freezing them, just take the cookie out early and let it defrost for about 15 minutes first.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Eggplants and the end of summer

It's now September, and everywhere I look people are lamenting the end of summer. Living in the San Francisco Bay Area, however, it seems that summer is just beginning! September and October are usually the nicest months around the Bay, and our harvest of summer produce doesn't show any signs of stopping yet! It's a local "secret" that during these two months, we have less fog and warmer temperatures that during the months of June, July and August.

Over this past Labor Day weekend, we spent a day BBQing with family at my future mother-in-law's home. There were many beautiful flowers in bloom, and as you may remember from previous posts, she also has a wonderful vegetable garden!

Gorgeous colors on this flower in her garden.
Another pretty flower in her garden.
I was so enjoying the company that I forgot to take many pictures, but we gorged ourselves on a feast of tomatoes with basil, grilled corn and grass-fed meats, and a huge salad full of just-picked lettuces. Before we left, she allowed us to raid the garden and take whatever we wanted. What I found was a wonderful patch full of eggplant!

I haven't cooked it yet, but I plant to roast it for one meal, then blend up the leftovers to make some baba ghanoush. Remember this post (from exactly a year ago) that explained my how to make both?

What was your favorite summer fruit or vegetable this year? Let us know in the comments below!