Posted in Gluten Free

Peppermint Twists

Christmastime is here! And, with that winter is just around the corner, or as I (and many others) like to call it, minter!!! Minter is here ya’ll!!!! 😀

As you probably already figured out, I’m a big fan of mint. But, more specifically, I’m a big fan of peppermint. It’s one of those flavors that ushers me into the Christmas spirit, and makes me want to sing “falalalala-lalala” at the top of my lungs..like a crazy person… 😉

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Now, I don’t know about you, but when I think about Christmas, I think about certain traditions, and memories. Like decorating a magnificent green tree that smells out-of-this-world amazing. Or sitting by the fire, with wrapping paper still covering the floor from opening presents earlier in the day, sipping my mama’s hot cocoa, just listening to my family talk and laugh. And, I think about the constant making of Christmas cookies, and how great the house smells during that time.

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So, with that in mind, I thought I’d stay true to my name, and pass on a gluten-free Christmas cookie recipe, that I’ve been working on for a while.

I hope you get to share these with loved ones, and some amazing hot cocoa. ❤

Gluten-Free Peppermint Twists-

Wet Ingredients-

  • 1 C. Butter, at room temperature
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 Tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Tsp. Peppermint Extract
  • Approx. 1 tsp. Red Food Dye (if your out, you can try about 1/2 tsp. pink dye, and a heaping 1/2 tsp. black, you’ll have a retro red color.)

Dry Ingredients-

  • 1 C. Powdered Sugar
  • 2 C.  GF, Oat Flour
  • 1 C. Brown Rice Flour (I used Bob’s Redmill brand)
  • 1/4 C. Cornstarch
  • 1 Tsp. Baking Soda 
  • 1/2 Tsp. Salt

Directions-

In a large bowl, cream butter. Then beat in the egg until light and fluffy. mix in powdered sugar, as well as both the vanilla and peppermint extract. 

In a medium bowl, mix together the rest of the dry ingredients, until you don’t see many lumps. 

Slowly stir in half the flour mixture to the wet. Once just combined, mix in the other half of flour mixture. 

Split dough in half, being careful to get exactly half (I recommend weighing each round of dough). 

Roll one of the halves in to a big ball, then flatten a little bit, and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate.

In a medium bowl (I used the one that was previously my flour bowl),with the other half of dough, mix in red food dye, keeping in mind that the color of your dough will be just slightly less vibrant when baked. Start of with about a teaspoon of dye, and go by eye from there. 

Take your round ball of dough, roll it, flatten it, then wrap it in plastic wrap, and refrigerate the dough over night. 

On a lightly floured (using oat flour) surface, weigh out 13 pieces of dough per color, to about 1 oz. each. You should end up having 26 pieces of dough total. I would recommend keeping the pieces you’re not working on in the fridge, as it’s easier to work with when it’s chilled. 

Take one piece of the none colored, and roll it into a little snake, then take a red colored one, and do the same, trying to keep it the same size as the previous. Then, take one end of each and gently press a small section together, and proceed to twist on color over the other. Being careful as too much twisting and it’ll break. 

Place on a parchment lined cookie sheet (the cookies should be about an inch apart). And repeat with the rest of dough. 

Place cookie sheets in the fridge for about 15 minutes. 

Preheat oven to 350°. Bake cookies on the middle rack for about 15-18 minutes. The bottom should be light brown. 

Let cool on cookie sheets, and enjoy! 😀

Makes: A Bakers Dozen (13 cookies)
Posted in Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian

Chocolate Pudding

Chocolate. It’s the hot comfort on a cold night. It’s the emotional wreck’s best friend. It can be sweet. It can be bitter. It’s the cold joy on a hot summers day. It’s happiness for the taste-buds, and I love it! 😀

I remember as a kid absolutely loving those pudding cups you can get at the store, you know the ones. They were always silky smooth, and sweet. And had a cooling sensation as it slip down your throat with ease. It was always a cause of excitement in my house, since my parents rarely bought them. My mama had a liking for using the word “healthy”, and I had no idea what the definition was, except it usually meant I was going to be snacking on that carrot stick instead of that amazing looking cookie, or in this case, pudding cup.

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As I got older, I began to understand what healthy meant, but my love for pudding never changed. I still have the ability to put away 5 little packages of pudding with no help from anyone else. That is where my inspiration for this recipe came from.

Pudding is not a filling food, that’s just a given for most people. But, I, in order not to gain 85 Ib. this year, thought perhaps I could make an equally delicious pudding, that was a little more filling, so that the needing to eat so much pudding could be crossed out.

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Enter protein powder. I was hoping that by using extra protein it should do the trick, however I was nervous about the taste of protein powder would take over, as it seems to have a knack at doing so. After a little trial and error, I was finally able to make one that has 5 grams of protein per serving, compared to the 1 gram, that the prepackaged one has. Not a lot more, but it was enough to satisfy me, as I hope it does for you as well.

It’s a simple recipe, and I was thankfully able to figure out my way to make it vegan, while keeping the creaminess intact! 🙂

Chocolate Pudding-

Ingredients:

  • 2 C. + 3 Tb. Almond/or Coconut Milk
  • 2 Scp./approx. 46 g. Vegan Chocolate Protein Powder (I used Orgain’s Creamy Chocolate Fudge)
  • 3 Tb. Cornstarch
  • 1 Tb. Cocoa Powder
  • 1/3 C Stevia/ or Liquid Sweetener (e.g. agave, or honey if not making it vegan)
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract

Directions-

In a saucepan whisk together 2 cups milk and protein powder on med-low heat, stirring occasionally.

In a small bowl mix together cornstarch, 3 Tb milk, and cocoa powder (this helps ensure your pudding to be smooth).

Once your protein milk is hot, add vanilla extract, sweetener and cornstarch mixture. Slowly whisk on low heat, for about 10 minutes, until you can see it’s thickened and has come to a slow boil . Keeping in mind that it will thicken a little bit as it cools, but not a lot.

Take off heat. Eat warm, or store covered, in fridge for up to 3 days.

Makes: 4, 1/2 cup servings.
Posted in Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

One of my favorite things, in the whole wide world is pumpkin.  No, seriously. I love it so much that you could even ask someone I’ve only had a couple of conversations with, and they could tell you, pumpkin would be on my list of favorite things. It’s almost embarrassing. 😉

I remember the first time I  bit into a pumpkin chocolate chip cookie, I was around the age of 13, and my older sister was making them. From the first moment I tasted it, I knew…it was true love. I then proceeded to eat every last one in that cookie jar! And let me tell you, I still have no regrets about that decision.*cue smirking*

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These are not all that unlike the ones I had that day. The difference you ask? Well, I’d be glad to tell you. Because of my eating restrictions, and the eating restrictions of the people around me, I wanted to make these work for both me and many of them. So, after some trial and error, I’ve managed to make these both gluten-free and vegan!  Not to mention they’re also very easy to make. 🙂

I hope these bring as much warmth to your table as they did to mine.

Gluten Free, Vegan Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies-              

Dry Ingredients-

  • 3 C. Oat Flour (can easily make this at home, with your choice of unflavored, GF oats+ a food processor, or blender)
  • 1 tsp. Baking Soda
  • 2 tsp. Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 2 1/2 tsp. Pumpkin Pie Spice (or 2 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp nutmeg, dash of cloves, and a dash of allspice)
  • 1 C. White Sugar
  • 1/2 C. Dark Brown Sugar (can use agave instead, just add with wet ingredients +increase cooking time by 5-10 min. It will make them bigger, but less fluffy)

Wet Ingredients-

  • 1 Tb. Cornstarch, mixed with 3 Tb. Water
  • 1 C. Pumpkin Puree
  • 1/2 C. Vegetable Oil
  • 1/4 C. Vanilla Almond Milk
  • 2 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 1 C. Vegan Chocolate Chips

Directions-

Preheat oven to 350°, and line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl mix together all the dry ingredients, then create a well in the middle, like so.

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Place all the wet ingredients, except the chocolate chips in the ‘well’, and mix with wooden spoon until just blended. Then gently fold in Chocolate Chips.

Scoop heaping tablespoon fulls of dough on prepared sheets, and bake for about 20-25 minutes.

Let cool on sheet for a couple of minutes, before moving to a cookie sheet to cool fully.

Makes: 2 Dozen Cookies