Thin Mint or Peppermint Patty Cookies

       This sugar free, gluten free, dairy free, soy free cookie recipe is adapted from one of my favorite cookbooks, the Gluten-Free Almond Flour cookbook, by Elana Amsterdam. She has a myriad of other fabulous recipes on her website.

I took her recipe for Chewy Chocolate Cookies and made a dough that can either be rolled flat and cut into thin slices to mimic a Thin Mint or made thicker to taste more like a peppermint patty.  Here’s the recipe with the secret ingredient at the end!

  • 3 cups blanched almond flour
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ cup arrowroot powder
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ cup grapeseed oil
  • ¾ cup agave
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 7 drops of natural peppermint oil (I use LorAnn Oils)

Preheat oven to 350. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl mix the almond four, salt, baking soda, arrowroot powder and cocoa powder. In a medium bowl, whisk together the grapeseed oil, agave and vanilla. Mix the wet ingredients into the almond flour mixture until thoroughly combined. Add 7 drops of peppermint oil and mix again. Scoop the dough (about a ¼ of a cup) onto baking sheet or roll out and use a cookie cutter or glass rim to cut thin circles in the dough and place on the cookie sheet.

        

Bake 10 – 15 minutes if you use scoops. Bake 9-11 minutes if you roll out the dough and use flat circles. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 30 minute – this also allows them to finish a last bit of cooking. You don’t have to worry about egg in this recipe being undercooked and that even means you can sample the dough!

We love ours with a glass of unsweetened almond milk. Enjoy!

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Gluten Free, Sugar Free Pizza

When I went gluten free and sugar free about 7 years ago, I was determined to find a good pizza. What I found were gluten free crusts, but they all included some form of sugar. I made one out of almond flour that my husband kindly referred to as a thick, heavy almond mush…and that’s what it tasted like too. After looking for a couple of years I gave up the battle and resigned myself to never having pizza again. A sad day.

It was after we had a pizza party at our house, with the pizza smell wafting from the oven, that I knew my search was not over…I had to find a pizza dough that would work. One night on Facebook  I stumbled across a posting from a company called Chebe. I was intrigued by their gluten free breads and started to look into their ingredients and see what other products they offered. I found a pizza dough mix as well as a breadstick mix that were not only gluten free but sugar free too! Now visions of childhood and eating breadsticks at Pizza Hut with my family danced in my head. I brought myself back to reality and remembered not to get excited until I had actually found the mix in the store and actually made it to see how it tasted.

The verdict is in…pizza and breadsticks are back in the game!

Not only are the Chebe breadsticks and pizza dough mix gluten and sugar free, they include an entire list of “free” items as follows:

  • Gluten free
  • Soy free
  • Corn free
  • Rice free
  • Potato free
  • Yeast free
  • Peanut free
  • Tree nut free
  • Egg free (you add eggs to the dough but can use a substitute)
  • Lactose/casein free (you add eggs to the dough but can use a substitute – we use unsweetened almond milk)
  • Iodine free
  • Sugar free
  • Non GMO

Now for a couple of pictures and tricks to make your pizza and breadstick experience the best!

           

Pizza: We used the instructions on the back of the Chebe box, but also baked the crust first for 10 minutes before toppings to ensure a crispy crust.  We made a pizza sauce from tomato sauce, crushed red pepper, Italian seasoning, black pepper, salt and a bit of agave (to taste).

Breadsticks: We used the instructions on the back of the Chebe box. Then I mixed up some olive oil, basil, oregano, salt and parmesan cheese to spread over the top of the breadsticks before baking. Make a bit of extra pizza sauce above for dipping your breadsticks.

Food rules

Here are two rules to live by when purchasing, eating and making food:

Great Grandmother Rule: If you showed this food to your great grandmother, would she know what it is? If you showed her a sweet potato she would most likely know what it is and how to cook it. If you showed her a deep fried Twinkie she would most likely ask you what it was and would not know how to make it.

Kitchen Counter Rule: When you purchase food ask yourself, “Could I reproduce this in my home/on my kitchen counter?” Say you are purchasing crackers – some have ingredients you have never heard of and don’t have in your kitchen, while others consistent of all ingredients you have heard of and could have in your kitchen. Purchase the ones you could make in your kitchen.

To be or not to be ORGANIC

We are bombarded by information about food. One of the most talked about subjects is what to purchase organic and why? Not many people have the ability to purchase everything organic and some may live in places where it is impossible  to purchase everything organic – so how do we choose wisely?

The first rule of thumb, especially for women, is to purchase all organic meat and dairy. Why? These items have more fat than most other things we eat. Not many people know that fat and cholesterol are a huge component of hormones. In fact two of women’s most important hormones, estrogen and progesterone, are made from cholesterol. Our bodies use whatever kind of fat we eat to make our hormones. The fat in non-organic meat and dairy most likely contain high levels of chemicals and toxins. Purchasing organic meat and dairy gives your hormones a better chance of being healthy and functioning optimally.

The second rule of thumb is to know the Dirty Dozen™ from the Clean 15™ (reference from Environmental Working Group). The Dirty Dozen™ are those foods that are essential to purchase organic because they have the most pesticides. The Clean 15™ are the best options to purchase non-organic as they have the least pesticides.

Here are the Dirty Dozen™ (the top three being the worst):

  1. Apples
  2. Celery
  3. Strawberries
  4. Peaches
  5. Spinach
  6. Nectarines – imported (not from US)
  7. Grapes – imported (not from US)
  8. Sweet bell peppers
  9. Potatoes
  10. Blueberries – domestic (from US)
  11. Lettuce
  12. Kale/Collard Greens

Here are the Clean 15™:

  1. Onions
  2. Sweet Corn
  3. Pineapples
  4. Avocado
  5. Asparagus
  6. Sweet peas
  7. Mangoes
  8. Eggplant
  9. Cantaloupe – domestic (from US)
  10. Kiwi
  11. Cabbage
  12. Water Melon
  13. Sweet potatoes
  14. Grapefruit
  15. Mushrooms

For more great information on these lists including the full list of all 53 fruits and vegetables, their research and findings please visit EWG.