Since having Finn in July, I’ve gotten to know many other new mamas in the past year. And all of a sudden, those babies are turning ONE! It’s hard to believe how quickly a first year goes by (and yet, how very slow it feels in the moment). I’m attending my first FIRST birthday party this weekend and decided to bring along these delectable cookies in celebration of my dear friend’s baby girl. The recipe comes from the LEON Baking & Desserts cookbook, one of my personal faves from England, along with the other Leon cookbooks available. All are terrific.
These cookies are gluten-free, egg-free, and contain no processed sugars. Plenty of butter though, which gives them the perfect gooey cookie middle.
Make these if you feel like celebrating along with me!
- 2¼ cups gluten-free oat flour
- 2 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp sea salt
- ½ cup dark chocolate chips
- 1 cup maple syrup
- ½ cup organic unsalted butter, melted
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- Sea salt for sprinkling (optional)
- Heat the oven to 350F. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
- Mix together all the dry ingredients in a medium bowl (including the chocolate chips).
- Mix together all the wet ingredients in a small bowl.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, and stir until they are well combined, but do not over-mix.
- Drop spoonfuls of the cookie dough on to the prepared baking tray. Lightly sprinkle with sea salt if desired.
- Bake in the oven for 12 minutes, and allow the cookies to cool on the tray for 1 minute before transferring to a cooling rack.
Yep, I’m still pregnant. I really really hope I don’t have to say this for too much longer! For now, though, the little one is staying put. We were sort of hoping Phil could celebrate Father’s Day on Sunday as a new dad, but junior has other plans.
So, to distract ourselves from the waiting and watching and wondering, we baked a delicious dessert using beautiful fruit from the weekend farmer’s market.
I’ve used strawberry and rhubarb before to make a truly delicious raw dessert. This, however, is something different, but with very similar flavors. It’s best enjoyed with a dollop of something creamy. Yogurt? Ice cream? (Speaking of ice cream, I cannot wait to try this vegan ice cream place in Boston! A pregnant friend of mine has been raving about it!)
Anyway, here’s a tasty crumble to tide you over, whether like me you’re waiting for an imminent arrival, or you’re just in the mood for something summery and sweet.
Gluten-Free Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 40 mins
Keywords: bake dessert gluten-free soy-free vegan vegetarian wheat free summer
Ingredients (serves 6-8)
For the Filling:
- 3-4 stalks rhubarb, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 3 cups fresh strawberries, hulled and chopped into bite-size pieces
- 1/4 cup coconut sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla powder
- 1/4 cup corn starch or arrowroot starch
For the Topping:
- 1 cup ground almonds
- 1 cup gluten-free rolled oats
- 1/4 cup coconut sugar
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
Preheat the oven to 350F.
Combine all filling ingredients and spread out in a baking dish.
Combine all topping ingredients and mix until coated in coconut oil. Sprinkle over the fruit filling in the baking dish.
Bake for 35-40 minutes, until fruit is bubbling and topping is browned slightly.
Serve warm with a dollop of yogurt or ice cream. Or leave to cool and keep in the fridge for a cool sweet treat!
There’s a lot going on around here. My baby is due in just over a month and we just bought a house, moving in next week! Hence, a lack of recipes, let alone blog posts.
But every so often, when time allows, I get a strong urge to bake. It’s therapeutic in the same way someone might enjoy painting or singing as a way to de-stress. The simple act of combining ingredients to create something delicious that can be enjoyed for a few days afterward (depending on your level of self-control!) always seems to take the tension away, at least for a little while.
This recipe came from one I found on Pinterest, from a blog called Ambitious Kitchen. They were originally designed to be blondies (i.e. brownies without the chocolate) but I couldn’t find the right baking pan the first time I made them, so they became cookies instead.
The brilliance of these cookies/blondies/whatever you want to call them are in the ingredients. No flour is used. No sugar. No eggs or dairy. You rely on your food processor to do most of the work for you and combine a few items you most likely already have in your pantry or fridge.
With a base of chickpeas and peanut butter, these cookies stay pretty chewy and gooey in the middle. Almost like cookie dough. Pretty decadent.
They’re the perfect comfort food for an early summer filled with excitement and anticipation!!
I’ll be back as regularly as I can – in the meantime, take good care and have a look through my recipes page if you need some inspiration!
Chewy Chick-PB Cookies
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 25 mins
Keywords: bake dessert gluten-free soy-free vegan vegetarian wheat free cookie
Ingredients (6 large cookies or 9 squares)
- coconut oil, for greasing the pan
- 15-oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1/2 cup natural peanut butter (a little oil separation is good)
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp vanilla powder
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease either an 8×8 baking dish or a 6-cup muffin pan with coconut oil.
Combine all ingredients, except the chocolate chips, in a food processor and blitz until smooth and creamy. Add in some melted coconut oil if the mixture is too dry.
Fold in the chocolate chips.
If using a square baking dish, pour the mixture straight in and spread around to evenly distribute.
If using a muffin pan, scoop out the mixture with an ice cream scoop to distribute among the 6 cups.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown on top.
Carefully cut the cakey batter into 9 squares in the baking dish (or simply remove from the muffin pan) and leave to cool for 15 minutes before enjoying!
Have you tried carob? It is subtly sweet with a hint of chocolate flavor and comes packed with wonderful nutrients. And in this case, makes for a delicious raw “truffle” you can snack on any time. Why did I use carob here instead of cocoa or cacao powder?
Benefits of Carob
- Carob is caffeine-free, making it an ideal chocolate substitute for anyone who is pregnant, has high blood pressure, or has a sensitivity to chocolate.
- It improves digestion and is used to treat diarrhea in both children and adults. It can also help with acid reflux and GERD.
- It lowers cholesterol, thanks in large part to its high fiber content.
- Rich rich rich in calcium and vitamin E.
- Full of antioxidants (just like chocolate)!
All that being said, carob does have a unique flavor that might take some getting used to. If you’re really not into it, a great quality raw cacao powder can be used in this and any recipe that calls for carob powder. At least that way you’ll get all the benefits of the cacao bean’s inherent antioxidants and magnesium.
Whip these truffles up this weekend and see if they last until Monday
Raspberry Walnut Carob Truffles
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 0 mins
Keywords: raw dessert snack gluten-free vegan vegetarian wheat free soy-free
Ingredients (15-18 truffles)
- 1 cup walnuts
- 1 cup pitted dates
- 1/4 cup shredded coconut (unsweetened)
- pinch of sea salt
- 1/3 cup carob powder
- handful freeze-dried raspberries, crushed into a powder
Combine all ingredients except the raspberries in a food processor and blitz until slightly sticky. The consistency you’re looking for is one that holds together when you press it with your fingers.
Using a tablespoon, scoop out the “dough” and roll it in your hands into a ball. Roll these balls in the freeze dried raspberry powder to coat.
Place in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.
With a pretty much insatiable appetite for everything these days, I was so excited when a friend emailed me the link to a fabulous gluten-free brownie recipe from Left on Amelia via Elana’s Pantry. This friend is also pregnant, so I was thrilled to try it out after her rave reviews!
They’re pretty genius (not to mention delicious). You take a whole 16-ounce jar of almond butter and mix it with a few other more traditional brownie ingredients and bake it for half an hour. What you get is a super decadent, creamy, gooey, fudgey brownie that doesn’t contain any flour, refined sugar, dairy, or weird junk.
While in London, we made the brownies using the ingredients we could find in a nearby Tesco for a family dinner (peanut butter instead of almond butter, golden syrup instead of maple syrup). The results weren’t quite as gooey and creamy, so I’d really recommend sticking to the ingredients below – even if that means tracking them down online or at a specialty store.
Almond Butter vs Peanut Butter
While both contain a good source of monounsaturated fats, almonds are far more nutritious, containing plenty of vitamin E, calcium and magnesium, as well as many other minerals. They are also a great source of fiber and protein – I’m sure you’ve seen the many health articles telling you to snack on almonds. However, when it comes to nut butters, almond is my number one choice, especially if it’s a natural product (an easy way to determine this is if the ingredients list contains 1 or 2 items: almonds and maybe salt). However, if you love peanut butter, there is still a way to enjoy it healthily:
- Choose a PB that, again, contains only peanuts and maybe salt. Anything else on that ingredients list is there for preservation, consistency, and sweetness – all of which I find totally unnecessary.
- Keep your jar of natural peanut or almond butter in the fridge to preserve it for longer.
- Make sure you stir it up each time you use it – the layer of oil at the top of your jar is totally natural and contains healthy fats that you want!
- And if you like a bit of sweetness, add that yourself – using natural jams, jellies, honey, or bananas.
Try making your own! Almond butter is generally more expensive, so instead go to the bulk bins and load up a bag with raw unsalted almonds. Grind them in your food processor for several minutes until you get the consistency you want and store in the fridge. Cheap and cheerful!
Almond Butter Brownies
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Keywords: bake dessert gluten-free soy-free vegetarian wheat free
Ingredients (12 brownies)
- 1 16-ounce jar almond butter (crunchy or creamy, your call)
- 2 organic eggs, beaten
- 1 cup maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla powder
- ½ cup raw cacao powder
- ½ tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 cup dark chocolate chips (or chopped up dark chocolate)
Preheat the oven to 325F. Grease a square or rectangular baking dish with coconut oil.
Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Pour into the baking dish.
Bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes. Leave to cool for 5 minutes before devouring.