Sunday, January 22, 2012

Gluten Free Goodness

Gluten free. What thoughts just came to mind? A sad life lacking goodness like sandwiches, pizza, cupcakes, cookies, bread stuffing, beer, crackers, phyllo pastry, pasta, bike rides with baguettes sticking out of your basket to accompany the wine and cheese? Yeah, I know, those were my initial thoughts too. But rest assured, it's not that bad.

My detox began about 6 weeks before Christmas. I was missing all things crunchy, that didn't come in the form of a veggie stick. Some of you may be surprised that I, the girl that used to buy a party sized veggie tray to enjoy for dinner and lunch the next day, got sick of veggie sticks. I did. So I requested a dehydrator from my dad for Christmas. And the Burns Clan, including Grampy, were introduced to kale chips on boxing day. I've since experimented a bit, and upon attempting sweet potato chips, realized that I needed a mandolin to get nice, thin slices.

Mandoline experiment #1, Apple Chips. I sliced up a gala apple and sprinkled it with cinnamon, then dehydrated. Holay yum, batman! I love simple, delicious stuff. I bought the Oxo Hand-Held Mandoline Slicer, I figured this hand-held bad boy would be sufficient for my current needs, though I'm not entirely satisfied with it. It may be that I'm not applying the right pressure, but one end of the fruit/veggie is always thinner than the other. I will continue trying this out:

My friend T introduced me to Elana's Pantry recently. She's gluten-free and comes up with really interesting and tasty combos. When I saw her recipe for Spicy Power Bars, which include cardamom, I had to try. I halved the recipe as my food processor is tiny, then read later that she had made an error in measurements and her amounts were actually halved. So we'll call mine Single Girl Power bars. Cardamom is one of the best ideas ever. Make these!

The most expensive cookies you'll ever make.

Doing a detox before/during the Christmas holidays is either a really good, or really bad idea. Your colleagues bring in amazing homemade treats to share, Starbucks has delightful looking cookies that you see every time you go in to get your green tea, there are giant displays of comforting goodness in every shop you go to. It's tough. If your willpower is strong and you manage to make it through the holidays, you will find that you did not gain the 10lbs that you tend to every year. You'll spend a lot less time in a food coma, and not feel obliged to try and shed that excess weight/bloat.

I complained about wanting nothing but a festive cookie, and one of my yogi friends gave me this recipe:

It was my first try baking with ingredients like stevia, coconut oil and arrowroot flour. It wasn't that much different, other than the price. These are definitely the most expensive cookies I've ever made. I didn't make the icing either.

The texture was very similar to a sugar cookie, with a hint of coconut. They'd probably satisfy your holiday sweet tooth if you also made the icing, but without it they're a tasty everyday cookie that isn't too sweet. Bearly lovely cookies. Hardy - har!

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