Easy Almond Cookies are Healthy and Delicious

Easy almond cookies have a chewy texture and wholesome substance. They're gluten-free, refined-sugar free, paleo and taste like real cookies.

Easy almond cookies have it all: great flavour and texture, low in carbs and calories, gluten-free, refined sugar-free, vegan, Paleo.

The original title of this recipe is The World’s Easiest Cookies and they came by that name honestly. With just five ingredients (in my slightly adapted version) easy almond cookies take all of five minutes to mix up, the dough needs no chilling and they bake in 12 minutes flat.

Easy almond cookies have a chewy texture and wholesome substance. They're gluten-free, refined-sugar free, paleo and taste like real cookies.

Once cooled, easy almond cookies have a lovely chewy texture and wholesome substance.  Thanks to the ground almonds they feel more filling than many cookies and they’re also more nutritious (along with being low in calories and fat). But they still taste like real cookies.

One more thing, easy almond cookies are also gluten-free so a nice treat for those of you who are in a constant search of decent cookies free of gluten.

As well, they contain no refined sugar.

Easy almond cookies have a chewy texture and wholesome substance. They're gluten-free, refined-sugar free, paleo and taste like real cookies.

My son is crazy about these cookies so they make a great after-school treat (or a little after-supper sweet).

This recipe is just slightly adapted from the terrific recipe website The Kitchn.

Easy Almond Cookies

Makes 18 cookies

  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 Tbsp. Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • 3 Tbsp. real maple syrup
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl whisk the almond flour and baking powder together. Stir in the molasses, maple syrup and vanilla and mix until well combined (batter will be sticky).
  3. Scoop dough into a tablespoon measure and roll into balls. Place on prepared baking sheet, an inch apart.
  4. With the palm of your hand or the bottom of a glass, lightly flatten the tops of the cookies.*
  5. Bake until the cookies are set and the bottoms are golden, about 12 minutes. Cool slightly on the pan and then remove to a rack.

*For crisp cookies, flatten the dough balls into discs with the bottom of a glass before baking. Adjust baking time accordingly.

Nutritional info:

Per cookie: Calories: 46, Fat: 1.3 g, Saturated Fat: .1 g, Cholesterol: 0 mg, Carbs: 6 g, Sugar: 3.2 g, Sodium: 10.2 mg, Fibre: 0 g, Protein: 2.8 g, Potassium: 140.6 mg, Calcium: 40.9 g

 

4 Healthy One Pot Meals to Try This Week

Healthy One Pot Meals: healthy soups, chili and stew

Get the whole family back on track this month with these easy one-pot meals.

I noticed this morning that the Canadian Tire flyer was featuring a big sale on exercise equipment. (I didn’t even know that you could buy treadmills and such at Canadian Tire.)

It’s the time of year when “healthy” everything is top of mind. After the excesses of the holiday season people are ready for a change and I suspect most of us are craving comfort food, wholesome eating and simplicity in the kitchen.

That’s where these wholesome and healthy one pot meals come in handy. They’re satisfying in so many ways. One-pot meals are easy, can be very healthy, and are hearty too.

An easy way to eat more vegetables

I learned long ago that the best way to get my kids to eat more vegetables – to get us all eating more vegetables – was to serve stew or hearty soup for weeknight meals. You can stuff all sorts of vegetables into one-pot meals.

Here are four simple, healthy one-pot meals that are just right for January. All are good on their own but could also be served with a simple side salad and a biscuit or cornbread. Double the batch if you’d like to have lots of leftovers.

4 Healthy One Pot Meals

Roasted Red Pepper Lentil Soup

This is my mom’s recipe for lentil soup and one of the easiest soup recipes you’ll ever make. The recipe is versatile too – make the Moroccan flavoured version or the Mexican, depending on your mood and what’s in the cupboard.

Roasted red pepper lentil soup is ready in 30 minutes.

Black Bean Turkey Chili

This is another of my mom’s recipes and a family favourite in our house. It’s a great meal for a snowy Saturday.

Black bean turkey chili combines some sweet with heat.

Chickpea Sweet Potato Curry

This Thai-inspired recipe from my neighbour makes a satisfying vegetarian meal. One of my favourite ways to eat sweet potatoes.

Chickpea sweet potato curry

Simple Black Bean Chili

This is a basic chili recipe with great flavour and extra texture from corn kernels. And it isn’t too heavy. We love it served with nachos.

black bean chili

Double Ginger Granola Bars for True Lovers of Ginger

Double Ginger Granola bars: Generous on the candied ginger, this bar has a clean wholesome feel and the sort of texture that keeps you nibbling away until half the pan is gone. The oats in this recipe are toasted which gives the bars a wonderful, well toasty, flavour and deepens the colour of this no-bake treat.

Double Ginger Granola Bars are a lean and clean oat bar made exclusively for lovers of ginger

This is a seemingly simple bar that’s full of surprises…

If you like a classic granola bar with a little oomph then these double ginger granola bars are your ginger dream.  Generous on the candied ginger, this bar has a clean wholesome feel and the sort of texture that keeps you nibbling away until half the pan is gone. The oats in this recipe are toasted which gives the bars a wonderful, well, toasty flavour and deepens the colour of this no-bake treat.

Double Ginger Granola bars: Generous on the candied ginger, this bar has a clean wholesome feel and the sort of texture that keeps you nibbling away until half the pan is gone. The oats in this recipe are toasted which gives the bars a wonderful, well toasty, flavour and deepens the colour of this no-bake treat.

Caution: This bar has a great bite thanks to the ginger. If you’re the sort of person who loves to nibble a sliver of candied ginger in lieu of dessert I think you’ll love this recipe.

The recipe is vegan and gluten-free (choose certified GF rolled oats if necessary.) For a richer (non-vegan) flavour replace the coconut oil with butter.

This is a granola bar recipe that was a runner-up in a recipe contest we held a couple of years ago:

Molasses & Ginger Chew Granola Bars

Double Ginger Granola Bars

From the blog It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken

Makes 18 generous bars

Ingredients

  • 2½ cups rolled oats
  • ½ cup pecans, chopped
  • ⅓ cup Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp powdered ginger
  • ¼ tsp Salt
  • ½ cup candied ginger, chopped

Topping:

  • 2 Tbsp pecans
  • 2 Tbsp candied ginger

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Line a 9″ x 9″ baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Spread the oats and pecans on a large baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes, tossing a couple of times. Remove from the oven and place in a large bowl. Stir in chopped ginger.
  4. In a saucepan over medium heat combine the molasses, brown sugar, coconut oil, vanilla extract, powdered ginger, and salt.  Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring constantly about 5 minutes.
  5. Pour molasses mixture over the oats and toss until the oats are well coated.
  6. Scrape mixture into prepared pan and press the mixture until firmly packed and smooth on top. (I place a sheet of parchment on top of the bars and then lay an 8”x8” pan on top. Then I press on the smaller pan with as much strength as I can muster.)
  7. Sprinkle over the topping ingredients and press them into the base.
  8. Refrigerate for a couple of hours and then cut into 18 bars.

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Creamy Thai inspired Chickpea Sweet Potato Stew

chickpea sweet potato curry

My neighbour Robyn and I share a love of chickpeas. One of the best curries I have ever tasted was Robyn’s chickpea curry, a surprisingly speedy bean, tomato and spice dish that is wonderfully  flavourful and doable for a weeknight meal.

Another favourite is her sweet, creamy Thai inspired Chickpea Sweet Potato Stew. Spiced with as much heat as you like, the flavour is balanced with the sweet potato and the savoury sweet of a little molasses.

chickpea sweet potato curryThis is a substantial vegetable dish. With two sweet potatoes, a good amount of baby spinach and some peas this makes a hearty meal.

As well, I have been known to toss in half a pound of shrimp and a tablespoon of fish sauce to take the flavours in a different direction.

I serve this chickpea sweet potato stew over brown basmati rice with a little mango salsa on the side. Leftovers are delicious for lunch the next day.

chickpea sweet potato curry

Robyn’s Chickpea Sweet Potato Stew

  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 or 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • a small knob frozen ginger
  • 1-2 tsp. Thai curry paste (you decide how spicy you want it)
  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 2 cups cooked chickpeas (about 1 can)*
  • 1 14 ounce can coconut milk (400 ml)
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup natural peanut butter or almond butter
  • 1-2 Tbsp. Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • 1 cup frozen green peas
  • A few handfuls baby spinach
  • a handful chopped cilantro
  • Sea salt, to taste
  1. Add a splash or two of oil to a stockpot over medium heat. Toss in the onion and garlic and sauté them until they’re lightly browned, about 5 minutes or so.
  2. Grate the frozen ginger into the pan with a Microplane grater or standard box grater and add the Thai curry paste.
  3. Continue cooking until the spices are heated through and fragrant, another few minutes.
  4. Add the sweet potatoes, chickpeas, coconut milk, orange juice and peanut butter. Bring to a simmer, lower the heat and continue simmering until the sweet potatoes are tender, about 30 minutes.
  5. Stir in the molasses, peas, spinach and cilantro.
  6. Season with salt. Serve over rice.

*If you’re using dried chickpeas soak then cook about a cup for this recipe. (You’ll end up with about 2 1/2 cups of cooked)

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Coconut Flax Molasses Cookies are a tasty vegan treat

Coconut flax molasses cookies are a tasty vegan treat

Sometimes I need variety in my cookie life, a little something different to grab my taste buds and remind me that cookie possibilities are limitless.

That’s what this recipe did for me. Originally I assumed it was a molasses cookie recipe with shredded coconut. But it turned out that they’re made with coconut oil, which I had in my cupboard because lots of healthy stuff has been written about it.

I prefer natural fats like butter, canola oil and now coconut oil. Margarine and shortening make me uncomfortable.

These cookies are full of surprises. The texture is soft and light and the spicing delicious.

Coconut flax molasses cookies are a tasty vegan treat

Coconut flax molasses cookies

Ever so slightly adapted from the blog mollyalicenests.com

1/2 cup coconut oil*, melted
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tbsp Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
1 Tbsp ground flax seeds
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup milk, room temperature (can use nut or seed milk)
1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp Chinese five spice powder *
1/4 cup sugar for rolling

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl combine melted oil, sugar, ground flax, milk, molasses, and vanilla. Mix well.
  2. (Tip: cold milk will make your coconut oil seize up. Not good).
  3. Add dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, salt, and five spice powder) and mix to form a dough.
  4. Roll dough into balls by the tablespoon and coat in the rolling sugar.
  5. The dough will feel almost silky so work quickly!
  6. Place on a parchment-lined cookie sheet.
  7. Bake at 350° F for 8-10 minutes.

* Look for coconut oil in the natural foods section at your grocery store. It’s solid at room temperature.

* Chinese five spice powder is a blend of cinnamon, licorice root, anise, ginger, cloves, and fennel. (That’s 6 spices, I know, but that’s what’s written on the bottle in my cupboard). If you don’t have any five spice, use a mixture of the spices you do have.

 

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