Friday, February 11, 2011

brightening up a gluten-free existence....

dear friends and lovers:

for various assorted reasons, i have been eating gluten-free these days after a month-long "detox". this likely explains my lack of blog posting. what kind of zeal could i possibly have in a life with no gluten? WELL. let me tell you. my need for treats has propelled me into the world of mystery flours: almond flour, coconut flour, chickpea flour....

First, a quick note on almond flour. It is VERY expensive. Sometimes its worth buying it pre-ground because it has a much finer texture. But you could also experiment with making your own in a food processor. It's all about finding the balance between ground almonds and almond butter. All you need are some blanched almonds (skin off) and you're good to go.

So for now, I will share an amazing cookie recipe that I made last night. Largely inspired by the amazing Elana at Elana's Pantry, here is a recipe for gluten free lemon lavender cookies.

you need:
1 1/4 cup almond flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons dried lavender, finely minced
1/4 cup oil (i used canola, but Elana recommends grapeseed oil - which is much healthier. It is, of course, much more expensive and canola worked fine).
3 teaspoons agave nectar (you could also use honey or maple syrup if you don't have agave and if you are less considered about high glycemic foods)
1 tablespoon lemon zest
juice of half a lemon

now, here's what you do:
1. Mix together the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
2. Whisk wet ingredients in a smaller bowl.
3. Mix wet ingredients into the dry ones.
4. Form the cookie dough into 1/2 inch balls and press them onto a parchment-lined baking sheet (no need to grease if you're using parchment)
5. Bake at 350 for 7-10 minutes.

Be VERY careful not to overbake. Almond flour is funny so if you're experimenting with it, i'd recommend baking these in the upper portion of your oven. I baked mine closer the bottom and found that i had to leave them in for a bit longer than the 10 minutes since they weren't setting, but then the bottoms ended up burnt. If this happens to you, you can use a grater on the bottoms of these babies and they will be good as new.

enjoy hot out of the oven!
you won't even miss the wheat in these little gems.

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