I was recently sent over a recipe book from Debbie Adler; ‘Sweet Debbie’s Organic Treats’, what drew my attention was that every recipe was ALLERGY FREE & VEGAN! This is a hard combination to come by and still taste amazing. These are based on the famous Los Angeles Bakery, Sweet Debbie’s Organic Cupcakes.
As a graphic designer I have to say I judge a book by it’s cover (sorry, but it’s true!) and after taking a quick look at Debbie’s book I decided it was worth a gander. It’s a beautiful book inside and out (she dedicates it to her son who is the reason for all these amazing recipes). It’s more than just a recipe book, she provides a list of essentials which includes an easy to read description of each, and a little how-to & what for’s section which is great for healthy-recipe beginners.
I flipped through all the chapters from cupcakes to energy bars (and LOTS in between). I decided my first attempt at a Debbie Adler recipe would be the Vegan Allergy Free Quinoa Cranberry Cookies. I have most of the ingredients in my pantry except Coconut Nectar which most likely could be substituted for something I did have but after checking out the benefits I decided to go out and by some. Coconut Nectar Consists of the sap from the coconut tree (much like maple syrup), it has the benefit of being a raw, pure sweetener that retains all of the health benefits, while other sweeteners lose most of their nutritional value through heating and processing. (And apparently doesn’t have a strong coconut flavour- yay!)
Coconut Nectar has a low glycemic index, which helps you maintain a healthy weight. Coconut Nectar is also low in fructose which is great for your heart and cholesterol levels. Compared to brown sugar, it has twice as much iron, four times as much magnesium and ten times as much zinc. This also makes it a better alternative to Agave which is high in fructose. This sweetener can be used instead of others in a 1:1 ratio. The flavour is pretty neutral so it doesn’t affect the taste of the food.
Anyways enough with my blabber, let’s get baking!
I decided to pick a recipe that might be a little easier to bake then the others. The great thing about her recipe book is that once you buy all the ingredients she lists at the beginning you are pretty much set to make anything in that book! Some are a little more complicated than others so it’s great if you are up for a challenge (or you can try the cookies like I did).
Another great thing is I find her recipes pretty quick to put together which I love because I can be in and out of the kitchen in about a half and hour. For every recipe she uses her All Purpose Gluten Free Flour mix. I haven’t included the recipe for that because you should buy her recipe book and try it out with one of her other amazing recipes yourself.
- parchment paper
- 1 cup quinoa flakes
- 3/4 cup hot water
- 3/4 cup ap gluten free flour (recipe found in book)
- 1/2 cup amaranth flour
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon powder
- 1/4 tsp guar gum
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 1/4 cup coconut nectar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 3/8 tsp stevia powder
- 3/4 cup dried cranberries
- Preheat oven to 325F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- Pour the quinoa flakes into a medium bowl, add the hot water and let sit without stirring
- Whisk together the two flours, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, guar gum and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the middle.
- Microwave the coconut oil and nectar in a 2-cup measuring cup for 20 seconds. Add the vanilla and stevia and stir to combine. Pour the coconut oil mixture into the flour mixture.
- Next add the quinoa flake mixture and stir to combine. Fold in the cranberries.
- Take about 1 1/2 tbsp of the dough, shape it into a ball and place on prepared cookie sheet. Repeat until you have used up all the dough, flatten each ball gently with the bottom of a measuring cup.
- Bake the cookies for 16-18 mins, turn the cookie sheet around at 10 mins. Bake until golden brown around the edges.
- Remove from oven and cool on wire rack.
In the end I found these cookies were very soft which is great! I think I would take her advice and go with refined coconut oil so I don’t have the taste of coconut. I might add more cinnamon too :) Debbie also provides all the nutritional info for each recipe:
Nutrition Info: (1 cookie)