Eat Happy, Be Healthy!
Cashew Coconut Dippers
This post is adapted from the original on my old food blog Poppies & Papayas published in 2014.
Tis the season to bake cookies! Truth be told, I am not much of a cookie person. I do, however, have a soft spot for cookies that I can dip into a cup of afternoon tea or coffee. A sweet little pick me up to carry me through to dinner on a crisp and sunny winter day. A day just like today, where the sun warms my cheeks and the cool air energizes me with every deep breath. The kind of day where a long brisk walk should end with a cozy cup of tea and a homemade cookie. And since my son insists that Santa needs his cookie and glass of milk, it was time to bake these wholesome delights again.
Since 2014, when I first developed this cookie recipe, I have been making them every year. They have become my holiday cookie tradition. These cashew coconut cookies are my wholesome take on a crunchy shortbread cookie, lightly sweet, and super satisfying. They can shine just like any ol' traditional holiday treat, trust me. And now that I have a super cute, almost four-year-old kitchen helper, it's even more fun to share the cookie making experience.
So what sorts of goodness will you find in these cookies? A good amount of cashews, shredded unsweetened coconut, coconut sugar and coconut oil, a wee bit of sweet sorghum flour, a splash of vanilla, and a sprinkle of cardamom…all roasted and toasted and dipped into delicious semi-sweet dark chocolate! Of course you can choose whatever chocolate you want, milk chocolate, flavored chocolate, or even go with no chocolate. It's up to you!
May this be my holiday gift to you, my dear friends! A gift that keeps on giving throughout the holiday season. Surprise your co-workers, your family members, or even your dearest friends with totally delicious sweet treats. With that I wish you a beautiful, sunny and crisp winter day, a long brisk walk, and a hot tea and cookie to come home to.
Cashew Coconut Dippers
In this recipe I used sweet sorghum flour. It's a nice alternative to rice based GF flours. Usually, I can find this in the BULK section of my natural foods store. However, if you can't find it, you can also use Bob's GF 1:1 baking mix flour blend, or even use just plain rice flour. The fine psyllium husk powder I usually purchase in the BULK section as well. However, you can also buy it in large quantities here.
Makes about 2 dozen
1 ½ cups whole raw cashews
1 cup shredded coconut, unsweetened
½ cup coconut sugar
¼ teaspoon sea salt
¾ teaspoon ground cardamom
2 tablespoons fine psyllium husk powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ cup sweet sorghum flour (or any other kind of GF flour)
2-3 tablespoons coconut milk (or any other kind of milk)
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
¼ cup coconut oil, packed
1 - 3oz chocolate bar, chopped (or use chocolate chips)
Optional: extra shredded coconut for garnish
Place the cashews and shredded coconut into a food processor and process until they resemble a mealy texture. Add the coconut sugar, sea salt, cardamom, psyllium husk, baking soda, and sorghum flour. Pulse to combine. Add the coconut milk, the vanilla extract, and coconut oil. Process until the mixture begins to clump together and form a type of “dough”. Scrape the mixture down the side of the processor to help blend the ingredients enough. Don't worry, you can't really over process the "dough" because at this point the food processor doesn't even process the mixture anymore because it clumps up so much. The mixture should easily stick together when pressed together with your fingers.
Gather up the cookie "dough" and place onto a parchment sheet. Press the dough into the shape of a long rectangle to create dipper-like cookies. Take your time here. This may take a little bit of effort as the "dough" tends to be a bit more crumbly than traditional cookie dough. The heat of your hands will help release more of the oils and make it easier to shape the log. In the end you want a cohesive, smooth looking log. Depending on the size and shape of your log, it can impact how many individual cookies you can make. Wrap up the rectangle with the remaining parchment paper and refrigerate for at least an hour.This step is crucial as it allows the psyllium husk and oils to bind the dough making it easier to cut later on.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, and remove the cookie dough from the refrigerator. With a sharp knife cut slices off of the rectangle that are about a ¼ of an inch thick. Place each slice onto a parchment lined baking sheet. You will need two baking sheets, one per dozen. Bake the cookies for about 12 minutes or until golden brown and fragrant. They will still be soft to touch when removed from the oven. Therefore, allow the cookies to cool completely on the baking sheet before moving them. I usually place the whole sheet outside to cool quickly.
Meanwhile, create a double boiler by heating a little bit of water over medium heat in small saucepan. Place the chopped chocolate or chocolate chips in a small bowl or glass, and place the dish in the heated water. Stir until the chocolate is completely melted. Remove the saucepan from the heat, leaving the bowl inside to keep the chocolate warm. Dunk the end of each cookie into the melted chocolate and place back onto a parchment lined sheet. Alternatively, you can brush the tops of the cookies with chocolate using a pastry brush. Decorate each cookie with a sprinkle of shredded coconut, and allow to cool. Store in an airtight container.
Serve with a cup of hot tea or decaf coffee as an afternoon delight.
Coconut Ginger Red Kuri Soup
Although you have probably tried many butternut, delicata, and spaghetti squash recipes, you likely haven't tried this winter squash variety yet. Kuri squash is by far my favorite choice for soups because it delivers this beautiful bright orange, creamy soup, that other squash varieties just can't meet. Plus, this soup is rich in fiber and polyphenols because you can eat the peel of the squash unlike many other squash varieties. You can find Kuri Squash at your local grocery store or Farmer's Market. Kuri squash also tastes great as an alternative for pumpkin pie.
Since this soup is low in protein, I highly recommend pairing it with a protein rich food. For example a salad topped with grilled chicken breast or burger patty, a tuna sandwich, or simply cut in some leftover cooked protein when reheating a serving.
Coconut Ginger Red Kuri Soup
1 small Red Kuri squash
1 medium yellow onion
1 medium apple
2 inches ginger root
4 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 can organic coconut milk
2 teaspoons Better than Bouillon Organic Vegetable paste
Juice of 1/2 to 1 lemon
Fresh ground pepper to taste
Optional: chili flakes
Cut the kuri squash in half and remove the seeds. Then cut into quarters. Steam the squash in a steamer basket over medium heat until tender when pierced with a fork, about 15-20 minutes. Allow to cool enough to handle. Chop into chunks.
Meanwhile, prepare the remaining ingredients. Peel the onion and dice. Chop the apple into chunks, leaving the skin on. Peel and dice the ginger root and garlic cloves. In a large soup pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Once hot add the prepared veggies, reduce heat to medium low, stir in 1/4 teaspoon sea salt, and saute until onions are glassy. Then pour in the can of coconut milk. Fill up the empty can of coconut milk with water and add that to the veggies as well. Add the Better than Bouillon, and add the coarsely chopped kuri squash and stir to combine.
Increase heat to medium high and bring the soup to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for ~10 minutes. Then remove from heat and puree with an immersion blender. Add fresh ground pepper and lemon juice to taste, starting with the juice of 1/2 lemon and increasing to taste. Season with additional salt and chili flakes if desired.
Low FODMP Chicken Pazole
This soup is so satisfying and so simple. The chicken thighs are more flavorful and tender than chicken breasts and provide a different nutrient profile. Since chicken thighs also have dark meat, they are naturally a bit higher in iron and zinc. Plus, they are cheaper too! Another thing I love about this soup is the toppings! This way you can make everyone happy. If you are not on a Low FODMAP type diet, you can add a clove of garlic to the recipe if you desire, but honestly you don't need to. The Whole Foods Organic Chicken Broth is naturally low FODMAP- but be careful, the low sodium version is not. Serves 4-6
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon butter (or sub with olive oil)
2 teaspoons oregano
1 teaspoon cumin seeds/powder
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 teaspoon marjoram
1- 28oz can diced tomatoes
1- 28oz can hominy, drained
4 skinless/boneless chicken thighs, fat trimmed
2-3 cups Whole Foods Organic Chicken Broth
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar/lemon juice
Salt and pepper
Green Onions (green parts only for low FODMAP)
Avocado (1/8th avocado is low FODMAP)
Sautéed corn tortilla strips* or Crushed corn chips
Heat the olive oil and butter over medium heat. Stir in the spices and sauté until fragrant. Pour in the diced tomatoes and drained hominy. Bring to a simmer and add the chicken thighs and cover with 2-3 cups of chicken broth. Return to a simmer and cook 15 minutes or until the chicken thighs are done.
Remove the chicken thighs from the broth and shred in a large bowl with two forks. Return back to the soup, and add more chicken broth if desired, and cook another 5-10 minutes. Adjust salt and pepper to taste, and finish with a splash of apple cider vinegar or lemon juice.
Top each bowl with your choice of toppings and enjoy!
*To make sautéed corn tortilla strips, simply cut a few corn tortillas into thin strips. Then pan-fry in olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low until crispy. Season with salt if desired.
Are you going to have pazole tonight??
I hope you enjoy my creative, flavorful, and nutrient dense approach to whole foods cooking. All recipes are gluten free.