Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Recipe Time: Gluten Free, Dairy Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

Are you ready for the first of many gluten free, dairy free recipes? As someone who enjoys food, I knew I had to adjust certain favorites to fit my new diet. Early on, I had a hankering for something familiar and oh so delicious. Chocolate chip cookies. But first I had to find dairy free chocolate chips.  I headed to my local Good Earth (specialty foods market) and searched their shelves. Holy expensive, Batman! The dairy free stuff was at least twice the price of normal choc chips. I'm one of the most frugal people out there, so it is extremely difficult for me to fork over extra bucks for things like this. But, I also wanted cookies, so I bit the bullet and got a bag of Chocolate Dream semisweet chocolate chips. This chips are pretty darn good. Can't really tell a difference in taste.

After studying my go-to recipe, I started making adjustments. Here's what I've come up with:

Gluten Free, Dairy Free Chocolate Chip Cookies (makes 18-20 cookies)

1/4 c. Sugar
1/2 c. Brown sugar
1/2 c. Shortening
1/2 tsp. Vanilla extract
1 egg
1 c. + 2 Tb. Gluten free flour blend (I use my own. Rough recipe at the bottom*)
1 Tb. Golden flax meal (or add extra Tb of flour blend)
1/2 tsp. Xanthan gum
1 tsp. Baking powder
1/2 tsp. Baking soda
1/2 tsp. Salt
1/2-3/4 c. Dairy free Chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350.

Combine sugars and shortening until lumps are mostly gone. Add egg and vanilla, mix until smooth. Combine dry ingredients in separate bowl, whisk together to get lumps out or use sifter.
Dump dry ingredients into wet, mix well. Don't worry about overmixing. GF flours don't care. Add choc chips.

Grease cookie sheet or lay out parchment paper (I do the latter. Love parchment paper.) Drop spoonfuls of dough (about a tablespoonful), giving at least 1inch of space between. These cookies like to spread out. Bake for 8-9 minutes. Let rest on cookie sheet for a couple of minutes before transferring to cooling rack. Bake the rest or store leftover dough in fridge for up to 3 days. You can also freeze the dough. Defrost in the fridge for at least 24 hours.

I make these fairly often and think they taste as good as, if not better than, regular choc chip cookies. Sorry there aren't any pictures. I'll try to have some for other recipe posts. Enjoy!

*Flour blend. I'm not known for exact measurements when I'm making up recipes. This is a rough guesstimate of my blend.

2 c. White rice flour
2 c. Brown rice flour
1/2 c. Tapioca starch
1/2 c. Potato starch (NOT flour)

Add all to a bowl, whisk well to blend. Keep leftovers in a lidded container.

For the cookie recipe, I've also used sorghum flour, coconut flour, and oat flour in place of some of the rice flour blend. Experiment, if you're brave.

If you have questions, I'll do my best to answer them. :)

Saturday, March 4, 2017

A Gluten-free, Dairy-free Life

As I mentioned in my previous post, I've radically changed my diet to help alleviate my digestive issues. It's been about 7 months since I took the first step and it hasn't been too difficult. I still love to cook and it's been interesting working with different kinds of flours and milks. I grind my own rice flour and make my own plant milk. (My favorite so far is a combo of almond, oat, coconut, and Brazil nut.) It can be time consuming, but I like knowing exactly what's in the food I eat. During the past couple of weeks, I've slowly been reintroducing some foods I've avoided, hoping a few of them will be okay for me to eat again. So far, I've been okay with small amounts of Parmesan cheese and garlic/onion, the latters being among the most common triggers for IBS sufferers. As long as I take certain supplements along with them, I've felt okay. I've also had success with wheat sourdough and spelt bread, which is a plus since most gluten-free breads are either expensive or not very good if homemade, at least in my experience so far. Foods I'm going to try again soon are butter, honey, and pistachios. If you're curious about my lists of good vs bad food, you can Google "low FODMAP diet". And the bad foods aren't necessarily bad in general, just bad for me and other digestion troubled folks. If any of you have similar issues, please feel free to share in the comments. I'll be sharing some of my favorite recipes soon!