Everyone Deserves Cookies for the Holidays!
Do you remember what it felt like when you were young, when it seemed everyone else had something you didn’t (but you wished you did)? As a gradeschooler, I watched from the sidelines as my friends zoomed around the neighborhood on their new banana-seat bicycles (my parents told me they couldn’t afford one). Then at age 14, I attended my first “social” (what boy-and-girl parties were called back then) and watched from the sidelines as my friends all spent the evening necking with boys (does anyone still say “necking” any more?!); I was perched on a folding chair shoving potato chips into my mouth and guzzling Diet Coke next to MS, the only other dateless girl in the group.
So, when I started the ACD back in 2009 and I had to watch from the sidelines at Christmas time as all my friends sipped wine and champagne, nibbled on pâtés and cheeses/cheezes, consumed obscene amounts of chocolate and sugar. . . well, it felt uncomfortably familiar, I’m afraid.
For you, dear readers, I wanted something better this holiday season. I’ve heard from several of you who’ve just recently embarked on the ACD yourselves, and I remember all too well how despondent one can feel when one wants goodies. . . but there just aren’t any appropriate goodies to be had (ie, without sugar, gluten, dairy, yeast, molds, alcohol. . . et cetera).
Well, here you are. I’ve brought some goodies for you.
And yes, the recipe is suitable, even if you’ve just started the diet and you’re barely into Stage One.*
These cookies are an adaptation of the Black Bean Chocolate Chili Cherry Cookies I saw (via Wellness Weekend last week) on The Taste Space, which were an adaptation of Sarah’s cookies on My New Roots. Now, those other cookies, it is true, contained cocoa powder. And cocoa powder in cookies translates to “CHOCOLATE! IN COOKIES!”–something I never turn down if given the opportunity. However, neither cocoa nor maple syrup are permitted in the first stage of the ACD; so I made some substitutions.
I’ve decided that my mission in 2012 will be to convince carob naysayers that the sepia pod is appealing and delicious in its own right, not merely a second-rate chocolate substitute. Sure, chocolate is my first love, my highschool sweetheart**, if you will; it’s like the guy that sets your heart fluttering whenever you see him, even years later, even after the romance fizzled and you’ve been divorced for decades, the intervening years traced like fine tributaries across your face. Carob, on the other hand, is a more solid, more placid lover; the one you meet in your 40s at the bridge club, the one you call “friend” before “lover,” the one that is consistent and reliable and steadfast. Fewer sparks, perhaps, but a connection that goes deeper, brings out the best in you, is more permanent. That’s the way I love my carob right about now.
I played a bit with the original recipe, adding almond butter to compensate for the lower fat content in the carob. These are not fudgy cookies, but still dense and soft; you’ll find them lovely, moist and almost cake-like. If you’re not a fan of coconut, you can add homemade dried cranberries for a contrast in color and added chewiness. If you happen to be following later stages of the diet, feel free to sub some/all of the liquid sweeteners with agave or coconut nectar, or use goji berries or other dried berries (sugarfree, of course) as your fruit of choice.
These little gems really do feel like a treat–something I think we all deserve about now!
Happy Holidays, Everyone!
Other ACD-friendly favorites:
- Cinnamon-Spiced Coconut Bark (Stage 1 and beyond; but note that some diets don’t allow cashews; if so, use walnuts or almonds)
- Crimson Mousse (Stage 1 and beyond; but note that some diets don’t allow cashews; if so, use macadmia nuts)
- Raw Frosted Lemon Poppyseed Bars (Stage 1 and beyond; but some diets don’t allow cashews; if so, use other nuts, such as almonds or walnuts)
- Apple-Pumpkin Crumble Bars (Stage 2 and beyond)
- Raw Apricot Swirl Cheesecake Mini Pies (Stage 2 and beyond)
- Caramel Ice Cream with Apple-Cinnamon Topping (great with chocolate topping, too) (Stage 3 and beyond)
- Chocolate Whoopie Pies (Stage 3 and beyond)
- Cinnamon Crumb Coffee Cake (Stage 3 and beyond)
- Cookie Dough-Topped Brownies (Stage 3 and beyond)
- Date-Free Date Squares (Stage 3 and beyond)
- Pear and Cranberry Cornmeal Cake (Stage 3 and beyond)
*Please note that there are many versions of the anti-candida diet in existence, and yours may advocate something different. This recipe is suitable for the first stage of the diet I followed; please be sure to check with your healthcare provider to ensure that the recipe is compatible with your diet!
**Considering how early on I was addicted to chocolate, it really should be more like, “my kindergarten sweetheart.” But I couldn’t say that because, well, it just sounds creepy.
Mexican Spiced Black Bean Carob-Cranberry (or Goji Berry) Cookies (adapted from The Taste Space)
Suitable for ACD, all stages (yay!)
A little bit cakey, a little bit chewy, these cookies are a satisfying sweet. Don’t expect to confuse them with chocolate–they have a caroby taste all their own, which works extremely well with the spice mixture and sweet berries.
1 can (19 oz or 540 ml) black beans, rinsed very well and well drained (see Note 1 below)
2 Tbsp (30 ml) extra virgin coconut oil, preferably organic
2 Tbsp (30 ml) natural smooth almond butter (for nut-free, use tahini)
1/3 cup (80 ml) carob powder
2 Tbsp (30 ml) chia seeds, measured first and then ground in a coffee grinder (about 1/4 cup/60 ml pre-ground meal)
1/4 cup (60 ml) yacon syrup, plus enough food-grade vegetable glycerin to equal 1/3 cup (80 ml) (See Note 2 below)
1 Tbsp (15 ml) unsweetened soy, almond or help milk
1 tsp (5 ml) pure vanilla extract
50-60 drops (about 3/4 tsp or 4 ml) plain or vanilla stevia liquid, to your taste
1-1/2 tsp (7.5 ml) cinnamon
1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) cardamom
1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) smoked paprika
1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) chili flakes
1/4 tsp (1 ml) fine sea salt
1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) baking powder
Preheat oven to 375F (190C). Line two cookie sheets with parchment or spray with nonstick spray.
Place beans, coconut oil, almond butter an carob powder in the bowl of a food processor and process until very smooth. Add remaining ingredients except for chips and cranberries and process again, scraping down sides if necessary (it will have the consistency of a muffin batter, soft but able to hold a shape if scooped). Remove the processor blade and stir in the chips and berries by hand.
Using a small ice cream scoop or tablespoon, scoop the dough onto the cookie sheets, leaving about 2 inches (5 cm) between them. Use the back of a spoon or a silicone spatula to spread the cookies out and flatten them to about 1/2 inch (1.5 cm) thick (they will not really spread during baking).
Bake for 20-30 minutes, rotating the pans about halfway through, until cookies are dry on top and browned on the edges and bottoms. Allow to cool completely before eating. Store, covered, in the refrigerator. Makes 22-25 cookies. May be frozen.
Note 1: You can certainly use dried beans that you soak overnight and then cook yourself; use about 1-1/2 cups (360 ml) cooked beans. In this case, however, you must be sure to cook the beans extremely well–almost overcooked–or they won’t blend as easily as the canned ones do.
Note 2: If you like the taste of yacon syrup, you can use a full 1/3 cup (80 ml) of yacon instead of adding the glycerin. Alternately, if you are at a later stage of the ACD or not on it at all, feel free to use a full 1/3 cup (80 ml) of coconut nectar or agave nectar.
This recipe is headed to Amy’s Slightly Indulgent Tuesday event.
Last Year at this Time: Last Minute Recipe Suggestions (list of holiday-appropriate recipes)
Two Years Ago: Warm Butternut Salad with Chickpeas and Tahini Dressing (gluten free; ACD All Stages)