Recipe Corner: Healthier Twist Old-Fashioned Molasses Cookies

Recipe Corner- Healthier Twist Old-Fashioned Molasses CookiesHappy holidays!

If you follow me on Instagram, then you know two things: I love the holidays and I love cooking. Mix them both together and what do you get? A very Joyful Katie! Baking is one of my favorite parts of the holiday season. While I love to cook and bake all of the time, there is something magical about flipping on a Christmas CD and dancing around the kitchen while making peppermint cookies and fudge. Joy in the little things!

The holiday season is, however, a place where it becomes easy to derail off of the healthy eating track and right into the land of Sweets and Inflammation. My body sees sugar and gluten-free grains coming and gears up for an inflammation superstorm. (Inflammation superstorms are guaranteed joy suckers!)

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One of my father’s (and my own) favorite holiday cookies are old-fashioned molasses cookies. In the past I have made delicious gluten-free, lowered sugar versions which were enjoyable. This year, though, I endeavored to make them healthier, if even by a tidbit, using what we had in our cupboard at the time: garbanzo bean flour, garbanzo beans, blackstrap molasses, and sucanat.

The result was pure deliciousness!

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These old-fashioned-style molasses cookies melt in your mouth and are rich in deep flavor. They are not too sweet, gluten-free, and at least a little “guilt-free,” too,  given the substitutions there were made. I love to eat one or two alongside a mug of tea, hot cocoa, or coffee – although they are scrumptious just on their own.

In the past I have used garbanzo bean flour in place of gluten-free all-purpose flour in muffins, so I was familiar with it. I was first introduced to the concept of using either garbanzo beans or their flour in recipes due to tasting a friend’s rendition of Chocolate Covered Katie’s Deep Dish Cookie Pie; ever since I have loved experimenting with them in my baked goods. Both the beans and their flour add fiber and protein to this molasses cookie recipe. While this does not make these cookies as healthy as a summer squash by any means, it does makes them a healthier alternative to traditional molasses cookies.

I use organic, unsulphured blackstrap molasses in all of my recipes because it packs the most vitamin and nutrient punch, as well as not being as sweet as regular molasses. I adore its robust flavor!

In place of brown sugar, I used organic sucanat which, for me, is less aggravating to my system than refined, processed white sugar. Sucanat’s flavor makes it an excellent replacement for brown sugar. My other favorite replacement for brown sugar is organic date sugar. You can easily directly substitute date sugar in this recipe if you do not want to use sucanat.

Let me know in the comments if you try it and what you thought!

What are some of your favorite holiday treats?

Print Recipe
Healthier Twist: Old-Fashioned Molasses Cookies
A gluten-free, healthier twist on old-fashioned molasses cookies that melt in the mouth and are rich in deep flavor! They are excellent sided with your favorite mug of tea, coffee, or hot cocoa.
Servings
dozen cookies
Ingredients
Main Ingredients
Optional
Servings
dozen cookies
Ingredients
Main Ingredients
Optional
Instructions
  1. In a food processor or in a KitchenAid mixer, beat the garbanzo beans until a paste is formed. There may be some chunks of garbanzo beans still visible but overall the mixture should be a smooth paste. If this is done in a mixer, mix on very low until the beans have broken down, otherwise they will jump from the bowl. If this is done in a food processor, pulse to begin with, then, as the garbanzo beans break down, blend until smooth.
  2. Combine the butter, sucanat, garbanzo bean paste, molasses, and eggs in a large bowl. Using a mixer, beat these ingredients until the mixture is creamy. Pause frequently to scrap the bowl. It is especially important to ensure that no garbanzo bean paste is sticking to the bottom of sides of the bowl.
  3. Once the mixture is creamy and the ingredients are well combined, reduce the mixer speed to low.
  4. Add in the garbanzo bean flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, and salt. If you choose to use instant coffee granules (optional), now is the time to add those as well. Beat these on low until combined. Transition to medium speed and beat until the ingredients are well mixed.
  5. Cover the bowl and transfer to the refrigerator. Allow it to chill for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  6. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line cookie sheets with unbleached parchment paper.
  7. Using either a cookie scoop or your hands, shape the dough into 1 inch to 1 1/2-inch balls. Drop them 2 inches apart on the parchment paper-lined cookie sheet.
  8. Flatten the cookies using your palm, fingers, or the back of a spoon. Optional: sprinkle the top lightly with more sugar.
  9. Bake for approximately 10 minutes.
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Xoxo,
Katie-3

Recipe Corner: Creamy, Herbed Eggplant Soup

Recipe Corner- Eggplant Soup 2

I’m a member of OGA: Overambitious Gardeners Anonymous.

It’s not a bad thing to be part of. If you’re a gardener, you may have found yourself a part of it as well. You go starry-eyed when looking through a seed catalog. Forget Christmas – the best time of the year is when your local garden center starts lining aisles with varieties of seed packets, irrigation systems, and bags of fertilizer! Suddenly, you find yourself with armfuls of new seedlings you’ve bought or grown, enough for a small village, and are beaming with glee…

…except you only have a tiny raised bed and only a small number of mouths to feed.

And, if you’re me, you forget to stagger your garden so that you have an even crop throughout the season. So, mid-to-late summer comes and it is squashes, tomatoes, and eggplants, oh my! You are faced with three decisions: let everything rot in despair, donate to your local food shelter, or get creative.

This year I planted six or so eggplant plants, both Black Beauty variety and a few oriental varieties. Compared to my 20+ tomato plants, this was nothing. The problem is…I’m the only one in my house that likes eggplant! I took it as my personal mission to change this. I started cooking eggplant a handful of different ways until I found recipes that we could all like, determined to bring my family to the Eggplant Is a Great Vegetable side of the tracks. Eggplant lasagna, eggplant fries, baked breaded eggplant…I did it all!

My creamy eggplant soup was the biggest hit, by far. In our household, the hardest part of eggplant to adjust to is the texture. Depending on how it is prepared, cooked, and what variety the crop is from, eggplant can be kind of… squishy. Creamed soup eliminates the texture complication!

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After several requests, I am sharing the recipe! I hope you all enjoy it as much as our family has.

This is a dairy-free smoky, herbed eggplant soup that is full of subtle flavor. It is especially perfect for a cool fall or winter morning (especially when you add a dash of cayenne pepper to it!). It is a thick and smooth soup; I adore hearty creamed soups. If that is not your taste, it can easily be thinned with the addition of more broth.

Let me know in the comments if you try it and what you thought!

Print Recipe
Creamy, Herbed Eggplant Soup
A dairy-free, smoky, herbed cream soup that is hearty, full of subtle flavor, and perfect for a cool fall or winter morning.
Cook Time 45 to 60 minutes
Servings
cups
Ingredients
Main Ingredients
Optional Toppings
Cook Time 45 to 60 minutes
Servings
cups
Ingredients
Main Ingredients
Optional Toppings
Instructions
  1. Place a large pan on the stove over medium heat. Add the coconut oil, eggplant, potatoes, celery, and onions to the pan. Stir this mixture well and cook for about 10 minutes. Stir frequently. Cover the pan and cook for another 5-10 minutes or until everything is tender.
  2. Once the potatoes and eggplant are tender, add the chopped garlic, cumin powder, dried basil, dried oregano, dried parsley, dried thyme, tomatoes, and garlic. Stir the mixture well to combine and cook the mixture uncovered for another 5-10 minutes. Stir frequently.
  3. Remove the large pan from the heat.
  4. Add the cooked vegetable mixture a little at a time to a blender or Vitamix. Add ½ C – 1 C of vegetable mixture with approximately ½ C of broth at a time. Blend until smooth. Repeat this until the soup is completely blended. (If needed, add another cup of broth, for a total of 4 C, if the blender is having a hard time blending. The soup will just be a little thinner if you need to make this adjustment. )
  5. Pour the thick soup from the blender or Vitamix into a large pot and add in the non-dairy milk, tamari, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir until well combined and then cook uncovered on low to medium heat for 10-15 minutes.
  6. Turn off the heat and serve or chill in the refrigerator overnight. (For the best flavor, allow to refrigerate overnight.)
Recipe Notes

I chose to use vegetable stock to keep the recipe vegetarian, but if you wanted to add a meaty or smoky flavor to the soup, chicken broth or homemade bone broth is great for that. Or, you can even add a smidgeon of smoked paprika!

Enjoy plain or topped with goat’s cheese or non-dairy cheese, chopped bacon, and/or add a dash of cayenne pepper.

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Xoxo,
Katie-3