Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Gluten Free *High Altitude* Chocolate Chip Cookies



Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies 
made with Healthier Sugar alternatives

A friend of mine has been sharing information on modern day wheat and how it affects so many health conditions. Modern Day wheat is not the same as wheat was 50+ years ago through out the generations it has lost more and more of it's nutritional value. My oldest daughter has Autism and I have Hypothyroid & PCOS that causes Insulin Resistance. Our chats inspired me to research and read further about the benefits of eliminating gluten from our diet. I am starting slow and this is the first recipe on our quest to slowly eliminate unhealthy grains. If you would like to learn a bit more here's a great article to get you started. Three Hidden Ways Wheat Makes You Fat 
I used a Gluten Free Flour but plan to experiment with Einkorn flour which is an ancient form of wheat dating all the way back to biblical times and is known to be just about gluten free. Those who have Celiac disease are often able to digest Einkorn with out issues often times. I would still use a little bit of caution as Einkorn is not 100% gluten free. But Maninis has a great all purpose mix that I am really enjoying so far. 

Ingredients: 
2 sticks of Butter (1 cup) *or Coconut oil, I used half Coconut oil and half butter
3/4 cup Organic Cane Sugar (I used Azure's brand) 
3/4 cup Sucanat (dried sugar cane juice a much healthier alternative to brown sugar)
3/4 tsp salt
2-4 teaspoons of Vanilla (to your taste, I used 2)
2 eggs 
3/4 teaspoon baking soda 
2 3/4 cup Maninis multi-purpose flour mix *Gluten Free*
12 oz package of Enjoy Life chocolate chips 
(Enjoy life is soy, dairy, and nut free great for those with food allergies)

Directions: 
Preheat the Oven to 350 degrees. Whip the butter and or Coconut oil until creamy, then add the sugar and beat until it's creamed together evenly. Add vanilla & egg and beat until evenly mixed. Sift flour, baking soda and salt together and then add to the wet mixture. Add Chocolate Chips and bake 9-13 minutes until the edges are barely brown. (It took me about 12 minutes) 

 Before 
 

and After :)
 The Brown flecks in the cookies are the Sucanat

Tasted and Approved by the whole family and a huge success
What differentiates this recipe and makes it optimal in higher altitudes... The recipe cuts back on the baking soda compared to an average cookie recipe while increasing the liquid a bit, because what happens in higher elevations is the liquid evaporates a bit more quickly and then baking soda expands more rapidly breaking the cellular structure and explodes which then produces a flat cookie instead of fluffy. So by adding a bit more liquid and lessening the baking soda it gives more fluffly and less flat cookie at elevations of 3,500+ feet. This recipe is well balanced and the cookies turn out pretty close to perfect with these ratios. I eventually plan to adapt this recipe for my friends that may live a bit closer to sea level in the future :)

Through developing the recipe to make these cookies I did some research on healthier alternatives to white refined sugar. This link was very helpful exploring a variety of options How I Replace White Sugar I now have some Sucanat in my pantry and also have some Honey Crystals. I plan to experiment with Honey Crystals in my future baking experiments soon :) I would also love to try a few of the other suggestions. One suggestion I didn't see listed was Coconut sugar which is another alternative I plan to try.

Sucanat is actually loaded with vitamins and minerals in addition to being a healthier alternative. For example 1cup of Sucanat is high in potassium with more potassium than two bananas. To read more about the benefits of using Sucanat read more here http://www.livinghealthymom.com/sucanat-benefits/

I Hope You Enjoy them as much as my family did!





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