Gingersnap Cookies with White Chocolate Creme

Ginger, Cardamon, Cloves, Allspice, and a bit of pepper for a spicy kick.

These sandwich cookies capture the flavors of the holidays in a perfectly shippable form.

Gluten-Free Gingersnaps with White Chocolate Creme

I’ve made these with butter but you can substitute shortening for a dairy-free version.

Best of all, technique is the reason you can whip these cookies up with ease.

Pixie Dust creates the structure for the cookie by holding it in a lovely network of protein strands, creating an open holed texture.

Contrasting the crunchy spicy cookie, smooth cooling white chocolate is tender and sweet.

Interior of gluten-free Gingersnap Cookie
Interior of Gingersnap Cookie

5.0 from 1 reviews
Gingersnap cookies with White Chocolate Creme
 
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Crispy spicy gingersnap cookies filled with soft white chocolate make the season bright.
Author:
Recipe type: Cookie
Serves: 48
Ingredients
  • 157 grams (12 Tablespoons)softened unsalted organic butter
  • 20 grams pixie dust
  • 309 grams (1½cup) organic sugar
  • 20 grams (2 tablespoons) organic molasses
  • 40 grams (1/4 cup) honey- the older crystal developing kind is best
  • 15 grams grated orange peel (approx. One orange)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 56 grams (1/2 cup) almond flour
  • 3 grams (1 teaspoon)ground cardamom
  • 3 grams (1/2 teaspoon) ground white pepper
  • 2 grams (1/4 teaspoon) ground allspice
  • 3 grams (1/4 teaspoon) ground cloves
  • 3 grams (1/4 teaspoon) ground ginger
  • 3 grams (1/2 teaspoon)salt
  • 9 grams (1½ teaspoons) vanilla extract
  • 8 grams (2 teaspoons)ground cinnamon
  • 142 grams (1 cup) White flour mix
  • 165 grams (1 cup) Whole Grain Flour Mix
  • 120 grams (3/4 cup) white rice flour
  • 20 grams (4 teaspoons) baking powder
  • 10 grams (2 teaspoons) baking soda
  • Filling:
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips, I used Sunspire
  • 2 teaspoons of coconut oil
Instructions
  1. Combine in mixing bowl butter and pixie dust, beating slowly till the color is even. We are NOT trying to incorporate air.
  2. Beat in the sugar, molasses, honey, orange peel and eggs till just combined.
  3. Stir together almond flour, spices, flour mixes, white rice flour, baking powder and baking soda.
  4. Add to mixing bowl and beat until just combined. Do not beat till fluffy or the cookies will spread and flatten when baked. Air is not your friend in cookie dough.
  5. Place dough into container and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Well chilled dough makes for cookies that don't spread.
  6. Preheat oven to 375.
  7. Make balls of dough. I use a tiny 1.5 teaspoon cookie scoop
  8. but you can just pinch off even sized balls and roll them in your hands. The yield is flexible depending on the size you choose.
  9. Place on silpat or parchment paper covered cookie sheets, making sure to leave at least 2 inches between cookies to allow for the flattening of the cookies.
  10. Bake for 5 minutes, rotate pans in the oven-top to bottom and side to side.
  11. Bake an additional 5 minutes.
  12. Let cool on cookie sheet for 1 minute, then remove to a cooling rack.
  13. Prepare the filling by melting the chips and coconut oil, stirring till smooth.
  14. Place a shy teaspoon of this mixture on the back of one cookie and place second cookie on top.
  15. Allow to cool.

 

link

Apple Ginger Walnut Gluten Free Muffins

Teaching people how to live a gluten-free life has been my mission for a long time.

The first time I see a patient after getting their lab results is both the best and the worst of times.

Finally, they have answers.

They are not crazy. Their problem isn’t all in their head, it is in their body.

Now they have a diagnosis of celiac disease or gluten intolerance. They can begin to heal.

And then the realization kick in.

They can’t have bread anymore, or pasta, or pizza, or cupcakes or pastry or….

 

Gluten-Free-Muffins-720x720T

This is when I get to show you the newest place I’m spreading the word.

Click on over to The Stem- Stemilt’s blog, for the first guest blog on the site. Mine :)

 

The recipe for Apple Ginger Walnut Gluten Free Muffins is over there.

You’ll need these three mixes to make them.

Whole grain flour mix

White flour mix

Pixie Dust

Gluten-free Apple Ginger Walnut Muffins topped with Kerrygold USA butter. Recipe by GFDoctor
Gluten-free Apple Ginger Walnut Muffins topped with Kerrygold USA butter

Update:  I shared this photo with Kerrygold USA. They were running a #SnackStory contest, and I won a year of butter and cheese!  So excited, my family adores their healthy products.

Since I already had one person ask, I used the reduced fat butter because it was part of the food from our Cross Country Invitational that made it into my fridge.  Only ingredients are cream and salt, not weird fake add ins

 

Cashew Nut Sauce Noodle Salad Gluten-Free, Vegan

Although I grew up in the heat and humidity of summers in New Jersey, my extended stay in the Pacific Northwest has turned me into a wimp.

When the thermometer rises above 75 in Bellingham, I wilt.
Cooking becomes a real chore, not joyful, just tedious. Well, except when I make a great Cold Cashew Nut Sauce Noodle Salad Gluten-Free of course.

Having to teach a class to teens in the midst of the heat wave?

That is always fun.

I love to teach. Love kids understanding the whys and hows of turning great fresh, organic foods into a meal truly excites my locavore heart.
But having to cook again when I get home, not so much.
Maybe it’s because the Coop has air conditioning, and my home kitchen doesn’t?

To get inspired, toys help.
My newest is a beautiful Oxo Mandoline that I was fortunate to win at CampBlogAway in May, just like this one.

Excited didn’t begin to describe how I felt when I was chosen. I’ve wanted a mandoline for years. No other tool makes slicing incredibly thin slices, julienne and waffle cuts as easy as a mandoline.

Even with years of knife skills and training under my belt, no way would I be able to do that thin consistently.
This Cashew Nut Sauce Noodle salad gluten-free gave me free rein to play with my new toy. Gathering all the fresh, local produce from my fridge, then turning it into slender threads of crunch. Lucky for me this Cashew Nut Sauce Noodle Salad would make life easy for dinner.

Bonus, I used up the leftover sauce we had made for the class. I love when leftovers get used up.

Playing with my Oxo Mandoline
Playing with my Oxo Mandoline

Shredding the carrots and zucchini into tiny julienne, slicing the onions paper thin.
All together a very satisfying half hour or so playing in the kitchen.
The Cashew Nut Sauce for this Noodle Salad might seem a bit daunting from the list of ingredients, but it gets thrown into a food processor and turned on to run till it is velvety. Easy, peasy.

Cashew Nut Sauce Noodle Salad Gluten-Free
Cashew Nut Sauce Noodle Salad Gluten-Free

And best of all, if you double the amounts you have lunch and dinner for another day for a family of 4. :)
Enjoy!

Cashew Nut Sauce Noodle Salad Gluten-Free, Vegan
 
Prep time
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This sauce is terrific for so many things, I made it for Vietnamese Salad rolls for my teen cooking class. My daughter thinks it is the best dip ever for broccoli. You can warm it as well for a dressing over hot vegetables too. Lots of protein for any vegetarian folks too. Packs for lunches easily and is even better once it sits for a couple of hours, perfect summer food.
Author:
Recipe type: Salad, entree, cold dish
Cuisine: Asian
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 1 package of Asian rice noodles cooked according to package directions.
  • Drain in colander and rinse well to cool.
  • Vegetables:
  • These can be anything fresh and wonderful. I used
  • 1 zucchini- julienned
  • 2 large carrots- julienned
  • 1 Walla Walla onion- sliced as thin as possible
  • 1 stalk of Broccoli - stems julienned and florets cut small
  • a handful of sugar snap peas cut into small pieces
  • a package of organic tiny peppers in orange, red, yellow and chocolate brown cut into tiny shreds.
  • Feel free to combine any vegetables you love raw.
  • Sauce:
  • 1 cup cashew nuts- roasted or raw (the roasted are deeper and richer in flavor)
  • ½ cup tahini paste or ¾ cup of sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons chopped garlic – approx 3 cloves
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger- a quarter sized chunk
  • 2 Tablespoons palm or coconut sugar- if you can't find either brown sugar will do.
  • 1 tablespoon red miso paste
  • 1 Tablespoon hot sauce or ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon tamarind paste
  • ½ cup unsweetened coconut milk ( I used So Delicious Cooking Coconut Milk)
  • 1 fresh lime- entire insides without the peel- pulp and all
  • 2 T wheat free tamari soy sauce
  • ¼ cup vegetable broth or more depending on the texture.
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro leaves
Instructions
  1. In a food processor, puree the cashew nuts, garlic, ginger, sugar and tahini (or sesame seeds) till finely chopped.
  2. Add the miso, tamarind paste and hot sauce.
  3. While the machine is running add coconut milk, lime juice, tamari sauce.
  4. Add vegetable broth and check texture. If it needs a bit more broth, add it now.
  5. Fold in the cilantro and keep refrigerated until noodle are ready.
  6. Pour sauce over noodles and vegetables, stir and eat.

This is an entry in the So Delicious and Go Dairy Free Spring Fling Dairy-Free Recipe Contest .

Candied Ginger-Tasty Treat or ?

Heads up folks, looks like another food to make sure is made domestically

Lead-tainted ginger case: State sues Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, others

The lawsuit, filed April 30 in San Francisco Superior Court, argues that Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, Target, 99 Ranch Market, Island Pacific Supermarket, Marina Food and other retailers have been selling candy, snacks and bulk food made with ginger or dried plums that contains dangerously high levels of lead.

 

The companies did not alert customers to the lead, the suit charges, and that violates California’s Proposition 65, which requires businesses to warn consumers about harmful toxins in food, toys, jewelry and other products.

Better yet, make it yourself!

Candied Ginger
 
When simple things like candied ginger turn up with a high lead content, it is time to take matters into your own hands. This recipe makes quite a bit of ginger, it stores very well. I use both sugar and honey to get that tender soft texture similar to the Trader Joe's uncrystalized. Save any syrup that is left, it makes an incredible addition to a glass of sparkling water.
Author:
Ingredients
  • ½ pound ginger (8 oz.), about 2 large knobs, peeled
  • 1½ cups granulated sugar
  • ½ cup mild flavored honey
  • 2 cups water
  • ¼ cup sugar on a plate for rolling the pieces in after simmering.
Instructions
  1. Peel the ginger.
  2. Cut into ½ inch cubes or slice thinly. Cubes will take longer to get tender, almost double the time.
  3. Combine sugar, honey and water in a large pan.
  4. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to a bare simmer.
  5. Add the ginger and stir. Cover pan with a lid.
  6. Cook till tender 15-30 minutes, stirring occasionally
  7. Using a slotted spoon, remove the ginger pieces from the syrup.
  8. Drop the ginger pieces on the prepared plate.
  9. roll till the pieces are completely covered.
  10. Allow to dry completely
  11. Store in a sealed jar
  12. The ginger will hold for months. If it gets sticky, just add a bit more sugar to the jar and shake.

 

Pumpkin Eggnog Ice Cream in Pie Crust Bowl

Some foods are seasonal, like asparagus in the spring, apples in the fall.

Pumpkin is the one of those fall flavors.
For my girls, having these seasonal flavors at the right time of the year is an awaited event.
So when Fiona saw the pumpkin ice cream for the first time in October at Trader Joe’s, she attempted to wheedle me to buy a container.

My choices on that day have come back to haunt me. I said no. That simple no has made my life very difficult.

Because Trader Joe’s ran out.

Of pumpkin ice cream.

Before Thanksgiving.

Pumpkin Eggnog Ice Cream in a Pie Crust Bowl with candied pecans

And my daughter Fiona guilted me into fixing this situation.
She knows I can make almost anything, given the right flavor memory and ingredients.

She knows I’ll make it several times just to be sure that the recipe is correct.

Heck, she was one of my primary tasters while writing Gluten Free Baking for Dummies.  She knows I’ll work till it the new recipe matches what we remember.
This is the result of our flavor memory, and terrific ingredients from Organic Valley.
The eggnog and heavy cream are smooth and clean in flavor.

I love that organically raised animals are giving their best milk for these amazing foods.

I love that one of the farmers is just a couple of towns away from where I live, that I can visit his farm yearly on the local farm tour.

My daughters certainly don’t need any growth hormones in their bodies.  But they do want pumpkin ice cream in their bodies.

 

5.0 from 1 reviews
Pumpkin Eggnog Ice Cream
 
When I forgot purchase the pumpkin ice cream from Trader Joe's, my daughter guilted me into creating a replica. When I served Fiona a bowl of this, her closed eyes, rapidly depleting bowl and moans let me know I had figured it out.
Author:
Serves: 12
Ingredients
  • 2 cups eggnog
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 1 cups fresh pureed pumpkin
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup organic cane sugar
  • 1 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon powder
  • ¼ teaspoon ginger fresh or powdered
  • ⅛ teaspoon clove powder
  • ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg
Instructions
  1. Stir together all ingredients.
  2. Place in fridge for at least 2 hours
  3. Stir well before placing in a standard freezer unit.
  4. Allow the machine to stir and freeze till you have the consistency of soft serve.
  5. Scrape out the freezer unit into a plastic container.
  6. Freeze to solid.

The pie crust bowls are simply a circle of dough, draped over a custard cup that is set on a cookie sheet and baked till brown.

Arsenic and Old Rice

That was a cheesy way to lead off this discussion, but I just love the reference to Arsenic and Old Lace.

It is what we are really worried about, right?
Getting sick from eating a food that contains a poison, like the victims of those creepy old ladies.

Why is there arsenic in rice anyway?

Let’s step back a bit from the ledge and look at the facts about arsenic in rice and our health. At the end is a terrific yellow curry recipe with tomatoes and spinach to enjoy while you mull over your choices.

First there are several forms of arsenic compounds:

Organic- naturally occurring in the soil and water in our growing areas. Not a hazard to our health as long as the quantity is small. Our bodies can clear this type of arsenic without too much trouble as long as the quantity is small.
Inorganic residues of man-made products, mining, smelting- from applications of pesticides and growth promoters.  These sources of arsenic are BAD, these are known human carcinogens.

How do these compounds get into our food?
Organically
Volcanic ash can carry deposits airborne during an eruption
Typical weathering of arsenic containing rocks can carry arsenic into the waterways and ground water.

Inorganically-Manufacturing, pesticide application and Mining Byproducts
Smelter dust from copper, gold and lead smelters
Treated wood production up to 2004 used arsenic as a wood preservative
Insecticide on fruit trees and vines
as a growth stimulant for poultry (Roxarsone)
Medicinally-as a stimulant, for psoriasis and in chemotherapy
Warfare defoliant- used extensively in the Vietnam war
Whenever lead is used as a material
Batteries containing lead, semiconductor devices
Weapon production from WW1- yes, that far back.
These uses will lead to groundwater contamination from runoff.
Smoking cigarettes

What happens when we get exposed?
Increases in gastrointestinal inflammation,
increases in vascular inflammation,
liver cell inflammation,
tumor growth- bladder, liver, skin
diabetes,
high cholesterol,
neuropathies-nerve inflammations
hypertension.

How do we know we have a problem?
Blood levels are helpful for an acute exposure but not a good evaluation for chronic.
Urine quantitative evaluation can be helpful for consistent exposure, but inconsistent exposures don’t show up well.
Liver enzymes elevated without other cause might be the first clue of an exposure.

Hair or nail sampling and evaluation are best for chronic exposure testing.

Organic arsenic is only a problem when it gets to be greater than 10 ppb (parts per billion) in one liter of water.
Unless you live near an active volcano or draw your water directly from a runoff source, you should be fine. Check your exposure rate through water testing to verify and filter it if needed.

If you do live downwind from a volcano and you grow food, have your soil tested as well.

Mostly, it’s the inorganic we need to worry about.
If you live within the watershed of
a smelter,
weapon production facility,
apple orchard,
vineyard,
cotton fields
poultry producer,
battery manufacturer,
semiconductor manufacturing facility,
treated wood manufacturer,
or if any of these were in your watershed area as far back as 1914, you should have your water checked.  The arsenic is that persistent.

If you grow your own food, or eat locally, have the soil checked as well. This testing kit would be one way to check.  Look up a professional lab in your area for more information.
Good farmers have this done so they can supplement the fields with needed nutrients.
Phosphates added to arsenic heavy soils can help mitigate the toxic burden.

Check your tap water for arsenic.
Each community water source is required to show arsenic as a proportion of water.
If you draw your water from a well, get it tested yearly at least. Especially if any new manufacturing changes the water table in your community.
The best way to be proactive is to filter your household water through either a whole house filter available from your local plumber or a sink filter like this one.
Remember that most folks will drink from whatever source of water available, so bathroom sinks need filtering too. Consider this if you can’t fit on a filter.

Limit arsenic rich foods-fish and shellfish, leafy greens from contaminated soil, brown rice from contaminated soil.
Foods grown organically are your best choice since the land is certified to not have arsenic compounds applied for at least 3 years prior to becoming an organic farm.

Rice
Rice picks up a double whammy when grown on fields that have manufacturing traces.
Rice cultivation is in muddy and flooded fields, exposing the plants to both soil and water contamination.
White rice is naturally lower in arsenic since the arsenic is primarily in the bran coat that is removed while milling.
Carefully consider the origin of your rice if it is a mainstay in your diet.

My family eats Lundberg Rice products, and organically grown Brown Rice Flour from Bob’s Red Mill.

Who should avoid arsenic containing foods:
Smokers
Pregnant women
If you are thinking of getting pregnant, consider a hair evaluation prior to conceiving. If you hold a toxic burden, you’ll want to be treated before conception for the baby’s sake. Arsenic can lead to neural tube defects.

People with kidney problems

Elimination of Arsenic
Humans excrete arsenic through our urine and feces.
Making sure to drink enough filtered water is primary.
Supporting the kidneys and liver in filtering is secondary.
Your doctor could use glutathione, S-adenosylmethione (SAM), selenium and milk thistle to increase the clearance rate.

Diet:
eat lots of organically grown spinach,
eat fresh tomatoes- the canned ones don’t help this time
Tumeric has been shown to increase the clearance

If you have organic arsenic in your water, buy a filter and make this curry once or twice a week
Change up the protein and the veggies just keep the spinach, tomatoes and tumeric.

Most of all, more studies need to be run, that show what persistent low dose exposure to arsenic compound do in the human body.
The studies available are not enough for adequate protection from these persistent chemicals.

Yellow Curry with Tomatoes and Spinach
 
This is one of those recipes with multiple benefits. It is fast, tasty and provides many phytochemicals to assist in detoxification. Make sure to use fresh organic spinach and fresh organic tomatoes.
Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound organic tofu, cut into one inch cubes
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
  • 2 tablespoons yellow curry powder- I love this recipe for homemade but you can use commercial.
  • additional I teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 (14-oz.) can unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 bunch fresh spinach- washed and cut into small pieces
  • 2 large tomatoes cut into 1 inch cubes
Instructions
  1. Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat in a large saucepan.
  2. Place the tofu and salt in the pan and cook till until golden brown, turning to allow each side to cook.
  3. Add the onion, garlic and ginger, cook till the onion is wilted and spices are fragrant.
  4. Add the the curry powder and turmeric, continue to cook for a minute.
  5. Add the coconut milk to the saucepan.
  6. Let the curry simmer and thicken for 3 minutes.
  7. Stir in the spinach and tomatoes
  8. Simmer for 5 minutes till the spinach wilts and the tomatoes begin to breakdown.
  9. Serve the curry over basmati rice

References: http://www.inchem.org/documents/ehc/ehc/ehc224.htm#1.4

http://www.greenfacts.org/en/arsenic/l-3/arsenic-2.htm#2p0

http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/csem/csem.html

http://www.arsenicfacts.usarice.com/

http://www.lundberg.com/Info/Arsenic/productfaqs.aspx

 

Some other writers about Arsenic and Rice.

Gluten-Free Mom

Grist

Deborah Blum for Wired

Tom Philpott for Mother Jones

Common Health