In a perfect world, no one has Celiac Disease. Or lactose intolerance. Or diabetes. Unfortunately so, this isn’t the case, and it seems as though these problems are more common now than in the past. A close friend was going through a rough time with constant stomach issues a few years ago. After running many tests, they finally discovered that she had Celiac Disease. Celiac disease is a condition that damages the lining of the small intestine and prevents it from absorbing parts of food that are important for staying healthy. The damage is due to a reaction to eating gluten, which is found in wheat, barley, rye, and possibly oats. Another close friend is lactose intolerant. If she were to drink a glass of milk or eat a lot of cheese, it would make her horribly sick, because lactose intolerance is when the body is unable to digest dairy properly. My neighbor has diabetes. He loves it when I bring cupcakes over, but has to be very careful and take his insulin. If you have diabetes, no matter what type, it means you have too much glucose in your blood, although the reasons may differ. Too much glucose can lead to serious health problems. Should these people be punished by not being able to eat desserts? Absolutely not! And here’s a solution!
Recently, I started training at a Crossfit gym. One of the trainers was discussing nutrition with me, and he told me that if I could cut anything out of my diet, it should be all wheat products (gluten) for weight loss. This is actually not the first (and probably not the last) time I’ve heard that statement, about cutting out bread and pasta to help lose weight. All the more reason to start experimenting with gluten free flour! Here’s my chance, and this is only the beginning!
A sugar free recipe of chocolate chip cookies that I found years ago was in Marilu Henner’s book. I followed her plan strictly for about 6 months, eating no sugar, meat or dairy… I became very thin, very healthy (never got sick) and my digestive system worked like a champ. But, following a lifestyle that strict was very difficult for me. I don’t know how many times we went somewhere to eat, and I was extremely limited on what to pick from, and when I did eat something that was off that plan, my stomach twisted, turned flips and got tied into knots. It was miserable, and I wanted to be able to eat “normal” foods again. Yet here I am, struggling to get this baby weight off. Go figure, right? Anyway, the recipe that she used had sugar-free, dairy-free chocolate chips and soy margarine. It called for regular flour, and in this recipe, I switched out the regular flour for gluten free flour, and used the organic gluten-free vanilla. I also replaced the date sugar that’s called for in her recipe with Splenda, really just to try it out.
Personally, I like a lot of nuts in my cookies. I didn’t put any in this batch though, simply because it’s a hit or miss with other people loving or hating nuts in cookies. Next time I make these without nuts though, I’ll throw in an extra bag of the chocolate chips. When they were done baking, I ate one. It was still slightly warm…and although it wasn’t as incredibly delicious as a original chocolate chip cookie, it was still good. My husband tried one, and he wasn’t a fan. As I sat there and thought about how they tasted, I decided the ultimate taste test to tell if it was any good was to give it to our daughter. She’s almost two, and if she doesn’t like something, she spits it back out immediately. When I asked her if she wanted a cookie and gave her a piece, she stuffed it into her mouth…swallowed, and started reaching out her hand and stomping her foot for more. I laughed hysterically, and pat my husband on the leg, “You see?! Ultimate taste-tester right there!” to which he replied, “She doesn’t know any better.” HA!
2 1/4 cups gluten free baking flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup soy margarine, softened
1 cup Sucanat
1/2 cup Splenda sugar substitute
1 teaspoon gluten-free vanilla extract
2 large eggs
12 oz package semisweet non-dairy chocolate chips
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degree. In a small bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In larger bowl, combine soy margarine, sucanat, splenda and vanilla extract; beat until creamy. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Gradually add flour mixture. Mix well before stirring in non-dairy chocolate chips. Add nuts at this time, if desired. Using cookie scoop, drop dough onto baking stone, bake for 12-14 minutes.
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