• 1

    Batch

  • Prep Time 15'

  • Total Time 30'

  • No refined sugar

  • Nut-free

Gluten-free amaranth cookie recipe

  • 1

    Batch

  • Prep Time 15'

  • Total Time 30'

  • No refined sugar

  • Nut-free

All my sweetest holiday memories involve sweets, literally! I used to love holiday parties at school when we made and simultaneously ate, our gingerbread houses. I would invite friends over to decorate sugar cookies and it was usually a bit of a competition to see who could make the prettiest ones! The holidays are always a time for enjoying the simple things in life in the company of those around you. I cannot believe how quickly this year has gone, I swear every year goes by faster and faster.

This year was truly blessed. We’ve taken on some exciting opportunities and challenges, launched new products and formed new partnerships. Thanks to the support of our loyal community we have been able to grow Erbology even further! I am so excited to see what next year holds and you will be sure to hear all about it when I am writing the next Christmas cookie recipe. We hope that you are all able to enjoy the holiday season and take some time off.

The holidays are always busy, but that means gatherings with family and friends. I find so much joy in entertaining and spoiling my guests with healthy treats. I also love to package little holiday gifts for the kids’ teachers, the mailman, bus driver and neighbours. We also have to save some cookies to put out for Santa and his reindeer! I hate to brag, but my cookies are always to-die for. I decided this year I would make gluten-free, plant-based cookies that I could also enjoy. I wanted to treat myself and indulge in moderation.

I am usually all about traditions, but I wanted to spice things up this year and give my friends something really unique. A few caveats: I needed a cookie that would stand the test of time, be naturally free from gluten and approved by children. My friends and family have lots of kids who always try to convince me that it cannot possibly be a dessert if it is healthy. I am trying to teach them that deserts can be both yummy and good for us! Santa could use a little something healthy for a change, too!

The recipe is quite simple. I began with my egg-substitute and gluten-free flour. The ‘vegan egg’ as they call it, is simply a mix of flax seeds and water. I use a ratio of 1:3 (1 tbsp flax to 3 tbsp water). The mixture will thicken as it sits out for a few minutes. I used Erbology Organic Amaranth Flour as my base.

Once you’ve got the base, it’s the cinnamon, cardamom and orange zest that make these cookies stand out. I find that these spices are mild enough for everyone’s liking. The kids wouldn’t think they are anything more than the classic sugar cookie (fine by me), but my baker friends can’t stop talking about how well this ‘just works’! You can definitely add more of the spices or omit ones that you do not like.

Once mixed together, the dough rolls out like any sugar cookie. It is perfect for cookie-cutters and holiday fun! The key is to keep the thickness consistent so that all the cookies can bake through in the same amount of time. Once you have created your little village of snowmen and Santas, pop them into the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until your snowmen are looking just the right amount of toasty! Make sure to let your cookies cool before decorating or packaging them up.

Amaranth is especially great because I find that my digestive system often needs a little extra help around the holidays! The coconut oil provides healthy fats that will keep you satisfied longer and curve those cravings that are oh so hard to manage with all the holiday treats. These are definitely still more of a sweet indulgence, but one that doesn’t need to be accompanied by guilt!

The benefits of amaranth grain

Amaranth has been a staple grain for many cultures dating back to the time of the Aztecs. It may look small, but do not underestimate its mightiness! Amaranth is naturally gluten-free and helps to promote digestion, energy, and a healthy heart.

We refer to amaranth as a mighty grain largely because it is one of the best plant-based sources of protein. One cup of cooked amaranth provides nine grams of protein. Protein is needed and used by every single cell in our bodies. We rely on protein for building muscle mass, supporting neurological function, aiding in digestion, helping to balance hormones and keeping an upbeat mood.

The protein in amaranth is of a high quality. It contains lysine, an essential amino acid that is not very common in the plant world, and even when it is present, it only usually occurs in small amounts. That is usually found in small anot commonly found in grains. Lysine is one of 20 amino acids that our body uses to build protein. It is “essential” because it must be obtained from dietary sources as we do not produce it in our body. Lysine is found in many leafy vegetables, legumes, fish and herbivorous animals. Similarly, to a lot of amino acids, lysine is used to build muscles and collagen. Lysine also promotes absorption of calcium from the intestines, helps the manufacture of enzymes, hormones and antibodies, and stimulates the production of creatinine. Creatinine is used by the body to help convert fatty acids into usable forms of energy. By converting fatty acids into energy, carnitine helps to lower cholesterol, aid in weight-loss and promote muscle growth (1,2,3).

The high fibre content in amaranth stimulates the digestive system and helps regulate our elimination processes. Since our bodies cannot digest fibre, it is used to help us digest other things and keep our digestive system running smoothly. Fibre also interacts with the bile in our intestines to naturally lower cholesterol levels. Bile is a greenish-brown fluid that is produced in the liver and stored in the gallbladder until it is needed in the intestines to help digest fats from our foods. Fibre acts on this bile and through frequent bowel movements, some bile is eliminated from the body. Because of this process, the liver is required to make more bile, which uses up the body’s cholesterol stores, lowering cholesterol overall (4,5).

Written By: Danielle Bear

 

(1) “L-Lysine.” Amino Acid Studies, aminoacidstudies.org/l-lysine/.

(2) Rebouche, CJ. Carnitine. In: Shils ME, Shike M, Ross AC, Caballero B, Cousins RJ, eds. Modern Nutrition in Health and Disease. 10th ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins; 2006:537-544.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Erbology Organic Amaranth Flour
  • ¾ cup whole cane sugar, unrefined
  • 2 vegan eggs (2 tbsp ground flax seeds and 6 tbsp water)
  • ½ cup extra virgin coconut oil, creamy texture but not melted
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼  tsp cardamom spice
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  • Zest from 1 orange

Here's how you make it

  1. Preheat the oven to 350º F.
  2. In a small bowl, make the vegan ‘egg’: mix the ground flax seeds with water and let them sit for about 10 mins or until it starts to thicken.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix the flour with sugar, baking powder and spices.
  4. Add the coconut oil and the flax egg. Mix well with your hands until it starts to form a nice dough.
  5. Prepare a tray with some coconut oil or a parchment paper. Sprinkle some amaranth flour on the counter, and spread the dough with a rolling pin.
  6. Get festive with your favourite cookie cutters. You may need to keep applying the amaranth flour and rolling the dough until you have used it all up.
  7. Put your cookies on the tray and place in the oven. Bake for 7-10 mins on one side and then flip and bake for another 5-7 mins.
  8. Take them out and let cool on the tray.
  9. Your cookies are ready to eat, decorate, serve or gift!

Tags

  • Amaranth
  • Baking
  • Christmas
  • Cookies
  • Gluten-free
  • Guilt-free

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