Gluten-free amaranth cookie recipe

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Four bodily humours

In our ongoing search for the perfect gluten-free cookie recipe, we came across something intriguing about Shakespearean views on health. If you find Shakespeare halfway as bewitching as we do, you might be interested in knowing that much of his writing was based on an idea of the four bodily humours, or fluids. The specific balance each individual had of blood, phlegm, black bile, and yellow bile were seen to form one’s personality, looks, emotional wellbeing, and physical health. It’s fascinating to consider how much has changed yet remained the same today. We still feel that internal balance is key to living a good life, but our ideas about how to do that are a bit different!

Bile - what is it?

In Shakespearean times, an excess of black bile was thought to make one melancholic, while too much yellow bile made you irritable. Bile is a greenish-brown fluid produced by the liver and stored in the gallbladder until the intestines call it into service to digest dietary fats. When bowel movements are regular thanks to fibre, bile is eliminated from the body and the liver then makes more, which lowers cholesterol.(1)

Related reading

The seeds of nutrition: Top ten seeds for your healthy diet

Gut health: How gut microbiome impacts mental wellbeing

How gut health is linked to the immune system

  What in the world would that particular factoid have to do with a gluten-free cookie recipe? Well, Erbology Organic Amaranth Flour, naturally gluten-free and perfect for use in a vegan cookie dough that replaces your basic sugar cookie recipe, also contains a remarkably high fibre content. This then keeps your bile in perfect balance. This type of newfound connection between past and present, especially when manifested through cooking, always gives us a new sense of contentment and makes us think hey, maybe all is well in the world after all? We’ve always thought cookies were good medicine for melancholy and irritability, anyway! Anyway, this dough rolls out like any sugar cookie and is perfect for cookie-cutters and decorating. Cardamom, orange peel, and cinnamon contribute a golden, warming flavour, while coconut oil provides healthy fats that will keep you satisfied and curb any pesky cravings you may be prey to.(2)

The health benefits of amaranth grain

Amaranth has been a staple grain for many cultures dating back to the time of the Aztecs. 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 about nine grams of protein, which is used by every single cell in our bodies.   

The high-quality protein in amaranth grain contains lysine, an essential amino acid that is not very common in the plant world. Lysine is one of 20 amino acids that our body uses to build protein. It must be obtained from dietary sources because our bodies cannot produce it. Lysine promotes absorption of calcium from the intestines, helps in the manufacture of enzymes, hormones and antibodies, and stimulates the production of creatinine, used by the body to help convert fatty acids into usable forms of energy. Through this, creatinine helps to lower cholesterol, support weight-loss, and promote muscle growth.(3)(4)(5) Not too shabby! This gluten-free cookie recipe pairs well with our green smoothie made of plant-based ingredients such as kiwi fruit, aloe vera, pineapple and fresh baby spinach. Our plant-based milk shakes are another delicious companion for these amaranth cookies. They are creamy, full of sweetness and packed with vitamins and minerals.

Other gluten-free dessert ideas

Ice pops with fresh fruit and tigernut granola

Vegan-friendly pumpkin pie recipe

Rose and raspberry plant-based cheesecake recipe

  • 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

  1. Preheat the oven to 350º F / 177º C.
  2. In a small bowl, make the vegan ‘egg’: mix the ground flax seeds with water and let them sit for about 10 minutes or until the mixture 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 on parchment paper. Sprinkle some amaranth flour on the countertop 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 minutes on one side and then flip and bake for another 5-7 mins.
  8. Take them out and let cool on the tray. Your cookies are ready to eat, decorate, serve or gift!
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