Gluten-Free Vegan Monster Cookies Brought to You by Flax!

Photo by HealthAliciousNess from Flickr

Flax. These slick little seeds used to confound me. I’ve had to adopt a completely egg-free and milk-free diet due to my son’s anaphylaxis to all eats containing egg and milk. So where does this lead me and my culinary efforts to eat yummy, essentially vegan sweets that do not taste like cardboard? Flax. A slippery little seed with incredible binding power if you can just slide past its slip.

Photo by hagwall from Flickr

Go on, get your good self to the grocery store and purchase at least 3 Tablespoons of ground flax seeds for the following fabulous vegan dairy free, egg free and gluten free cookies that kick your sugar cravings to the curb with loads of surprising yum. If you buy more than 3 Tablespoon, store in your fridge and make another batch soon! The flax won’t last!How to do this? Well, I’ve tried grinding them myself in a coffee grinder, a food processor, and pummeling with a mortar/pestle. I’ve soaked and then attempted annihilation of the seed’s exterior. But really the most effective way to grind them is to let the professionals do it. I buy the seeds pre-ground and in small quantities from the grocery store. Remember once the seeds are ground they are incredibly susceptible to becoming rancid. How do the grocery stores grind these little goodies so well? I’m not sure. But I do know, once ground, you too can access the flax seed’s amazing fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, most of the B vitamins you could ever want, and lignans! Gasp! What are lignans? Well, they convert in our intestines into various beneficial substances that seem to balance out hormones, promote fertility, reduce peri-menopausal symptoms and possibly prevent Type 2 diabetes.

Vegan Monster Cookies – adapted from La Vegan Loca
3 tablespoons ground flax seeds
1/2 cup water
1 1/4 cups packed light brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups organic, creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup vegan margarine
1 cup vegan chocolate chips
1/2 cup dried cherries corsely cut (or other dried fruits)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
4 1/2 cups gluten-free rolled oats

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or nonstick baking mats.
  2. Combine ground flax seeds and water in a food processor and whirl until the liquid becomes viscous and thick, about 1 minute.
  3. In a very large mixing bowl, combine the flax mixture and sugars. Mix well. Add the vanilla, peanut butter, and margarine. Mix well. Stir in the chocolate chips, raisins, baking soda, and rolled oats. The dough will get very unwieldy. Fret not. Keep mixing.
  4. When the dough is thoroughly mixed and all ingredients are distributed evenly thoughtout, drop by tablespoons two inches apart onto the prepared cookie sheets.
  5. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Do not overbake. Let stand for about 3 minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool. When cool, store in airtight containers.

A+ For Sweet Potatoes

Photo by Natalie Maynor from Flickr.com

My Auntie Misty gives foods grades. I never knew this til I sat down to a dinner with sweet potato at the helm and I thought she said, “Sweet potato is a plus food.” I laughed, “Yes, it is a food.” “NO!” She replied, “It is A+ FOOD!” Indeed sweet potato deserves high marks. They have a low glycemic index and make your body more responsive to insulin. They contain no fat, are high in fiber, and are also high in vitamin A and C as well as containing a fair amount of calcium and iron. The best part of sweet potatoes is that they are delicious! Apparently, Christopher Columbus found these edible relations of the Morning Glory vine so yummy that he brought the tubers back to Europe and they subsequently flourished across the globe even reaching China and Japan by the 16th century. Now, the Japanese even make a kick-you-cross-eyed booze out of sweet potato called shōchū.

To roast a sweet potato, no need to fuss with foil or whatnot. Just toss them on a cookie sheet straight from your grocery bag. Whack your hotbox up to 400F, and roast for about an hour or until the sweet potato is soft all around and oozing its caramelized sugars. Then, mush with butter and enjoy. Or, toss an onion on the cookie sheet and make the dinner I made Auntie Misty. It is dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, diabetic friendly, gluten free, and, gasp, tasty. If you are vegan, substitute a smaller amount of agave nectar to taste for the honey. If you are a meat-eater, the recipe as it stands is also the perfect accompaniment to a simply prepared chicken breast, slice of beef, or a even a tasty pork chop.