Easy Ginger Coconut Cookies – A Healthy Gluten Free/Vegan ANZAC Biscuit Recipe

Easy Ginger Coconut Cookies – A Healthy Gluten Free/Vegan ANZAC Biscuit Recipe

Ginger Coconut Cookies

 

Creating The Perfect Gluten & Dairy Free ANZAC Cookie

Over the summer these Ginger Coconut Cookies have been a pantry staple as I worked on perfecting the ultimate vegan ginger cookie recipe.

My goal was to create a crunchy ANZAC style cookie without any gluten, dairy or refined sugar – that still tasted just as good as the original!

This turned out to be harder than I thought. Banana for example, does not make a good sweetener for cookies unless you’re looking for a very cakey, soft cookie. Coconut flour doesn’t work either as it makes them extremely dry and crumbly.

Four batches (and a lot of cookie eating) later, I finally have a recipe that fits the bill!

 

Ginger Coconut Cookies

 

Substituting Ingredients

For these winning Ginger Coconut Cookies I replaced refined sugar with coconut sugar and a little pure maple syrup, both of which have a lower glycemic index than standard sugar.

ANZAC cookies naturally contain no eggs, so I replaced the butter with coconut oil to make them vegan, which also means you can legit eat the cookie dough raw!

Instead of oats and flour I used dried coconut, buckwheat and brown rice flour to ensure these cookies are also gluten free.

 

Choose Your Texture With The Cooking Time

The texture of these cookies is entirely in your hands!

If you love a chewy, caramel flavoured cookie, bake them for the minimum 15 minutes. But if you like your cookie with a bit more crunch, leave them in the oven for another 5-10 minutes and you’ll have a lovely crisp ginger cookie.

 

Ginger Coconut Cookies

 

I hope you love these cookies as much as I do, leave me a comment below and be sure to tag your pictures #swoonfood on Instagram or facebook.

Enjoy!

 

Ginger Coconut Cookies (Vegan/Gluten Free ANZAC Biscuits)

Makes:  20 cookies
Prep time: 10 minutes  Bake time: 15-20 minutes

100g coconut oil
1 cup coconut sugar
1/2 cup desiccated coconut
1/2 cup thread coconut
1/2 cup buckwheat flour
1/2 cup brown rice flour
2 tsp ground ginger
pinch himalayan rock salt
1Tbsp pure maple syrup
1 tsp baking soda
2 Tbsp boiling water

Preheat the oven to 170ºC and line two baking trays with baking paper or silicone baking sheets.

If you’e making these in summer your coconut oil will already be soft and ready to use. If not, gently melt the coconut oil.

Combine the coconut oil with the coconut sugar in a large mixing bowl. Add the buckwheat and brown rice flours, ginger and salt, and stir to combine.

Mix the baking soda with the boiling water in a small bowl, add the maple syrup and combine with the dry mixture stirring well.

Shape the mixture into small balls and press into a flat cookie shape on the lined trays. Leave approximately 5 cm between each cookie to allow for spreading. Bake for 15 minutes if you’re after a chewy cookie or 20-25 minutes if you prefer them crunchy.

Store the cookies in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks, or the freezer for 1 month.

 

Ginger Coconut Cookies

Crunchy Maple Banana Granola

Crunchy Maple Banana Granola

Crunchy Maple Banana Granola

 

This crunchy maple banana granola has fast become a pantry staple in our house. Up until recently we mainly ate store bought granola or gluten free muesli, as I’d finally found two brands that had little or no added unrefined sugar, were super tasty, and of course very convenient.

Whilst browsing various health food blogs one day however, I came across quite a few recipes for granola sweetened predominantly with banana. The idea of a crunchy, lightly spiced, banana granola sounded super delicious, yet refreshingly healthy at the same time. Plus what also appealed was all the recipes were very quick and easy to make by simply combining all the ingredients and baking them in the oven.

 Crunchy Maple Banana Granola

 

After trying out a couple of these recipes I found they tasted amazing straight out of the oven, but went soft as soon as they cooled. I concluded this could either be due to the method of cooking or a combination of too much moisture from the banana and coconut. Perhaps these recipes intended to produce soft style granolas, but to me the definition of a good granola is that it should stay crunchy right until you spoon it into your mouth.

So never one to turn away a cooking challenge, I decided to come up with my own version that still had a lovely banana flavour but stayed crunchy for as long as it’s shelf life.

 

 

 Crunchy Maple Banana Granola 

 

The recipe below is my winning version and produces a granola that has a lovely mild banana flavour, a little bit of spice and a lot of crunch. It bakes at a lower temperature for about an hour as this allows the moisture from the banana to be released while still retaining the flavour. The maple syrup caramelises without burning and you are left with a nice crunchy texture.

Feel free to play around with the amount of spice, and substitute whatever nuts and seeds you prefer. One thing to note is this granola is made with oats so it’s not gluten free, if you are looking for a gluten free granola check out this oat free maple and cinnamon buckwheat granola recipe instead. Hope you enjoy this granola recipe and even better if it becomes a party staple of yours too!

 

Crunchy Maple Banana Granola

 

Crunchy Maple Banana Granola

Makes: 1 large jar
Prep time: 10 minutes Cook time: 1 hour

3 cups of oats
1 cup of coconut thread
1/4 cup of pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup of pecans
1/2 cup of almonds
1 Tbsp ground ginger
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 very ripe banana
1/4 cup pure maple syrup

 

Preheat the oven to 140ºC fan bake and line two baking trays with baking paper or sheets.

Combine the oats, coconut, pumpkin seeds, pecans, almonds, ginger, cinnamon and salt in a large mixing bowl. Mash the banana well and combine with the maple syrup. Add the banana mixture to the dry ingredients and mix well, with either a spoon or your hands. Spread the mixture evenly over both trays and bake in the oven for approximately 1 hour, stirring occasionally, until the nuts are lightly toasted and the mixture is an even caramelised colour.

Remove from the oven and allow the granola to cool on the trays. When cold store in airtight containers in the pantry. To serve, combine with your choice of milk or nut milk and whatever fresh fruit you have in season.

This is also a great breakfast on the run, just pop it into a jar, top with milk, fruit and yoghurt and you’re ready to go!

 

Crunchy Maple Banana Granola 

Purple Kale Chips (Dragon Wings)

Purple Kale Chips (Dragon Wings)

Purple Kale Chips by Swoon Food

 

Kale is one of those vegetables I used to see in the supermarket and never know what to do with so I simply didn’t buy it. That is until about a year ago, I was assisting on a photo shoot and was asked to cook some kale. Turns out it’s pretty simple, and after some further research I discovered there are a HEAP of different ways to use it! My two favourite are in green smoothies and the subject of this blog post, purple kale chips.

Kale is definitely having its moment in the spotlight. It’s now recognised as being a powerhouse of nutrients, particularly antioxidants, that support the immune system, reduce inflammation, stimulate natural detoxifying enzymes, help prevent cancers and heart disease, and protect your cells from damage and skin from ageing. Woop woop! What more could you ask for in a vegetable?!

I usually buy purple kale whenever I see it because it’s just so pretty and reminds me of something you might see on a coral reef under the sea. Turns out purple kale is even better than the green variety because it contains anthocyanins which are responsible for the purple colour (the same nutrient that blueberries and cranberries contain), which have even more powerful antioxidant properties. Yay for purple kale!

 

Purple Kale Chips (aka Dragon Wings!)

 

These kale chips are great to have on hand whenever you feel the need for something salty and crunchy. Obviously not quite as healthy as eating kale raw, say for example in a smoothie, but definitely way better than deep fried potatoes!

Unfortunately, as you can see in the next photo the purple kale loses its lovely purple colour after cooking, but it turns an interesting mix of green and orange which kind of reminds me of dragon wings ….(too much Game of Thrones?).

The secret to really great, crunchy, kale chips is to make sure you dry them really well after washing. The best device for this is a salad spinner (if you have one), followed by a clean dry tea towel. Enjoy!

 

Did you like this blog post? Any questions or comments about the Purple Kale Chip recipe? Leave me a message in the comments section below, I would love to hear from you!

 

Purple Kale Chips aka "Dragon Wings"

 

Purple Kale Chips aka Dragon Wings

Makes: 2 bakings trays worth
Prep time: 10 minutes Baking time: 15-20 minutes

1 bunch of organic kale
1 Tbsp organic extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp organic tamari soy sauce
1/2 tsp himalayan pink salt
Sprinkling of chilli flakes
Sprinkling of garlic powder

Preheat oven to 150°C fan bake and line at least two baking trays with either baking paper or silicone mats.

Carefully pull the purple kale leaves off the stems so that you have chip or bite sized pieces. Discard the stems.
Wash the purple kale leaves and then either use a salad spinner or a clean dry tea towel to dry the leaves thoroughly (this is the secret to crispy kale chips!).

Once dry, place the purple kale leaves in a large bowl and add a tablespoon of olive oil. Use your hands to massage the oil into the purple kale leaves ensuring they are thoroughly covered.

Next sprinkle over the tamari, salt, chilli flakes and garlic powder and once again massage in the seasoning to ensure all the chips are covered.

Spread the purple kale leaves onto the prepared baking trays, making sure they are in a single layer and not over crowded (another secret to crunchy chips!). Place the trays in the oven and bake for 15 – 20 minutes. Judge the time by how the chips look, they should be crunchy but you don’t want them so withered and dry that they no longer resemble kale.
Remove the chips from the oven and leave to cool on the trays to ensure they crunch up nicely. Stored in a sealed container at room temperature, these purple kale chips should last a good couple of weeks.

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Purple Kale Chips (aka Dragon Wings!)

 

Chia Bircher with Fresh Raspberry Coulis and Tropical Fruit

Chia Bircher with Fresh Raspberry Coulis and Tropical Fruit

Chia Bircher with Fresh Raspberry Coulis

 

Making chia puddings for breakfast is something I have only recently discovered, but wish I’d started sooner! After seeing them on a number of café menus and in various magazines, I eventually gave them a try and was amazed at just how delicious they were. Chia seeds are magic little things that absorb liquid before your eyes, making them very fast to prepare and also rather fun. They are very mildly flavoured (if at all) so the flavour comes from the liquid or whatever toppings you use, making the possibilities endless!

Chia seeds also happen to be a nutritional powerhouse full of protein, minerals and essential omega 3 and 6 oils, making them the perfect breakfast food. I love them so much I actually tried to take one with me on our 7am flight the other week thinking it would be a much better breakfast option than what they offer on the plane, only to have it confiscated at customs. According to the officer it came into the liquid category, however I’m not so sure. If you have tried chia pudding, I’m sure you’ll agree that you definitely have to eat it with a spoon!

When thinking of new combinations for this fabulous new breakfast of ours, I decided adding oats would be a genius idea thus turning them into chia birchers. I thought I might have invented this new combination but on googling, turns out many people had got there before me. I’m not surprised, as it’s such a great combination.

These chia birchers require no cooking, simply stir the chia seeds and milk together and leave for 30 minutes to allow the liquid to be absorbed. The raspberry layer is simply frozen organic raspberries blended in a food processor with a little water and pure maple syrup. It is great layered in between the bircher as well as drizzled over the top. Finish with whatever fresh fruit you have in season, I used kiwifruit, banana and strawberries for the ones in the photos. And lastly, for a bit of crunch I add a spoonful of granola.

As these chia birchers are so easy and quick to prepare I often make them the night before so they are ready to go in the morning however, they are just as easy to prepare in the morning if you have a little more time. If you need your breakfast on the go, simply make them in a jar with a lid and you’re sorted. If oats aren’t your thing, simply leave them out and reduce the milk quantity by 1/2 cup. Equally you can adjust the consistency of the bircher by increasing or decreasing the milk quantity. Enjoy!  

Any comments or questions about this chia bircher recipe?

Leave me a comment below, I love to hear from you!


 

Chia Bircher with Tropical Fruit and Granola

Makes: 2 large or 4 small servings
Prep time: 10 minutes Chilling time: 30 minutes

2 1/2 cups fresh almond milk (or milk of your choice)
1/2 cup oats
1/4 cup chia seeds (white or black)
1 Tbsp pure maple syrup
1/4 tsp cinnamon
Raspberry coulis (see recipe below)
Fresh fruit to serve e.g. kiwifruit, banana, strawberries

 

Place chia seeds, oats and cinnamon in a bowl and stir with a whisk to combine. Add the almond milk and agave and stir with a whisk for a few minutes until well combined and the chia has started to swell. Cover and place in the fridge for 30 minutes. This allows the chia seeds and oats to absorb the milk. When the chia bircher mixture is ready removed from the fridge and give another good stir with the whisk to ensure no lumps.
Place a layer of chia bircher on the bottom of each jar/glass, spoon on some raspberry coulis, follow with another layer of chia bircher and finally a little more raspberry coulis. At this point you can cover the chia birchers and place them back into the fridge until you are ready to serve e.g. overnight.
When ready to serve, top the chia bircher’s with sliced fresh fruit of your choice, e.g. kiwifruit, banana, strawberries and a little grainola if you like a bit of crunch.
Keep covered in the fridge until ready to eat, these will last 2-3 days.

Fresh Raspberry Coulis

1 1/2 cups frozen raspberries
1 Tbsp filtered water
2 Tbsp pure maple syrup

Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth, scraping down the sides as you go.

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