Coconut Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies Recipe + Being Able to Eat Butter Again

Today I am sharing with you my favorite gluten free cookie recipe ever. It is the one cookie recipe that I have consistently made time and time again over the past two years since I was diagnosed with celiac disease. It is our go-to cookie recipe.

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Best of all, it’s pretty simple. It doesn’t have a terribly crazy combination of flours, as so many gluten free recipes do. This recipe is also adaptable. I have often run out of one or the other of the flours for the mix, so I replace it with combinations of flours I happen to have on hand. For example, I have often used tapioca starch instead of potato starch, potato flour instead of rice flour, coconut flour instead of sorgum flour (in this case, I use a little less coconut flour, since coconut flour sucks up a lot more moisture than most flours, and is also pretty dense). In the easiest variation of all, I just use a gluten free flour mix and replace all the flours with that. They all taste great, but so far this is my favorite combination ever.

If you’ve been reading this blog consistently, or if you know me, you might know that I have celiac disease. On top of that I am also lactose and soy intolerant. At the time of my diagnoses, I was told that my dairy intolerance was really due to the damage that eating gluten for so long had done to my digestive system. You see, I probably had celiac disease for about 5 years before I actually got diagnosed, and in all that time my diet consisted mostly of bread and cereal (I love love love bread). Because of this my body was a mess, I was unable to tolerate lactose or soy. However my doctor told me that eventually, with the healing of my digestive system through this gluten free diet, I might be able to have dairy again someday. And so I started that day with a gluten free diet, and waited.

So fast forward to nearly two years later: a few months ago my husband, Dane, was dying for some cookies made with real, actual butter. In general, Dane basically lives with as strict a diet as I do, since I don’t bother cooking separate meals for him and I. But Dane, understandably, misses dairy and gluten! Now I’ve started to consistently add real, cow milk, and cottage cheese, and so on to our grocery list. I’m still really hesitant to ever buy wheat bread, or gluten containing foods, since I am SO sensitive to gluten that even a crumb that happened to fall into my food would affect me for a couple weeks. But anyway, back to the cookies. Dane used this same basic recipe that I am sharing with you today, and went to the store to buy butter and cane sugar. He loved what adding butter did to the cookies, though the regular sugar was a bit too much (the only time we ever eat cane sugar is if happens to already be in the food we buy- when baking/cooking, I always used coconut sugar). I was hesitant to try them, even though they were gluten free, because I hadn’t had butter in a couple years. But I knew that eventually I was supposed to be able to have butter, so after a couple days passed I was dying for a cookie so I gave in and tried one. And guess what? I had absolutely. no. reaction. I was eating butter and was just fine!

It is really exciting to experience some visible, tangible progress in this crazy diet and roller coaster health of mine. When I was initially diagnosed with celiac disease, I was totally devastated. How was I ever supposed to eat anything good again? Over time I realized there are a lot of replacement options for gluten free living, so it wasn’t as bad as I thought. Through a lot of work and research (probiotics, juice cleanses, multi-vitamins, exercise, and most recently, quitting coffee drinking) I have come a long way in becoming and feeling healthier and stronger. But this is one of the most notable milestones yet!

Since that first discovery that I could eat those delicious, buttery cookies, I have continued to experiment with just how much butter I can tolerate. In general, I still need the aid of taking enzymes/probiotics in order to avoid having any discomfort during digestion even with my gluten/dairy/soy free diet. And this applies to butter as well. But as long as I follow my normal routine with eating, it’s not a problem. I have buttered GF bread, I have made french onion soup containing butter, eggplant with butter, cookies with butter… it’s amazing! I still am careful not to go overboard- I try to only have butter a few times a week. I have to be cautious and not rush the (sometimes painfully) slow, but sure progress towards total healing.

So below is my first recipe ever on this blog to contain butter! It has a dairy free option listed right there with it, and it tastes just as delicious when dairy free. I also added milk to my recipe though I’ve only ever made it with an alternative milk (usually coconut milk) since I’m not quite at the milk drinking stage (and not sure if I ever will be). So I can’t say for sure how that will taste (though I can’t possibly see how it would taste bad..I mean, it’s milk).

Enjoy and let me know what you think! What sort of progress have you seen your process toward healing in your life?

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Coconut Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

  • 1/2 cup butter or coconut oil, melted
  • 3/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 3 tbsp milk or alternative milk (coconut, almond, etc)
  • 1 tsp GF vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sorgum flour
  • 1/3 cup potato starch
  • 1/4 cup rice flour
  • 1 1/2 cup GF oats
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/4 tsp soda

Directions

Preheat oven to 350° F

Cream the coconut sugar and butter or coconut oil in a mixer until smooth.

Add the milk and vanilla and mix till blended.

In a separate bowl, whisk together all dry ingredients (flours, oat, powders) except for the coconut flakes and chocolate chips.

Combine the dry flour/oat mix with the butter/sugar and mix until it is just combined (but before it turns into a ball of dough).

Add the chocolate chips and coconut flakes and combine.

Roll into cookie shapes onto a greased baking sheet. Makes 12-24 cookies depending on the size you roll them out.

Bake for 12-15 minutes until just slightly golden brown.

Cool and enjoy with some milk!

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Gluten Free Strawberry and Peach Cobbler (6 cartons of strawberries continued)

So remember this post when I told you all how I had 6 cartons of strawberries? Well….I must admit that I just now got to that final, sixth pack. No worries…I checked, each, individual strawberry to make sure there was no mold, they didn’t smell, etc. It must have not been a very ripe batch when I bought it cuz most of those strawberries were still good. 

Anyway, I had strawberries and a bag of peaches my mother in law had given me a week or so before. Similarly to how I am bad at actually eating sufficient vegetables each day, so also I am bad (if not worse) at ever eating fruit. I love starchy things: nuts, breads, etc. That’s why I juice, or have smoothies, nearly every day. All this to say, I had all this fruit in my fridge that was very very ripe, so I decided to bake a pie.

Then I remembered how as a child, peach cobbler was basically equivalent to heaven in my book. I’d lamented when I first was diagnosed with celiac disease that I’d never get to eat my mom’s amazingly delicious peach cobbler again. However, what’s to stop me now from trying out a gluten free one now? Nothing. So I did. I spent (too much of) the afternoon looking up several gluten free cobbler recipes, and below is what I came up with. 

All this to say, not a single carton of those original six went to waste, and neither did that bag of peaches. Yay.

Please enjoy:

Strawberry and Peach Cobbler

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups, 1/2 strawberries and 1/2 peaches
  • 2 tsp tapioca starch
  • 2 tbs pure honey
  • 1/2 cup sorgum flour
  • 1/2 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/2 cup tapioca flour
  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
  • 6 tbs coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup pure honey
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 cups dairy free milk alternative (I used unsweetened coconut milk)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350F

Chop up the fruit, add them to a pan, add the tapioca starch, then the honey. Heat on low for 10 minutes.

Whisk together the flours, almond meal, baking soda, baking powder, and xanthan gum. 

Next mix that with the coconut oil, honey, almond extract, egg, and milk. Whisk just until smooth.

Pour the fruit mixture into a baking pan greased with coconut oil.

Drop the flour batter by large spoonfuls evenly over the fruit mixture.

Bake for 25-30 min.

Recipe adapted mostly from here.

 

Pizooki’s! (kind of) and Reflections

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The first time I ever saw a dessert recipe with garbanzo beans as the replacement for flour, I was skeptical. That was when my friend Ali posted this recipe for chocolate chip cookies. Since then, that cookie recipe has become an all time favorite in this house, and every person who’s ever happened to be over when I made them was totally impressed and really enjoyed them.

I think that a lot of times people treat recipes kind of like how people treat traditions. You don’t want to change them because…well this is how it’s always been done. The first example that popped into my head actually, was how so many people within churches don’t want to see change in the structure, music, etc., believing that the way things are done (and have been done for the past 80 or so years) are biblicly based. Sometimes upon deeper reflection, it becomes evident that the basis is less Scripture, and more tradition.

So anyway, the point of that silly analogy is this: I’ve come to realize, through my eating restrictions, that I am not actually at all restricted. There are limitless replacements for all the basic staples of baking: flour, eggs, sugar, and milk to name a few. Nearly every plant can be dried and ground to make a flour. There is corn flour, potato flour, garbanzo flour, coconut flour, rice flour, tapioca flour, arrowroot flour, and more. For every recipe, refined sugars can be replaced with honey, palm sugar, date sugar, coconut sugar, etc. And any visit to the grocery store will reveal the every expanding variety of dairy free milk alternatives.

Discovering I had so many food allergies was one of the most devastating things to ever learn, initially. Yet so much good came out of it. I was forced to get creative, forced to try things I would have never even been interested in, and as a result, my eating habits became immensely, if not extremely, (not to mention accidentally) healthy.

This month is one year exactly since I’ve gone gluten, dairy, soy, and refined sugar free*. I was reflecting on this last week and I realized that these restrictions were ironically liberating. I used to hate food/eating because it was my enemy, I was sick after nearly every meal I ever ate. It is amazing because soon after I found out about my dietary restrictions, I started writing my thesis paper for my undergrad degree on food as a gift. What followed was a major paradigm shift. The synthesis of studying food theology, philosophy, aesthetics, and sociology, while simultaneously in my day to day/meal to meal life practicing new eating habits, I was beginning to have a new experience with food. Food no longer made me sick. Food still actually tasted good. Really healthy food could be more tasteful than anything I’d ever eaten before. (I didn’t actually even set out to eat healthy initially, I just set out to eat something out of all the seemingly “nothing” that I was aloud to eat.) Eating was not only enjoyable, but was right. Humans are made to enjoy this gift.

All this to say, today I came across another desert recipe with garbanzo beans. Desserts like this sound “gross” to some people…which inspires me all the more to make it. It was a recipe for a pan chocolate chip cookie “pie”, but I tweeked it a lot to make it double chocolaty aaaand added “ice cream” to go on top because then it’s like a pizooki! And I haven’t had a real pizooki in like 6 years.

Below are two parts to this post, one with the pan cookie recipe, and the second with the banana chocolate ice cream/cold frosting thing. Enjoy!

*(I’m not actually allergic to refined sugar, so when I’m out and there are allergen free food options with refined sugar ingredients, I do eat them. I just never bake/cook with it.)

Part I: Pan Cookie

Double Chocolate Chip Flour Free Pan Cookie

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Ingredients:

  • 2 cans (15oz) garbanzo/chickpea beans
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup milk (I used flaxmilk)
  • 1 tbs almond extract
  • 3 tbs oil (I used coconut)
  • 6 tbs pure honey
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2/3 cup coco powder
  • 1 cup oats (certified gluten free)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 F

In a food processor, blend the garbanzo beans, applesauce, milk, almond extract, oil, and honey and blend until smooth.

Next add the baking powder, baking soda, and cocoa powder pulsing the food processor between ingredients so as to ensure it is well mixed.

Add the oats and coconut and process again until mixed. Lastly add the chocolate chips and mix.

Scoop/pour mixture into a prepared baking dish (I used a square 8×8 one, but I actually recomend using a slightly bigger one so the cookie batter can be spread thinner, and the final result is more like a cookie and less like a brownie or cake in thickness) and bake for 40 minutes or until the top is golden brown and crispy.

When it’s finished let it cool for at least 15 minutes so it can set.

Part II: Banana Chocolate “Ice Cream”

There is nothing icey or creamy about this recipe really. I’ve been seeing all these pinterest recipes lately for these easy ice cream or milk shake recipes involving bananas and cocoa powder. While I was making dinner, I thought about how I should have bought some frozen yogurt to go with the chocolaty dessert that I could smell cooking in the oven. Then I remembered that I had two very ripe bananas in the freezer that I’d frozen a few days back to keep from going to waste. There was the answer: the time had come to try one of those pinterest recipes. However, I was too lazy to try and scroll through all the photos, compare recipes, and find the one I had all the ingredients on hand for. I’ve read them plenty of times anyway…so I made this one up and it turned out delicious. Unfortunately, and as per usual, I didn’t really use measuring tools while throwing this together. So in the recipe below I’ve estimated the measurements to the following ingredients.

(Note: In order for the ice cream to be ready in collaboration with the pan cookies, I recommend starting it as soon as the cookie goes in the oven or even before making the cookie)

Banana Chocolate “Ice Cream”

Ingredients:

  • 2 very ripe bananas (frozen or not-this will just affect how long it has to be frozen afterwards to set)
  • 1/4 cup milk (I used flaxmilk)
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder

Directions:

Add all the ingredients to a food processor or blender. Blend well until smooth. Pour into a bowl and put in the freezer until firm.

Scoop out like normal ice cream and enjoy over the pan cookie recipe above, or just by itself.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Balls Made From Coconut Flour

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Yesterday was a long day. Dane and I were both pretty exhausted and I, being indecisive as always, was debating what exactly to cook for dinner right up until dinner time. On top of that, I had a late lunch, so when dinner time rolled around I wasn’t even hungry at all. Dane however was starving, and even though I wasn’t hungry, I’d been wanting something chocolatey and sweet for a few days. So, while Dane snacked around in the fridge, I procrastinated making dinner….by making cookies.

Dane ended up doing most of the work though, because he really wanted to help me…

Now is confession time: I love love baking and cooking in the kitchen. It is relaxing to me, a time of quiet solitude to combine ingredients, colors, and textures, and making something healthy, and tasteful. I love working on a meal, then when its finished it all gets taken out to the table and people, whether its just Dane, or Dane and some guests, delight over it. Cooking is a fulfilling and creative outlet for me. The thing is…I like to do it alone. When other people “help” me, it usually stresses me out: whether its their not knowing what to do, questioning what I’m doing and how, or just making loud exclamations and noises. Anyway, I know that I get annoyed, grumpy, and stressed WAY too easily, so this time I really wanted to accept Danes help and try to keep myself calm…he wanted to spend time together after our long day, relaxing in the kitchen, and of course I wanted to spend time together too.

This might have been one of our most successful collaborations in the kitchen ever. I only got a little bit annoyed, and then got over it really quickly. Dane stood by the mixer, measuring and adding the ingredients while I read off the recipe and brought the ingredients to him. Then he rolled the first half of the batch onto the cookie sheet while I cleaned, until, being a perfectionist, he was driven crazy by rolling these perfect little balls of dough and we switched tasks. While they baked, Dane seared some meat on the stove (Dane is the BEST at searing meat) and I threw together a salad. By the time the cookies were done, dinner was done, so we went out to our back porch and ate, then came inside and watched a (really disappointing  movie over cookies and milk. At least the cookies were awesome. And the evening was slow and relaxing, in the company of each other- just what we needed.

Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookie Balls

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Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup pure honey
  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 tsp almond extract
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 3/4 cup dairy & soy free chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 F
In a mixer or a large bowl, add the eggs and mix, then add the coconut oil, honey, and almond extract and mix again.
Then add the dry ingredients: coconut flour, shredded coconut, and choco chips.
Roll the dough into tablespoon sized balls and place on a prepared baking sheet.
Bake 12 to 15 minutes, or until slightly golden brown.
Remove from oven, cool, and enjoy with dairy free milk alternative (we had it with flaxmilk)

ps-the recipe was adapted from here

Salad Fudge Brownies

The words salad and brownies in the title of the same recipe probably sounds like the most disgusting thing you ever heard. Nevertheless, bear with me… the reality is that these brownies are actually not that different from a salad, and they still taste mostly like brownies! Hence the name. Among the primary ingredients are things like black beans, romaine lettuce or spinach, hemp hearts, and almonds. It’s weird, you eat them for desert, and then realize that you just ate another serving of vegetables.

What’s more, they are quite allergy friendly: refined sugar free, dairy free, soy free, gluten free, egg free, and optionally nut free, making them a great option for people with restricted dietary needs (such as myself). .I hope that despite you’re (understandable) skepticism, you might be inspired to give this recipe a try!

How these brownies came into being: One of the first recipes that I made with immediate success after going gluten/soy/dairy free were these “Fudge-Tastic Brownies” found here. It was through this recipe that I realized weird ingredients can make some good brownies. Not only good brownies, but good for you brownies. After that I started experimenting with different brownie recipes, such as this spinach brownie recipe found here. The recipe below is one I kind of put together, adapted from those two recipes, with a few extra things I threw in that I had on hand. They’re pretty delicious, my husband and sister approved (and ate them all, just kidding).

Salad Brownies

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Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup date puree (this can be made by soaking 12 or so large dates depending on the size, in water for 1 hr, then draining and putting it in a blender/food processor until smooth)
  • a 15 oz can black beans (best unsalted, if you can find it)
  • 2 1/2 cups chopped romaine lettuce (I have also used spinach as well with success, so I suspect any green lettucy vegetable would work)
  • 2 tbs hemp hearts (optional)
  • I cup almond meal, packed*
  • 2 tbs melted coconut oil
  • 4 tbs pure honey
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened coconut milk (or other milk alternative of choice)
  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp gluten free baking powder (I use Clabber Girl, found at most grocery stores)
  • 1/2 tsp gluten free baking soda (I use Bob Mill’s, found at grocery stores, or Sprout’s and Whole Foods)

*To make a nut free option, another alternative flour could be used such as coconut flour instead of the almond meal, or a gluten free flour mix such as here.

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 F

Place the romaine in food processor and blend until broken up.

Add date puree and black beans and pulse until mixed (it does not have to be so mixed as to look like a puree at this point).

Add hemp hearts and almond meal and pulse for about 20 seconds.

Scrape the sides of the food processor with a scrape spatula and add coconut oil and honey. Process again, until it becomes smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides as necessary.

At this point your brownies will look like a pretty ugly greenish brownish mush, but don’t loose hope just yet. Add the cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and coconut milk. Mix again until smooth.

Place in an 8×8 baking dish, lined with parchment paper or oiled with coconut oil.

Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until slightly browned.

Optional: once baked, while it’s still hot, spread dairy/soy free chocolate chips (can be purchased at Target or Sprout’s) or chunks (I’ve used Trader Joe’s Belgian Dark Chocolate and chopped it into chunks) and set back in the oven for a minute or so. Take out and spread the melted chocolate chips around with a spatula that has been greased with coconut oil (so the chocolate doesn’t stick to it as much.) Cool for a half hour or so, cut and serve, or refrigerate overnight and serve cold.

Notes: This brownie tastes great warm, but I actually prefer it cold, the next day, after it’s sat in the fridge overnight. Totally a personal preference though. Hope you enjoy!

Makes about 9 brownies