So GoodDec/Jan 2014 Issue

Easy, Edible Gifts

There’s something extra memorable and meaningful about gifts of homemade goodies. Who doesn’t love receiving from-scratch fudge, jam or cookies, especially when they’re free of gluten and major allergens?

These delicious recipes make holiday giving an easy treat for you and everyone on your list. Place your homemade items in decorative food bags or boxes and tie them in colorful baker’s twine to add special warmth and appeal. Cute containers and old-fashioned mason jars can be ordered online or picked up at stores like Ace Hardware.

Don’t forget to write the recipe on a small card and include it with your treat. This way, your gift can keep on giving all year long.

Mocha Fudge

MAKES ABOUT 16 PIECES

Fudge is an indulgence usually reserved for those who eat dairy—until now!

1 cup water
½ cup coconut sugar
½ cup soft pitted Medjool dates (about 8 dates)
1 (16-ounce) jar coconut butter, melted (not coconut oil)
¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder or raw cacao powder
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon ground decaf coffee, optional

1. Line a 9x13-inch baking dish with unbleached parchment paper. Paper should cover the bottom and go up the sides. Pinch corners to help the paper stay in place.

2. In a small saucepan, heat water over medium heat. Add coconut sugar and stir until sugar is just dissolved. Turn off heat.

3. Place sugar water and dates into the container of a food processor with the metal blade attachment. Process ingredients until smooth.

4. Add melted coconut butter, cocoa powder, vanilla and ground coffee. Process until smooth.

5. With a flexible silicone spatula, transfer fudge to prepared dish, spreading it evenly to edges. Refrigerate to set. Cut fudge into bite-size pieces and serve.

Each piece contains 252 calories, 19g total fat, 16g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 11mg sodium, 24g carbohydrate, 7g fiber, 16g sugars, 3g protein, 9Est GL.

Monster Cookies

MAKES ABOUT 17 COOKIES

Monster cookies are typically made with peanut butter, wheat flour, candy, oats and eggs. This version uses crunchy sunflower seed butter, coconut flour, dairy-free and soy-free chocolate chips, shredded coconut and an egg substitute (ground chia seeds), proving that almost anything can be made allergy-friendly and healthy.

2 tablespoons ground chia seeds or flax meal
¼ cup coconut flour, sifted
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ cup shredded unsweetened coconut
½ cup dairy-free chocolate chips
1 cup crunchy sunflower seed butter
½ cup full-fat canned coconut milk
¼ cup honey
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a cookie sheet.

2. In a bowl, whisk together ground chia seeds, coconut flour, sea salt, coconut and chocolate chips.

3. In a separate bowl, use an electric mixer to combine sunflower seed butter, coconut milk, honey and vanilla.

4. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and blend with an electric mixer.

5. Using a tablespoon, drop cookie dough onto prepared cookie sheet. Wet your hands and use your palms to flatten each cookie to about 2¼ inches wide. Cookies can be placed fairly close together as they will spread only slightly.

6. Place in preheated oven and bake 20 minutes or until cookies begin to brown around the edges. Cool completely on the cookie sheet before removing. (Cookies are too fragile to handle when they’re warm.)

Each cookie contains 170 calories, 13g total fat, 5g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 72mg sodium, 12g carbohydrate, 2g fiber, 4g sugars, 4g protein, 5Est GL.

Photo by Kelly Brozyna so good

Photo by Kelly Brozyna so good

Chocolate Raspberry Candy

MAKES 22 PIECES

My husband and I have a friendly debate over whether these healthy treats are candies or cookies. There’s no debating that they’re delicious.

1 (10-ounce) jar raspberry preserves with no added sugar
5 soft pitted Medjool dates
5 soft pitted dried plums (prunes)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder or raw cacao powder
¼ cup coconut flour
2 cups shredded unsweetened coconut + 1 cup for coating

1. Preheat oven to 170°F. Line a baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper.

2. In a food processor with the metal blade, puree raspberry preserves, dates, dried plums and vanilla.

3. Add cocoa powder and coconut flour and process until pureed.

4. Add shredded unsweetened coconut and process until pureed.

5. Using wet hands or a ¾-ounce (size 40) scoop with a lever, shape the dough into balls.

6. Wet your hands and use your palms to flatten the balls to about ½ inch thick. Then roll them in shredded coconut.

7. Put candies on prepared baking sheet. Place in preheated oven and bake 60 minutes.

8. Let candy cool to room temperature. Then refrigerate for several hours to set. Store in the refrigerator for firm candies, on the counter for softer.

Each piece contains 240 calories, 9g total fat, 7g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 5mg sodium, 43g carbohydrate, 6g fiber, 19g sugars, 2g protein, 20Est GL.

Photo by Kelly Brozyna

Photo by Kelly Brozyna

Tart Strawberry Orange Jam

MAKES 24 OUNCES

Homemade jam is surprisingly simple to make. This recipe makes enough to fill three 8-ounce mason jars. Store jam in the refrigerator.

4 (10-ounce) bags frozen organic strawberries
¼ cup honey
1 tablespoon orange zest, more to taste
-Pinch sea salt

1. Thoroughly wash 3 (8-ounce) wide-mouth mason jars. Place jars in a large pot of water and boil them about 15 minutes to sterilize.

2. Place strawberries, honey, orange zest and salt in a medium heavy-bottom pot over medium-high heat.

3. Simmer uncovered 45 minutes to an hour, stirring frequently. Reduce heat during the last half hour, as needed.

4. Carefully ladle jam into prepared mason jars. Secure lids and refrigerate.

Each tablespoon contains 15 calories, 0g total fat, 0g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 3mg sodium, 4g carbohydrate, 1g fiber, 3g sugars, 0g protein, 2Est GL.

Kelly Brozyna (thespunkycoconut.com) is author of The Paleo Chocolate Lovers’ Cookbook.

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