My Friend Gen
My good friend, Genevieve is attending culinary school right now. I asked if she would share some of what she’s learning on this little blog.Ã‚ It’s so fun to chat about food and nutrition with her. She knows a lot, and is learning even more. Thanks, Gen!!
Here she is…
As a fellow organic, seasonal, nutrition-oriented food lover and cook, I am excited to share a recent creation. Like my good friend Rach, I love to cook and share food, nutrition info, technique tips and more…inspiring YOU to get in the kitchen! Creating is one of my passions and my favorite place to express creativity is in the kitchen. This seasonally inspired cookie recipe is adapted from Rachael Ray, and the basic frosting recipe is based off a recipe of one of my instructors at culinary school.
Having made the Rachael Ray version of these cookies with a classic cream cheese icing several times, I was ready to give these delicious fall treats a healthy makeover! Here are a few highlights of this guilt-free dessert:
-Spelt flour is high in protein and fiber compared to white flour.
-Sucanat is made from evaporated cane juice and is still full of minerals. If possible, for optimal flavor AND fall fun- steam a small pumpkin and puree in the food processor.
-Pumpkin is rich in beta-carotene, zinc, fiber and Vitamin A and C, boosting the immune system at this critical time of year. Side note- save the pumpkin seeds! We could not stop eating the seeds I roasted last week- so simple: 325Ã‚° for 25 minutes, tossed with a little olive oil and sea salt. Particularly good for men and their prostate.
-No refined sugar in the frosting- only natural sugars found in dates. Much easier on the body in regards to blood sugar balance.
-Brazil nuts are the highest natural source of selenium, important for women in supporting thyroid health. Eat one brazil nut a day!
I hope you enjoy testing out my recent culinary experimentation…and a word of advice: don’t be scared to adapt your favorite recipe to make it nutritionally beneficial. Oh, and the leftover frosting was delicious served on my steaming bowl of oat groats this morning. Frosting on breakfast cereal…you heard me right. The joys of healthy food!
|Pumpkin Cookies with Brazil Nut Cream Frosting||
- Cookies: 1/2 cup butter, melted
- 3/4 cup sucanat
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 Tbs pumpkin pie spice
- 1tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1 2/3 cup spelt flour
- Frosting: 1/2-3/4 cup water, divided
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 coconut butter
- 6 dates
- 1 1/2 cups brazil nuts
- Optional: 3 Tbs chai tea latte concentrate
- 1 Tbs grated ginger
- Cookies: Preheat oven to 350Ã‚°F. Whisk melted butter with sucanat, followed by eggs, pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
- Using a spatula, gently fold in flour.
- Using a small cookie scoop or spoon, scoop a generous tablespoon size amount of batter on a stone baking sheet or a parchment lined metal baking pan.
- Bake for 10 minutes or until springy to touch. Cool.
- Top each cookie with a dollop of frosting or use two cookies to create a whoopie pie. Enjoy!
- Frosting: The frosting will be creamiest if you have a good blender that can handle a brazil nut (VitaMix is the absolute best- expensive but worthy investment!). The food processor will be your next best option, creating a texture slightly more coarse. I chose to spice up the basic frosting, adding a chai flavor using an organic concentrate and grated fresh ginger. The same affect could be achieved with the addition of the traditional chai spices of cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, fennel, ginger and black peppercorns instead of the concentrate. The water amount will have to be adjusted, depending on other liquids used.
- Using a blender, add 1/2 cup of water, followed by all remaining ingredients in order listed above in blender. Blend on high until frosting is similar to the consistency of whipped cream. Add additional water as needed.
- If using a food processor, add all ingredients expect water. Pulse, gradually pouring in water until desired consistency is reached.