Alternative Holiday Cookie Roundup

It’s alternative holiday treat baking time!

That’s a thing, right? It is at my house. Somehow, I just want to bake treats this time of year. In my efforts to keep eating allergy-free, I find recipes that are gluten- and dairy-free (or vegan). In an effort to keep my sugar intake down, I also exercise self control and TRY to keep it to one or two treats in my mouth per day. Often, I will take conventional recipes, and just sub a gluten-free flour blend (my favorite is this one), plus some xanthan gum to help it hold together. If you’re looking to go dairy-free, you can always sub super healthy coconut shortening for butter. And if you can’t do eggs, this egg replacer works really well in baked goods.

Here are some of my favorite recipes, plus some I’m dying to try. If you make any of these, let me know how they turn out. Happy holiday baking!

Gluten Free:

Flourless Almond Butter Cookies

Flourless Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Vegan and Gluten Free Turtle Cookies

Almond Butter Quinoa Blondies

Peppermint Chocolate Macaroons

Seductive Raw Chocolate Fudge

Strawberry Jam Cookies

Conventional recipes (sub equal amount GF flour, plus 1/4 tsp xanthan gum, to make GF):

Grandma’s Gingersnaps

Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies

A Nutritious Thanksgiving: What I’m Cooking

Thanksgiving, Christmas, and other large family holiday meals are all too often an excuse for out of control eating. Surrounded by loved ones and the traditional family dynamics that go with, we tend to turn to the comfort foods of our youth, which are generally laden with sugar and refined flour.

I’ll be spending Thanksgiving in San Diego with my family, where my husband and I are doing the cooking for our gathering of 9 people. Our menu is meant to meet the needs of all of us, which includes gluten free, dairy free, and non-meat eaters. I’ve made an effort to choose dishes that I know are healthy and delicious and feel “special” enough for the day, but that don’t contain things I wouldn’t normally eat. So here, for your interest, is our menu!

Organic free range turkey: I only buy organic free-range poultry, as it’s better for the environment, the bird, and my body. We roast the turkey simply, by creating a compound of vegan butter and minced fresh herbs that we insert between the skin and the meat.

Gluten free cornbread stuffing: Technically, this is dressing, since we don’t put it inside the turkey. It’s a simple stuffing, made with gluten free cornbread, eggs, organic free range chicken broth, onions, celery, and herbs.

Sweet potato casserole with crunchy nut crumble topping: this is a new recipe for me, vegan gluten-free and no refined sugars.

Broccoli. Simply steamed. Just plain and yummy.

Low-sugar cranberry sauce: just fresh cranberries, juice + zest of an orange, and a little maple syrup to taste.

Roasted delicata squash salad with arugula, pomegranate seeds and goat cheese (subbed for the feta):

For our vegetarians, we’re having acorn squash with cranberry apple quinoa. Because this is a little too sweet, I use only the apple juice (omitting the orange juice), and just dried cranberries (omitting the dried apple.) I also use pecans instead of almonds.

And finally, dairy-free pumpkin pie with a coconut crust

Wishing you all a happy, healthy Thanksgiving!