SPICED TIGERNUT CAROB COOKIES //
behold, a miracle! one thing you need to know about me: I am a closet Cookie Monstress. I love them. when I went gluten free, I still found a plethora of GF cookie substitutes, but times have changed. as we are learning, just because something is gluten free, does not make it any less refined or bad for you than something that contains the gliadin and glutenin proteins that make up "gluten".
take, for example, Tate's Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies (which are delicious, I know). Here are the ingredients:
Semi-sweet chocolate chips (sugar, chocolate liquor, cocoa butter, milk fat, soy lecithin [an emulsifier], vanilla, natural flavor), Rice flour, Butter, Brown cane sugar, Cane sugar, Eggs, Vanilla extract, Baking Soda, Salt, Xanthan gum, and water
a few things to note. there are THREE different sources of refined sugar in this recipe, eggs (great for you, but a super common allergen for many people), butter and milk fat (another major allergen, as a majority of adults are lactose intolerant due to the loss of enzymes needed to digest dairy proteins), soy lecithin (soy? in cookies? I don't think so. this is a highly processed substance that you would never keep in your pantry at home, so why accept eating it out of a package?), and most importantly, xanthan gum. xanthan is a fermentable byproduct almost always derived from either gluten, corn, or soy that is primarily used as an emulsifier and elastic. many people with gut issues experience digestive upset from consuming the various gums used in gluten-free baking like xanthan and guar gum.
sorry, Tate's, you're out.
since taking my diet all the way back to the basics of real, recognizable foods, as well as cutting out sugar, grains and eggs (I have an allergy), cookies have been off the table. a real treat to me now is simply a roasted sweet potato, mashed with a little pumpkin puree, coconut oil, cinnamon, sea salt, and vanilla powder. I feel so much better without sweet treats, but of course I still dreamed of cookies on a special occasion.
then along came the genius Tonja from Flame to Fork, with her AIP chocolate chip cookie recipe to the rescue. I was dying to make them, but sadly many of the flour substitutes/ starches allowed on Autoimmune Paleo are not my friends. Tapioca is a mortal enemy of my stomach, and I would probably feel better eating a piece of wheat bread than a tapioca cookie. Arrowroot I am able to tolerate in small amounts, but too much and I feel awful. I wanted to play around with some other options to see if I could find a better fit, and I had ordered some organic Tigernut flour off of Amazon... now was the time.
a bit about Tigernuts:
also known as "Chufa" and traditionally used to make Horchata in mexican cuisine, tigernuts are not actually NOT a nut, but a tuber that grows under the earth much like potatoes. they are also very high in resistant starch, which makes it all the way to your large intestine and acts as food for your probiotic/intestinal flora, aka the "good bacteria"!
This recipe is based off of Tonja's AIP Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe, but uses tigernut and arrowroot as the base. the carob lends a deep, chocolatey flavor and when mixed with the warming autumn spices, tastes remarkably like molasses. they are chewy on the inside, crispy on the outside, and absolutely heavenly. I secretly fed them to my very NON AIP family members and they were shocked when I told them they weren't made with any of the traditional cookie ingredients. they will absolutely be on my menu for special occasions from here on out!
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/3 cup tigernut flour
1/3 cup arrowroot or tapioca starch (I only tested with arrowroot)
1/4 cup palm shortening, melted
3 TBSP coconut sugar
3TBSP carob powder
1 TBSP grass fed gelatin (I use Great Lakes)
3 TBSP hot water (to bloom gelatin)
1 tsp vanilla powder (or alcohol-free vanilla)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp mace
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp freshly grated ginger root (or dried ginger if you have)
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup raw honey (you can use maple syrup as well)
- preheat oven to 350 degrees
- lightly grease a cookie sheet with palm shortening; set aside
- combine hot water and gelatin in a small cup and let gelatin bloom, whisking briskly to remove any clumps.
- in a large bowl, combine coconut flour, tigernut flour, arrowroot starch, coconut sugar, carob, sea salt, spices, and baking soda and stir to create a fine powder.
- in a medium bowl, combine melted palm shortening with honey or maple syrup. add the bloomed gelatin whisk for 1 minute to thoroughly mix all ingredients.
- add the wet mixture to the dry bowl and, using a rubber spatula, fold the dough into itself until completely lump-free and incorporated.
- roll into 1 inch balls and evenly space on cookie sheet
- using the bottom of a glass, gently press down on dough balls until slightly flattened (about 3/4 inch thick)
- bake for about 10-15 minutes until edges are slightly crispy
- allow to cool completely, and enjoy!