Summer’s Last Hurrah: Raw Yellow Tomato Sauce

Today is the last day of summer (officially), and I am resisting it with all my might.  While I love the introduction of fall produce like apples and winter squash, I am a summer girl at heart and will dearly miss the warmth of summer, the abundance of fresh local produce, and just how vibrant my body feels through those sunny warm months.

I hesitated posting this recipe from LTEV today, thinking “who will want a fresh, raw tomato recipe at this time of year?“…

But, maybe you with me, kicking and screaming like a sullen toddler to let go of summer.  And, maybe you still have some beautiful mellow yellow tomatoes at your markets – or in your garden (wink, wink: Heather).  If so, this one’s for you!

For these photos, I used this spectacular new pasta that I picked up at one of our local shops, Antony & SonsKing Soba Organic Black Rice Noodles.  Let’s ignore the dang rice and arsenic issue for now, because aren’t these noodles funky-cool?  They do lose a little of their color through boiling, becoming more of a purplish-grey rather than stark black.  But, still unique and a fun switch-up!

In these photos I did add the sun-dried tomato option (see savvy subs note in the recipe).  It adds great texture and flavor.  Also note that this sauce converts beautifully into a fresh salsa – again, see my recipe notes below!

And, like most sauces, I can pretty much eat this off a spoon (or tortilla chips)! :)

Raw Yellow Tomato Sauce gluten-free, soy-free, oil-free option LINK to print/share

Recipe from Let Them Eat Vegan

This sauce is fresh and vibrant, and can be served tossed into your pasta of choice, or topped on a whole grain, or kept virtuous in its raw capacity to accompany raw noodles or toss into a raw salad. Yellow tomatoes are usually less acidic and a little sweeter than red, and as they are such a glorious color, make the ideal ingredient for this sauce. Plus, with the addition of extra garlic and some jalapeño peppers, this sauce quickly transforms into a salsa (see note)!

2 1/2 cups chopped yellow tomatoes (see note & directions)

1-2 medium/large cloves garlic, cut in half or quarters

1/2 cup green onions, sliced (green portion mostly)

2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil (optional, omit for oil-free version)

3/4 – 1 tsp sea salt (see note)

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves (optional)

1/3 cup fresh basil leaves (tightly or loosely packed)

½ cup red bell pepper, diced (and reserved; see note for sun-dried tomato option)

In a bowl, gently squeeze the chopped tomatoes to remove most of their excess juice. It will help keep the sauce from being too thin and runny (remove as much as you can, but no need to fret or excessively squeeze to remove it all; some tomatoes are naturally juicier than others). Then transfer the tomatoes along with the remaining ingredients, starting with 3⁄4 teaspoon of salt, excluding the bell peppers and optional olive oil, to a food processor or blender, and pulse to partially break up the sauce. Add the peppers and pulse again, maintaining chunkier bits of peppers rather than pureeing. Add additional salt and pepper to taste . . . then serve as you wish, in pasta, on rice, drizzled on a wrap sandwich, and so on.  (By the way, Brazil Nut Parm pretty darn good to top it off!)  Serves 3-4.

Adult-Minded: To switch this into a salsa, add another clove of garlic (if you like), along with 1⁄2 to 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and diced, and 1 tablespoon of freshly squeezed lime juice. Substitute cilantro for the parsley or basil, and you can add more green onions, if you like. When processing, keep much chunkier than you would for a sauce.

If This Apron Could Talk:

I like one average clove of garlic in this sauce. You can add more if you like, but keep in mind that too much garlic can overpower the other subtle flavors unless converting sauce to a salsa.

You may want less or more salt depending on how you use the sauce. If tossing with cooked pasta, you may need extra; however, if drizzling over rice or grains, it will taste stronger and so you may opt for less.

If serving this on cooked pasta, it helps to bring the sauce to room temperature (if previously refrigerated) just so you aren’t tossing a very cold sauce into the pasta. Also, you can gently warm it by transferring the sauce to a covered container and letting sit in a few inches of hot water until it is has become warmed through.

Ingredients 411: At our local farmers’ market in the summer, there is a stall with beautiful organic bell peppers, eggplant, and a variety of tomatoes. I tried a variety of yellow tomatoes one week, and it became a favorite. The Hugh’s Beefsteak variety in particular is amazing in this sauce (and all on its own!), and the Lemon Boy variety is also quite lovely.

Savvy Subs and Adds: If you keep dehydrated/sundried tomatoes on hand (regular red tomato variety), try substituting about 1⁄3 cup, chopped, for the red bell pepper.  It adds some umami flavor and ‘meatiness’ to the sauce.

How about you?  Having a hard time letting go of summer, or do you absolutely love fall?  Do you still have fresh tomatoes handy to make this sauce?

p.s. New Plant-Powered Kids Series post coming next week!  Subscribe for updates!  Thanks to Ricki Heller for including this recipe in her Wellness Weekend!

2 Vegan Parmesan Substitutes: Brazil Nut Parmezan and Cheesy Sprinkle

In my recent plant-powered kids post about picky eaters, I mentioned two toppings that our girls love: “Cheesy Sprinkle” and “Brazil Nut Parm“.  Well, it’s not just our girls that love these sprinkly toppings – the adults in this household do too!

Ok, I love both.  Hubby is not the biggest nooch (ie nutritional yeast) fan, so he doesn’t “get” the Cheesy Sprinkle – but he LOVES the Brazil Nut Parm.  Both recipes are in Let Them Eat Vegan.  And, I decided I would share both recipes with you today.

First, the Cheesy Sprinkle.  This is somewhat like Parma, if you’ve ever tried that product.  I used to order Parma from Vegan Essentials.  But, it became pricey, and also I found the walnut base made my mouth a little sore (walnuts are the only nut that I cannot eat ‘freely’).  I started making it at home, and found that I preferred using a different nut base – being a combo of almonds and cashews.  Not only could I eat it ‘freely’… I enjoy the taste better.  For me, the blend of cashews and almonds is just right – cashews being a little softer/creamier and almonds harder/drier.  This is my favorite blend, but of course if you prefer to use the full amount of either cashews or almonds you certainly can.  Plus, I have a nut-free version for you so this can be used in school lunches (the nut-free version is NOT in my book, I just tested it out and giving it here).  While this type of nutritional yeast-based topping is often touted as a ‘vegan parmesan’, I don’t think it tastes anything like parmesan.  It tastes like a nutty, cheesy, savory sprinkly topping – hence the name “Cheesy Sprinkle”.

Cheesy Sprinkle (from LTEV)

Cheesy Sprinkle gluten-free, soy-free, oil-free  LINK to share/print

This topping, affectionately called Cheesy Sprinkle in our house, will be a favorite for kids big and small. Try it on salads, tossed into pasta, sprinkled on rice and beans, worked into sandwich mixtures, as a pizza topping, or eaten off a spoon (yeah, I’ve done it before)!

1/2 cup nutritional yeast

1/4 cup raw almonds (see note)

1/4 cup raw cashews (or more raw almonds)

1/2 tsp (scant) sea salt (about ¼ + 1/8 tsp)

1/4 tsp lemon zest (optional)

Put all the ingredients into a standing blender and pulse until very fine and crumbly. Don’t overprocess, just pulse several times. That’s it! Store in the refrigerator until ready to use.  Makes about 1 scant cup

Adult-Minded: Try adding 1⁄8 teaspoon of onion or garlic powder.

Kid-Friendly: I make this often for our kiddos, and make it quick and simple using just the nooch, nuts, and salt. You may enjoy added flavor depth from the zest, but it’s not essential.

Savvy Subs and Adds: To make this mixtre nut free, substitute the almonds and cashews with: 3 tbsp hemp seeds, 1 tbsp chia seeds (preferably white chia), and 1 tbsp pumpkin seeds (or sesame or sunflower).  Voila!

Alright, let’s talk about parmesan for a moment!  When I became vegan, parmesan was the last and hardest cheese for me to stop eating.  I even bought rice parmesan for a period of time (which was misleading because it contained casein).  And you know what?  I was hooked on that rice parmesan.  I remember searching town for it once when I ran out.  It wasn’t until later that I realized the casein was the culprit.  As my dynamic and talented friend Julieanna Hever explains in this clip, casein is VERY addictive.  And, as Dr. Colin Campbell outlines in The China Study, casein is particularly bad for the body, and promotes the development of cancer.  Dairy is bad news.  Once I finally kicked the casein – dairy was no longer an issue.  I didn’t crave it, didn’t want it.  No longer did I “need” that parmesan on my pasta or salads.

Still, most of us do like toppings, things that add flavor and texture to a dish.  So, in my quest to deliver a dairy-free parmesan to you, my readers, I came up with my next recipe – Brazil Nut Parmezan.  For me, this is the closest thing to a parmesan topping.  No, it doesn’t taste exactly like parmesan, but it gives you the same pleasurable notes as a parmesan… it is salty, tangy, and a richness from the natural whole-foods fats in the nuts.  Unlike the Cheesy Sprinkle, this delivers a parmesan mouth taste and feel.  And, it’s all from the technique.  It’s the slow, low-heat baking of the sprinkle that allows the tart lemon flavor to infuse into the processed brazil nuts, along with just a hint of cheesy flavor from the nooch that makes magic happen.  I explain more in this video. (Excuse the not-great hair… and the toddler screech at the end! Also this is pre-tripod, vertigo-inclined beware) ;)

And, since I didn’t give you a glimpse of the final product in that clip, here’s the money shot!

Brazil Nut Parmesan (from LTEV)

Brazil Nut Parmezan gluten-free, soy-free, oil-free Link to share/print

There are many versions of vegan Parmesans available, and in fairness, none of them are really like dairy Parmesan. But, we don’t need them to be! What we want is a tangy, salty, rich-tasting sprinkle that we can use for topping salads, pastas, pizza, and more. This topping delivers!

1½ cups brazil nuts (see notes)

½ tsp (little scant) sea salt

1 ½ tbsp nutritional yeast

1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 275°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Process the brazil nuts in a food processor or blender until fine and crumbly. Don’t overprocess, or they will begin to heat and become pasty. Just pulse until finely crumbled.  Spread on the prepared pan. Toss in the salt, nutritional yeast, and lemon juice. Use your fingers to work these ingredients through the crumbled nuts.  Place in the oven and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, being sure to toss three or four times through the baking process (and check during last minutes of baking; the mixture should become dry and maybe a touch golden around the edges, but should not brown). Remove from the oven, let cool, and transfer to a container to refrigerate. Makes about 2 cups.

If This Apron Could Talk: If you cannot eat brazil nuts, I would substitute 1 1/2 cups raw almonds.  You could also try about 1 1/4 cup of almonds along with 1/4 cup of pine nuts.  After trying this for the first time, you might want to double your batch the next time round. It can disappear quickly! It’s one of my husband’s favorites; in fact, he keeps saying, “You should bottle this up and sell it”!

Kid-Friendly: Your little ones might love this just the way it is, but you can try bumping up the nooch another tablespoon to make it a little more cheesy. Also see Cheesy Sprinkle (recipe follows) for a cheesier-tasting topping.

Serving Suggestions: Any tomato-based pasta sauce will welcome this seasoning, as will a very modestly dressed pasta, such as one with olive oil and lemon juice. This topping works wonders on salads, and adds crunch and depth to cooked rice and other grains, as well as simple bean preparations.

Tomato Artichoke Pasta with Brazil Nut Parm (both from LTEV) photo credit: Hannah Kaminsky

We LOVE this parmezan, and think you will too!  Please try both of these recipes, and feel free to share, tweet, etc.  You can find this and other healthy recipes in Ricki Heller’s Weekend Wellness!

I’d love to hear how you like these toppings!  Have you felt addicted to parmesan? What’s your favorite cheesy topping?

p.s. I have heard from so many of you that are loving LTEV.  If you haven’t shared a review on amazon, I would greatly appreciate if you could add a few words about what you love – even a sentence or two.  (And, upload any food images if you like!)  Thanks. 

Wholesome Oat Snackles (vegan, oil-free, gluten-free option)

There are a few snack and cookie recipes that get whipped up in my kitchen every week, including Tamari Roasted Chickpeas, Banana Oat Bundles, Maple Banana Bread, Hummus (hummus, and more hummus), and these…

Wholesome Oat Snackles from Let Them Eat Vegan.  I created these out of sheer immediate snack-necessity!  I was in the kitchen, looking for the quickest healthy snack I could bake up.  I didn’t even want to puree the bananas for bundles or banana bread.  So, I took some of my favorite ingredients and combined them in these very healthy, low-fat – and also lower-sugar cookies.

photo from LTEV, Oat Snackles in background (Monsta! Cookies in foreground)

These are not a dessert cookie, at least not in my opinion.  They do not have much sweetener, and are more like a mini-muffin than a cookie.  Hence, the name of snackle.  You’ll find that word in Dreenadictionary. ;)  And, also why you’ll find this recipe in the breakfast section of LTEV rather than in the cookie chapter.  So, make them for school (GREAT for school because they have no nuts) or work lunches, for a mid-morning or mid-afternoon power snack.  But, please, not for dessert my friends!

If you make these and aren’t used to baked goods with less sweeteners, then try adding a few tablespoons of a healthier dry sweetener such as coconut sugar, date sugar, or sucanat.

I made these recently and thought they looked darn cute lined up in a row.  Like little soldiers.  Snack soldiers… Snackle Soldiers!  (That’s it, I’m renaming!)

Wholesome Oat Snackles Snackle Soldiers wheat-free, optionally gluten-free, soy-free, oil-free, sugar-free Link to print/share

Sometimes muffins and snacks can be a little on the sweet side for parents and adults who are looking to reduce the amount of added sweeteners in their diet. While most of my baked goods such as muffins are pretty healthful, these little snackles are particularly low in sweetener. They are great for packing in lunches, or to curb midmorning cravings. It’s like having your oatmeal without the bowl!

1 cup rolled oats (use certified gluten-free for that option)

1 cup oat flour (use certified gluten-free for that option)

1/3 cup raisins (or cranberries, or combination of both)

1/4 cup unsweetened finely shredded coconut or hemp seeds

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp lemon or orange zest (optional, but adds beautiful essence)

¼ tsp sea salt

few pinches freshly grated nutmeg (optional, but adds extra flavor if not using zest)

1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce (see note for substitution)

1/4 cup pure maple syrup (see note)

2-3 tbsp non-dairy chocolate chips (optional if needing sugar-free)

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  In a large bowl, combine the oats, oat flour, raisins, hemp seeds, baking powder, cinnamon, zest, salt and nutmeg, stirring to mix well. Add the applesauce, maple syrup, and chocolate chips. Stir until well incorporated.  Use a cookie scoop (or take spoonfuls, about 1 1⁄2 tablespoons in size) to transfer mounds of the batter to the baking sheet. Bake for 14 to 15 minutes, remove from the oven, and let cool on the pan for about a minute, then transfer to a cooling rack.  Makes 12-14 snackles!

Savvy Subs and Adds: You can substitute 1⁄2 cup of pureed overripe banana for the applesauce. Since very ripened banana is typically sweeter than unsweetened applesauce (and also a little thicker), you can then reduce the maple syrup to 2 to 3 tablespoons and add 1 to 2 tablespoons of nondairy milk.

Sweetener Note: To make these snackles slightly sweeter, add either extra raisins, or 1 to 2 tablespoons of an unrefined sugar such as Sucanat or coconut sugar. You can also add another 1 tablespoon of maple syrup (note that adding much more liquid sweetener will change the consistency of the batter).

Have you tried the snackles yet?  Have you made them with any variations?  

How to Make Healthy Vegan Rice Krispie Treats

Rice Krispie Treats.  A childhood favorite since they were created, a classic.  They are fun, easy to make, and delicious.  But, they are not the most healthy treat.  Even vegan versions are packed with margarine and marshmallows, which equates to quite a lot of sugar and fat.

A healthier version of Rice Krispie Treats! Nicer Krispie Squares by Dreena Burton - vegan, soy-free, gluten-free

In eat, drink & be vegan, I created two versions of vegan rice krispie squares.  The first version was a more ‘traditional’ recipe, using vegan marshmallows.  I named them Nice Krispie Squares.  They veganized that classic recipe, but I wanted something more – a healthier version, made with less processed ingredients.  So, on the very next page of ed&bv you will find… “Nicer” Krispie Squares!

In this newest “Dreena & Daughters” video, I show you how to make these Nicer Krispie Squares – and how replace the marshmallows and margarine with more healthy – plant powered! – ingredients.  Have a watch, see how it is done.  (It’s easy-pleasy, folks!)

“Nicer” Krispie Squares gluten-free, soy-free, oil-free Link to print/share.

This recipe mimics the flavors and textures of Rice Krispie Treats using more natural ingredients.  These squares taste phenomenal, with the buttery richness of the macadamia nut butter and the sweetness of brown rice syrup.

1⁄2 cup macadamia nut butter (I use “Nuts To You” brand)

1⁄2 cup brown rice syrup

3 tbsp unrefined sugar (can reduce or omit, to taste)

1⁄4 tsp sea salt

1⁄4 tsp agar powder

1 – 1 1⁄2 tsp pure vanilla extract

4 cups natural brown rice crisp cereal

Line an 8×8-in (20×20-cm) pan with parchment paper. In a large saucepan on low-medium heat, combine macadamia butter, syrup, sugar, salt, agar powder, and vanilla. Stir continually as mixture heats until agar powder is fully dissolved (reduce heat if mixture starts bubbling). Remove from heat and stir in cereal, making sure to fully incorporate with nut butter mixture. Transfer mixture to pan and press in evenly (use an edge of parchment paper to press without sticking). Refrigerate to cool completely, then cut into squares. Makes 16 squares.

tinytreatsebook

While we are on the topic of treats, please have a look at this new ebook from Lisa Pitman.  Lisa is one of the dearest souls I have ever met, and she has teamed up with Nicole Axworthy for this project.  Not only does this ebook deliver a collection of whole-foods vegan desserts, one-third of all their ebook proceeds are being donated to the Elephant Nature Park in Northern Thailand.  Link through to read more, and pick up a copy! I have, and I am telling you, it is one of the most GORGEOUS and creative set of recipes I have ever seen. Please support this lovely, compassionate duo and effort.

Enjoy the Nicer Krispie Squares, and tell me… what is your favorite healthy cookie recipe to make for your kiddos – (or for you!)?

Marinated and Roasted Tomato Garlic Hummus (oil-free)

Dreena’s my name.  Hummus is my game.

Hummus purists beware, I am taking liberties with this classic dip once again.  We’ve all had roasted red pepper hummus – at least I think most of us have, right?  And, many of us have had roasted garlic in hummus.  But, what a hummus made with this:

A combination of tomatoes, garlic, herbs and a tangy marinade, roasted until softened, and the flavors concentrated and sweetened.  It’s this roasting process – with the herbed marinade – that makes the flavor in this dip so special.  No need for oil in this recipe, because the garlic cloves are tucked into the cavities of the tomatoes, which keeps them moist and snuggly. :)  And, the tomatoes roast in the marinade, which helps them caramelize and concentrate without the need for added oil.

Sure, you could use the finished roasted tomato and garlic mix for other things: As a topping for pizza, mixed into hot pasta, or worked into a grain-based salad – a few ideas at top of mind.  But, why not churn into a delectable, oil-free, nutrient-dense dip hummus?

Once this hummus is prepped, it can be eaten room temperature or chilled… OR, heat it and serve on top of brown rice, along with sliced avocado.  YUM!  Speaking of avocado, add some chopped with other veggies, and roll with this hummus in a collard wrap.  (I wish I had photos of all of these ideas.)  But, you guys are a creative bunch.  You’ll have your own ideas for serving this… and maybe you’ll use the roasted tomato/garlic component in some other fabulous plant-powered dish!

Marinated and Roasted Tomato Garlic Hummus gluten-free, soy-free, oil-free click to print/share

1 1/2 lbs roma (or other) tomatoes, cut in half and juices gently squeezed out (see note)

8-9 large cloves garlic, cut in quarters or more

2 tbsp balsamic

1/2 tbsp tamari (or coconut aminos for soy-free option)

1 tsp blackstrap molasses

2 tsp dried oregano leaves

2 tsp dried basil leaves

1/8 tsp sea salt

freshly ground black pepper to taste

2 cans (14 oz) chickpeas, drained and rinsed (this is about 3 1/2 cups)

3/4 – 1 tsp sea salt (adjust to taste, sometimes I use 3/4, other times I need 1 tsp)

1 -2 tbsp tahini (I like 1 tbsp, but you might like it creamier with 2 tbsp)

Preheat oven to 450.  Place tomatoes cut side up in a glass baking dish (or small rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper).  Insert the garlic pieces into the seedy portions of the tomatoes (to keep them moist while roasting).  In a small bowl, combine the balsamic, soy sauce or aminos, molasses, oregano, and basil.  Drizzle mixture over tomatoes.  Sprinkle the salt and pepper over top of the tomatoes.  Place tomatoes in oven, and bake for 40-45 minutes until tomatoes are very soft and a little caramelized.  Remove from oven and let cool.

While cooking, add the chickpeas, salt (starting with 3/4 tsp), and tahini to a food processor.  Puree to break up.  Then, add the cooled (or slightly warm) tomatoes, scraping all the juices from the dish/parchment with a spatula.  (There is a lot of flavor in those caramelized juices, so get them off and into the processor!)  Process until well combined.  Taste, and if you’d like extra salt (or pepper), add and puree through.

Roma Tomatoes Note:  I like using Roma tomatoes because they are dense and meaty, with less seeds than other tomatoes.  If you have other beautifully ripe tomatoes, you can substitute – the dip may be a little looser with the extra moisture.

Serving Ideas:  Serve room temp with whole-grain crackers, breads or tortilla chips.  Try using in a wrap, using a sprouted tortilla or collard/lettuce leaves.  Or, make a “hummus salad” – assemble a veggie-dense salad, and then top with a mound of this hummus.  Use as a layer on pizza, topping with veggies of choice, and olives and capers. Try baking the mixture until heated through, and serve over quinoa, rice, or other whole-grain, and top with sliced avocado.

Ideas: Top your hummus with rehydrated sun-dried tomatoes, sliced green onions, pitted olives, or sliced green onions.

Thanks again to Ricki Heller for including this recipe in her Weekend Wellness post!

I’d love to hear your ideas.  How would you serve this hummus?  Or the roasted tomatoes/garlic?  Stay in the loop, subscribe to my posts

Vegan Snickerdoodle Cookies and Ice Cream Sandwiches

C is for Cookie, S is for Snifferdoodles (aka Snickerdoodles, read on)… :)

These past few weeks I’ve been pensive.  I think more than I’d like to any given day, but this past month I have felt particularly heavy in thought. September always evokes much mood for me – apprehension about a the school year for our girls, a new routine/schedule to manage, and saying farewell to summer. While fall is a favorite season for many, it’s not for me. I prefer the brightness and warmth of summer, and my vata-nature always feels its best during those warm months. I have also been trying to determine where my work efforts are best directed. I am one person and one mama, with three daughters and a household to manage. I love to blog, to communicate – and of course to create my recipes. I have a stack of recipes needing edits, a backlog of food photos I want to blog and share, and several “ideas” I’d like to pursue. I need three of me to work all of this out!

When I’m in these pensive times, I find comfort in simple things. Food is one of them. If I’m not sitting with a hot tea and some dark chocolate for a few moments of comfort, then I might be baking – because that also reminds of the good and simple things in life.  Taking a handful of ingredients and turning them into something fragrant and sweet to flow through your home. To have a little goodie to give your kiddos, and see their smile when they take that first bite.

And cookies are one of my favorite things to create and bake. When I was testing this Snickerdoodle recipe for LTEV, our daughter kept calling them “Snifferdoodles”. I loved the name – and as you can see in the book, it stuck. Recently I transformed these Snifferdoodles into ice cream sandwiches for the girls (fine, for me  - because if a piece of chocolate and tea doesn’t give me a comfort fix, ice cream surely will). I’m sharing this recipe with you today, because maybe you are also feeling some ‘fall blues’, or finding yourself absorbed in thought. Let’s hope that it takes just a couple of batches of cookies to figure things out. ;)

Snifferdoodles wheat-free, soy-free (link to print/share recipe)

I had originally called these Maple Sugar Snickerdoodles. However, one day our middle daughter called them Snifferdoodles. I loved the name so much I had to go with it! They are delicious, and terrific for bringing to school or other parties, where allergies such as to peanuts, nuts, wheat, and even chocolate are always an issue.

3/4 cup + 1 tbsp spelt flour

1/4 cup + 2 tbsp oat flour

1⁄3 cup unrefined sugar

1 tsp baking powder

¼ tsp (rounded) baking soda

¼ tsp cinnamon (see note for anise “biscochitos” adaptation)

1⁄4 tsp sea salt

¼ cup pure maple syrup

2 tsp pure vanilla extract

3 tbsp organic neutral-tasting oil (ex: avocado, almond, etc)

For coating:

2 tsp unrefined sugar (fine textured)

1 tsp cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  In a bowl, combine the dry ingredients, sifting in the baking powder and baking soda, mixing well.  In a separate bowl, combine the maple syrup, vanilla, and oil. Add the wet mixture to the dry, and stir until just incor- porated. Place the mixture in the fridge for about 5 minutes.  While the cookie mixture chills, mix the coating ingredients together in a separate small bowl.  Remove the cookie mixture from the fridge, and take small spoonfuls of the batter (about 1⁄2 tablespoon each; see note) of the batter and roll in your hands to form balls. Place on the prepared (you will still need to coat them, so just place randomly on the lined pan until ready to move to that step). Continue until you have used all the batter. Roll each ball in the coating mixture, and then place back on the lined pan, this time spacing out the cookies evenly. Do not flatten them! Bake for 10 minutes.  Remove from the oven (if you bake for much longer, they will dry out), let cool on the pan for no more than a minute (again, to prevent drying), then transfer to a cooling rack.  Makes 15-18 snifferdoodles.

If This Apron Could Talk:

I make these cookies a little smaller than most of the others. They are perfect for little hands when bite size. Because they are smaller, you should get a yield of between 18 to 25 cookies, and the baking time will be only 10 to 11 minutes. If you choose to make them a little larger, the yield should be 13 to 15 cookies; bake for 11 to 12 minutes.

You may have extra sugar mixture after coating the cookies. Don’t throw it away! Use it to sprinkle on ice cream, bagels, toast, yogurt, or cereal!

Ingredients 411:

If the batter is a touch dry when mixing, use another 1⁄2 to 1 teaspoon of oil and mix with another smidgen (about 1 teaspoon) of maple syrup. Depending on the brand of flour used and/or time of year, this is a good trick. Simply fold the oil and syrup into the batter, and repeat if needed. Just don’t overdo it—the batter should be thick and not too wet or oily, or the cookies will spread out flat and join when baking.

Make It More-ish!

After making these cookies, I learned about biscochitos, which are Mexican cookies flavored with anise and sprinkled with cinnamon sugar. To make a biscochito instead of a Snifferdoodle, omit the 1⁄4 teaspoon cinnamon from the batter and replace it with 3⁄4 to 1 teaspoon of aniseeds, crushed just slightly between your fingers before mixing in (if you love that licorice flavor, use the full 1 teaspoon, or more)!  The cookies will look the same, just taste different!

You can also make different shapes with the batter, if you first refrigerate it for 20 or more minutes to get firmer. Roll out about 1⁄4 inch thick and cut into shapes before dusting with the cinnamon sugar.

To make ice cream sandwiches: Let ice cream soften in the refrigerator.  Once ice cream is softened enough to easily scoop/spread, get started. Spread a layer of ice cream on the flat (under) side of one cookie.  Place the underside of another cookie on top, and lightly press together.  After making 3-4 sandwiches, transfer to freezer immediately to set.  Continue in batches, freeze until firm, and store in a sealed container.

*For those of you waiting on more from the Plant-Powered Kids series, my apologies as I won’t be getting a new post out this week.  Please subscribe to my blog for any new updates.  Enjoy the cookies. :)

Does baking or cooking bring you comfort as well?  What do you most love to create or bake?