My love for full fat, creamy, sugary treats is well known. While I tend to eat quite healthily most of the time, when it comes to baking desserts I like to indulge. Recently, however, I have been having some stomach issues and after all the nasty possibilities were eliminated through blood tests, the dreaded words came out of my doctor’s mouth “Elimination Diet”.
Now, I’ve always been a strong believer in not cutting out any specific food groups unless you have an actual allergy or intolerance. And I therefore looked at my diet in the “everything in moderation” way of thinking. So the concept of cutting out dairy, wheat, soy, onion, garlic and a hundred more random fruits, vegetables, nuts and legumes for a month seemed ridiculous. But I’m not a quitter, so I am currently on day 11. And coping. Just.
A huge stack of bakeware had arrived recently from the generous folks at Kitchenaid and sat forlornly on my desk. I knew anything I baked I wouldn’t be able to eat, which makes recipe testing quite a difficult task.
But this elimination diet definitely got me thinking, and so I decided to start experimenting with some gluten, dairy and refined sugar free desserts. I used to dub these style of treats as “fun free”, but with intolerances and allergies on the rise, it was time to start looking into this side of baking more.
Gluten Free Pecan and Cinnamon Cookies
- 200 g pecans
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 10 dried dates
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp sea salt optional
- Preheat oven to 180°C and line your tray with bake paper (although the new KitchenAid tray I used is non-stick so I didn't have to do this).
- Ensure the pits are removed from your dates, and soak them in water for 15 minutes, then drain.
- Put the pecans in your food processor with a multi purpose blade attached and pulse until the nuts are fine crumbs.
- Add in the drained dates, cinnamon, vanilla and sea salt and blend until it can form a soft ball.
- For easy portioning, use an icecream scoop to create 6 large balls, then halve each and roll into 12 little balls.
- Press each ball down with the back of your hand to lightly flatten.
- Bake for 10 minutes. Allow the cookies to completely cool on the tray before moving.
The joy of this recipe is that not only does it have just 4 main ingredients, it’s incredibly easy and quick to make.
And the verdict? Delicious! The crunch from the pecans, sweetness from the dates and vanilla and spice from the cinnamon make these cookies the perfect solution for allergy-friendly baking.
And while I couldn’t indulge in too many of these babies (in the strict phase of this elimination diet, dates are out too. Boo, I love dates!) I look forward to making these again in the future.
Have you ever gone on an elimination diet? Or tried some allergy-friendly baking? I’d love to hear below in the comments!