One of the joys of blogging is making friends with amazing people, and even meeting a few (in person!) whose work you’ve admired over the internet for what seems like ages. For me, one of those people was Amy Green. I got to chat with this sweet lady nearly a year ago (my how time flies!) and meet her face to face at the GFAF Expo earlier this year. Now that I know her personally, it is that much more fun to use her cookbook, Simply Sugar & Gluten Free. Knowing her voice makes me feel like she is right there in my kitchen as I read the recipes.
Some cookbooks I tag like mad with excitement, then set them down, never to return again. But Amy’s was easy to dive into. The recipes are every day gems, with a definite slant toward baking. Granted, some of the recipes use dairy, but this isn’t a milk-heavy cookbook, and most seemed easy enough to convert for me. Even so, I started with ones that were dairy-free as is, and wasn’t a bit disappointed …
First up was the Slow Cooker Chicken and Wild Rice. The chicken came out so perfectly tender, but the surprise was really the rice. I used a wild rice blend from Lundberg, and it turned out like a really rich risotto! I enjoyed the brown and wild “risotto” for a light lunch the next day with broccoli. Doing just this rice and vegetable portion alone, would be an easy vegetarian crockpot meal if desired. The only change I made was to add a little garlic, and I doubled the mushrooms.
Next up was the Cocoa-Roasted Nuts. This is such a lovely and creative recipe! I love how Amy doesn’t rely just on stevia to sweeten, but rather uses it in combination with other unrefined sweeteners for a pleasant flavor that isn’t overpowering (as stevia alone can be). Amy uses almonds and egg whites in this recipe, which I didn’t have on hand, so I made quite a few modifications. The version I ended up with was a little more than “cocoa” and almost bordering on dark chocolate. However, I was true to her flavors, which made for a snack that was just lightly sweet and salty, but rich with cocoa flavor. Below is my version, adapted from Amy’s original. But, for a lower fat and more “polished” version, try the Cocoa-Roasted Nuts in Simply Sugar & Gluten Free.
To note, other scrumptious recipes that I have marked to trial (soon!) from this cookbook include the Banana Oat Bars, Buckwheat Blinis, Slow Cooker Ketchup, Ruthie’s Apple Crisp, and the Grilled Balsamic Dijon Chicken.
Recipe: Cocoa-Crusted Macadamia Nuts
Summary: Recipe adapted from Simply Sugar & Gluten Free: 180 Easy and Delicious Recipes You Can Make in 20 Minutes or Less by Amy Green. Keep in mind, this is just a lightly sweet, lightly salty recipe – good for some cocoa antioxidants in snack form. For more of a dessert, I’d coat them in melted chocolate once cool (mmm, nuts with a crisp cocoa coating enveloped in chocolate!), but that’s just me.
- 1 Tablespoon Oil (I used melted coconut oil)
- 1 Tablespoon Maple Syrup
- 1/4 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 1-1/2 Cups Macadamia Nuts (or nuts of your choice!)
- 2 Tablespoons + 2 Teaspoons Coconut Sugar or Palm Sugar (If you can’t find coconut sugar, regular or organic powdered sugar will do. Simply use 3 tablespoons, omit the cornstarch, and skip the spice grinder step – the result will be a little sweeter)
- 1 Teaspoon Cornstarch
- 2 Tablespoons Cocoa Powder
- 1 25mg Scoop Pure Stevia Extract Powder (some of the blends have dairy in them, so I use only the pure one, like this one from NuStevia)
- 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
- Preheat your oven to 250ºF and line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
- Combine the oil, maple syrup, and vanilla in a medium-sized bowl.
- Add the nuts, and stir to coat.
- Place the coconut sugar and cornstarch in your spice grinder and whiz away until you get a powder (about 30 seconds).
- Stir the sugar mixture in a bowl with the remaining ingredients until well combined.
- Add the powdered mixture to the nuts and stir to coat. It will be very thick, creating a paste-like coating on the nuts, but should stick!
- Spread the nuts out on your prepared baking sheet. In general, they should be spaced out so that they aren’t touching and clumped together.
- Roast the nuts for 25 minutes, rotate the pan and roast them for another 20 to 25 minutes.
- Remove them from the oven and let the nuts cool before handling (hot nuts!). They will crisp up as they cool.
Preparation time: 10 minute(s)
Cooking time: 50 minute(s)
Diet type: Vegan, Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Gluten-Free, Peanut-Free, Wheat-Free, Refined Sugar-Free
Number of servings (yield): 6
- I’m submitting this post to Wellness Weekends at Diet Dessert & Dogs.