COLUMN: Four Treats for the Holidays

Dr. Brenda Gill
By Dr. Brenda Gill
December 19th, 2016

One of the biggest challenges I find during the Christmas holidays for those who don’t tolerate gluten is desserts and treats. At this time of year they are everywhere and it is ever so tempting to give in and have a few. The easiest solution I’ve found is to make some holiday treats ahead of time, freeze them and pull them out when you have a hankering for some delicious treat or need to go to a dinner or dessert function. Bring these and you’ll have what you need to feel  thoroughly satiated! Enjoy!

1.    Chewy Ginger Molasses Cookies– makes 2  dozen

I much prefer the chewy ginger cookies than the hard crunchy gingerbread cookies, so it took a little experimentation until they were just right, but — well worth the effort!

Pre-heat oven to 350 F.

1 cup nut or seed butter (I use cashew butter or sunflower seed butter)

3 tbsp molasses

2 eggs, room temperature

3 tsp freshly grated ginger root

¾ cup coconut sugar

¼ cup coconut flour

1 tsp baking soda

½ tsp ground ginger

1 tsp ground cinnamon

¼ tsp ground allspice

½ tsp sea salt

A pinch of freshly ground pepper

1.    Brush 2 baking sheets with olive oil.

2.    In a bowl, beat together the nut/seed butter, molasses, eggs and freshly grated ginger until smooth.

3.    In another bowl, sift together the coconut sugar, coconut flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, allspice, salt and pepper.

4.    Add the dry mixture to the nut/seed butter mixture until well combined.

5.    Drop the dough by the teaspoonful onto the baking sheets about 2 inches apart.

6.    Bake cookies 4 minutes, rotate baking sheet halfway through, and cook the remaining 4 minutes until firm around the edges and the cookies are starting to crack in the middle. 

7.    Cool  on the baking sheets for 5 minutes and then transfer to cooling racks to cool completely. 


2.   Almond Shortbreads– makes 4 dozen

These are a lovely alternative to the regular shortbreads and just as yummy!

Pre-heat oven to 300 F.

          2 2/3 cups almond flour

          ½ cup coconut flour

          ¼ cup maple syrup

          ½ lb (250 gm) softened butter

          1 cup ground pecans


1.    Brush 2 baking sheets with olive oil. 

2.    Mix all ingredients. 

3.    Shape the cookies into small crescents or half moons and place 1 inch apart on a greased cookie sheet. 

4.    Bake 15 minutes or until edges turn brown.


3.  Sunflower Seed Bars– makes 2 dozen squares

The dried cranberries add that Christmas touch!

Pre-heat oven to 350 F.

          1 cup raw cashew/almond/seed butter                         

          1 cup honey                                                  

          1 cup chopped pecans                                    

          1cup unsweetened coconut                    

          1 cup raw sunflower seeds                              

          1 cup dried cranberries      


1.    Warm the cashew/almond butter and honey in a saucepan until melted and smooth.

2.    In a bowl, mix together the pecans, coconut, sunflower seeds and cranberries. 

3.    Add the melted mixture to the dry ingredients and mix until well-combined. 

4.    Pour into a 9 x 12” rectangular pan and press flat. 

5.    Bake for 20-30 minutes. 

6.    Remove from oven and cool. 

7.    Cut into squares and store in an airtight container.


4.  Chocolate Truffles– makes 2 dozen

These satisfy the chocolate lovers.

1 cup raw pecans

1 cup medjool pitted dates

 6 tbsp cocoa powder

 ¼ cup cashew/almond butter

1.    Grind pecans in food processor until finely ground and pasty. 

2.    Add dates, cocoa powder and cashew/almond butter and process until well-combined. 

3.    Roll in cocoa powder and refrigerate.

Categories: GeneralHealth

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