Its time for cakes and cookies: This time Let’s try the Healthy way …….

December where all about vacations, get together, parties and yummy food, we bring out to you a list of healthy cakes and cookies along with their nutrition facts for special diet demanding health conditions, be it diabetes, high cholesterol (cholesterol issues calling to keep a check on the heart conditions), gluten free conditions, lactose intolerant, allergic to eggs and so on. The well-known chefs and nutrionists design these recipes for good quality products and have more health valuing ingredients. We ourselves have tried out some of these recipes in our kitchen.

Healthy cake options for diabetics:

Keeping a check on the glucose levels is the key point to individuals with diabetes whether they eat daily meal at home or attend a party outside. Many consider using dark brown sugar like cane sugar over white sugar as a healthier option. Though not much scientific evidence support that brown sugar is healthier, it still takes a better value, as it is not processed. On the other hand using honey and dates as a natural substitute for sugar is a healthier option [1]. One could also use the artificial sweeteners, but as we all known natural sugars are the best options.

Terry’s date and walnut cake [2]

Ingredients Method of preparation
  • 9 oz dates (white without pits)
  • 5 oz walnuts
  • 5 oz all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 4 oz butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 5 oz sugar
  • Prepare the dates and the walnuts. Remove the stones from the dates and cut into pieces, break up the walnuts into smaller chunks. Blend with the flour and the baking powder and let rest.
  • Put the softened butter and sugar together into another bowl and mix with a wooden spoon until soft.
  • Separate the eggs. Add the egg yolks one at a time and beat until you have a light and creamy mixture.
  • Mix the fruit and flour mix into the creamy mass.
  • Whisk the egg whites until stiff, then add half of them to the mixture, and add the other half using a light hand.
  • Pour into greased pans and bake at 160C for 1 1/2 hours on the middle shelf.
Nutrition facts:

Dates are packed with nutrition like calcium, iron, phosphorus, sodium, potassium, magnesium, zinc, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, vitamin A, K, natural sugars and fiber.

Walnuts are excellent source of anti-inflammatory omega-3 essential fatty acids like alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). They are aslo good source of manganese, copper, molybdenum, biotin, gamma-tocopherol form of vitamin E, calcium, chromium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, vanadium and zinc.

John Barricelli's Carrot Cake [4]:

carrot-cake

Wondering what role carrots in this cake got to do with diabetes???? Well, the natural sweetness in the carrots here calls for a cut down on the quantity of sugar to be added in the preparation, so this cake remains tasty and nutritious. And the nutrition value of the carrots helps to maintain healthy eyes among the diabetics.

Ingredients Method of preparation
  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, melted plus more for pans
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
  • 1 cup toasted and chopped pecans
  • 2 1/2 cups finely shredded carrots
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup nonfat buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Place carrots, eggs, buttermilk, vanilla, sugar, and ginger in a large bowl; mix until well combined.
  • Into a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Using a rubber spatula, fold the flour mixture into the carrot mixture until combined. Fold in the butter and toasted pecans.
  • Divide batter between the two greased cake pans, and bake for about 1 hour. Remove pans from oven, and transfer to a wire rack to cool, about 15 minutes. Turn cakes out onto rack; let stand until completely cool.
Nutrition facts:

Carrots are best of beta-carotene and vitamin A (in the form of carotenoids). In addition, they contain biotin, vitamin K, dietary fiber, molybdenum, potassium, manganese, niacin, vitamin B1, panthothenic acid, phosphorus, folate, copper, vitamin E, vitamin B2, vitamin B6, and vitamin C.

Chef Seema’s Ragi biscuits [5]:

ragi-cookies
Ingredients Method of preparation
  • 1 cup ragi flour
  • 1/2 cup brown cane sugar
  • 1/2 Tbsp green cardamom powder
  • 2 pinches of ginger powder
  • 1/2 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup oil (rice bran)
  • 1 egg whisked
  • 1/2 Tbsp salt or to taste
  • In a pan mix the ragi flour and cardamom powder. Then roast this gently on a tawa till the color gets a wee bit darker. (for a minute or two)
  • In a bowl break an egg and whisk it. Add the roasted ragi and sugar into it and mix well.
  • Add the dry ginger, salt, oil and mix well. It will look like dark dough.
  • Make round balls and flatten them in your palms.
  • Pre-heat the oven at 180 degree Celsiusfor 5-7 minutes. Arrange the biscuits on butter paper in a baking tray.
  • Bake for 8 minutes at 180 degree Celsius.
Nutrition facts:

Ragis found to be a good source of thiamine, iron, calcium, rich in dietary fiber, low in fat content, hence it is food of low glycemic index gaining advantage among the diabetics.

Low cholesterol cakes for a healthy heart:

The crucial factor for maintaining a healthy heart is to keep a check on the blood cholesterol. When there is too much cholesterol in your blood, it builds up in the walls of your arteries, narrowing the arteries and slows down the blood flow to the heart muscle increasing the risk of unhealthy heart (atherosclerosis, heart attacks).

Deborah madison's poppy seed cake [6]:

poppy-seed-cake
Ingredients Method of preparation
  • 1 cup poppy seeds
  • 1/2 cup milk, heated, but not boiling
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces or 113 grams) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • In a small mixing bowl, combine the poppy seeds and the hot milk. Set aside until needed. Heat the oven to 375ᵒF. Butter and flour a 9-inch spring form pan. Set aside.
  • In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  • Whisk the egg whites in the bowl on medium-high until firm but moist peaks form.
  • In another bowl, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the vanilla, and then beat in the egg yolks, adding one at a time.
  • Drain the milk from the poppy seeds, discarding the milk. Add the buttermilk and the drained poppy seeds to the batter. Beat until well combined; then again scrape down the sides of the bowl with the rubber spatula. Add the flour mixture to the batter, in thirds, and mix well.
  • Fold in the beaten egg whites mixing gently until just combined.
  • Transfer the batter into the prepared cake pan, smoothing the top with the rubber spatula. Bake at 375ᵒF until golden and firm, for about 40-50 minutes. Allow the cake to cool to room temperature before slicing.
Nutrition facts:

Poppy seeds outer husk is a good source of dietary fiber. 100 g raw seeds provide 19.5 g or 51% of recommended daily levels (RDA) of fiber. These dietary fiber binds to bile salts (a product of cholesterol) and decrease their re-absorption in the colon. It thus helps in a further decrease in blood LDL cholesterol levels.

Chef Jamie’s Banana walnut cake [7]:

banana-walnut-cake
Ingredients Method of preparation
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 overripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • Preheat the oven to 350° F. Grease and flour 2 9-inch cake pans.
  • In a medium bowl, stir together the flour and baking soda and set aside. Using an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar in a bowl until light and fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Add the eggs 1 at a time, mixing well after each addition. Mix in the mashed bananas, buttermilk and vanilla. Add the dry mixture and mix until just combined. Stir in the walnuts.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pans. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Cool the cakes on a rack for 10 minutes, then turn the cakes out and let them cool completely.
Nutrition facts:

Walnuts are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, their anti-inflammatory action help lower blood pressure, cut down coronary artery disease, and stroke risk.

Bananasare nutrition packed fruits. Their magnesium content play a cardiac-protective role; and their potassium content is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps control heart rate and blood pressure, countering bad effects of sodium.

Chef Jennifer Segal’s nutritious Zucchini bread:

zucchini-bread
Ingredients Method of preparation
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1-3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups grated zucchini
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled-off
  • 2-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts, lightly toasted if desired
  • 1/2 cup currants or raisins (optional)
  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees and set rack in middle position. Generously grease two 8 x 4-inch loaf pans.
  • In a large bowl, mix eggs with sugar until combined. Add grated zucchini, melted butter and vanilla extract and stir to combine.
  • In another large bowl, combine flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Use a whisk to mix well.
  • Add dry ingredients to egg mixture and mix until just combined. Add nuts and currants (or chocolate chips if using), then divide batter into prepared pans.
  • Bake for 60-70 minutes, or until tester comes out clean. Set pans on wire rack and let cool about 10 minutes, and then turn loaves out onto rack to cool completely.

Note: You can also add chocolate chips to this bread. I typically use between ¾ - 1 cup chocolate chips instead of nuts and currants. Whatever combination you use, just be sure total add-ins (nuts, currants, chips) do not exceed 1½ cups.

Nutrition facts:

Zucchinis are a good source of antioxidant nutrients, including the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin. This squash-family vegetable contains very little overall fat and includes omega-3s, monounsaturates (oleic acid), and medium chain fats (lauric and myristic acids). It also contains copper, manganese, vitamin C, magnesium, dietary fiber, phosphorus, potassium, folate, vitamin B6, vitamin K, vitamin B1, zinc, omega-3 fatty acids, niacin, vitamin B2, pantothenic acid, calcium, iron, choline, and protein. Including this vegetable in the diet helps to maintain blood sugars, prostate health and is anti-cancer beneficial.

Raisins contain anti-oxidant phytochemical resveratrol, which has anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, and blood cholesterol lowering activities. It is a source of minerals like calcium,iron, manganese, magnesium copper, fluoride, and zinc. Copper and manganese are an essential co-factor of antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase.

Gluten free cakes:

At one point of time or the other all of us have come across the terms gluten-free diet, gluten-intolerant and many more, all focusing on one single word ‘gluten’. Gluten in simple terms is a protein substance found in many of the cereal grains like the wheat, barley, rye and many more and is responsible for their elastic nature of their dough. Individuals whose digestive system finds it a challenge to handle this gluten are recommended gluten-free diets. Many other conditions like Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), celiac disease, Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and autistic individuals are also considered medically gluten intolerants [8]. So here are a few gluten-free cake recipes from the gluten- free food nutritionists and chefs.

Karina’s Gluten-Free Vanilla Cupcakes Recipe [9]:

vanilla-cupcake
Ingredients Method of preparation
  • 1 cup sorghum flour or brown rice flour
  • 1 cup potato starch (not potato flour!)
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1 cup vanilla non-dairy milk
  • 1/4 cup organic free-range eggs, beaten, or Ener-G egg replacer, mixed per directions
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tablespoon bourbon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon juice
  • Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line a 12-cupcake tin with paper or parchment liners.
  • In a mixing bowl, whisk the flour, starch and dry ingredients together. Add in the non-dairy milk, eggs or egg replacer, coconut oil, vanilla and lemon juice. Beat with a mixer until the cake batter is smooth. Do not over-beat.
  • Using an ice cream scoop, drop the batter into the twelve liners. Smooth out the tops with wet fingers.
  • Bake in the center of a preheated oven until firm and dome shaped. For me this took about 15-18 minutes at sea level but they may take up to 20 to 22 minutes, depending upon your particular oven and altitude.

Note: You can also add chocolate chips to this bread. I typically use between ¾ - 1 cup chocolate chips instead of nuts and currants. Whatever combination you use, just be sure total add-ins (nuts, currants, chips) do not exceed 1½ cups.

Nutrition facts:

Brown rice is an excellent source of the trace mineral manganese, and a good source of selenium, phosphorus, copper, magnesium, and niacin.

Sorghumare high in antioxidants, and help lower the risk of cancer, diabetes, heart disease and some neurological diseases. In addition, the wax surrounding the sorghum grain contains compounds called policosanols, that cholesterol-lowering potency comparable to that of statins [10].

Dr. Maya Adam’s Almond cake- nutritious and gluten-free!!! [11]:

almond-cake

This is a guaranteed recipe which is nutrition filled cake tried and tested at our kitchen of living embryophytes

Ingredients Method of preparation
  • 1 stick of butter
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2½ cups almond meal (almond flour)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • Preheat the oven to 325ºF. Grease and line a 10-inch cake pan.
  • In a mixing bowl, whisk the butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla essence and baking powder up to no lumps.
  • Now add the almond flour and mix well for 5 minutes.
  • Pour into the prepared pan and even out the top with back of a spoon
  • Bake in the center of a preheated oven for 30-40 minutes until firm and dome shaped.
Nutrition facts:

Almonds are more nutritious when whole with skin; they are very good source of vitamin E, manganese, biotin, copper, magnesium, molydenum, riboflavin (vitamin B2), and phosphorus. They are very filling snackables and helps to lose weight and are great for a healthy heart too.

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies from the Whole grains council [12]:

chocolate-chip-cookie
Ingredients Method of preparation
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup butter (or trans-free margarine or lard)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar packed
  • 2/3 cup sorghum flour + 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup defatted soy flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1 teaspoon Cook’s Powdered Vanilla Extract (can use liquid extract if gluten-free and added before egg)
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate morsels
  • ½ cup nuts (optional)
  • Preheat oven to 375°F.
  • Whisk together dry ingredients; set aside. Cream shortening and sugars; add egg beating on high until fluffy. Add dry ingredients, blend until well mixed; fold in the chocolate chips and nuts.
  • Drop from teaspoon 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 10 minutes. (If baking more than one pan at a time, bake 8 minutes, turn pan, and bake 2 more minutes.) Do not overcook. Remove from oven, let cool on cookie sheet until firm, finish cooling on rack.

Lactose-free cakes:

Most needed if one is lactose intolerant and does not want to let go of the baked goodies like the cakes and cookies. In simple words intolerance to lactose is a result of inability to digest the sugar in milk, lactose. This inability results from a shortage of the enzyme lactase, produced in the small intestine. The intolerance develops towards dairy products like milk, cheese, cream and butter leading to symptoms like gas, cramps, loose stool or diarrhea, bloating and vomiting anywhere from thirty minutes to two hours after eating or drinking foods containing dairy [13]. So down here are some promising and delicious lactose-free cakes from some of the well-know chefs.

Chef Nigella’s Chocolate olive oil cake [14]:

olive-oil-cake

This is a guaranteed recipe which is nutrition filled cake tried and tested at our kitchen of living embryophytes

Ingredients Method of preparation
  • ⅔ cup regular olive oil (plus more for greasing)
  • 6 tablespoons good-quality unsweetened cocoa (sifted)
  • ½ cup boiling water
  • 2 teaspoons best vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups almond meal (or 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour)
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 cup superfine sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • Preheat your oven to 170°C/gas mark 3/325ºF. Grease a 9-inch springform tin with a little oil and line the base with baking parchment.
  • In a big mix bowl beat in the eggs, and then add the sugar and oil. Mix well.
  • Now stir in the sifted cocoa, baking soda, salt, almond flour or all-purpose flour and mix well. Add in the vanilla extract.
  • Now add the half-cup of boiling water and stir well.
  • Scrape down, and stir a little with a spatula, then pour this dark, liquid batter into the prepared tin. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until the sides are set and the very centre, on top, still looks slightly damp.
  • Let it cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack, leave to cool completely or eat while still warm.
Nutrition facts:

Olive oil is valuable for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory phytonutrients. Olive oil is unique plant oil containing about three-fourths of its fat in the form of oleic acid (a monounsaturated, omega-9 fat). It is a good source of vitamin E hence plays a special role in skin health.

Cocoa contains the stimulants theobromine and caffeine that can increase alertness and give you a pleasurable sensation. According to studies from the British Medical Journal it is associated with a reduced risk for heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. It also contains compounds that act as stimulants believed to boost serotonin and endorphin levels in the brain.

The healthy Chef Teressa Cutter’s – Red velvet cupcakes [15]:

red-velvet-cupcake

This is a speciality healthy cake recipe, as the red velvet nature in this cake is not brought about using red food coloring agents or the traditional cochineal red extract for red velvet cakes. The artificial agents are substituted by the most healthy rooty vegetable – beetroot puree.

Ingredients Method of preparation
  • 260 g (about 2 large/ 9 oz) beetroot, grated raw
  • 2 organic eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 1 ½ cupsground almonds
  • ¼ cup or 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoons your choice (macadamia oil, olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil)
  • ¼ cup honey or pure maple syrup
  • ½ cup (75 g / 2.5 oz) frozen raspberries
  • 1 teaspoon gluten free baking powder or 1/4 teaspoon bicarb soda or baking soda
  • Preheat your oven to 160 C. (320 F) fan forced or 180 C (356 F) no fan.
  • Combine raw beetroot, eggs, vanilla, cinnamon, ground almonds, cocoa powder, honey,oil and baking powder into a large bowl.
  • Mix well with your hands until combined then add the raspberries if using.
  • Spoon into paper lined cupcake or small muffin tins.
  • Bake for 45 minutes or until cooked through.
  • Remove from the oven and cool completely in the tin. Makes 12 cupcakes.
Nutrition facts:

Beetroots are packed with phytonutrients called betalains that provide antioxidant and anti-inflammatory support to the body. The nitrate content in the beetroot improves blood flow throughout the body – including the brain, heart, and muscles.

Honey has antibacterial properties and helps to fight virus and bacteria.

The healthy Chef Teressa Cutter’s – Pumpkin fruit bread [16]:

pumpkin-fruit-cake

An extremely moist and delicious vegetable cake using raw grated pumpkin.

Ingredients Method of preparation
  • 250 g or 2 cups grated raw pumpkin
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or paste
  • ¼ cup macadamia nut oil or light flavored olive oil
  • ¼ cup honey or organic maple syrup
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 cup (160 g) raisins
  • 1 cup (150 g)wholemeal spelt flour or Almond flour
  • Garnish optional (walnuts, pecan, hazelnut)
  • Preheat your oven to 150 C fan forced or 170 C no fan.
  • Combine the raw pumpkin, eggs, vanilla, oil, honey, bicarb, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and raisins.
  • Add the flour and mix through.
  • Spoon into a prepared 10 1/2 cm wide and 26 cm long baking tin lined with baking paper.
  • Garnish the top with the nuts if you like, and bake for 60-75 minutes or until cooked through. You may need to cover the top with a little foil if necessary. The top of your cake should spring back when touched. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 30 minutes before removing from the tin.
Nutrition facts:

Pumpkin is a great source of carotenoid antioxidants and also rich in omega-3 making it anti-inflammatory food. The nutrients in pumpkin helps in combating a number of age-related diseases that have been linked to inflammation, including obesity, cancer, type 2 diabetes,atherosclerosis, arthritis, osteoporosis, depression and dementia.

Autism diet - gluten- and casein-free diet:

Studies on autism and their diet concerns show that positive benefits from dietary interventions have been recorded in majority of the studies published so far.The data show improvement in communication, attention and hyperactivity after the new diet began [19]. These diet are majorly free of gluten and casein.

Chef Jamie Gwen’s Orange almond cake [18]:

Ingredients Method of preparation
  • 2 navel oranges
  • 1 lemon, large
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups baker’s sugar
  • 4 1/2 cups almonds, ground fine and sifted through a fine-mesh sieve or Almond Flour
  • 1 cup hazelnuts, ground fine and sifted through a fine-mesh sieve
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Canola oil and rice flour for greasing the pans
  • Wash the oranges and lemon well. Put them in a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring the water to a boil, and then reduce the heat to a small simmer. Allow them to simmer for one hour. When the oranges and lemon have become soft and easy to pierce with a knife, take them out of the simmering water. Roughly chop them and puree them using a food processor. Set aside.
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and flour the cake pans. For the batter, using an electric mixer, beat the eggs and sugar together until they are just combined. Fold in the orange and lemon purée and combine together.
  • Combine the almond meal, hazelnut meal and the baking powder. Fold one-third of that mixture, slowly, into the rest of the dough.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pans. Bake for about 30 minutes, then check the cakes using a cake tester or toothpick..
  • Allow the cakes to cool in their pans for at least 15 minutes before removing them to a wire rack. Allow the cakes to cool completely before slicing.
Nutrition facts:

Oranges are rich in antioxidants that can help boost immune function and protect the body against disease. It is also high in soluble fibre that helps to reduce cholesterol.

Lemons and limes are excellent sources of vitamin C and a good source of folate.

Hazelnut are rich in dietary fiber, minerals like manganese, potassium, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, zinc, and selenium and show anti-oxidant properties. They are rich in folate, B-complex vitaminthat helps prevent megaloblastic anemia, and most importantly, neural tube defects in the newborn and are very essential in the diet of expectant mothers.

Karina’s Autism friendly Sausalito Cookie Bars [20]:

These cookie bars filled with nutritious dairy-free ingredients will make a great choice as packed foods for travelling with autistic individuals, keeping in mind that foods are of great concern for travelling during vacations.

Ingredients Method of preparation
  • 2 cups non-dairy self-rising GF baking and pancake mix
  • 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
  • 1 cup organic light brown sugar
  • 2 medium free-range organic eggs
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil or organic shortening
  • 3 teaspoons bourbon vanilla extract
  • 1 heaping cup casein-free chocolate chips
  • 2/3 cup chopped macadamia nuts/almonds
  • Preheat oven to 350ºF
  • In a mixing bowl mix all the ingredients by hand- with a wooden spoon- until moistened.
  • Using a rubber or silicone spatula, press the cookie dough evenly into a lightly oiled 10x13-inch baking pan. Add extra chips to the top, and lightly press into the batter.
  • Bake on a center rack until the bars are set and golden brown- about 21 to 25 minutes- depending upon your oven and altitude. Do not over-bake.
  • Allow the bars to cool on a wire rack before cutting.
  • Makes 18 bars.
  • These freeze well- wrap tightly and store in a freezer bag. Thaw before serving.
Nutrition facts:

Macadamia nuts are an excellent source of minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, selenium, manganese and zinc.Selenium is a cardio-protective micro-mineral and an important anti-oxidant cofactor for glutathione peroxidase enzyme.They contain small amounts of the fat-soluble vitamins like vitamin-A, and vitamin E, which possess potent anti-oxidant activities, and helps to protect cell membranes and DNA damage from harmful oxygen-free radicals.

Thus, many options of healthy veggies, fruits and nuts can be included in the diet even in the desserts making feasting on goodies not only a pleasure but also healthy. These cakes and cookies can be had a snack on daily diet and even made for vacation and parties with some healthy frosting on them. One such healthy frosting option is as below.

Vegan chocolate frosting [21]:

This recipe is a vegan and vegetarian suitable for dairy-free, egg-free, gluten-free and lactose-free diets. But as with any recipe intended for persons with allergies or dietary restrictions, make sure to read all nutritional labels carefully to make sure that there are no hidden dairy-derived ingredients.

Ingredients Method of preparation
  • 2 cups organic powdered sugar
  • ¼ cup (½ stick) dairy-free soy margarine, softened
  • ¼ cup plain unsweetened almond milk or soymilk
  • ¾ cup unsweetened pure cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • In a medium-large mixing bowl, using an electric hand mixer, cream the powdered sugar with the soy margarine until mixture is thick but well combined. Add the almond milk, cocoa powder and vanilla, and continue to mix until smooth.

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