Enjoying the season of sweets and treats — without the guilt or sugar crashes that happen afterward — is no easy feat. Instead of swearing off all the good stuff, or trying to make desserts sugar-free (bleck), you can swap out some traditional ingredients with healthier, nutrient-dense alternatives. You will feel more satisfied, less crazed and still enjoy some of your favorite sweets.
Take this recipe, for example. It’s one of my favorites to make and gift.
These gluten-free and healthy biscotti are easy to customize with your favorite flavors, like orange peel, cranberries, pistachios, coconut or raisins. With coconut oil (great for metabolism and energy), chia seeds and almond meal (lots of protein and great healthy fat) and just a dash of pure maple syrup instead of sugar [lots of trace vitamins and minerals], these Italian crunchy cookies are a perfect pair with coffee, tea, spread with natural peanut butter or drizzled in melted chocolate. For whatever the season brings.
Gluten-Free Cranberry Vanilla Holiday Biscotti
- 1½ cups gluten-free flour blend
- 1 cup almond meal or almond flour
- ½ cup slivered almonds, pistachios or walnuts
- 2 eggs
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil or organic butter, melted
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup, grade B
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
- + 6 tablespoons water
- 1½ teaspoons vanilla
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- ½ cup shredded coconut (optional)
- ½ cup cranberries, raisins, or other dried fruit
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees. In a small bowl, add chia seeds and water. Stir and let seeds sit while you assemble the rest of the ingredients.
- In a large mixing bowl, add the gluten-free flour, almond flour, nuts, vanilla, baking powder, spices and any extra additions like coconut or dried fruit. Mix well.
- Add in melted coconut oil or butter, eggs and chia seeds. Stir well to combine.
- Form two large balls with the mixture and place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet.Flatten them a bit with your fingers until they are approximately 1 inch high. Bake for 20 minutes.
- Remove from heat and cut into diagonal slices. Turn the biscotti cookies on their sides and bake for 20 more minutes.
- Flip each cookie and bake for 10 more minutes. Let cool to crisp. Keeps well in a covered container for up to one week.