Switching as a Family

 My youngest has been Gluten and Dairy free since she was only a couple of months old. It's been a journey for me because I love food. Baking, cooking, recipes, beautiful food. If you've stuck around here long enough, you've witnessed some of my concoctions. It's been a huge challenge for me to find alternatives. My daughter doesn't want much in the way of fancy food.

 The challenge has been for me and my palate. The journey started with me cutting things from my own diet so that I could continue to breastfeed, (she had/has severe reflux),which I thought was super important for her growth and development. Hypotonia made learning to nurse a huge challenge, and the allergies added to the challenge. You can read about that journey here on the blog too. But anyway, the diet change has been a challenge in other ways as well. Having to shop separate, cook separate from the rest of the family. It's exhausting some times. So almost three years into this journey, (can you believe she's almost 3 years old), I'm making the decision to switch all of my baking to gluten free. Because who likes having to make two batches, separate in two containers, use two different kinds of ingredients, spend twice the money. No thanks. Think smarter, don't work harder.

I could just be lazy, too. There's always that possibility.

So I am a huge fan of pumpkin baked goods. I love that it is a super versatile food. One time I went to dinner with a friend at this little tiny restaurant in Berkley where the menu was different every time. The husband-wife team were of Indian (as in India) and Hispanic descent. As you can imagine the fusion of the two flavors was amazing. This particular day they had pumpkin enchilada's on the menu. I wasn't quite sure what I was in for by ordering this particular dish, but it turned out to be amazing. For the life of me, I could never repeat the dish. It was really a great mesh of flavors that enhanced the pumpkin flavor. Sweet and savory at the same time. Needless to say, I am a huge fan of finding new and different ways to use pumpkin. 
This is a perfect time to make one of my favorites, though. Pumpkin cookies. Now is the time to stock up on canned pumpkin. And cranberries. I like fresh cranberries, but dried are great for baking as well. I combine the two in these super yummy cookies. They're soft and moist, and the oatmeal gives them a really hearty bite. They are best eaten fresh, but they can keep for a week or so covered, and layered between parchment. Recipe is below! 

  • 1 cup all purpose flour gluten free
  • 3/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1½ cup rolled oats certified gluten free
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 15oz can pumpkin puree
  • 2 sticks Earth Balance Spread, or shortening
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp baking powder double acting
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground cloves
  • 1 cup Dried Cranberries
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  1. In a large mixing bowl add flour, oats, brown sugar, white sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and cloves. Whisk together until well combined.
  2. In a separate bowl mix together egg, pumpkin puree, and vanilla extract. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients, along with butter.
  3. Using a hand mixer, blend all ingredients together until well combined. Stir in the cranberries. Place dough in refrigerator and allow to chill for about 15 minutes.
  4. When dough is chilled, scoop 1-inch to 1½-inch balls of dough onto cookie sheet, leaving about 2-inches of space between each cookie.
  5. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until cookies are golden brown and slightly firm to the touch. Remove and allow to cool before eating.
I hope you like these as much as we do! 

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