Thursday, December 22, 2011

10 Healthy Christmas Cookie Recipes

Who says eating Christmas cookies can't be delicious, fun AND good for you! Elana Amsterdam, one of my favorite Gluten-free chefs has prepared a list of cookies that meet all the qualities mentioned in the previous sentence. Whether it is her vegan chocolate chip cookies or her gingerbread men, Elana has got the market cornered on Christmas cookies that taste good and wont make you feel like you have to spend a month straight in the gym. To see all her delicious cookie recipes visit her fabulous website: Elana's Pantry

I have personally tried the Vegan chocolate chip cookie recipe and, whenever I make them, I end up having to fight my non-gluten-free husband for the last one. Don't take my word for it though, try them yourself and let me know what you think!
Below I have posted a picture of her mouthwatering Pecan shortbread cookies! Best part about them? They are quick and high in protein!


Pecan Shortbread Cookies

  • 2 ½ cups blanched almond flour
  • ¼ teaspoon celtic sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup pecans, toasted and chopped
  • 5 tablespoons agave nectar
  • ½ cup salted butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  1. In a large bowl combine almond flour, salt, baking soda and pecans
  2. In a smaller bowl, mix together agave, butter and vanilla
  3. Mix wet ingredients into dry
  4. Place dough in the center of a large piece of parchment paper and form into a large log approximately 2½ inches in diameter
  5. Place in freezer for one hour, until firm, unwrap and cut into ⅛ inch thick slices
  6. Place slices on a parchment lined baking sheet
  7. Bake at 350° until lightly golden, 7-10 minutes
  8. Cool and serve
Makes 24 cookies

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Special Olympics Polar Plunge

Come out and watch Mrs. Alaska Take the Plunge for Special Olympics Alaska! The Polar Plunge for Special Olympics Alaska is a unique opportunity for individuals, organizations, and businesses to support Special Olympics Alaska athletes by gathering pledges and plunging into the icy waters of Goose Lake in Anchorage. Mrs. Alaska will be proudly jumping with her team, the St. Elias Prom Plungers! 

To donate to her and her team, please visit

Date:  Saturday, December 17, 2011
Location:  Goose Lake, Anchorage Alaska
Time:  10am-3pm
Parking & Shuttle:  There will be no parking at Goose Lake unless previously arranged.  A shuttle will be provided by UAA and Premier Alaska Tours from 8:30am-4:00pm.  It will run as a round robin, so wait time should be minimal, but dress for the weather and for warmth AFTER your plunge.

Friday, December 9, 2011

No December Gluten-free Support group meeting

I just wanted to remind everyone that there will be NO December Gluten-free Support Group meeting. 

I look forward to seeing everyone for the next meeting, Jan 19th, 2012. Same time and same location as usual.

See you in the new year!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

December Product of the Month

In my everyday life, I work at a hospital. I am a nurse by trade but, regardless of your position, the hospital seems to be a work environment that is dominated by females. Having said this, there always seems to be a lot of flowers, cookies, cards and cakes that float around the break rooms. Whether we are celebrating someone's pregnancy, anniversary, birthday, or simply expressing gratitude, there always seems to be some fun food item around. Having a food allergy can sometimes limit your interaction in these celebrations. However, I am delighted to share with you a company that helps eliminate some of the boundaries. Heidi's Gluten-free Greatness is a business dedicated to providing the public with delicious, fresh-baked, gluten-free products. Heidi's bakery specializes in making many wonderful items, however, it is her cookie bouquets that have won over our taste buds for our product of the month!Heidi Dean is a graduate of New York University and holds an M.S. in Holistic Nutrition. She also makes a fabulous assortment of other bakes goods such as brownies, breads, cakes, and cupcakes. However, when it comes to celebrations and feeling special, what could be better than a gluten-free cookie bouquet?! Please check out Heidi's website and keep her in mind the next time you or a gluten-free loved one has a special celebration coming up!

Click here to "like" Heidi's Gluten-free Greatness on Facebook!

Heidi Dean is a graduate of New York University and holds an M.S. in Holistic Nutrition. She is a certified holistic health practitioner by the American Association of Drugless Practitioners, a certified kids nutrition specialist, and a certified sports nutritionist by the National Federation of Professional Trainers (NFPT). She has a private family nutrition practice in New York. Heidi is the owner of Heidi's Gluten-Free Greatness, a business dedicated to providing the public with delicious, fresh-baked gluten-free products.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

December Recipe of the month

When I went to NJY camp Pennsylvania for their first ever gluten-free family weekend, I was honored to meet several people who are passionate about helping others with Celiac Disease and those who require a gluten-free diet. Nicole Hunn, author of Gluten-free on a Shoestring, was one of those people. Eating gluten-free can be an expensive endeavor but Nicole has figured out how to make gluten-free living affordable and fun! She had a wonderful sense of humor and her cooking tasted amazing! So, for the recipe of the month, I have decided that I should feature her scrumptious gluten-free GINGERBREAD COOKIES! These are definitely perfect for this time of year and can make for a fun-filled evening with your family.

Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Egg-Free Cut-Out Gingerbread Cookies


  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose gluten-free flour (I use Better Batter)
  • 3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if using Better Batter)
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 tablespoons unsulphured molasses
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 5 tablespoons nonhydrogenated vegetable shortening
  • 1/3 cup cold water
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, place flour, xanthan gum, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, salt, brown sugar and granulated sugar, and whisk to combine well. Add molasses, honey and vanilla, and mix to combine as best you can (it will be lumpy). Add the shortening, and mix again as best you can (lumpier still).
  3. Add the water, and mix until smooth. Place the dough between two sheets of parchment paper and roll out into a rectangle about 1/4 inch thick, no thinner (see photo). Place in the freezer to chill until firm, about 10 minutes.
  4. Flour your cookie cutter (see photo), and cut out shapes. Peel back the surrounding dough (see photo), and place the cutouts evenly spaced on rimmed baking sheets. Gather and re-roll scraps, chill and cut out again.
  5. Place the pan in the center of the preheated oven and bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until just lifting off the pan easily (longer for crisp cookies). Remove from the oven and cool completely before decorating.
Makes about 30 cookies, depending upon thickness of dough and size of cookie cutter.
For more ideas and inspirations like this, visit