Nuts are one of my caloric staples, and I’m a snacker/grazer by nature, so trail mix and I are an obvious match. In the last few months I’ve begun playing around with adding different flavors to mixes, and the one I made recently is my favorite so far. It’s low in sugar because there is very little fruit, and even though it has a sweetness from the fruit powders, they contain almost no sugars themselves. This mixture is a flavor overload of sweet, salty, sour and spicy!
There is no real “recipe,” just guidelines. As always, all ingredients should be organic if possible.
1 cup each, all raw:
You could also use cashews, jungle peanuts, and/or any other nuts. They can be used as is, but I sprout and dry them for the health benefits. To do that, soak them in a bowl of filtered or spring water for several hours. Rinse and drain, and either put in a sprouting system or leave in the bowl with a towel or plate over it. Rinse and drain every eight hours until you see tails sprouting; this usually takes 24 hours or less. Place on dehydrator trays, and dry at 105 degrees for about 24 hours. You can skip all that and make this right away, or you can have time consuming but very healthy sprouted nuts- your choice.
To the dried nut mix, add 1 cup goji berries, and combine.
2 tsp Himalayan salt
1 tsp cayenne (reduce if you don’t like things HOT)
2 tbls camu camu powder
2 tbls lucuma powder
1/2 tsp stevia
You can mix these together beforehand, but I just add them directly to the nut and goji mix and stir thoroughly. Taste can be adjusted according to how sweet, salty, etc. you prefer it. The camu adds a distinct sour bite, since it is chock full of vitamin c, and the lucuma lends a lightly sweet, maple-y quality. Both of these products are available in the bulk section of a good health food store, or in 8 oz packages in the raw section of one. Conversely, you can easily find them online. My favorite brands are Essential Living Foods for lucuma, and Navitas Naturals for camu camu. I get my nuts either from the farmers market or ELF, my pumpkin seeds from the bulk bins, and my gojis from Dragon Herbs via iHerb. Dragon Herbs’ gojis are much softer than the standard ones you find.
I love how the superfood powder mix makes these simple nuts and seeds absolutely burst with flavor. If you’ve been getting bored with trail mix, this is the perfect way to reintroduce yourself and liven it back up.
I don’t know the first thing about babies- other than that 30something years ago I was one- but my very good friend Cortney does, so it’s probably for the best that she’s the one who gave birth this past year and not me. Unlike my skills with children, which range on a scale from zero to none, I am adept at creating healthier homemade versions of commercial snacks and treats. Recently Cort contacted me wondering if I had any ideas about how to make a homemade version of a toddler cookie called “Fiddlesticks,” because apparently toddlers like cookies. I looked them up, and Plum Organics Fiddlesticks are basically just a gluten-free cookie with fruit.
If a fiddle had a stick, this is not what I think it'd look like, but that is what these cookies are called regardless.
These “snack sticks,” while organic and definitely better than the average stuff you find in a grocery store, had a few fatal flaws to me, because I am a SugarNaziHealthFoodFreak: they contain potato starch (which is unhealthy starch), tapioca flour (which isn’t terrible, but is empty nutrient-free carbs) xanthan gum (which can be constipating), the sugar is straight sugar, and they have natural flavors (which are made in labs, not nature). I decided to create a starch-free recipe to replicate these cookies, though I’ve never eaten them, or even seen them in person.
My first try was a failure- I made a fairly loose batter that I piped out with a piping bag, and it lacked structure. The end result looked REMARKABLY like flat hot dogs. I wanted them to work mostly because then I could call this blog “Congrats Kennedy Cookies” since it was the day Kennedy stood up alone for the first time, but it was not to be. They did taste nice, so I decided to revamp the recipe as a firmer shortbread-type cookie that could be chilled and rolled out. The second mission was quite successful! I didn’t get to taste them because I’m in the middle of a juice fast. Aside: can we all tell Cortney what a good pal I am to go baking sweets in the middle of consuming nothing but veggie juice for days on end? 😉 Ace tried them last night and even made me put a few aside for her, and since these were meant for those still in diapers, I took that to be a sign of success.
Thus I present to you: gluten-free, starch-free, low-glycemic fiddlesticks-style cookie “snack sticks” that are made for babies, but can be enjoyed by you, the grownup reader, as well. These are blueberry-apple flavored, but that could be subbed out with any other fruit. Also, there are no eggs in this recipe, so it could easily be made vegan with Earth Balance instead of butter.
The full batch- yield is about 3 dozen 4-inch cookies
Recipe, and as always I recommend using only organic ingredients:
1 small apple
1/2 pint blueberries
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 cup coconut sugar
2 cups almond flour
1/2 cup quinoa flour
2/3 cup coconut flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
scant 1/2 tsp sea salt
Step 1. blend apple and blueberries in a blender until smooth. Heat stovetop until thickened (approximately 15 minutes, with constant stirring). Jam could easily be substituted for simplicity’s sake. Yield for puree from these ingredients once cooked should equal 1/2 cup.
Step 2. Cream butter and sugar until fluffy.
Step 3. Add 1/2 of dry ingredients. I deally you’d pre-mix these and stir or sift together before adding.
Step 4. Add pureed fruit.
Step 5. Add remaining dry ingredients. Batter should be very thick, so that it can easily be formed into a ball. If it is not thick enough, add additional coconut flour tbls by tbls until sufficiently thick.
Step 6. Place dough on plastic wrap and flatten with your hands into a rectangle.
Dough, patted out to about 12-14 inches long and about 8 inches tall
Step 7. Chill for one hour, and during that time preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Step 8. Cut dough in half length-wise, and into about 18 strips width-wise.
Step 9. Roll strips between your hands and a cutting board (no flour needed, they didn’t stick for me) until squareness has lessened and they are tubular, and place on cookie sheet. Prick cookies with a fork, numerous times each, once on the sheet. They will split if left unpricked. Place back into the fridge for about five minutes to firm back up if they have gotten soft during this time.
Step 10. Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes, turning halfway through (no need to prick 2nd side).
Though the steps are detailed out and therefore rather numerous, I assure you that these cookies are as easy as any “regular” ones, even though they lack both gluten and starch. Ace ate them breakfast dipped in yogurt, so that is an option for those who would like to feed their baby some, but not necessarily three dozen, healthy cookies.
The close-up. I baked them a little extra dark to ensure they wouldn't get moldy while being shipped cross country.