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Ricki Heller is the genius behind the candida-friendly blog and the amazing book (her second baking book) Naturally Sweet & Gluten-Free. I’ve made many of Ricki’s recipes over the past three years, and I’ve had the pleasure of playing with her new book for about a month now. I am so excited to share it with you.
I first ”met” Ricki online about three years ago. I was immediately smitten with her – she has a huge heart, she’s incredibly down to earth, and she is so gifted when it comes to baking healthy sweets (even Ellen DeGeneres loves Ricki’s recipes).
What’s great about Ricki’s recipes is you know they’ve been tested and tested until perfection. And I can easily sub ingredients if needed. For instance, I used my flour mix instead of making hers (simply because I had some on hand). Ricki’s recipes sometimes call for agave, which I don’t usually buy, so I used local maple syrup instead.
Naturally Sweet & Gluten-Free is an incredible resource – I can’t even begin to tell you how thorough the introduction is; it’s over 30 pages long. I learned so much from reading it – and I’ve been at this gluten-free thing for almost 10 years! Ricki knows vegan baking better than most people, but she’s also quickly become a gluten-free expert.
One of the reasons I was so excited for Naturally Sweet & Gluten-Free was so I could make Ricki’s Butter Tarts – they’re my all-time favorite dessert, and the same goes for most of my family.
Thanksgiving (Canadian Thanksgiving was last weekend) was the perfect time to make these babies. Ricki takes a classic Canadian recipe and makes it much healthier. Everyone at our Thanksgiving table LOVED them – especially my newly gluten-free brother-in-law!
We’ve also made Ricki’s Fluffy Fruited Pancakes, and we will be making them again and again. As you can see, they are super fluffy (and super nutritious)! We love them. Pete likes using them as a vehicle for peanut butter, but the kids love theirs with good old-fashioned maple syrup.
Since I am the cookie monster in the house, I had to dive into Ricki’s cookie recipes. Her Chocolate-Flecked Pumpkin Seed Cookies were delish; crispy on the outside, soft and chewy in the middle. Cookie heaven. My only complaint is there wasn’t enough cookies – I guess I will have to double the recipe next time.
Chocolate-Flecked Pumpkin Seed Cookies
Recipe reprinted from Naturally Sweet & Gluten-Free by Ricki Heller of RickiHeller.com
- ⅓ cup (55 g) coconut sugar
- 20 to 30 drops pure plain or vanilla stevia liquid
- ¼ cup (60 ml) water
- 1 teaspoon (5 ml) pure vanilla extract
- ½ cup (120 ml) natural smooth pumpkin seed butter, at room temperature
- ¼ cup (25 g) finely ground flax seeds (from about 2 Tbsp whole seeds)
- ½ cup (75 g) brown rice flour (I used sorghum flour)
- ⅛ tsp (.5 ml) fine sea salt
- ¼ cup (50 g) unsweetened carob chips or dairy-free chocolate chips, coarsely chopped
1. Preheat the oven to 350 ̊F (180 ̊C). Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper, or spray with nonstick spray.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together the coconut sugar, stevia, water, and vanilla until the sugar dissolves.
3. Add the pumpkin seed butter, flax, flour, and salt and mix well to form a very thick and sticky dough. Stir in the chips.
4. Using a heaping teaspoon (5 ml), scoop the dough and roll it into small balls, placing them about one inch (2.5 cm) apart on the cookie sheet. Flatten slightly with your palm (or use a silicone spatula).
5. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, rotating the sheet about halfway through, until the cookies are light golden brown (the dough will lighten as the cookies bake).
6. Allow the cookies to cool completely before removing from the cookie sheet.
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. May be frozen.