Before I got pregnant, I had been actively pursuing a very low carb lifestyle in an effort to control my diabetes. It was really working well, and my blood sugar numbers were quite impressive. Sadly, the words 'pregnancy' and 'low carb' do not get along. My low carb lifestyle, along with my wine drinking, were the first two things my doctor made me give up. I didn't grieve for long, as I now had an excuse to eat BREAD again, so all was good.
Fast forward 7 months and I stumbled upon one of the jewels of the low carb world wasting away in my pantry:
Yep, Organic coconut flour. Word on the low carb street is that this stuff is magical. It has ZERO carbs, which is NIRVANA for any self respecting low carber. It also tastes great and is gluten free. There were several recipes I had wanted to try using it, but as my raging hormones dictate what I make these days, Peanut Butter cookies had been weighing heavily on my heart for about a week.
So, this morning, I decided to try to make peanut butter cookies with coconut flour. There are alot of recipes online for coconut flour, just google it. Here is the one I based my cookies on:
Peanut Butter Cookies
For these cookies, use natural peanut butter, without hydrogenated oil or added sugar. The oil in natural peanut butter usually separates and rises to the top of the jar if allowed to sit for any extended period of time. Mix this oil into the peanut butter. Do not pour it out. If you do pour it out, replace it with an equal amount of melted coconut oil. Maintaining the original fat content of the peanut butter produces the best results with this recipe.
½ cup sifted coconut flour
1 cup natural peanut butter
½ cup peanuts, coarsely chopped (optional)
1½ cups brown sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla
½ teaspoon salt
Mix together peanut butter, peanuts, sugar, eggs, vanilla and salt. Stir in peanuts and coconut flour. Batter will be runny. Drop by the spoonful 2 inches apart on greased cookie sheet. Bake at 190 Degree C (375F) for 14 to 15 minutes. Cool slightly and remove from cookie sheet. Makes about 3 dozen cookies. (bakers note: HA! 3 dozen? If you like tiny cookies, yes. I got 15 good size cookies out of this recipe)
Yes, that does say 1/2 cup of coconut flour! Coconut flour is very dense and you don't need a lot of it. I started with the organic peanut butter:
And followed with the eggs, salt, vanilla and sugar:
That, my friends, is a little something called Erythritol. It's an amazing product. Has a GI of ZERO, so it has no effect on bloodsugar, so it's great for diabetics, and it is also a sugar alcohol, but has NO adverse affects on the bowels, so it's also great for people who can't normally handle sugar alcohols or Splenda and the like. It is usually derived from melons and it does tend to have a slight 'cooling' or minty taste. I enjoy it, you may not, but try it and see, as anyime you can eliminate processed sugar from your diet, it's a good idea. The recipe called for 1 1/2 cups of brown sugar, so I did half and half. I find the Erythritol does best when blended with another sweetner, and being pregnant, I don't like to consume mass quantities of Splenda.
Finally, I added my miniscule half cup of coconut flour. You will be amazed at how it thickens when you add it. I stirred everything together really well to ensure even distribution of the flour throughout the rest of the batter and then dropped it in large spoonfuls onto a baking sheet lined with parchment. I also have a sick obsession with macadamia nuts lately, so I chopped up a bunch and added them to the top of the cookies:
Popped them in the over and sat back to see what would happen. I am a fan of crispy cookies in general, with all of the egg in these cookies, I had my doubts about what their degree of crispiness would be. I waited the reccommended 13-15 minutes and then added 2 more minutes and took them out of the oven to let them cool:
My verdict? They are actually really GOOD! They are a cakey cookie, but the flavor is excellent.
Managing diabetes and other food intolerances is a journey. You have to be willing to try new things and adapt your expectations and tastes and try strange ingredients that you never would have considered had it not been for an unfortunate diagnosis. Hang in there. Don't let diabetes or food intolerances steal your joy in food, instead, find ways around it.
These peanut butter cookies with a tall glass of cold milk could just be the perfect start to your new journey: