Maybe all the dire economic news is getting to me. For the last few weeks I've been cooking and canning, stocking my shelves and stuffing my freezer. It helps that a friend said I could come pick as many apples and Italian plums as I wanted. We now have applesauce, plum jam, and numerous containers of slow-cooked tomato sauce to brighten our winter meals.
After I filled the slow cooker one last time this morning I sat down and caught up on some of my favorite food blogs. 101 Cookbooks had something called Nikki's Healthy Cookies which caught my eye in that they're both wheat-free and vegan. I personally love my wheat and never turn down dairy or eggs, but I often find myself in the position of needing to feed people on more restrictive diets. I recently read Shauna James Ahern's Gluten-Free Girl and found it a real eye opener, making me both grateful for my relatively easy diet and full of compassion for those who have to turn down so many of the things I regularly enjoy. However, I am as yet unwilling to invest in a pantry full of the expensive and esoteric alternative baking supplies her baked goods call for.
I used to regularly be part of a knitting group that met weekly. I loved getting up early on Wednesday mornings to make the treat of the day be it cheese scones or babka. As time went by numbers dwindled and the steady members adopted increasingly restrictive diets. My ability to bring food to share was limited either to frankly unsatisfying packaged gluten-free "treats" or fruit. I realize that this shouldn't matter but it really affected my feelings about these gatherings.
All of this is getting back to the point that even though I don't require gluten-free vegan treats, people that I love do and I'm happy to have something to feed them which is why I went back in to the kitchen today out of sheer curiosity and I am glad I did. These cookies are a delicious combination of appealing flavors and textures with ground almonds, coconut, and mashed banana. They're even sugar-free (apart from whatever chocolate you use). Sugar free? Vegan? Wheat free? I know, I know...they sound far too earnest to be tasty but you'd be silly not to try them the next time you have some bananas going brown in the fruit bowl.
And--here's a real news flash--Mr Pickiest of All Picky Children turned up his nose at these on his first pass through the kitchen but then came back, no doubt for the chocolate, and pronounced them "better than they look"! Given that this boy has some kind of built in sensor that calculates nutritional value and then rejects anything high on that scale, the fact that he happily downed a handful of these tasty nuggets is really saying something.
Nikki's Healthy Cookies on 101 Cookbooks. Yum!