I was doing some holiday baking this week when suddenly it occurred to me that I wouldn't be able to eat or even taste test any of the cookies I had baked. That's because of my lovely problem with candida, a fungus that lives in our bodies and feeds on carbohydrates. The higher the glycemic index, the more the candida thrive.
It suddenly became a challenge for me to come up with a cookie that I could eat and not go off the anti-candida diet. I decided to adapt a recipe for quinoa sunflower seed clusters that I posted in February, 2008. My ACD-friendly version turned out tasty and satisfied my desire for a cookie. The clusters are a healthy alternative to cookies, contain lots of protein, fiber, whole grains and good fats but they still have carbs. Which means I need to eat just one.
Their main drawback is that they are a bit crumbly but I thought, what the heck, I can use the crumbs for a topping on carob tofu pudding. The crumbly aspect could probably be solved by using eggs, which I am allergic to, or by replacing canola oil with coconut oil or using more tahini in the recipe. I will try using more tahini next time. Here's the recipe:
ACD-friendly Quinoa Sunflower Seed Clusters
3/4 cup quinoa
1 1/2 cups quinoa flakes
1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
2 T. chia seeds
1/8 cup stevia powder (I used SweetLeaf)
1/2 tsp. sea salt
2 T. canola oil
2 T. tahini butter
Egg replacer for 3 eggs made by mixing 3 T. ground flax with 9 T. water
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook the quinoa. Then, transfer the quinoa to a large, rimmed cookie sheet. Bake, fluffing with a fork occasionally, until the quinoa is toasted and golden, about 30-35 minutes. Place in a bowl to cool.
Spread the quinoa flakes on a baking sheet. Toast for about 5 minutes in the oven. Watch carefully because the quinoa flakes toast quickly. Add the flakes to the bowl with the cooked quinoa.
Toast the sunflower and pumpkin seeds on a baking sheet for about 5-7 minutes. Add the seeds to the bowl with the quinoa mixture.
Mix in the other ingredients, including the flax and water. Spray several large cookie sheets with pan spray. Spoon about 1/4 cup of batter onto the sheet for each cluster. Flatten slightly. Bake, rotating, sheets halfway through, until crisp, about 25 minutes.
Allow the clusters to cool completely before transferring to a storage container. Remember they are a bit fragile compared to regular cookies. You might try using more tahini or coconut oil as mentioned earlier to solve the crumbly problem. They are yummy especially for those of us who need ACD-friendly treats. If you don't have a candida problem, refer to the original recipe at http://catsinthekitchen.blogspot.com/2008/02/quinoa-sunflower-seed-clusters.html