This week I wanted to have a go at making these Stem Gingernuts as I have been having such cravings for ginger, one would think that I was pregnant again...
I have come to conclusion that I am pretty useless at following recipe's or any instructions for that matter, I much prefer the excitement of experimenting a bit to see what might materialise or go wrong. So again I adapted the recipe to make it Gluten and Dairy Free, but I also wanted to try and make them a little healthier, yeah I know, I mean how healthy can a cookie be??! One do like to fool oneself at times..... and I did a pretty good job of it this time, that's for sure.
So I figured that if I replaced the golden syrup with Agave syrup, which is a great deal healthier in that not only is it nutritious (whilst refined sugar is actually nutritionally bankrupt) it also has a very low GI, which means that it only gradually raises blood glucose levels, giving a much steadier supply of energy, therefore making it ideal for kids and also grown-ups with slightly fatigued adrenals (and some of you might know your DHEA-S levels usually decline with old age, so being kind to these two little adrenal glands can only be a good thing) and it is very common for people with M.E to have Adrenal Fatigue. So using substitutes for sugar can really help and whilst I appreciate many people would argue to just illuminate sugar from your diet as much as possible, I would argue that the endorphins released from the pleasure of baking and then eating could outweigh some of that (yeah I know a pretty lame theory but it works for me). I simply enjoy baking too much to stop doing it, so I tend to look for ways to make it a little healthier where I can.
I also replaced the caster sugar with Palm sugar, something I have been doing for years and if I am honest I actually prefer the taste of it and really like the texture too. It is slightly grainier and a little stickier and it will always make your bake a little browner. So where does Palm Sugar come from? Well interestingly it is made by boiling the nectar of the coconut palm in a two stage-process which then leaves a hard caramel substance that is then ground to a powder form that we get to buy in the shops. It really is a good substitute for sugar as it is believed to also reduce the associated sugar cravings that we get from eating ordinary sugars, and I try and use it as much as possible with the kids even though it is a little more expensive to buy.
To sum it up, I substituted the golden with Agave syrup, the caster sugar with Palm sugar, used 100g of Coconut flour and 250 Doves Gluten free Self Raising Flour (instead of the 350g SR flour) and PURE sunflower spread instead of butter. Then lastly I just doubled the stem ginger to 70g instead of 35g, which I knew would work for our kids as little J's fave ice cream is Booja Booja Ginger, but if you're not that Ginger loving then keep it to the 35g.
Once I started mixing all the ingredients together I very soon realised that this Agave syrup wasn't going to hold its own, so I added two tablespoons of Golden Syrup (heated up) to the mixture to bring it all together, you can see just how healthy these Gingernuts are turning out to be, yikes so much for all the low GI malarky!!
In the end the mixture worked and they were baked in 15 minutes tops and even though they really are just a little healthier, they are so so so very delicious!!
I was told by a friend today that these are far better than any shop bought ginger biscuits she had ever tasted and I must say I agree. I can't take any credit as the recipe is yet again from my current fave recipe book Great British Book of Baking, which needless to say I am LOVING!
I am more than certain that there will be another attempt at making these, maybe next time I would do half Agave and half Golden Syrup for now though we have biccies to dunk into hot mugs of tea whilst enjoying cosy fires, exactly where I will be later this afternoon.
Thank you to everyone for your lovely comments on the crochet classic snood, I appreciate each and every one of them.
I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and if you have done a spot of baking and fancy linking in, just add your bake below.