Welcome to The Sensitive Kitchen where home cooks are inspired to Cook to Enable Those You Love to Flourish. I’m Cindy Sullivan, registered dietitian, passionate nutrition, educator, and accomplished home cook. Whether you’re changing how you cook for food sensitivities, allergies, intolerances, or just trying to eat healthier on a budget, you’re in the right place.
Most episodes, I will share favorite recipes as well as modification tips and nutrition benefits. Occasionally I’ll have a guest or special episode like modifying holiday favorites. My favorite foods? The’re raspberries and homemade chocolate chip cookies. My latest cooking project was long fermented sourdough bread,
Hello. I’m so glad you joined me today. We are here with a fun summer recipe. I am here today with one of my students,
00:01:03 Chelsea Tatum. She’s a graduate student at Westchester University, studying nutrition and dietetics, and also in their community nutrition program. And she has helped me all year with a whole bunch of things for the podcast behind the scenes. So if you’ve been a regular listener, you’re in for a treat because she’s been helping with graphics. I know for a podcast I know,
00:01:23 but graphics and all kinds of other good things. And now she’s developed a recipe for you. So welcome Chelsea. Thank you, hi everyone. We’re going to talk in a moment a little bit about your food journey, but before we do tell us a little bit about you. Sure. So like Cindy said, I am a graduate student at Westchester university in Pennsylvania.
00:01:49 I’m originally from Virginia. In my free time I like cooking, working out, walking my dog a lot, just being outside. So yeah. Sounds wonderful. We’re coming into that time of year when being outside sometimes for some of us is a little bit more fun too. Oh yeah, definitely. Tell us a little bit about your food journey. How do you cook now and maybe a little bit about how you ended up here?
00:02:16 Sure. So I became a vegetarian, like when I was really young in elementary school, but I, I didn’t cook a lot growing up and I didn’t really learn to enjoy cooking on my own until I started buying my own groceries. So I would try like meal kit delivery services. So I like learned to cook kinda more through that and like adding more vegetables into my meals.
00:02:41 That’s kinda how I learned. Tell us about the recipe that you’ve developed. Yeah. So they are egg-free, dairy-free and can be gluten-free and vegan s’mores cookies and they are perfect for summer. They’re really, really delicious and I’m super proud of them. They are yummy. I’ve baked a couple batches here and they’ve been a yummy. So tell us, you said it’s egg free dairy,
00:03:15 free and it can be gluten-free. Tell us a little bit about the gluten-free part. Yeah. So I wanted to experiment with gluten-free flour. So I just used like the Bob’s red mill one-to-one ratio and you can also use like, oat, flour or even regular flour if you wanted to, but we wanted to try and make it gluten-free and see how the texture would be and it came out great.
00:03:46 Yeah. I was the one who did the oat flour one, so it was wonderful. So it was great. Okay. So there is a sort of secret ingredient in this recipe. Tell me about this secret ingredient. Yeah. So instead of using like a vegan butter or margarine, we used almond butter. I made a batch with like vegan butter and then I made it with almond butter and I thought almond butter actually gave it like a better flavor and consistency.
00:04:16 So you’re getting more protein, healthy fats and like vitamin E from the almond butter, which is really great. Okay. So it’s actually better for you and it tastes better at the same time. I thought it tasted better for sure. That’s great. So there’s really no added fat here other than from the almond butter, which is an awesome way to make a cookie.
00:04:40 Yeah, definitely. And they’re nice and chewy for those of you who like chewy cookies. These are not on the crisp side. They’re more on the chewy side. I would say. Is that how yours were Chelsea? Definitely nice and chewy. Okay. So tell me about the other ingredients in this recipe. What do you need to make vegan s’more cookies?
00:04:59 So you’re going to need to use flax eggs. So you’re going to combine like ground flax with water and let it thicken. You’re going to use the almond butter, of course. Gluten-free flour, or if you’re not gluten free, you can always use regular flour. We also used coconut sugar, cinnamon, and of course the chocolate chips and graham crackers and marshmallows for it to be s’mores.
00:05:26 Awesome. And we already mentioned right that I used oat flour and they also turned out great. So you can use a variety of options in the flour department. So tell me, coconut sugar is something that some of my listeners may not have used before. Tell me a little bit about coconut sugar and why you chose it. Sure. So I had never used coconut sugar before,
00:05:52 but I’ve heard that it kind of had like a similar to kind of brown sugar, like a more roasty kind of almost like it smells like s’mores to me kind of flavor. So I think it definitely helped add to kind of like the kind of taste you would get from roasting a marshmallow. And to be totally upfront, if you don’t want to buy coconut sugar and you don’t have any in your house.
00:06:16 When I made them, I made them once with granulated sugar and once with brown sugar and both worked wonderfully. So you don’t necessarily have to go buy extra kind of sugar if you don’t want to. Yes. Now some people might look at this ingredient list and go, Ooh, vegan marshmallows. Those are a little pricey and coconut sugar is something you may or may not have in your cupboard,
00:06:40 but that’s also a little more expensive than regular sugar. And I know gluten-free graham crackers. If you go, the gluten-free route are a lot more. So tell us how, if they, somebody wants to save a little bit of money in this recipe, what could they do? Yeah. So I personally wanted to use the vegan marshmallows because I’m a vegetarian,
00:07:04 but they were quite expensive. I think they were like 5 or $6 a bag. So if you’re not vegan or vegetarian, you could use just regular marshmallows, which are, would be a lot cheaper. Or of course, if you don’t want to use coconut sugar, you could use regular sugar, brown sugar, or if you’re not gluten-free, you could also use regular flour or make oat flour just by like grinding up oats,
00:07:28 which would be less expensive. Great. So for those of you, I know groceries are going up a little bit. So if you are a little bit tight on cash, there’s different ways to do it. The other thing that you and I found as we were making these cookies is sometimes it was hard to be vegan and gluten-free in these cookies.
00:07:50 Tell me about that. Yeah. When I was going to buy ingredients for these cookies, I didn’t even think about how the graham crackers wouldn’t be vegan because they mostly, all of them have honey in them. So you can definitely find like gluten-free graham crackers. I don’t know how easy it is to find vegan graham crackers or like both, but yeah,
00:08:14 you might have to go to like a specialty store or order them if you wanted, like both together. Yeah. And that’s what I found here too. We’re in different parts of the country and I could get gluten-free Graham crackers or vegan graham crackers, but to get them both, I think fortunately, yeah, yeah. You’re going to have to order them probably.
00:08:33 So, but if you only want one or the other, I know some of you are dairy-free and egg-free, and that’s why you’re attracted to some of the vegan recipes. So if you don’t happen to be vegan, regular marshmallows and a graham cracker, whether it’s gluten-free or not just regular, when you can buy at the grocery store will work. So kind of depends on your end goal here.
00:08:55 So tell us about walk us through making the recipe. Sure. So it doesn’t take very long at all. It’s very simple. I just preheated my oven and then I combined the ground flax with water and you just let it sit for a few minutes. So it makes the flax egg, I just ground up my own flax seed, but you can also buy pre-ground and then you kind of just mixed together,
00:09:22 all the ingredients, adding the chocolate chips and the graham crackers halfway. Cause I found they got a little bit too crushed up in the beginning and then you just mix until the dough is thick, roll them into balls, and then you add a marshmallow in the center and you bake them for 10 to 12 minutes and they should be good to go. That’s awesome.
00:09:44 The other thing that’s really nice about this recipe is it makes nine cookies, which is enough, like for one cookie sheet. So you don’t have to spend forever baking them, right? Yeah. Yeah. It was definitely a quick and easy recipe to make. However, then you only have nine cookies, so you may have to make them again. Yeah.
00:10:03 I made them many times. They did go quickly. Okay. Let me remind all of you that Chelsea had a great thing about grinding flax seed. If you have a coffee grinder or something else that you grind your own flax seed in, it’s a great way to go because you get all the omega threes, they’re fresh. Remember if you use ground flax seed to stick it in the freezer so that you maintain those omega-threes and they don’t,
00:10:35 they remember go rancid, which is how the omega-3 is oxidized really rapidly. So either keep your ground flax seed in the freezer or grind them fresh. Like Chelsea did. The other thing I thought you did that was genius in this cookie was you reduced the amount of water in a normal flax egg. Tell me a little bit about that. Yeah, we,
00:11:00 I did two tablespoons of flax and then four tablespoons of water. So it’s a little bit less to give it a better texture for the cookie. And that’s great because generally speaking more moisture is not a friend of cookies. It makes them spread too much. They don’t cook. Right. So that was a great way to go. Tell me a little about the nutrients in this recipe.
00:11:26 Any things you want to highlight? Yeah. So these cookies, I mean, there’s still cookies, so they have sugar in them, but with the almond butter, you’re definitely getting some vitamin E, you’re getting some protein, which is great. And almond butter also has heart-healthy fats in it as well. Exactly. And if you use oat flour, you’re getting some more protein.
00:11:51 So they’re really, they do have a little bit of added sugar, but they’re really not too bad in terms of a cookie. Oh yeah, definitely. Oh. And by the way, we didn’t have big marshmallows in my house. So we had little marshmallows in my house and they work fine with little marshmallows. I did find though that I pulled them out partway through the second time I made them and put the marshmallows on then because otherwise my marshmallows got toasty before my cookies were done.
00:12:15 So if you have, if you only have little marshmallows, it works. It just, you might want to keep an eye on them. Yeah, Exactly. Exactly. So, and, and my first batch turned out fine, even though the marshmallows were on there longer, I thought, oh no, or they’re going to burn or they’re not going to be okay.
00:12:31 And they were fine. So, but I did notice that when I did them the second time and put them on partway through, I kind of liked that. And then I just put them in for an extra minute, because of course it took me a little while to get a little bit marshmallows on every one. So for all your summertime, picnics, barbecues,
00:12:53 all those things. Sometimes it’s not convenient to make s’more. And frankly, these are a lot easier to eat than most s’mores are. S’mores at least when I eat them, the graham cracker falls apart, the chocolate runs down my chest. My hands are a mess and these cookies are a lot neater than that. So think about bringing these cookies to a picnic,
00:13:18 a barbecue. Some of you have friends who, you’re not sure what to make for them. They’re vegan and you’re not, or they’re egg-free and dairy-free. This is a great dessert for a chewy cookie. They taste yummy. So Chelsea, thank you so much for joining me today. I appreciate it. I appreciate you sharing all of your recipe development and all of your time in the kitchen with my listeners.
00:13:42 Yeah. Thanks for having me. You’re so welcome. I appreciate all the work you’ve done this year. Thank you so much for joining us today. Keep cooking to enable those. You love to flourish. Have a wonderful day. Bye bye.