italy

Grain Free Biscotti

When I lived in Italy, one of my favorite afternoon activities was sitting at a cafe with a cappuccino and biscotti (I know, I know, cappuccinos are morning beverages, but I love them!). There was truly nothing more delicious then dunking that crispy sweet cookie into the creamy cappuccino to make it all soft and melt in your mouth. I wanted to create a “cleaned” up version without gluten. In northern Italy it is traditional to add corn meal to the cookie. This adds another layer of sweetness and crunch. I am very pleased with the way these beauties turned out. You can make them completely vegan or with eggs (I tried both) and they are both equally crunchy and delicious. The thing that makes biscotti special is the double bake. You bake them once in a loaf and then slice and bake again. This element creates that super crispy and delicious texture. I love these any time of year but they are perfect for holiday gift giving and eating (let’s be real, I’m eating more than giving). You can leave the recipe as is for a simple, yet delicious biscuit or you can play around with the different variations I listed below or create your own. There really are no limitations. Add dried fruit, nuts and seeds to your liking. I hope you love these as much as I do.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups almond flour

  • 1/2 cup corn meal (make sure it is organic and non gmo)

  • 1/3 cup coconut sugar

  • 2 T arrowroot powder

  • 1/2 tsp baking powder

  • 1/2 tsp baking soda

  • 1/4 tsp salt

  • 2 eggs or 2 egg replacers (I used Bob’s Red Mill egg replace and it worked great)

  • 1/4 cup nut milk

  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

  • 1/4 tsp anise extract

*See flavor variations below

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl combine all wet ingredients. In a separate bowl, whisk together wet ingredients. Create a well in the dry ingredients, pour wet mixture in and fold together. Line a large baking sheet with parchment parchment paper. Split the dough into and shape. You may want to wet your hands a bit so the dough doesn’t stick too much. Shape into little football shapes (about 2 inches thick). Place in oven and bake for 18-22 minutes. With a cerated knife, slice the logs widthwise into 1 inch slices. Place slice side down on the cookie sheet and place back into the oven for 15 minutes. Turn the oven off and let the cookies cool in the oven. Remove and store in an airtight container. Enjoy with coffee or tea any time of day.

*Flavor Variations:

  • Chocolate hazelnut- 1/3 cup toasted hazelnuts and 1/4 cup dark chocolate

  • Lemon Pignolo-1 T fresh lemon zest and 1/3 cup toasted pine nuts

  • Cardamom Almond: sub 1/2 tsp almond extract in place of anise and 1/4 tsp ground cardamom

  • Dark Chocolate Cherry-1/3 cup dried cherries 1/4 cup chopped dark chocolate

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Cinnamon Pecan Frozen Coffee

I love coffee! I love the way it smells, the way it tastes and what it means to me. No, but really... I have at least 4 different ways to make coffee in my house. Living in Italy transformed my relationship with coffee from a sleep over every once in a while to a full fledged committed relationship. Though some would say I am not a TRUE coffee drinker because I often drink decaf, I beg to differ. Coffee was a part of my every day ritual in Italy. I would go to the same cafe, where they quickly learned my name, and as soon as I would walk in the door they would look up and say "ciao, vorrai un cappuccino decafinato?" (would you like a decaf cappuccino?) and with a giant smile on my face I would reply "si, grazie mile." Many hours were spent laughing with friends, learning Italian and creating memories in that cafe. Even thinking of it now brings tears to my eyes and warmth to my heart. 

Flash forward a few years with long work hours and a busy schedule. I noticed that coffee with cream was no longer working for me. I was getting jittering and anxious after drinking it and would crash a few hours later. It wasn't until I discovered adding adaptogens and fat to my lattes that I was able to have a cup every day or at least a few times a week. I no longer get the jitters or feel anxious as I am fueling my body with herbs that are helping it to adapt to stress as well as fat that keeps the caffeine from hitting my blood stream so harshly. 

One of my favorite coffee companies is Chameleon Cold Brew. Cold brew is great because it is less acidic and has a deep and smooth flavor. Of all the brands I've tried, this one has the best flavor, is organic and is ran by people who are truly passionate about sustainable and organic coffee.  I love to heat it up over the stove in the morning with a bit of homemade nut milk and then add it to my blender with ghee, adaptogens and spices. Its the perfect start to the day. Now that the weather is heating up, I enjoy a cold coffee mid morning or early afternoon. I created this Cinnamon Pecan Frozen coffee. It is slightly sweet and completely delicious. I used Astragalus for lung and immune support, cordyceps for an extra energy boost and endurance and reishi for adrenal and nervous system support. Tocos is great to add to any coffee drink as it is a bio-available form of vitamin E and adds a delicious creaminess. You could certainly leave the adaptogens and tocos out (but, like why?). It's the perfect addition to a hot summer day.

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Combine everything in a high speed blender and blend on high for 30 seconds to a minute. Pour into your favorite glass and enjoy in the sunshine.