Date-sweetened banana bread recipe

Date-Sweetened Banana Bread | Pamela Salzman

One of my pet peeves is when people label a dessert as “healthy,” and not because that is grammatically incorrect, but rather because desserts have sugar of some form and that will never be “good” for you no matter how much whole wheat flour you throw in there.  Of course, you could say one dessert is more healthful than another or that it will lead to the demise of your health less quickly than its traditional counterpart.  But to call a dessert healthful because we use yogurt instead of butter, but then add in 3 cups of sugar, is just plain delusional.

Date-Sweetened Banana Bread | Pamela Salzman

Would you call me a hypocrite if I told you I have a recipe for a healthful dessert?  I don’t blame you, but stay with me here.  I know of a sweet something that calls for no sugar of any kind — not even my favorite, maple syrup.  Don’t be silly, I am not going artificial on you!  It is a delicious banana bread sweetened only with ripe bananas and pureed dates.  Dates grow locally in Southern California, so we have access to some fantastic varieties here, my favorite being the Medjool.  If you are ever craving something sweet, but don’t want to give in to processed junk, take a pitted date or two and stick a pecan in the middle.  Amazing.  I digress.  The dates do double duty as sweetener and add moistness so we cut back on some of the butter, too.  The key, though, with any banana bread is using super ripe bananas, well-speckled with lots of black dots (the kind many people toss in the garbage — arrgh!).

Date-Sweetened Banana Bread | Pamela Salzman

Banana bread freezes beautifully and makes a terrific muffin, as well.  I adapt this recipe according to the season, adding blueberries in the summer, fresh cranberries in the fall and walnuts or pecans in the winter.  This banana bread is not as sweet as the ones you may be used to, so yes, you can add chocolate chips or a drop of maple syrup if you must.  Just don’t call it healthy!

Date-Sweetened Banana Bread | Pamela Salzman

Date-Sweetened Banana Bread | Pamela Salzman

4.8 from 46 reviews
date-sweetened banana bread recipe
Author: 
Serves: Makes 1 9X5 loaf
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup dried dates (about 7 ounces), pitted
  • ½ cup hot water
  • 4 Tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter or unrefined coconut oil, at room temperature
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups white whole wheat flour, spelt flour or sprouted spelt flour
  • ½ teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
  • 3 large, ripe bananas, mashed
  • ½ cup raw walnuts or pecans, coarsely chopped (or fresh blueberries or cranberries)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 x 5 x 3 loaf pan. (Can be lined with parchment if it is aluminum.)
  2. Place the dates in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the hot water and allow the dates to soften for at least 10 minutes. (I usually get the rest of my ingredients ready while the dates are softening.)
  3. Turn the mixer on low speed and blend until the water has incorporated with the dates. Turn the mixer to medium low speed and beat the dates until a smooth puree forms.
  4. Add the butter or coconut oil and beat until well blended. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla extract and mix.
  5. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add to the butter-date mixture and mix until just combined.
  6. Fold in the mashed bananas and walnuts.
  7. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and bake for 50-60 minutes (I made it in many different ovens with this range of time), or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out barely clean. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Remove from the pan and cool on a rack.

Mushroom-barley soup with kale recipe

shiitake mushroom-barley soup with kale

I was craving a hearty, meal-in-a-bowl soup for dinner last night.  Something I could pull together before the kids returned home from school and that I could pack in their thermoses for lunch the next day.  Mushroom-barley soup came to mind in an instant.  I taught this soup in a class back in October and I still haven’t tired of it.  It is filling, tasty and oh-so-good for you.

The recipe is an adaptation of my mother’s beef and barley soup, which was great, but these days we’re limiting our beef consumption and upping the veggies.  To make up for the meat, I use lots of shiitake mushrooms and finish off the soup with a bit of shoyu, a naturally fermented soy sauce which is way  better for you than chemically treated, flash-processed soy sauce.  Of course you can use any mix of mushrooms you like, but I am crazy about shiitakes, not only because they have a lower water content and deeper flavor than button mushrooms, but also because they are tops in immune-boosting compounds.  There’s no better time than flu season to boost your immunity!

This soup is a breeze to put together and easily adaptable to different intolerances.  For the gluten-free folks, I substitute Lundberg’s wild rice blend for the barley and wheat-free tamari for the shoyu.  It’s obviously a different soup, but just as tasty.  Vegetarians and vegans can use vegetable stock or water in place of the chicken or turkey stock.  If you are making your own vegetable stock, add a bunch of mushrooms to it to give the soup more depth.

shiitake mushroom-barley soup with kale

This soup is a hit every time, even with Mr. Picky who last night did what he does best — pick out the stuff he doesn’t want.  This time it was only the mushrooms.  We’re making progress!

shiitake mushroom-barley soup with kale

5.0 from 2 reviews
Mushroom-Barley Soup with Kale
Author: 
Serves: 6
 
Ingredients
  • 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 Tablespoon unrefined, cold pressed olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, roughly chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
  • ¾ pound shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and caps wiped clean with a damp paper towel and slice thinly
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 cup barley (or wild rice blend) -- I use Bob's Red Mill Barley. It says "Pearled," but it's really only semi-pearled.
  • 8 cups (2 quarts) chicken, turkey or vegetable stock
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 4 cups stemmed, chopped kale
  • 3 Tablespoons shoyu or wheat-free tamari
Instructions
  1. Melt butter and olive oil in a large stock pot over medium heat. Add onion, carrots, celery to pot and saute until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute.
  2. Place mushrooms in the pot and saute until softened, about 8 minutes.
  3. Add thyme and barley. Stir to coat. Add stock and salt and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over low heat for 30 minutes until the barley is tender (if you're using the wild rice blend, you will need to simmer it for 50 minutes.)
  4. Add the kale and shoyu and cook until the kale is wilted, but still bright green, about 8 minutes. Pull out the thyme stems and taste for salt and pepper.

Lemon-thyme chicken recipe

lemon-thyme chicken | pamela salzman

Once upon a time, I used to enjoy spending lots of time experimenting in the kitchen.  I had fabulous cookbooks in which I found interesting and challenging recipes to make for dinner.  On a weekday.  And then it was over.  My kids started playing team sports.  Do you know this new life?  Are you driving to some field at exactly the same time you should be soaking and sauteeing or poaching and shredding?  And then back an hour later to pick-up, unless of course there’s a GAME.  Then you’re sitting on bleachers for two hours trying to figure out how dinner will be ready the second you walk in the door with starving children.

how to slice into cutlets

“Baked Lemon Chicken” from The Union Square Cafe Cookbook was one of my favorite chicken entrees before sports.  Bone-in chicken pieces baked with lots of sauteed onions, lemon and thyme.  It was even good enough to serve to company.  But there would be no more basting every 15 minutes for me on a Tuesday at 5:00.  So what’s a girl to do?  Adjust the recipe to cutlets, of course!

sliced onions and garlic, fresh thyme

Even though I generally prefer bone-in chicken to boneless, this dish is not lacking for flavor or moistness.  The onions get soft and saucy with lemon and infused with fresh thyme and the chicken takes it all in.  The best part about this is that it’s super easy and can be done in stages, if necessary.  You can flour and saute the chicken and then take the kids to practice.  Come back and saute the onions, add the thyme, lemon and stock.  Pick up the kids from practice and when you get home add the chicken to the onions and let everything cook together while you saute some spinach with garlic.  Hopefully you made a vinaigrette and washed some lettuce a few days ago, so assembling a salad will take you no time at all.  Can you say, “Home run!”

lemon- thyme chicken | pamela salzman

 

lemon-thyme chicken | pamela salzman

 

Lemon-Thyme Chicken
Author: 
Serves: 6
 
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds chicken cutlets (I show a photo of how I cut a boneless, skinless breast half into cutlets, but you can ask your butcher to do this)
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Flour for dredging (whole wheat pastry flour or brown rice flour (gluten-free) are the two I use)
  • Unrefined, cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, halved and sliced thinly (I use a candle when I am cutting onions to prevent crying -- it works!)
  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
  • ½ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • a few sprigs of fresh thyme
Instructions
  1. Season the chicken cutlets on both sides with sea salt and black pepper. Dredge them with flour and shake off the excess.
  2. Warm about ¼ cup olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Add the chicken cutlets and sauté on both sides until golden brown. Transfer the chicken to a plate.
  3. Add the onions and garlic to the skillet and season with sea salt and pepper. Sauté until tender, about 8 minutes. Pour the lemon juice into the pan and scrape any brown bits on the bottom. Add the chicken stock and thyme sprigs and bring to a simmer. Transfer the chicken back to the pan with any accumulated juices. Simmer until cooked through, about 5 minutes.
  4. Remove thyme sprigs and serve immediately.

 

 

Raw kale salad with citrus dressing recipe

Raw Kale Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette | Pamela Salzman

The first time I ever made kale in a class, one student said ,”I’m afraid of kale.  I don’t know what to do with it.”  In each subsequent class that month, there would be someone else who said the same thing.  Say it isn’t so!  Are you the same people that use kale as a garnish for fruit salad platters?  You’re killing me!

Kale is your friend, your BFF even!  I must brag about this rock star leafy green.  Kale contains tremendous amounts of Vitamins K, A and C, as well as calcium and magnesium (very calming minerals, mind you.)  Allow me to keep going.  I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that kale is full of some powerful cancer-preventive compounds called glucosinolates and antioxidants (flavonoids), plus an amazing amount of ALA, the basic building block for Omega-3 fatty acids.   What I’m trying to say is that kale will love you inside and out.

How can you incorporate kale into your diet?  I love to saute it with garlic and olive oil, toss it into soups, slice it thinly and add it to tomato sauce, or roast it into a crispy chip.  But this salad is one of my favorites and has converted many non-kale-eaters, or kale-fearers, as the case may be.   Usually I teach a recipe so many times in a month that I never want to eat it again.  Except this one.  I make it at a least once per week and just change how I eat it according to what’s in season.  It is even my go-to meal for traveling because it is light, but filling and can handle being dressed ahead of time.  My standby is to add quinoa and chopped avocado, sometimes with a few sunflower seeds.  The girls take it to school for lunch usually topped with feta, quinoa, and some grated carrots.  However you decide to make this your own, the key to success here is thinly slicing the kale and massaging the dressing into the shredded leaves.  I actually give the kale a bit of squeeze with the dressing.  This will soften the leaves and reduce any bitterness you might expect.

I felt utter joy when my son, Mr. Picky (shown here massaging dressing into the kale), finally tried this salad and gave it the thumbs-up.  I do not exaggerate when I say he had been “exposed” to this salad at least 25 times before he tried it!  Don’t give up, people.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Pamela Salzman (@pamelasalzman)


5.0 from 1 reviews
raw kale salad with citrus dressing recipe
Author: 
Serves: 6
 
Ingredients
  • 2 bunches of black kale (aka Tuscan, lacinato or dinosaur kale), about 12-14 ounces, wash and dried
  • Dressing:
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • A few twists of black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons minced shallot
  • 2 teaspoons 100% pure maple syrup or raw honey
  • 6-7 Tablespoons unrefined, cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil (you can also substitute 2 Tbs. of flax seed oil for 2 Tbs. of olive oil)
Instructions
  1. Remove the stems from the kale (see photo for an easy method -- by stripping the stem from the leaves) and stack a bunch on a cutting board. Thinly slice the kale with a sharp knife and transfer to a serving bowl. Repeat with remaining kale.
  2. Prepare the dressing: whisk all the ingredients in a small bowl and add enough dressing to coat the kale lightly. Massage the kale with the dressing. Add in your favorite salad fixings (shown here with red cabbage, quinoa, avocado and walnuts) and additional dressing, if needed.

 

 

The perfect baked potato recipe

perfect baked potatoes | pamela salzman

Potatoes get a bad rap because of the misconception that they are fattening.  Potatoes unto themselves are not “fattening,” but they certainly become less healthful after they have been peeled, deep-fried in over-heated, refined oil or turned into chips or mashed with their weight in butter and cream (not that those don’t all taste lovely.)  The classic Russet or Idaho baking potato is a perfect example of a whole food.  It came into this world as a package of vitamins (such as C), minerals (like potassium) and fiber.  When eaten that way, the potato offers its maximum health benefits.  Unfortunately, the majority of the potato’s nutrients are concentrated in the skin and just below.  Therefore, when we discard the skin, we do miss out on the best part, nutritionally speaking.

perfect baked potato | pamela salzman

This method for baking potatoes is adapted from Nancy Silverton and Mark Peel’s book, Two Chefs Cook for Family and Friends. No aluminum foil, no microwaves, just a perfectly cooked potato with a dry, fluffy interior and the best skin ever.  I learned a while back that different types of potatoes have different levels of starch and that affects how you should cook them.  High starch potatoes, aka baking potatoes, are best used for, you guessed it, baking.  They likewise make terrible potatoes for potato salad (you just have to try this once and you’ll never make that mistake again.)

perfect baked potato | pamela salzman

 

One of the reasons I love baked potatoes is because I can set up a topping bar at dinner and everyone can customize the way he or she wants.  I find that the kids eat more of something when they are given the opportunity to control it.  I enjoy my baked potato with a dollop of strained goat yogurt (my version of sour cream) and some chopped chives or scallions.  I allow my 7-year-old to put a squirt of (fruit-sweetened organic) ketchup on his and the girls tend to like butter and some steamed broccoli.  We can turn the potato into a meal if there’s some vegetable chili from the night before that I can dollop on top.  Yum!

a different baked potato bar | pamela salzman

with vegan "cheese" sauce, broccoli, cooked onions and salsa | pamela salzman

 

 

the perfect baked potato recipe
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 4 medium Russet or Idaho baking potatoes (about 6 ounces each)
  • 4 teaspoons unsalted butter, softened
  • Coarse kosher salt, preferably additive-free such as Diamond Crystal
  • Favorite toppings: sour cream, creme fraiche or strained yogurt, chopped fresh chives or scallions, unsalted butter, steamed vegetables such as broccoli or spinach, chili
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Scrub the potatoes, dry and rub each with 1 teaspoon of butter. Pour a layer of salt on the bottom of a shallow baking dish or cookie sheet. 1½ cups is perfect for a 13 x 9 -inch dish.
  3. Place the potatoes 2 inches apart on top of the salt and bake for 50 minutes, until tender.
  4. When each potato is removed from the baking dish, rub off any salt clinging to the bottom of the potato. Split open lengthwise and top as desired.

 

Fennel and green apple salad recipe

 

fennel and green apple salad | pamela salzman

I just adore fennel and its hint of licorice (that’s the black kind, not the red).  When I was a child, after a big Sunday dinner, my Aunt Maria would pass around a platter a raw fennel wedges along with a bowl of tangerines and unshelled nuts.  We would chomp happily on the fennel the way my kids munch on celery today.  Fennel is an amazing digestive aid and the perfect way to end a big meal in the fall and winter when it’s in season.

fennel and green apple salad | pamela salzman

fennel and green apple salad | pamela salzman

 

 

I started playing around with fennel and green apples last winter and loved the combination for a salad.  The flavors go so nicely with poultry and fish and even better, my kids tend to eat more salad when there’s fruit in it.   I knew this had to be a part of our Thanksgiving dinner, no doubt the biggest meal of the year.  To dress it up a bit, I added greens and my favorite fall/winter salad add-in, pomegranate seeds.  While the salad was a huge hit on Thanksgiving, the green and red colors were a natural for Christmas.

Whether you are serving fish, pork, turkey or chicken this Christmas, I’m sure a salad would add some balance to your meal.   You can serve it with or without the greens, but the pomegranates are a must.  The little red seeds are like rubies or ornaments on a tree!  The walnuts were another last minute add-on, but provide some extra crunch and nutrition.

fennel and green apple salad | pamela salzman

 

Because I have a juicer, I can make pomegranate juice easily for the dressing, but fresh squeezed orange juice would be a perfectly delicious substitute.  I’m sure if you wanted to, you could add some goat cheese, but don’t overcomplicate this.  The best salads are the simplest.

fennel and green apple salad | pamela salzman

fennel and green apple salad | pamela salzman

 

 

fennel and green apple salad recipe
Author: 
Serves: 6-8
 
Ingredients
  • Dressing:*
  • 1 small shallot, finely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 Tablespoon fresh pomegranate or orange juice
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • a few grinds of freshly ground pepper
  • 6-7 Tablespoons unrefined, cold pressed extra virgin olive oil
  • 8 ounces mixed greens or 1 head of frisee (optional), washed, dried and leaves separated
  • 1 -2 bulbs of fennel, cut in half, cored and sliced thinly
  • 1 large (or 2 small) green apple, cored and sliced thinly
  • 1 large handful of pomegranate seeds
  • 1 large handful of walnuts, chopped
Instructions
  1. Make the dressing: in a small bowl, combine the shallot, salt, lemon and pomegranate juices, maple syrup and black pepper to taste. Pour the oil into the bowl slowly, whisking constantly to emulsify. Reserve until ready to use.
  2. Place the salad greens on a serving platter and drizzle with a small amount of dressing. Toss gently to coat. Add the fennel and apple slices and drizzle with dressing. Scatter pomegranate seeds and walnuts on top.
Notes
*An alternative dressing:

1 small shallot, finely chopped

½ teaspoon sea salt

a few grinds of black pepper

1 ½ Tablespoons sherry vinegar

6 Tablespoons unrefined, cold pressed extra virgin olive oil

 

Lentil and brown rice soup recipe + Instant Pot version

lentil and brown rice soup | pamela salzman
Everyone needs a lentil soup recipe in the repertoire.  This is a classic and a nourishing one at that.  I grew up on lentil soup and my mom was into creating “complete proteins” when we had a vegetarian meal.  The thought back then was that if you were eating a meatless meal, then you would need to combine certain foods to create the same complete protein profile as animal protein.   Now we know that it is not necessary to eat those complementary foods in the same dish to gain the benefits of consuming all the essential amino acids, but I still adore the combination of lentils and brown rice in my soup.

brown rice and lentil soup | pamela salzman

I prefer to use French lentils, which hold their shape much better than the flat brown ones, but really you can use what you’ve got.  I vary this soup often, sometimes adding a few chopped up green beans or a teaspoon of ground cumin for an earthy twist.  I always throw in a few handfuls of dark green leafies at the end, spinach and kale being my favorites.  And tomatoes only get to join the party if they’re in season since I almost never buy canned tomatoes (ugh, aluminum.)  Try garnishing with freshly grated pecorino-romano, it adds a great zest to the soup.

lentil and brown rice soup | pamela salzman

For you lunchbox-packers out there, lentil soup is fabulous the next day in a thermos.  And the kiddos get a lunch that will provide stable blood sugar levels, great protein for the brain, and long-lasting energy.

brown rice and lentil soup | pamela salzman

5.0 from 1 reviews
lentil and brown rice soup + Instant Pot version*
Author: 
Serves: 8
 
Ingredients
  • 3 Tablespoons unrefined, cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil or coconut oil
  • 3 large carrots, peeled and diced
  • 3 celery stalks, diced
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound fresh tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped or 1 14.5-ounce can, drained ( I used ½ box Pomi)
  • 8 cups chicken stock, vegetable stock, turkey stock, or water
  • 2 cups French lentils, picked over and rinsed (you can use whatever lentils you can find, such as black or Puy, but note that cook times may vary)
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 big handfuls spinach, kale or chard (ribs removed), coarsely chopped in large pieces
  • ½ cup brown rice, cooked according to package directions or add with lentils and increase liquid by an additional 1 cup
Instructions
  1. Heat oil in a large stock pot over medium heat. Add carrots, celery, onion and garlic and cook, stirring until tender. Stir in tomatoes and cook for a minute. Add stock, lentils, uncooked brown rice (if you’re adding it here), thyme and 2 teaspoons salt.
  2. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cook until lentils are tender, about 45 minutes.
  3. Pull out the thyme sprigs and discard. Add greens and stir until wilted.
  4. Season to taste with salt and pepper. If you didn’t add raw brown rice to the pot with your lentils, add the cooked brown rice to the pot now or put a little in each bowl and ladle the soup on top.
Notes
*To make in the Instant Pot:
Press the "saute" button and wait a couple minutes for the insert to heat up. Add the oil, carrots, celery, onions and garlic and saute until tender, about 5 minutes.
Add the tomatoes and cook for a minute.
Add stock, lentils (I tested with French green and black), raw brown rice, thyme and salt. Press the "Keep Warm/Cancel" button to turn the machine off. Secure the lid on top of the insert and lock closed. Make sure the vent is closed. Press manual and make sure it's on High Pressure. I cooked it for 12 minutes and thought that was perfect. The Instant Pot will take a few minutes to come up to pressure, so it will say ON for a few minutes. Once the machine is done cooking, you can manually release the pressure or opt for natural release. Check the manual for an explanation of both.

 

 

Molasses-ginger cookies recipe

Molasses-Ginger Cookies | Pamela Salzman

Just in time for your cookie exchange!  These cookies are chewier than a gingersnap, but still wow you with that sweet and spicy kick.  I love rolling them in unsweetened, shredded coconut instead of the traditional granulated sugar, but they are just as good without the additional adornment.

Molasses-Ginger Cookies | Pamela Salzman

Let’s discuss some of the sweeteners used in this recipe.  I used organic brown sugar as my first sweetener.  I wouldn’t call brown sugar a high-quality sweetener, but it provides the flavor and tenderness I am looking for.  I choose the organic version to avoid the high concentration of pesticides found in regular brown, but this ain’t health food.  The other sugar is called Rapadura or a similar product goes by the name Sucanat, short for sugar cane natural.  These are minimally processed organic cane sugars which still contain the vitamins and minerals naturally found in the sugar cane plant.  The molasses is still present in these granules, which make it a perfect sweetener for these cookies.  If you can’t find them, use all dark brown sugar.  Lastly, I have used blackstrap molasses in the past, hoping my family will like it as much as regular unsulphured.  But alas, we will sacrifice less iron for less bitterness.  If you enjoy the stronger flavor of blackstrap, by all means use it.  You will be rewarded with a much more mineral-rich cookie.  But the end of the day, we should enjoy what we make and my family and friends adore these cookies with regular unsulphured molasses.

As with most cookie dough, this can be made several days in advance, if kept refrigerated and well covered.  You can just bake the quantity that you need when you need it.  This is especially helpful when your daughters tell you their charity league cookie exchange is on Friday at 4:00 pm and school gets out at 3:00 pm.  Grin (and bake it!).

Molasses-Ginger Cookies | Pamela Salzman

molasses-ginger cookies recipe
Author: 
Serves: 4 dozen 2½ inch cookies
 
Ingredients
  • 2 cups whole grain pastry flour, all-purpose flour, or spelt flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ⅔ cup chopped crystallized ginger (optional)
  • 1 ½ sticks unsalted, organic butter, room temperature
  • ½ cup dark brown sugar
  • ½ cup Sucanat, Rapadura (whole cane sugar) or dark brown sugar
  • ¼ cup dark unsulphured molasses (not blackstrap)
  • 1 large, organic free-range egg
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup dried, unsweetened shredded coconut or turbinado sugar
Instructions
  1. Mix together the flour, baking soda, spices and salt. Add crystallized ginger.
  2. With an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and both sugars until fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add molasses, vanilla and egg and beat until well blended.
  3. Add flour mixture and mix until just blended.
  4. Chill, covered, until firm, at least several hours.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  6. Place the coconut in a small bowl. Form the dough into 1 to 1 ¼ inch balls (an ice cream scooper is helpful) and roll them in the coconut or turbinado sugar. Place them 2 inches apart on the cookie sheets. You should fit 12 per sheet.
  7. Bake the cookies in the lower third of the oven for approximately 10-12 minutes or until the tops start to crack. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 2 minutes. Transfer to wire racks.