These are fantastic, soft chewy chocolate chip cookies that can easily be fiddled with to make them fit around any food allergies or intolerances. These are gluten-free, dairy-free and FODMAP (IBS) friendly (if you want more FODMAP baking recipes, I recommend this site). Whilst there isn't a strong link between any particular food allergies or intolerances and most types of arthritis (except gout), many people do find that avoiding certain foods can help them. But, following a special diet often means missing out at parties or eating some dubious free-from substitute. Not with these cookies! You can happily munch these and serve them to family and friends with pride.
1 1/2 cups of all-purpose gluten free flour (I used my favourite Dove's Farm brand which is readily available in the UK, you could use ordinary wheat flour if you are not avoiding gluten)
1 cup of light brown sugar
1 large egg
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/4 cup softened butter/vegan spread/sunflower oil (whichever you prefer)
1/2 cup chocolate chips (I used Green and Blacks dark chocolate chopped up which is dairy free)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1tsp vanilla extract
Heat oven to 180C/375F. Lightly grease two or three large baking sheets with oil spray.
Blend butter, sugar, vanilla extract and egg together with electric whisk in a large bowl. Add salt, baking powder and flour. Blend on low speed until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips.
Put heaped tsps of mixture on baking sheets about 2 inches apart. Bake in oven for about 12mins or until cookies are light golden (tip: give the baking tray a bang half-way through cooking to stop the cookies rising up too much and going cakey). Allow to cool for a moment and then transfer to wire rack (this keeps the bottoms crisp). Try not to gobble whole batch at once!
Arthritis diet notes
You know what I'm going to say about cookie eating...No such thing as a healthy cookie. Sorry. These are a little lower in saturated fat than most recipes but I'm afraid that means they are pretty high in sugar. Just remember, a little occasional treat is fine if you follow healthy eating guidelines most of the time!
As I posted last week, we're trying FODMAP for lent - or the Fermentable, Oligo-, Di-, Mono-saccharides and PolyolS (short chain carbohydrates) avoidance diet to give it its full name, so I made these to fit within that plan. The FODMAP plan is designed to help people with IBS, but some dietitians have been trialling it for IBD (colitis or Crohn's) which is sometimes linked to the spondyloarthropathies (such as psoriatic arthritis and AS). If you want to find out more about it, follow these links to Kings College in the UK and WebMD in the US. If you'd like to try FODMAP, I'd recommend seeing a registered dietitian or nutritionist (after a consultation with your GP) to help you plan your meals and make sure it is suitable for you. There are also some great recipes here.