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Instead of the usual fats, you can bake vegan and grain-free with tahini

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What if you want to bake vegan--no eggs or dairy and also grain-free? You could bake using various types of ground seeds, nuts, and coconut. One way to begin is to bake with tahini sauce.

You can grind up sesame seeds in a little water and use the paste for baking cookies or brownies. Use ground sesame seed paste (tahini) instead of fats in baking. You can check out the recipe site on baking with tahini, "Tahini Cookies Recipe -" or "25 Ways to Use Tahini | Devour The Blog: Cooking Channel." Or see, "Healthy Recipes with Tahini | Eating Well." If you're looking for a savory recipe for tahini dips, see the site, "Recipe: Baked Za'atar Eggplant Fries with Lemon Tahini Dip."

Instead of using grain-based flours, try flours made from ground up almonds, coconuts, and legumes, such as garbanzo bean flour. Bean and legume flours or sweet potato flour and pea flour also work for savory flat breads, crackers, and wraps.

To sweeten, you add mashed bananas and dried berries. Chopped nuts also can be put on top of these desserts, such as pistachio nuts grinded in a dry grinder or coffee grinder. Another variation is sesame seed meal sprinkled into the batter or on top.

You can use tahini sauce all ready made in a jar, available from most supermarkets and health food stores. Or you can grind sesame seeds with a little water in your blender to make a paste.

All you need to do is mix 1/2 cup tahini sauce (1/2 cup ground sesame seeds and water to a paste consistency) with 1 cup of mashed or pureed bananas and a teaspoon of raisins or goji berries. A food processor can puree the sweeteners. You don't have to sweeten with sugars such as honey. And you could also use a pinch of stevia.

Fruit sweeteners are healthier than just using the empty calories of white granulated table sugar or syrups. Instead of bananas, you also could sweeten with home-made applesauce made by cutting up some organic apples, removing the toxic apple seeds, and just pureeing the apples in a blender or food processor into apple-sauce consistency.

Sweet pears can be purreed and used to sweeten cookies. Usually a few raisins will sweeten a dessert. Or you can goji berries which are more expensive than raisins. Choose raisins instead of currents. And brush your teeth after eating any dried fruit.

Then you open a package of flaked or grated coconut and add 1/2 cup of sifted coconut flour. You can buy organic coconut flour online from vitamin companies or find it in many health food stores. We buy organic coconut flour from Swanson's vitamin products. It comes in a plastic container and is organic. We only use a few tablespoons at a time when making cookies or brownies. But in this recipe, use 1/2 cup of coconut flour.

The recipe is vegan because no dairy or eggs are used in the recipe. Just mix the wet ingredients and stir in the coconut flour. The batter is sticky. So drop it by tablespoon full or small scoop onto a greased cookie sheet

You can use parchment for baking instead of greasing a cookie sheet with oil. If you do use oil, there are varieties that can take higher heat such as rice bran oil or even coconut oil. For mayonnaise, you can make your own with tofu and/or grape seed oil, or the oil of your choice that doesn't burn at 350 degrees F. But for some, you don't need to grease a cookie sheet with oil. Simply sprinkle sesame seeds on a glass cookie sheet or pumpkin seeds or even chia seeds, or ground nuts, and then put your cookie dough over the sprinkled seeds or nuts.

If you use oat bran instead of flour when making cookies and mix it with ground flax seed, you can make a cookie dough that won't stick as tight to the glass cookie sheet when baked. Another way of substituting grease for something else to prevent sticking (assuming you're not using a non-stick pan) is to sprinkle ground coconut flesh on the pan or a mixture of brown sesame seeds and ground coconut flakes.

Then put your dough on top of that and bake. The ground coconut and/or the seeds act as 'breading' on your cookie dough to help prevent sticking. And the seeds or ground coconut or even ground nuts or almond meal help prevent sticking because they're full of fats as nuts and seeds are. So they help prevent sticking and taste better than greasing your cookie sheet with other types of oils or fats.

After you put the spoon full of batter about 2 inches apart from each cookie or 'bar' on the cookie sheet, bake the dessert at 350 degrees F. for about 14 or 15 minutes or until firm, golden brown and chewy. Let the cookies or bars cool. Remember that you don't need a lot of sweeteners. Also chopped apples on top of cookies or 'bars' sweeten as do a spoon full of raisins or soaked goji berries.

To make this dessert savory instead of sweet, instead of the fruit sweeteners, just add garlic and onion powder, finely chopped onions and spinach or kale to the batter. The savory version takes more like a flat bread or wrap. Use it instead of crackers.



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