Apple Raisin Cookies Recipe- Sugar Free, Gluten Free, Vegan

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It's official. White sugar definitely gets me nauseous- I eat just a little square of chocolate, and I'll feel queasy for hours after, if not the whole day. It's not worth it for me to cheat even for a little bite, because I end up paying for it and suffering from it for so much longer after that the momentary pleasure simply isn't worth it...
So I bake desserts for my family, sometimes with white sugar... Yes, I know its unhealthy, but right now I need to lower our grocery bills, so this is one thing I am letting slide... but I am not having any.
But I do like having some special treats for myself here and there, and that means making them for myself- without sugar. I make treats sometimes with jaggery, since that is one of the cheapest natural sugars available locally, but try not to make treats with honey since it is super expensive in my area.
However, I discovered, thanks to a friend of mine, that you can use apple juice concentrate as a sweetener in baking, and apple juice concentrate locally is cheaper than honey, possibly cheaper than jaggery (I haven't done an exact price comparison). Our apple juice concentrate comes in syrup form, not frozen, but I am pretty sure you can make this with the frozen apple juice concentrate- though you might need to water it down a drop, because I think it might be more concentrated than the syrup we have locally. I recommend that you try this recipe out with the frozen concentrate- adding less at first, and then more as needed, until it's perfect. (You can taste the dough raw.)
Yesterday, when trying to come up with a sugar free dessert for my family, I threw together this recipe for raisin cookies, sweetened by apple juice only- and they were a big hit. I loved them, my kids love them, and for a sugar free cookie, they were pretty cheap to make. I'll certainly be making this again. I used some (apple juice sweetened) craisins and raisins in this recipe, but feel free to use only one or only the other, as long as you use 3/4 cup total.
I am 95% certain you can make this recipe with wheat flour or whole wheat flour or spelt, but I haven't tried it out- if you aren't gluten free, try replacing the first 4 ingredients with 2 3/4 cup of a flour of your choice, and then let me know how it comes out so I can update this recipe.

Apple Raisin Cookies Recipe- Sugar Free, Gluten Free, Vegan

1 1/4 cup raw buckwheat flour
1 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup potato starch
1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
1/2 cup solid oil, like coconut oil, palm shortening, or butter (though it won't be vegan then)
1 cup apple syrup
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 cup raisins
1/4 cup craisins

1. Mix all the dry ingredients together other than the raisins and craisins.

2. If its icy cold in your house and your fats are rock solid, try warming them somewhat or softening them, so you can mix them more easily. If you're using frozen apple juice concentrate, let it melt before using.

3. Mix your wet ingredients together with your dry ingredients, until it is all uniform.

4. Add your raisins/craisins and mix well.

5. Shape your cookies, and then bake them for 15 minutes at 350 or until browning and fully solid.

6. Allow to cool before eating.


Variations: I am pretty sure these cookies would be great with chocolate chips in place of the raisins/craisins, but I don't think they'd be good without either, as they aren't the sweetest cookies in the world, and the raisins/craisins add a nice sweetness to them.

What is your favorite recipe for cookies that is either low on sugar, or sugar free? Do you have any that use cheaper sweeteners? How much does apple juice concentrate cost where you live?
Does this look like a recipe that you'd try?

Penniless Parenting

Mommy, wife, writer, baker, chef, crafter, sewer, teacher, babysitter, cleaning lady, penny pincher, frugal gal


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  1. I made these with white flour and eggs and they were really good!

    1. How much white flour and how many eggs did you add, and did you leave out the flax seeds? Just so I can write down that variation in the recipe...

    2. 2 3/4 cup flour and 2 eggs in place of the flax seeds. I went out and bought flax seeds today though!

  2. craisins are generally loaded with sugar, hope they don't make you sick......if I eat too many of them when people mix them in salads, I get "sugared out" ............think I'd make this recipe, but double the raisins and leave out the craisins.........looks yummy!

    1. I specifically buy craisins which are sweetened with apple juice or blueberry juice, not sugar, so they don't make me nauseous. They're more expensive, but worth it for the health reasons.

  3. Can I grind buckwheat/ rice in a food processor and convert it into flour? Buying these flours in a health food store is expensive.

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