Thursday, February 2, 2012

Healthy and Gluten-Free Cinnamon Persimmon Cookies (Only 4 Ingredients!)

Persimmons are amazing. They're delicious. My parents started growing a bunch of fruit trees in their backyard while I was growing up, and now they have practically a whole orchard in the back of their house. Cherries, pears, peaches, plums, persimmons, tomatoes, different herbs, etc. My favorite out of all these? Persimmons. During late fall every year, we live in persimmon heaven. Lucky for us too, since persimmons are expensive where we are - I've seen them priced at $2-$3 each!

If you've never eaten a persimmon, put that on your bucket list. The taste is indescribable. Sweet and addictive. The riper they are, the better they taste. However, if they get too ripe, they get very mushy (some people prefer that texture; I prefer them more firm). Make sure you don't bite into an under-ripe one, though. Under-ripe persimmons have a higher tannin content and are more astringent. You'll get that dry and puckered feeling in your mouth. 

Persimmons, like most fruits, have many benefits. They're high in catechins, which are polyphenolic antioxidants. Why are catechins good? As you may already know, there are 5 main groups of lipoproteins. You've most likely heard of the two most common ones associated with cholestorol - LDL and HDL. HDL, or high density lipoprotein, is referred to as "good". LDL, or low density protein, is usually referred to as "bad". Catechins inhibits LDL oxidation, which is good - there are subcategories of LDL and it's oxidized LDL, not regular LDL, that clogs up your arteries. And contrary to popular belief, the levels of LDL rise with inflammation caused by consuming carbs and trans fats, not by consuming saturated fats. I'll stop here to prevent myself from preaching about the evils in consuming sugars and grains. You're here for yummy persimmon cookies, not a rant!

So. Persimmon cookies. I'm all for simplicity when it comes to making quick snacks. The less ingredients, the better. The idea of these cookies came to me while I was eating oatmeal. I mashed up a persimmon and mixed it into my oatmeal one morning, had a sudden craving for cookies, and thought to myself ... I need this oatmeal to be in cookie form. These cookies are perfect when you have a sudden craving for some fruit but in a nice warm cookie form without all that excess sugar. These are low glycemic, so they won't spike your blood sugar like most cookies. And they are so incredibly simple and easy to make! I didn't add any sugar because my persimmons were pretty sweet, but you can if you want.

I made two versions. Both are gluten free, one is made with oats, one without oats for those eating paleo / primal.

Cinnamon Persimmon Oat Cookies

Makes about 4-6 cookies, depending on how big they are. This recipe can easily be doubled / tripled. 

What you'll need:
  • One very ripe and mushy persimmon
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 cinnamon, more or less to taste
  • 1/3 cup of non-contaminated gluten-free rolled oats (check out Trader Joe's gluten-free oats) and 2 Tbsp of almond flour, or you can just use grind up 2 Tbsp rolled oats if you don't have almond flour. Alternatively, you can use 1/2 cup almond flour if you're primal / paleo
  • ~ 1/2 Tbsp honey (optional)
  • Preheat the oven to 175 C / 340 F. Mash the persimmon with a fork or potato masher. I like using the potato masher, since I find it easier. I can also use it to scoop up the mixture to the baking sheet - which means one less utensil to wash at the end! 
  • Add the baking powder, cinnamon, and honey if you choose to, and mix well. 
  • Fold in the oats and almond flour until just mixed. Don't over-mix! The mixture will be wetter than normal cookie dough.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and scoop about a spoonful onto the sheet, leaving about an inch of space between each. 
  • Bake about 20 minutes, or until the tops begin to brown.
These cookies are incredibly moist on the inside and slightly crispy on the outside - just the way I like them! They're super healthy and are amazing when they're warm and right out of the oven.  

Tip: If your cookies come out too moist for your liking, there are a few things you can do. You can either pop them back into the oven. If they've already browned, then cover them with foil and bake at a slightly lower temperature until the texture is to your liking. You can also bake at 150 C / 300 F for about 30 minutes next time. Finally, you can also add about another 1/4 cup of ground / whole oats (in addition to the 1/3 cup of oats) to the mixture next time you make these. 

If you like these, check out my Chai Spiced Banana Oat Cookies!


  1. I was disappointed in these. They fell apart. :( Any tips?

    1. I'm sorry they fell apart! Sometimes it depends on how big the persimmon you're using is. Try using more oats to hold them together. Let me know how it turns out!

  2. Guar gum and xantham gum are 2 sticking agents used in gluten free baking to replace gluten. You can add either one to the mixture to see if it sticks together. You will only want to use one but not both if you decide to use a gluten substitute to keep the mixture from crumbling. 1 teaspoon per batch is a good starting point.