Food Crafters: Baking Cookies We Can All Enjoy!

by Inga Yandell

Christmas is a great time for baking cookies, they make an excellent gift…for most but not all. Food allergies are more common now than in grandma’s day, and despite our best intentions cookies crafted with love and gluten could cause more harm than happiness. You might think the solution is to fashion a cookie from gluten free ingredients, but this is easier said than done—to create a cookie that has great taste and texture is a skill, one which the food crafters master well.

Frustrated with the quality of allergen friendly products on the market, business partners David Amar and France Rechichi decided it was time for gluten intolerant Australians to indulge in the foods they love, without compromising on healthy ingredients. Using their respective backgrounds as a food developer and restaurateur, David and France decided to combine their skill sets and 30 years in the food industry to develop a product that would be nutritionally sound and restaurant ready.

Their first business venture Pizzaiolis was established after they noticed a gap in the hospitality market for gluten free pizza bases. With the business taking off, David and France decided to expand beyond pizza bases and launch The Food Crafters brand. Established in July 2017, the brand has entered the market with a range of gluten free cookies that can satisfy both dietary needs and sweet-tooth cravings.

As a food developer, David had previously developed gluten free cookies for schools and airline contracts, but he was determined to flip the gluten free label and create a completely nutritional product. The cookies needed to be high in fibre and low in sugar. The flour had to be nutritional without preservatives. It must be dairy free and not overly processed.

To meet these standards, the business partners used buckwheat as the base flour. By combining natural fibre with the buckwheat flour, the product could provide a good source of protein, help with digestion and slow down the absorption of sugar in the body. Through the combination of honey, stevia, blackstrap molasses and dry fruits, the company has been able to dramatically reduce sugar content and create a high fibre product. To achieve zero preservatives the founders’ combined dried fruits with a slow roasting process, giving the product a 12-month shelf-life. Dairy was replaced with coconut oil, adding essential fatty acids.

The Food Crafters gluten free cookie range relies on a combination of natural ingredients to not only provide the taste but the traditional cookie texture. Through the inclusion of the staple ingredient buckwheat kibble, The Food Crafters combat the texture issue and simultaneously improve the nutritional content of its product. Buckwheat is a fruit seed that contains amino acids, antioxidants, fibre and magnesium. It is known to lower blood sugar levels and boost the immune system. The cookie remains low in starch and therefore does not spike sugar levels.

The aim of the company is to extend great food to the world of dietary requirements, while still creating a tasty treat everyone can enjoy. The product range is completely natural and homemade. Currently, The Food Crafters cookie range is available in three delectable flavours; Raw Cacao, Double Coconut and Ginger and Date.

Nutritionist for The Food Crafters Caroline Trickey shares two easy, gluten-free Christmas recipes for the festive season.

Chocolate Log Cake with Cacao Cookies

Ingredients:
1. Ricotta 1kg
2. Orange juice 100g
3. Orange zest 1 Tsp
4. 12 of The Food Crafter Cacao 50g cookies
5. Maple syrup 1/3 cup

Instructions:
1. Mix ricotta, maple syrup and orange juice for two minutes
2. Between each cookie add 2 Tsp of Ricotta and sandwich the pieces together.
3. Repeat for each cookie
4. Place the log in the freezer for 30 minutes
5. Cover the cookie log with the remaining ricotta
6. Garnish with orange zest.
7. Place in fridge for two hours before serving.

Ice cream sandwich with Cacao cookie

1. Coconut express ice cream
2. Cacao cookie min pack 13g each

Instructions:
1. Use butter knife to spread a small scoop of ice cream on the cookie base
2. Sandwich the second cookie to create finished product
3. Repeat for each to create six bite sized gluten-free Summer treats

For further information visit www.foodcrafters.com.au

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Inga Yandell
Explorer and photo-journalist, passionate about nature, culture and travel. Combining science and conservation with investigative journalism to provide educational resources and a platform for science exploration.
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