Unless you live under a rock, you’ve probably heard a lotta of buzz about going gluten-free.
And rightly so—turns out that gluten is often the culprit behind inexplicable gastrointestinal issues, fatigue, breakouts and more (don’t take my word for it—do some research!)
However, at this juncture, my personal verdict is still out on how much is too much gluten. And frankly, I think it’s different for everyone.
So, I really don’t feel comfortable giving a definitive opinion on the topic, except to say that we’d all probably benefit from cutting back on it.
If for no other reason, simply because, anything in excess is not healthy. And we all eat t’darn much gluten! Mostly from wheat-based sources. Think about your typical day, and I’m betting there’s a solid line-up of cereals, bread, English muffins, pasta, snack bars, crackers and cookies…you catch my drift.
That’s a WHOLE LOT of one thing, even if the sources are the “healthy” versions!
Especially when there are sooo many other delicious, satisfying dishes out there to enjoy instead! Garlic-roasted purple and sweet potatoes, creamy coconut quinoa, sesame-peanut soba (buckwheat) noodles, and for dessert…
Gluten-Free Coconut Chocolate Chip Blondies!
(Inspired by THIS recipe by the Minimalist Baker <3)
If you’ve never baked with almond flour or almond meal—don’t be afeared! It’s super easy to work with (just make sure you have some kinda solid binder in your recipes), and personally, I prefer the texture to wheat flour goodies. It has a unique moisture and richness that I adore!
- 1¼ cups almond meal/flour (I use Bob’s Red Mill)
- 1/3 cup chopped dark chocolate (I used Trader Joe’s 72 % Pound Plus Bar, which TJs claims is gluten-free. Source)
- ½ cup shredded unsweetened coconut
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅓ cup maple crystals
- 1 “chia egg” using Health Warrior chia seeds (you could also use 1 real egg or a “flax egg” might work)
- 3 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
Do you hear the bells?!
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Make “chia egg” by stirring 1 tbsp chia seeds with 3 tbsp water in a small bowl. Set aside but stir occasionally until a gel has formed, to avoid clumping.
- Line a small baking tin with parchment paper (I used an 8×11 but the dough only filled half).
- In a large mixing bowl, stir together almond meal, dark chocolate chips, coconut, baking powder, salt and sugar.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together chia gel, coconut oil and vanilla until incorporated.
- Add wet ingredients to dry and stir until just combined.
- Empty dough into baking tin and pack dough into tin, tightly and evenly. My tin was too big, so I just squished my dough into about 1/2 of the tin and shaped it into a rectangle. The most important thing is to make the dough as compact as possible.
- Bake until edges begin to brown, 10-12 minutes.
- Remove from oven refrigerate for at least one hour, preferably overnight before slicing into classic blondie shapes and serving.
Even if you completely ignore the fact that these babies are gluten-free, they are still WILDLY worth your making. Moist, dense, subtly sweet and rich with incredible texture from the coconut and chocolate chunks—I dunno any wheat-free-or-filled belly that wouldn’t enjoy them!
I’ve been taking my blondies drizzled in raw almond butter, spattered with coconut flakes and accompanied by a cold mug of coconut milk .
And look—if there is any teeny part of you that is curious about decreasing or removing gluten from your diet, especially if you suffer from IBS-type symptoms—just give it a try for a few weeks!
It takes about 3-4 weeks of going sans-gluten for it to be out of your system completely, so try to stick with it. If you want some delicious gluten-free meal/snack ideas and recipes, please email me! I’d love to help you give it a whirl.
If, like me, you really don’t feel any differently or you just can’t imagine your life without doughy wheat bread, then add it back. In greater moderation this time.
Buuuuuttt, you may be surprised at how easy it is to remove, and how much better you feel! Worth a shot, eh?