Gluten Free Treats—Make Your Own
Gluten Free Treats Are Better Homemade
Because I advocate a gluten/wheat free dietary plan, I so often get questions like this one: “Sainsbury’s and Tesco both have a gluten free range, does that mean I can eat their biscuits and cakes?” The simple answer to that question if you want to stay slim, is no. But I think it’s important to explain why because I so often get asked that question.
The reason why cakes and biscuits of any kind are unhealthy is not only because they have gluten, it’s because they’re processed (and full of refined flours, which can often contain gluten) and packed with sugar. Furthermore, instead of using wheat, these products usually use alternative flours like rice, corn, potatoes, millet or sorghum which are higher in carbohydrates and lower in protein and other nutrients than wheat flour.
If you want to eat healthy and lose weight the number one thing you should be doing is following the four R’s (Do you RECOGNISE it as food? Can it ROAM the earth? Can you eat it RAW? Does it ROT? ) and ALWAYS reading the nutrition label. If you read the nutrition label of most of those gluten free packets, you will see that they’re full of sugar (usually the number two ingredient) as well as things like dextrose, and other softening agents (to give them a bread-like texture).
The bottom line is this: a food in a packet will never be as healthy as one you make yourself. It’s not about removing one ingredient, it’s about eating food where you know all of the ingredients included because you made it yourself.
Try this recipe for homemade gluten and dairy free chocolate chip cookies. While they’re not an everyday food, if you’re in the mood for gluten free treats they’re much better than the store-bought or packaged kind.
- 125 ml almond milk
- 2 tbsp ground flaxseed or linseed
- 285g sieved spelt flour
- 75g unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably raw)
- 1 1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 175g chocolate chips
- 125 ml sunflower oil
- 190g natural granulated sweeteneer (i.e. Truvia or Xylitol)
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
-Preheat oven to gas mark 4/180C & grease 2 baking sheets
-Mix the almond milk with the ground flaxseed or linseed, set aside to thicken
-Separately, mix the sieved flour, cocoa powder, and bicarbonate of soda in a large bowl and stir in chocolate chips
-Add the sunflower oil, sweetener and vanilla to the milk-seed mixture and stir thoroughly
-Leave for 5 minutes to thicken again then pour it into the bowl of dry ingredients and stir to combine. Set aside for 10-15 minutes to firm up
-Pinch off walnut sized pieces, roll them into balls in your palms, then flatten into discs about 1cm thick
-Arrange on baking sheets with space to spread
-Bake in the preheated oven for about 7 minutes. Let them cool slightly and harden on the sheets and then transfer to a wire rack to cool
-Note: you can also add peanut butter to the recipe for extra protein to your gluten free treats.
My previous blog on Seasonal Affective Disorder is available to read.