There have been some pretty low moments in my quest to find or create decent grain-free recipes for my favorite baked goods and breakfast foods. There was the Gingerbread Mess, when I didn’t pulverize my almonds finely enough. We ended up with a pile of oily gingerbread crumbs instead of solid pieces for a gingerbread house (which were great for pie crust, eventually, but oh so disappointing at the time). In fact, most of the grain-free disasters have to do with crumbling and oiliness, failing to obtain the correct balance of moisture with the moisture-sucking stand-ins for glutenous flours.
This week wasn’t like that. I found and tweaked some amazing recipes and feel compelled to share them with you. Even if you aren’t grain or gluten-free***, you may enjoy these nutrient-dense versions of some typically wheat flour based treats.
The Lemon Poppyseed Waffles happened on Sunday, and were inspired by this recipe. I was feeling a little burned out on grinding nuts all the time, and was hoping to find a grain-free waffle or pancake recipe that wasn’t nut-flour based. I was reluctant to try it, since I don’t typically enjoy coconut flour. It tends to be incredibly dry, lending a granular texture to baked goods, and it imparts a great deal of coconut flavor, which I find undesirable 99% of the time. BUT, when it works, it really works.
And usually, this is what makes it work (oh, and having strong flavors like lemon to overwhelm the coconut helps, too):
Eggs, eggs and more eggs. This is most of your texture and moisture magic right here.
8 eggs, separated (yes, 8! This is a double recipe, which fed three of us with enough left over to freeze a couple more servings for a hectic weekday morning. If I’m going to go through the trouble of separating eggs, then I’m going to make enough for an army). With a mixer, beat the whites until soft peaks form. In a large bowl, beat the egg yolks and add the following:
2 ripe bananas, mashed
4 tbsp applesauce
4 tbsp raw honey
4 tsp vanilla
2-4 tbsp lemon juice & grated rind of one or two lemons (depending on how lemony you like it). I used meyer lemons. It’s good to have relatives in CA.
In another bowl, mix the following:
1 cup coconut flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
Mixing by hand, add the dry to the wet, and then fold in the beaten egg whites and 2 tbsp poppyseeds. Whatever your waffle iron of choosing, do butter or oil it generously for every round and proceed as you normally would.
I happened to have homemade lemon curd mousse (lemon curd, cream and egg whites), and so folded in a little bit of that, as well, maybe a cup’s worth. This recipe seems forgiving with a little extra wetness in the batter.
They were perfect with applesauce and maple syrup. Sort of like a waffle-shaped, not-to-sweet lemon poppyseed muffin.
And these flourless brownie bites? Well, I’m just going to share the link because they were off-the-hook delicious just as they were, no tweaking. Go here and make them.They freeze amazingly well, too. I love that. They are almond-butter based, but I’m sure they would work with any nut butter you like.
***I am gluten-sensitive, but have chosen to go entirely grain-free with baking for a number of reasons. I have tried a bazillion combinations of gluten-free flours and flour mixes. They often do the trick to satisfy a craving, but they seem nutritionally void and I don’t feel nourished after eating it. The flours are highly processed, dead food whether or not it contains gluten. Grain-free recipes often contain an incredible amount of protein and comparatively very little in the way of sweetening, and are easier to play around with to suit what you have on hand.