By: Dr. Alyssa Musgrove
Valentine’s Day and sweet treats go hand in hand. But if gluten tends to be something you avoid for health reasons, navigating your way through this day of love can be daunting. The good news is, it is possible to enjoy delicious gluten-free, low-sugar treats this time of year. Gluten-free baking is not as difficult as you might think and is often a matter of just switching an ingredient or two. Whether you are celiac, gluten-free, gluten-sensitive, gluten-intolerant or just want to try a new recipe, here are a fewer options for your valentine:
Coconut chocolate flourless goodness
3 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
½ tsp salt
4 large egg whites, at room temperature
¾ cup sweetened shredded coconut
¾ cup semisweet chocolate chips
¾ cup cocoa powder
1 cup chopped toasted almonds
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Have your oven racks placed in the middle and lower third of the oven. In a large bowl whisk together cocoa, salt and confectioners’ sugar. Then stir in almonds, coconut and chocolate chips. Add egg whites (room temperature is ideal) and stir until combined. Make sure not to overmix.
Drop the dough with rounded tablespoons, spaced about 2 inches apart, on parchment paper lined baking sheets. Bake 15-18 minutes until the tops are cracked and dry, rotating the cookie sheets halfway through for even cooking. Remove baking sheets from the oven and cool completely on wire racks.
Easy chocolate-nut butter cookies
¾ cup sugar
1 large egg, lightly beaten
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup roasted, salted nut of choice
1 cup creamy nut butter (cashew, pecan and sunflower seed is my favorite)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees, racks positioned in upper third and lower third of oven. Beat the nut butter, egg, baking soda, sugar and salt until well mixed. Next mix in the roasted, salted nut of your liking and chocolate chips.
Moisten hands with cold water and roll the dough into balls, about 1 tablespoon at a time.
Place on parchment-lined baking sheets and space two inches apart. Bake and rotate the sheets halfway through until the cookies are golden and puffed, about 14 to 17 minutes. Let the cookies cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes and transfer cookies to a wire rack to finish cooling completely. Cookies are best stored in airtight containers at room temperature for up to one week.
No-Bake Dark Chocolate Energy Bites
9-ounce package dairy-free dark chocolate chips (such as Enjoy Life brand)
1 ounce freeze-dried strawberries
¼ cup favorite protein powder
½ cup cashew butter
6 Tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp fig balsamic
Melt chocolate chips on low flame, stirring occasionally about 2-3 minutes until smooth and creamy. Puree freeze-dried strawberries in the food processor until they are fully powdered. Mix together melted chocolate, powdered freeze-dried strawberries, protein powder, cashew butter, maple syrup and fig balsamic. Mix with a stand or hand mixer.
Use a mini cookie scoop to measure out the dough and roll between hands to form balls. (If your dough is too dry, add equal amounts of cashew butter and maple syrup to soften). Roll into 20 balls and put on a cookie sheet covered in wax or parchment paper in the fridge until they harden, approximately 20 minutes. Store in airtight container in the fridge.
Pathways to Healing specializes in holistic chiropractic care. Dr. Alyssa Musgrove draws on a variety of techniques, including chiropractic, kinesiology, nutrition, food allergy testing and lifestyle counseling to assist clients in achieving optimal health and wellness in one setting. Pathways to Healing is located at 1022 Founders Row, Lake Oconee Village, Greensboro. The office can be reached at 706-454-2040.