For the past few weeks I have been trying as best as I can to live a gluten free life! I bought a book by Jolene Hart called Eat Pretty – Nutrition for Beauty, Inside and Out and one lesson I learnt early in the book was how important nutrition is as a tool to ensure we can be our most radiant selves. Monitoring what we eat and drink really helps with energy levels, weight, clear skin, strong hair and nails and the feeling of well-being. I have been interested in nutrition and its benefits for a long time, much to the disgust of many of my friends who think much of it is silly, but I thought I would finally get round to trying it properly for myself to see what happened.
So – we all know that gluten, which is found in wheat, rye and barley and hence bread, pasta, cakes, biscuits etc can often cause bloatedness, grogginess, headaches and dry skin and I have to say, since really cutting down on gluten wherever possible I have seen significant improvement in my general health, weight, energy and skin. I am lucky in that I can still pick and choose if i fancy something glutenous – pizza pilgrims, honest burger (although they do provide gluten free buns) and krispy kreme doughnuts and I have some friends who have coeliacs disease and unfortunately dont have the same choice so hopefully some of the gluten free recipes I will start to include in my blog will help!
After announcing my new gluten free way, Elix promptly bought me a gluten free baking book by Hannah Miles because she didnt want to go without cakes and treats! The first recipe I tried was a HUGE success – well, me and Elix loved it – flapjack pecan brownies. These sweet snacks are essentially flapjacks, topped with brownies so can be eaten as a mid-morning treat with tea, or a dessert after dinner.
125g Butter plus extra for greasing
100g caster sugar
100g desiccated coconut
100g pecans – chopped
200g Dark Chocolate
125g Caster Sugar
125g Soft Brown Sugar
1tsp vanilla extract
100g gluten free flour
Preheat oven to 190 degrees
Start with making the flapjack base – melt the butter in a saucepan, stir in the sugar, pecans and coconut until everything is coated with the melted butter. Spoon the mixture into a 33cm x 23cm lined and greased square brownie tin and press down firmly and evenly.
Now for the brownie topping, melt the butter and chocolate in a bowl over a pan of boiling water – once melted, set aside to cool slightly. Meanwhile whisk the sugars, eggs and vanilla together until light and doubled in volume. Now, slowly whisk in the chocolate mixture. Once combined, fold in the flour. I have used gluten free plain flour which worked fine but the recipe suggest using hazelnut flour (not something easily found in Sainsbury’s Tooting!). Pour the combined mixture into the tin on top of the flapjack and pop in the oven for 30-40 minutes.
When you take it from the oven it should have a light crust on top and a knife inserted into the middle will come out clean.
I think you will agree it looks delicious and Elix and I can verify it tastes the same!
Watch this space for more gluten free ideas!