If you’ve followed this space since the beginning, you probably know that it wasn’t always that I’ve been cooking with grain-free recipes.
In fact, when I first started cooking three years ago, long before I started experimenting with a grain-free diet, I’d never even heard of grain-free flours.
It was only after I read Dr. William Davis’ amazing book Wheat Belly back-to-back thrice during my vacation in Brazil last year that I first introduced to the concept of going grain-free, and to reduce my intake of carbohydrates and sugars.
In Wheat Belly, Dr. Davis expressed heavy support for a grain-free diet, which naturally meant a diet free of gluten, consisting mainly of low-glycemic index foods (foods that do not cause suddenly high spikes in your blood sugar levels).
Simply speaking, when we fill ourselves up with carbohydrates and sugars, which break down into glucose when digested, causing momentary spikes in our blood sugar levels. Thankfully, we have our pancreas, the organ which produces insulin, a hormone that regulates the metabolism of carbohydrates and fats by converting blood glucose to muscles and fat tissues.
What happens if we are constantly on a diet high in carbohydrates and sugars? In that case, our body is succumb to constant blood sugar spokes, and our pancreas is forced to produce more insulin to convert the extra glucose in our blood to muscles and fats in order to maintain a moderate blood sugar level.
Should we constantly stuff our bodies with too many carbohydrates and sugars, and this cycle keep repeating without a rest, our bodies will naturally become fatter and fatter (resulting in increased levels of obesity), and there is the danger of us experiencing insulin resistance, the condition in which our cells fail to respond to the normal functions of insulin, leading to abnormally high blood sugar (hyperglycaemia).
If left unchecked, insulin resistance could later lead to Type-2 diabetes (also known as “adult diabetes”), the health condition in which our pancreas does not produce sufficient insulin to maintain normal blood sugar levels.
According to Wheat Belly, a diet with low-glycemic index foods which do not cause large spikes in our blood sugars is the way to prevent Type-2 diabetes or even possible reverse it.
Generally speaking, since a grain-free diet diet effectively reduces foods that are high in carbohydrates and sugars, following a grain-free diet naturally reduces the chances of our bodies experiencing large blood sugar spikes.
Although I’ve never been obese nor have Type-2 diabetes, the claims in Wheat Belly intrigued me, and in the past one year, I started experimenting with grain-free recipes.
I became exposed to a whole new world of grain-free ingredients, and in particularly, fell in love with grain-free baking. I tried and tested recipes which used almond flour, cashew meal, hazelnut meal, desiccated coconut, and coconut flour. I was simply amazed by the variety of baked goods that could be made with them!
Yet, apart from the fascination that I found myself wrapped in, I also realised that I was gradually feeling better – my immune system had somehow also improved and I was no longer falling sick as easily as before.
Plus, I also managed to shed quite a few stubborn pounds with a grain-free diet that I’d been unable to for years (this was totally incredible and amazing!)
Given all this positive benefits that I’d personally experienced, I am increasingly motivated to eat as much grain-free foods as possible.
That’s the reason why I keep testing new grain-free recipes, particularly for baked goods.
That’s also why the e-cookbook I’m writing is focused on grain-free baked goods, because in my opinion baked goods are often the hardest to achieve with grain-free ingredients.
I am so, so excited for the cookbook to be launched!!! Can you tell??
The more I work on the final edits of the cookbook, and the more I tell people about it, the more I believe it is work that is real – work that will have a real, positive impact in the lives of those who read it. I’m convinced of that.
Today’s recipe is for grain-free honey lemon shortbread – crispy shortbread that has the fragrance of citrus lemon mixed with the natural sweetness of honey.
I’d never thought it would have been possible to obtain shortbread so delicious with grain-free ingredients, but I was very pleasantly surprised when adapting a recipe I’d found on The Foodie Teen.
This shortbread is absolutely delicious, fragrant, and has just the right amount of sweetness.
I say, go make this shortbread right now.
- 1 cup of almond flour (or almond meal)
- ½ cup tapioca flour
- ¼ cup desiccated coconut
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- ⅓ cup honey
- ⅓ cup butter, melted
- zest of 1 lemon
- Sift the almond flour, tapioca flour and dessciated coconut in a bowl, then stir in the vanilla extract, baking powder, salt, honey and melted buttter in, mixing well until you get a soft dough.
- Flatten the dough into a round disc and wrap in plastic wrap, then chill in the refridgerator for 30 minutes to harden slightly.
- Pre-heat oven to 325 deg Fahrenheit (165 deg Cel)
- Roll the dough out between two pieces of baking paper until it is ½-inch thick, and cut into twelve equal rectangles. Poke holes on top of the cookie dough with a fork (optional)
- Transfer the cut cookie dough onto a lined baking tray and then bake 15 to 17 minutes, or until cookies are golden brown.
- Let cookies fully cool before eating.