- Gut Health -

Grain-Free Baking

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grain free baking

These simple-to-make baked goods from Elana’s Pantry deliver on flavor and whole-food goodness.

In 1998 I was diagnosed with celiac disease and immediately adopted a gluten-free diet. A few years later, I was still dealing with numerous symptoms and health issues, even though I was strict about avoiding gluten. On a hunch, I decided to go completely grain-free.

At the time, this was considered a somewhat radical choice, and I got some pushback from friends, family members, and medical professionals. I felt like I was listening to my own body, though, and that’s how I knew it was the right thing for me.

Not long after, my then-3-year-old son was also diagnosed with celiac disease. This had a huge effect on me — I couldn’t imagine him going through childhood without enjoying at least some of the treats that had been a part of my upbringing. So I made it my mission to turn all my favorite recipes into gluten-free alternatives that he could eat.

I sent the treats to school with him and made enough for everyone. It wasn’t long before I was getting recipe requests from other parents. That’s when my website was born.

Today, adopting a grain-free diet is no longer considered such a radical decision. Many people are cutting out grains — as well as dairy, sugar, and other processed foods.

So if you’re looking for healthier ­alternatives to the baked goods you love, these simple recipes may just become your new favorites.

Paleo Bagels

When I went grain-free, I thought my love affair with bagels had come to an end. But then I came up with this recipe!

grain free baking

Makes six servings
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes

  • Coconut oil
  • 1½ cups blanched-almond flour (not almond meal)
  • ¼ cup golden flax meal
  • 1 tbs. coconut flour, plus more for dusting the pan
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ¼ tsp. celtic sea salt
  • 5 large eggs
  • 2 tbs. apple-cider vinegar
  • 1 tbs. poppy seeds (optional)

Grease a doughnut mold with coconut oil and dust with coconut flour. In a food processor, pulse together almond flour, flax meal, coconut flour, baking soda, and salt. Add eggs and vinegar and pulse until thoroughly combined.

Place the batter in a resealable plastic bag, snip off one corner, and pipe the batter into your prepared pan. Sprinkle bagels with poppy seeds.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 to 25 minutes, until a knife inserted into the thickest part of a bagel comes out clean. Let the bagels cool in the pan for one hour before serving.

For a perfect texture, leave your cooked bagels out at room temperature overnight. Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to three days.

Cinnamon Coffee Cake

My sons and their friends wolf down this gluten-free treat for an after-school snack. We also like it in the mornings as a healthy breakfast option.

grain-free-coffee-cake

Makes eight servings
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 35 minutes plus cooling time

Cake

  • 2½ cups blanched-almond flour (not almond meal), plus more for dusting the pan
  • ¼ tsp. sea salt
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • ½ cup honey
  • 3 large eggs

Topping

  • ¼ cup coconut oil, melted
  • ¼ cup coconut sugar
  • 2 tbs. ground cinnamon
  • ½ cup sliced almonds

Grease a 9-inch, round metal baking dish with coconut oil and dust with almond flour.

In a food processor, combine almond flour, salt, and baking soda. Add coconut oil, honey, and eggs; pulse. Spread the batter into the prepared baking dish.

To make topping, combine coconut oil, coconut sugar, cinnamon, and sliced almonds in a bowl. Sprinkle topping over the cake batter.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 25 to 35 minutes. Allow to cool, then serve.

Chili-Cheese Muffins

These quick muffins and a side of eggs make for a tasty and hearty breakfast.

Chili-Cheese-Muffins

Makes nine muffins
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes plus cooling time

  • 1¼ cups blanched-almond flour (not almond meal)
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tbs. red-pepper flakes
  • 2 cups firmly packed grated cheddar cheese (8 oz.)

In a food processor, combine almond flour, salt, and baking soda. Add eggs and pulse until well combined. Add 1 tablespoon red-pepper flakes and pulse briefly, and then do the same with cheddar cheese.

Scoop a heaping ¼ cup of batter into each of nine paper-lined muffin cups. Garnish muffins with remaining 1 tablespoon red-pepper flakes.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 25 to 30 minutes. Cool one hour, then serve.

Paleo Bagels photography by Leigh Beisch; all other photography by Elana Amsterdam

Download our mobile app for Elana’s Basic Biscuit recipe. Learn more here.

Why No Numbers?
Readers sometimes ask us why we don’t publish nutrition information with our recipes. We believe that (barring specific medical advice to the contrary) if you’re eating primarily whole, healthy foods — an array of sustainably raised vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes, meats, fish, eggs, whole-kernel grains, and healthy fats and oils — you probably don’t need to stress about the numbers. We prefer to focus on food quality and trust our bodies to tell us what we need. — The Editors

 

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WEB EXTRA!

 

 

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Elana Amsterdam is a pioneer in grain-free cooking and baking. She is the New York Times best-selling author of Paleo Cooking from Elana’s Pantry, The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook, and Gluten-Free Cupcakes. In 2006 she founded the popular website ElanasPantry.com.

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