The great benefit and sometimes soul gripping pain of the gluten and dairy free diet often revolves around the dessert dilemma. In most restaurants and cafes, the only options rest in fluffy flour-based and tongue coating dairy rooted sweets. If lucky enough, those with these food allergies might encounter fruit-focused sorbets or a cup of berries (usually not seasonal at all and pretty tasteless). In many ways, for all of the exploration and fusion our modern cuisine has taken on, in desserts we have as a whole remained stagnant and stuck in unhealthy and ‘indulgent’ ingredients that not only contribute to heart disease, diabetes, and cancer but that also add unnecessary calories that don’t enhance our overall health.
My aim in the sweet recipes I offer is to break the myth that in order to be indulgent and ‘sinful’ a dish has to destroy our health. We should be able to feel better than before eating something because it should help us heal or take us to the next level of fortitude and vigorousness. In other words, dessert and sweet snacks can be nourishing, taste ‘sinful,’and make our salivary glands kick into release, without having any negative impacts on our health. Yes, this recipe is sweet, but the sweetness is derived from mostly natural sugars and balanced with a decent amount of protein and limited carbohydrates for a sweet treat without severely negative health impacts.
If one follows the Food Maps diet or has SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth), consider switching out the coconut flour and cream with rice flour and milk (if you can tolerate it, almond milk and flour taste delicious as well). For vegans, I recommend using agave nectar instead of honey. Why not make desserts a place for continual health growth and cut out those weight impacting, health destroying ingredients?
2/3 cup coconut flour
½ cup gluten free oats
½ cup chopped walnuts
2 tablespoons brown sesame seeds
2 tablespoons shredded coconut
¾ cup chocolate chips (semi-sweet, nondairy, organic, if possible)
1 tablespoon peanut or almond butter
2 very ripe bananas*
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons vegan butter
1 tablespoon honey
5 tablespoons coconut cream (what floats to the top of a can of coconut milk)
Sea salt, to taste
*1. For the bananas, I suggest taking over-ripe bananas and placing them in the freezer until you are ready to make the cookies. Before mixing the ingredients together, thaw the bananas and the resulting texture is perfect for baking.
2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
3. Place the wet ingredients in a stainless steel bowl and mix them together. In a separate stainless steel bowl, mix the dry ingredients together. Then add the wet to the dry ingredients and fold them together until the ingredients are evenly distributed.
4. Place parchment paper on a sheet tray or baking pan, and grease the sheet with a thin coat of the vegan butter.
5. Form the cookies and place them on the parchment paper. I suggest making each cookie about 1½-2 tablespoons each, forming the dough into little balls, and then shaping the cookies.
6. Bake the cookies for about 30-35 minutes, turning them halfway through to ensure even cooking.