Updated: Jan 14, 2020
Finding options for gluten free and lower carbohydrate baked goods that actually taste good (and who's a better judge than a picky kid?) is challenging to say the least. The few recipes that my kids and I enjoy and indulge in time to time almost always involve almond flour as the base which makes for a very dense product. Although I have no beef with almonds, I think it's time we take a second look at them and realize our good intentions of following paleo, keto, gluten free, whole foods based - or whatever you want to call your way of eating, can get us stuck in a one ingredient rut. Replacing dairy with nut milks, wheat flour for nut flours, and snacking on...nuts again may not be in alignment with our health goals after all. It's important to embrace variety within our diets and always be intentional about mixing things up particularly when there are many substitutes for other foods, ie almond milk, almond flour, almond butter, etc. Plants have defense mechanisms just like humans but in the from of something called anti-nutrients. These substances can interfere with nutrient absorption and overtime be problematic to the integrity of the gut microbiome. Let's switch up our baking arsenal and experiment with a flour made from a tuber this time around: tigernut flour.
Tiger nuts, also known as chufa, are actually not nuts at all, but rather edible tubers that won't disappoint on taste or nutrition. Tiger nuts contain a wide variety of nutrients and plant compounds, they're a good source of fiber, Vitamin E, iron, phosphorous, Vitamin C, Magnesium, Potassium, and Zinc. They're also a bountiful source of free radical fighting antioxidants that protect your body against inflammation and disease. The resistant starch in tiger nuts helps to promote better digestion and a healthy microbiome. They also taste amazing so what's not to like here?!
I hope you're sold on giving this flour a try in your next recipe. It replaces wheat flour in a similar ratio but is naturally sweeter so you may need to use less added sugar in your recipe. Here's a tested and approved recipe my whole family enjoyed:
1 1/2 c Tigernut flour
1/3 cup allulose (or other sweetener, this is a powder form of a non-nutritive sweetener that subs 1:1 with sugar)
3 1/2 tbsp avocado oil
1 egg + 1 egg white
2 tsps vanilla extract
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
Dark chocolate chips to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Combine the egg and egg white, oil, vanilla, and allulose in a mixing bowl. Mix well. Add the remaining dry ingredients (aside from chocolate) and combine until smooth. Add a small handful of chocolate chips.
Roll into small balls and place in the center of the oven for 10-12 minutes.