You know how I like to test out my favorite bloggers’ recipes? Well, I’ve been eyeing Kelly’s (The Spunky Cocoonut) flourless brownies for a very long time. The thing is they are made of almond butter and/or sunbutter and I had never purchased or even tried either before—until recently. Now I’m a big fan of both almond butter and sunbutter. So I went ahead and made the sacrifice and tested this recipe for you. You can find Kelly’s original recipe here, but I’ll tell you the few changes that I made. My first time baking these I used all sunbutter because we have a support group member who is allergic to almonds. We weren’t having a support group meeting any time soon, but again I thought I’d go ahead and do a test baking session to see if these brownies were a winner. I know … silly to think they might not be … it’s one of Kelly’s recipes after all. All of her recipes are wonderful!
In addition to using all sunbutter, I substituted vanilla extract for the vanilla crème liquid stevia and added both ¼ cup of coarsely chopped walnuts and 1/8 cup of walnut meal (left over from another recipe). I like the added texture of nuts in many baked goods, but please note that nuts are not an ingredient in Kelly’s recipe so those of you with nut allergies can still enjoy these brownies without nuts. I added a little more honey, and also used Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate chips, whereas Kelly used Enjoy Life chocolate chips to ensure her brownies would be dairy free and soy free, etc. as well as gluten free. Oh, these brownies are just amazing! If you make them, you may never go back to a traditional brownie. They are dense and rich, and not overly sweet. A small piece is all one needs to be perfectly satisfied. (Click here for a printable version of my adapted recipe.)
Kelly’s version is gluten free, grain free, dairy free, soy free, nut free, and refined sugar free. When she made them via Skype for our support group meeting last fall, she said that her family often eats them for breakfast. She considers them very healthy and I can see why. She has several variations of flourless brownies on her blog, including this new one that is also egg free, grain free, vegan, and more. I love it when folks create amazing recipes that address multiple allergies and keep others from feeling deprived! You can read my review of some of Kelly’s other recipes here and check out/order The Spunky Coconut Cookbook here if you like.
In other gfe news, the winners of the latest giveaway for publications by Ron Hoggan, Ed.D, are now revealed on that post on my Out and About page. See the five giveaway winners here.
There’s also a new post up on my Out and About page: a trip report on our holiday vacation in Key West, which includes reviews of accommodations, restaurants, and attractions. It’s a little long (I heard that!), but it has lots of photos and is a quick read. Grab a refreshing drink (you can even make a pina colada to get you in the right frame of mind if you like), put your feet up, and let yourself be taken to the warm, sometimes crazy, and relaxing times that equal Key West. Check it all out here.
What else is happening?
Carol (Simply … Gluten-Free) has an ongoing series called Answers from a Gluten Doc. Dr. Vikki Petersen is answering questions from Carol’s readers. Dr. Petersen is the co-author (with her husband) of The Gluten Effect. She is also co-founder and co-director of the renowned clinic, HeathNow Medical. Dr. Petersen also blogs about gluten intolerance at The Gluten Doctors. In the latest post of the series, Dr. Petersen addresses testing for gluten issues. In the first part of the series, she talked about common symptoms of gluten issues. I, for one, really appreciate this series fromm Carol and Dr. Petersen. I hope you’ll take a moment to check it out, and perhaps even offer your own question for Dr. Petersen to answer later.
Linda, our Gluten-Free Homemaker, has renamed her weekly blog carnival to Gluten-Free Wednesdays. She welcomes all who have gluten-free recipes or other helpful posts related to the gluten-free lifestyle each and every week. Don’t forget that for the first Wednesday of the month she asks you to submit a recipe to answer her current challenge. On April 7, she’ll be looking forward to your muffin recipes for her Create A Muffin challenge. Check out today’s roundup and add a link to your own gluten-free post if you’d like.
Just a reminder that Go Ahead Honey It’s Gluten Free! is being hosted by Amy (Simply Sugar & Gluten-Free) this month. She selected Guiltless Pleasures as her theme. Guilt is always such a colossal waste of time anyway (feeling bad in any form just attracts more bad), so I love this idea! The only entry I’ve seen so far while visiting gluten-free blogs is Aubree’s (Living Free) Carrot Bread Bites. Those look so good! Read the rules for Amy’s roundup here. Of course, Amy hosts Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays each week as well—the collection of recipes that are just a bit healthier.
Also, if you haven’t heard, Amy is participating in the Spring Cleaning! Get the Junk Out! Carnival that will start next week and continue through May. The overall hostess is Katie from Kitchen Stewardship. Each week, a different blogger will focus on how to remove harmful items and ingredients (e.g., parabens, plastics) from our lives. I love this idea! There’s nothing like a blog event to get one in motion. Be sure to look for Amy’s post on March 30 on removing gluten from your life. I remember my own experience very well and as a support group leader, I often help folks in this area, so I can’t wait to participate in Amy’s roundup. Even though Amy is in culinary school (and acing her classes … go, Amy!), she continues to make time to be a leader in the gluten-free and sugar-free arena. Thank you, Amy!
Karen (Cook4Seasons) just did an informative post about Truth in Labeling. Labeling can be a “dirty” word to gluten-free folks. I’m still annoyed that the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA) (which went into effect on January 2006) only requires that the eight major allergens be shown on food labels. Wheat is included in that requirement, but NOT barley or rye. Karen looks at other labeling issues though, like farm raised and vegan, so be sure to check out her post here. Karen’s blog is great, so do take a few minutes to take a look around if you are not already familiar with it. She has some of the simplest, most beautiful recipes, and almost all are naturally gluten free.
Finally, you can look forward to another Gluten-Free Progressive Easter Dinner Party next week. I’ll be sharing an appetizer on Monday, a side dish on Thursday, and a dessert on Friday. Diane, our always enthusiastic and inspiring leader, will post a complete lineup soon. (Current and previous information can always be found on her Events page.) By the way, did you catch her gluten-free, dairy-free whipped cream in our Oscar GFPDP? You didn’t? Better go check it out here. There’s no telling what wonderful recipes that she and the others (including moi) will have for you all next week. For example, my dessert recipe will have a surprise ingredient. I love those kinds of surprises, but don’t send me one of those emails with something jumping out and screaming at me, okay? (No … not even if it’s Halloween.)
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