The discovery of benefits of grain free eating was nothing short of serendipity for me. It all started as I’ve said before with the decision to go on the dukan diet early in November 2012, dukan is a tough road but i think i chugged along quite well and in the process discovered the benefits of not eating what I had eaten practically for my entire life so far.
There are numerous studies, personal blogs, even experiments that talk about various nutrition subjects-honestly as my friend Anja said, it would be virtually impossible to eat anything if you followed and trusted each one of them. But the effects of grain on health are such that I personally could not ignore pressing the delete button on them. In a nutshell, grains store phosphorous in the form of phytic acid in the bran part of the seed, the enzyme phytase, that is required to digest the grain is absent in humans and so the phosphorous or the nutrients as touted in whole grains, are actually biologically unavailable to humans (well unless part of your gene pool comes from a family of ruminants such as cows and camels), further the phytic acid molecules have unstable hydrogen linkages, that once inside human body latch on to other vital minerals (even those from other food sources) preventing them from being absorbed in our bodies. A wholegrain laden diet therefore is full of anti nutrients that lead to deficiencies and also general ill health and systemic inflammation. Refined Grains on the other are quickly broken down to sugar leading to insulin spikes and sugar/insulin overload of our system…wholegrain or refined – which one is lesser of an evil- is a topic that I am still trying to understand much better but one thing is clear to me- grains eaten in excess for kids spell shorter statures and not realizing their full physical development potential and for adults who can not utilize the sugar overload, it’s bloating, fullness, general malaise and faster ageing.
So the result of this, has been that as a mother and as a wife, I want to extend the grain free eating habit to my entire family. There comes the tough part, it is far tougher to eat low grain/grain free diet with kids than going on a pilgrimage in India. The onus is on me to come up with a menu that’s palatable, visually appealing and healthfully satisfactory.
I have a day job so time is always of essence, I have limited time to plan, shop for groceries, create recipes and wait for the ‘aha’ moment from especially my 7 year old elder son who is a chocolate loving, vegetable averse, sugar craving sweetheart.
Today is a friday, weekend here in the middle east so we experimented with couple of rounds of grain free baking, and this one recipe which I created finally got me my ‘aha moment’. I also replaced the white sugars with honey and organic jaggery or गुड़ that I buy from a local specialty Indian store here called ‘Al Adil Supermarket’, their jaggery is delicious and extremely soft and crumbly.
130g coconut powder
20g unsweetened cocoa powder
1 level teaspoon Bi carbonate of soda
50g coconut oil
120g organic jaggery
1 free range beaten egg
3 tablespoons honey
60g dark chocolate chips
freshly grated coconut to garnish
Preheat the oven to 200 deg and place the baking sheet on the oven tray.
Meanwhile, sieve together the coconut powder, cocoa powder and the bi carb of soda and set aside.
Cream the butter, coconut oil and jaggery using a handheld blender so that the jaggery crumbles and mixes well.
Add the honey. Scrape down the walls of the bowl and slowly add in the whisked egg as you continue using the hand whisk. The mixture gets a beautiful caramel color.
Now fold in dry ingredients with the wet using a large metal spoon, keeping air in the mix. Mix just enough to get an even batter.
Now stir in the chocolate chips.
Spoon 4 cm high 1 tablespoon dollops on the baking sheet, keeping at least 3 inches of distance between them as the cookies tend to expand while baking.
You would bake for a maximum of 5-6 minutes keeping a watch as the base of the cookies can burn really fast, take out as soon as you see the base turning a darker brown and leave to cool on a wire mesh. Garnish with freshly grated coconut while the cookies are hot. The cookies will harden as they cool down.
Let me know if you too get an ‘aha moment’!