If you’ve been poking around Pigforkr at all, or if you’re into an ancestral or Paleo lifestyle, you’re probably aware that gluten is a toxin. Yes, toxin. No, we shouldn’t eat it (except for the occasional slice of warm sourdough prepared using traditional fermentation methods, and only if it’s slathered in grass-fed butter… more to come on that). Besides, there are a million other foods besides breads and baked goods that not only taste great, they don’t contain anti-nutrients and gut-destroying components.
There is an endless world of information out there about why not to eat grains. I could go on forever about this topic, and I frequently do… just ask my poor family members. I think Chris Kresser summarizes it pretty simply:
Plants like cereal grains are always competing against predators (like us) for survival. Unlike animals, plants can’t run away from us when we decide to eat them. They had to evolve other mechanisms for protecting themselves. These include:
- producing toxins that damage the lining of the gut;
- producing toxins that bind essential minerals, making them unavailable to the body; and,
- producing toxins that inhibit digestion and absorption of other essential nutrients, including protein.
One of these toxic compounds is the protein gluten, which is present in wheat and many of the other most commonly eaten cereal grains. In short, gluten damages the intestine and makes it leaky. And researchers now believe that a leaky gut is one of the major predisposing factors for conditions like obesity, diabetes and autoimmune disease.
What’s a bread and baked-good lover to do? Well, you probably know as well as I do that gluten-free baked goods taste nothing like their gluten-full counterparts. Most gluten-free baking is either eggy and squishy or dry and crumbly. It just doesn’t compare to the real thing.
However, this doesn’t seem to stop me from experimenting. I made muffins the other morning that were pretty damn good as far as muffins go, and they just happened to be gluten-free. I had two very happy little boys who ate nearly the entire batch for breakfast one morning over this past Christmas break. While these won”t be part of our regular breakfast routine, it was nice to give them a treat that was made with ingredients I felt good about. And they were super easy… and only required one bowl… win!
- 72 grams (~1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons) coconut flour
- 88 grams (~1/2 cup) potato starch
- 30 grams cacao or cocoa powder (~1/3 cup)
- 1 tablespoon aluminum-free baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 4 large eggs
- 165 grams (~1 cup) coconut palm sugar
- 120 grams (~1/2 cup + 2 teaspoons) milk (almond or coconut milk will also work)
- 44 grams (~1/4 cup) melted salted butter (coconut oil will also work)
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin tin with parchment liners, or grease with butter or coconut oil.
- In a bowl, whisk coconut flour, potato starch, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt until well blended and no lumps of flour remain. Add eggs, sugar, milk, melted butter and lemon juice and stir to combine. After the ingredients are incorporated into a smooth batter, stir in chocolate chips.
- Pour the batter into the prepared muffin cups, filling about ¾ full.
- Bake for 20-22 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Recipe adapted from Every Last Crumb