Chris' Recipes

Bon Appetite!

Coconut Chocolate Chip Bars (Gluten Free)

Written By: Chris - Aug• 06•14

I realize I’ve been posting more desserts than normal.  Yes, I’ve still been cooking, but have been posting more photo’s from the trip to Europe and have had more requests that I’ve been trying to answer.  Our cousin Brenda mentioned Coconut flour so I did a little homework and promised to produce some dishes using it.  I found it quickly at Trader Joes.  The Baker Josef ’s Organic Coconut Flour is not only a healthy option, but it’s also phenomenally flavored with a long list of food applications.

Bill and I have been reducing, but not completely omitting gluten in our diets after reading “Wheat Belly” earlier this year.  Neither of us has any specific insensitivity, but believe it can’t hurt to cut much of it!  The overall rise of gluten insensitivity has led to the innovation of a whole range of substitute flours ground from host of alternative nuts and grains.  What’s become clear is that the benefits of non-wheat flours go far beyond gastrointestinal health.

It is naturally high in protein, high in fiber, and low in carbs.  It is not just easy on your internal organs, but it works well in a wide variety of recipes from savory fried chicken to sweets.  They suggest that you use it for breading fish before you fry or bake it.  Use it to thicken soups, sauces, and gravies, all while adding an attractive hint of coconut aroma and flavor.  There are a few things you should know about coconut flour before you use it as a substitute.  You can expect to use less coconut flour than typical wheat flour and I found this website helpful:  http://weightloss.answers.com/nutrition/5-things-you-should-know-before-using-coconut-flour

I’ve also read that you should store it in the fridge for freshness.  It smells amazing and I decided to prepare some dessert bars for last Sunday’s family dinner.  I was winging it and assembled this recipe with ingredients that I had on hand after reviewing others on line.  They turned out really good considering I baked them on the grill because it was too hot to run the oven!  I think I’ll take a swing at making Macaroons next because it’s been on my list for a while.

photo 2

Ingredients:

1 Can Coconut Milk
1 Cup Coconut Flour
4 Eggs, beaten with whisk
3/4 Cups Sugar
2 Tablespoons Almond Extract
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 Cup Coconut, shredded sweetened
2/3 Cup Chocolate Chips
2/3 Cup White Chocolate Chips
2/3 Cup Pecans, roasted and chopped

IMG_9581 IMG_9583

Combine the beaten eggs with the coconut milk, baking soda, sugar and extract and whisk until smooth.  Add the coconut flour, but don’t over mix.  It becomes thick and absorbs the liquid quickly.

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Reserve about 1/4 Cup each of the chopped nuts, coconut and chips for a topping before gently stirring in the remaining chocolate chips, nuts; as well as the shredded coconut and stir just until combined.

Spray an 8 X 8 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray and spread the batter evenly.  Sprinkle the remaining toppings and bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes until the bars spring back to the touch.

Allow to cool before cutting.  Mine were very “cake like” and fluffy and I prefer the ingredients mixed in.

bars

Above is an image of traditional bars that you could make thinner by using a larger pan and/or simply topping the batter while reducing the baking time.

photo 1

Store in air tight container in the refrigerator.  They are good cold the next day or three!

Enjoy!
Cheers!
~Chris

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