Grain-Free Chocolate Chip Cake Bars
Stephanie’s note: In a week, our family will be embarking on yet another “free” diet. You know the kind – free from gluten and grain, free from dairy, free from sugar, free from our usual favorites and convenience and ease.
And I know that so many of you have also turned to diets like this, be they GAPS or SCD or a version of WAPF or paleo or whatever it is, because you’re dealing with gut problems, Candida, auto-immune issues, dental decay, etc. It’s so hard. It’s hard because you feel limited in what you can eat, and doubly hard because you don’t know where to turn to find recipes that actually taste good.
That’s why I’m so excited to introduce to you Megan of Eat Beautiful. She and her family have experienced the same struggles, and had to work hard to find delicious alternatives to eat. She writes about it on her blog, but more recently has launched a fabulous cookbook full of grain free, sugar free recipes with options for almost any restricted diet. You’ll find waffles and pancakes, muffins and loaves, cakes and cookies, and all sorts of other delectable foods to satisfy your sweet tooth without getting in the way of your healing.
So please give her a warm welcome and then go check out her book!
Guest Post by Megan Stevens of Eat Beautiful
My family loves Chocolate Chip Cake Bars for so many reasons. They’re yummy! They satisfy a longing in each of us to eat cake. The bar shape makes them welcoming, easy to grab at a 4th of July picnic or for a quick pick-me-up treat. And, well, chocolate chips are forever friends. Who doesn’t like them?
This recipe is really special, too, because it utilizes a new grain-free baking method that makes grain-free baking not only really easy and fast, but also easier to digest. So while baking with almond butter, almond meal and coconut flour are good options, I think you’ll enjoy this option even more. Why? The technique also yields an awesome texture in baked goods. And that’s why it was developed, because baked goods that use this method are healthier, just as easy and delicious.
I’m excited to share my cookbook with you as well: EAT BEAUTIFUL: Grain-free, Sugar-free and Loving It. The Kindle version is available today or you can wait until July 6 to get the eBook + free bonus videos (or the softcover version). You can purchase the book here to receive these bonus videos: one, of me sharing this new grain-free baking technique, including how it originated, as well as four videos with bonus recipes not included in the cookbook!
Grain-free baked goods that taste like old favorites are better than baked goods that taste “healthy,” right? You’ll feel proud to share this recipe at any potluck or family gathering, even among friends who don’t eat a grain-free diet.
(If you’re new to grain-free, sugar-free baking, it’s a great dietary choice for healing many health conditions, especially for putting autoimmune diseases into remission; and grain-free baking also tends to be a wink easier, as recipes often are assembled in a blender.)
These Chocolate Chip Cake Bars are a perfect place to start. If you love them, you’re sure to love the 100+ additional grain-free, sugar-free recipes that this cookbook offers. With beautiful photographs, enjoy recipes for waffles, pancakes, scones, cakes, pies, cookies, smoothies, savory casseroles, loaf bread and rolls, as well as a whole chapter of fun treats, with quick prep times, to make for kids. (Many recipes are also nut-free, dairy-free, egg-free etc., to help various food intolerances.)
A New Grain-free Baking Technique
So what is this new grain-free baking technique?
Basically, it’s popular to use nuts in grain-free baking. They can be in the form of butter, meal or flour, and sometimes they are sprouted to aid in digestion and the assimilation of nutrients. So where’s the trouble?
- Nut butters, meals and flours are usually rancid. And they are usually not sprouted. So even though we think of them as healthy, they really can be improved upon.
- Sprouted nuts (soaked overnight and then dehydrated and ground into flour) are expensive to buy or time-consuming to create at home.
This new method, while using nuts, solves both of these shortcomings. The method uses nuts soaked in saltwater; but they are neither dehydrated nor ground into flour.
It looks like this: the cook puts raw nuts, salt and water into a bowl in the evening. In the morning she rinses them off in a colander; and they are now ready to use! That’s it. We call this, “soaked and wet.” There is almost no labor, less than 5 minutes. And the nuts are much healthier than store-bought butters or flours.
As I mentioned above, this method also yields a great texture in baked goods. That’s because the batter is moist, and it stays moist after being baked. In EAT BEAUTIFUL: Grain-free, Sugar-free and Loving It I share recipes for every kind of baked good utilizing this technique. Moist muffins are made quickly: just pop the wet nuts in the blender with eggs, butter or coconut oil, honey and a few other ingredients and you have a wonderfully easy, delicious baked goods!
Here’s the chocolate chip cake bar recipe I hope you love. I hope it comes in handy for all those summer events when you want a homemade treat but you don’t want to hang out in the kitchen for hours to get it.
Chocolate Chip Cake Bars
- 2 cups cashews soaked and wet*
- 1/2 cup coconut oil melted and cooled
- 1/3 cup honey or other sweetener of choice
- 2 eggs preferably grass-fed
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 cup coconut flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda sifted
- 2 ounces preferred chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Grease a 9-inch square pan with coconut oil or sustainably sourced lard.
- In a food processor or high-powered blender, combine the first 5 ingredients: cashews, coconut oil, sweetener, eggs and sea salt.
- Puree until smooth, stopping the motor once or twice to scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl.
- In a separate small bowl, sift together the coconut flour and baking soda.
- Sprinkle the sifted mixture and the shaved chocolate over the top of the wet ingredients, and process briefly but thoroughly once more, being careful not to over-mix.
- Pour the batter into the greased pan and bake until the center is puffed, the edges are golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with tiny small crumbs adhering.
- Allow it to cool on a drying rack before slicing into squares and removing with an offset spatula.
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Hi Stephanie, I have a question that is not all snarky, it is a genuine curiosity of something I am trying to understand. Your intro to this post mentioned another “free” diet and mentioned many people needing to do that for various gut reasons, amongst others. So, most of the “whole food” or “natural living” blogs I read seem to suggest that many health problems are due to the abundance of processed food in our diets (amongst other things of course but this seems to be identified as a main culprit). So my questions is, why are so many people who go to great lengths to feed their families whole foods (and sprouted and kefir and fermented foods and succanut, etc)as well as minimize pharmaceuticals and antibiotics, try and use natural herbs and oils, etc., still have many health issues that necessitate all these special diets? Again, let me stress I am not being snarky, sarcastic or critical. I’m genuinely curious. Anyone can weigh in, not just Stephanie! 🙂 Thanks, Laura
I don’t think your question came across as snarky at all, Laura! 🙂 It’s a great question! I think these special diets can be especially helpful in specific situations. Sometimes we go through seasons of not following as closely to our diets as we’d like and “cheat” quite a bit, maybe overdoing it on sugars or processed foods, so it’s helpful to do a “free” diet to sort of cleanse ourselves. Sometimes “free” diets are necessary when someone is truly allergic or sensitive to a certain food (eg. gluten or dairy) regardless of how unprocessed it is and their bodies just aren’t able to handle it, then a free diet may be necessary for a long period of time or even life. And sometimes free diets are great for healing. You can switch to unprocessed, healthier eating, but that won’t necessarily heal the problems you already have, so you may need to eliminate a few more things that are more taxing to digest (like dairy and grains) and add more of others like probiotics and bone broth temporarily to give your body a break so it can heal. I hope that makes sense!
Any way to make these egg free too? Wondering if you could use a chia or flax egg? Any suggestions on where to start experimenting?
Stephanie, can you share which “free” diet you’ll be embarking on & why? I’m prepairing to do GAPS with my family- hoping to heal several of our children’s guts to rid them of ongoing food sensitivities.