I often draw inspiration from recipes in cooking magazines. Most I come across aren’t suited for the way I prefer to eat, which generally is low-carb, low-sugar, cow-dairy-free, and grain-free whenever possible.
I know this might sound like a culinary wet blanket, but I’m in love with good-tasting food as I’ve ever been. It’s just that now I insist that it do something for my body in return. Tasting good is no longer enough. If that means things aren’t quite as dense, gooey, or joltingly sweet, it’s a trade I can live with.
Take these coconut bars, for example. They were inspired by a southern coconut pie recipe I saw in a back issue of Food & Wine. Instantly, I knew this intriguing, crustless southern classic could be transformed into a cleaned up gluten-free, paleo, and dairy-free treasure. This is so moist and delicious, it readily stands on its own. But it wouldn’t be a crime to finish it off with a bag of sugar-free chocolate chips, sprinkled on while still warm in the oven.
Spread the chocolate after it’s melted and you’ve got clean magic squares! Plus, these keep in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
½ cup coconut palm sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
½ cup almond flour or meal
¼ teaspoon xantham gum
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
1 ½ cups almond milk, room temperature
About 1/3 stick unsalted butter (or coconut oil equivalent) for greasing pan
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease two 9-inch pie plates, or two 8×10 brownie pans. In a large mixing bowl, whish melted butter with sugar. Blitz eggs in a Vitamix or blender (so much easier) and add to the bowl, blending thoroughly. Stir in flour, coconut, and almond milk and blend thoroughly. Divide mixture into the two baking vessels and bake on the oven’s bottom rack for an hour. Check in on them after about 40 minutes to ensure they’re not burning (everyone’s oven is a little different). If they appear to be scorching at all, move to the next higher rack and continue baking. When done, remove pans from oven and let cool completely before serving. This isn’t meant to be served warm – it needs to set.
Stacey Morris is a Loudonville-based cookbook author, DDPYOGA instructor, and health coach. Her website is www.staceymorris.com .