This is what I plan on enjoying Christmas morning as I watch my kids tear open wrapping paper in a mad fury. I can dip these scones in a cup of tea or coffee and read the paper…wait what? I mean I can show my excitement for what Santa brought as I bite into this chocolate orange deliciousness.
These are made with Almond Flour which is very nutritious and full of protein and fiber. It is not a flour that can easily be substituted in other recipes though. This recipe is from elanaspantry.com which is a recipe blog focused on baking with almond flour and other grain free recipes. As someone who loves to bake but has been trying to move away from wheat flours and even gluten-free blends which are not very nutritious, this is the best news! I just bought her cookbook, The Gluten -Free Almond Flour Cookbook and the recipes sound incredible. I was gluten-free for a while and fell off the wagon so to speak, and have been feeling rather crappy. Bloated, tired, foggy. So I have a renewed commitment to myself to cut wheat from my diet…again.
I just started a book called Wheat Belly which was written by a preventative Cardiologist, Dr William Davis, who believes that wheat is the cause of many of our health problems and that it is very different from the wheat of our grandparents time. He writes about how the genetically altered wheat of today actually causes our blood sugar to rise more than a candy bar, is the source of most weight problems, and that eliminating it can reverse many diseases from heart disease to celiac disease to dementia. He is talking about those “healthy whole wheat grains” that we are told to eat many serving of everyday. Yet when thousands of his patients eliminate wheat they feel better, lose weight and many of their health problems are reversed. I am only halfway through the book but I think it is very interesting and recommend it even if you don’t think you have a problem with wheat. I find it fascinating that the way we produce food in this country has such a profound effect on our health and well being yet big GMO companies are not made to prove their products safe before they go to market. That’s a topic for another day though.
Almond Flour to the rescue. This recipe is Max approved (my 5-yr old) and although it has too much Chocolate for Eric, I say, hmmphhh, can there ever be too much chocolate? If you have Celiac Disease or gluten intolerance or are interested in moving away from wheat flours and other grains, almond flour (and coconut flour) are really great alternatives. The one downfall to Almond flour is that it is expensive. It is much cheaper (almost half price) to buy it online than in stores. So far I have only used Bob’s Red Mill finely ground Almond Flour but I just ordered a 5 pound bag of this and am waiting for it to arrive. Just be sure not to buy almond meal which is much coarser and won’t work in many baking recipes. You want finely blanched almond flour.
Almond Flour Orange Dark Chocolate Scones- (makes 8 small scones)
(very slightly altered from elanaspantry.com)
2 Cups Almond Flour
3/4 tsp Baking Soda (1/4 -1/2 tsp if you live at a high altitude)
Zest of 1 orange
1/2 Cup Dark Chocolate Chips
1 Farm Egg
1/4 cup slivered almonds
3 TBSP Agave Nectar
Preheat Oven to 350.
Cover a baking sheet with a silpat or parchment paper.
In a medium bowl combine the Almond Flour, Baking Soda, Orange Zest, and Chocolate Chips.
In a small bowl, mix together the Egg and Agave Nectar. Mix the wet ingredients into the dry.
Knead the dough to make sure it is mixed well and form into a 1/2 inch thick disc.
Sprinkle the slivered almonds evenly on top. With a serrated knife, slice it into 8 pieces.
Move each piece to the baking sheet, leaving 1 inch between scones. Bake for 10-15 minutes. Let cool.