For this healthy and yummy easy-to-make hazelnut, cacao nib and coffee bean biscotti (with dried pomegranate seeds), I used mainly organic whole spelt flour (which is wheat-free but still has a little gluten in it) and then added some white rice flour and a little tapioca flour to the mix*. If you’re really sensitive to gluten, you could just as easily substitute the spelt flour with rye flour, sorghum flour or a gluten-free all purpose flour and adapt the recipe slightly to make it completely gluten-free. I also replaced butter with coconut oil and whole dairy milk with delicious vanilla-flavoured rice milk. So in addition to being wheat-free, this is also a dairy-free recipe. You could further adapt this recipe to make it sugar-free too. Since I’m very new to stevia and agave syrup (and still experimenting with it in baking right now), I didn’t go sugar-free all this way just yet, but for those of you who are already happily living the sugar-free lifestyle, I’m quite sure that you’d be able to tweak this recipe to suit your needs.
To make the biscotti even healthier (and yummier), I added organic chia seeds (read up about their many benefits here), organic cacao nibs (read up about their many benefits here), flaxseed powder (read up about their nutritional benefits here) and organic sun-dried pomegranate seeds (also known as anardana, they are rich in fiber, antioxidants and vitamins C, K and 6). For some kick and additional flavour, I chucked in some fine and coarsely-ground organic colombian coffee beans.
What you need to make my wheat-free & dairy-free, hazelnut, cacao nib & coffee bean biscotti:
- 1 cup organic spelt flour
- 1/4 cup white rice flour
- 1/4 cup ground almonds
- 1/4 cup tapioca flour
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1.5 tablespoons organic flaxseed powder
- 1.5 tablespoons organic, raw chia seeds
- 1.5 tablespoons freshly ground organic coffee beans (I used finely ground coffee and some coarsely chopped beans for additional texture).
- generous 1/4 cup castor sugar ( or use whichever sugar replacement you want)
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- generous 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (I used one with no added colourants)
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- 2 tablespoons raw, organic cacao nibs
- 2 tablespoons sun-dried pomegranate seeds
- 1/4 cup coarsely chopped raw hazelnuts (I also added a little extra chopped almonds)
- 1/4 cup vanilla-flavoured rice milk (or any other milk substitute)
To make wheat-free & dairy-free, hazelnut, cacao nib and coffee bean biscotti:
- Sift all your flours, salt, baking powder and xanthan gum into a bowl. Add the ground almonds, chia seeds and flax seed powder then stir until combined. Set aside.
- In a another bowl beat your coconut oil and your sugar on medium speed for 1 minute.
- Add your eggs, olive oil, vanilla & almond extracts and rice milk to the coconut-sugar mixture and beat on medium speed until just combined.
- Make a well in the centre of your flour mix and pour in the beaten liquid mixture.
- Fold in gently until just incorporated and then add your ground coffee beans, dried pomegranate seeds, cacao nibs and chopped hazelnuts. Mix in gently.
- On a lined baking sheet, form the dough into a log about 30cm long and flatten the top slightly.
*I’ve been researching healthy baked-good recipes on and off for about 2 months now. I’ve really been wanting to bake sweet treats that satisfy my sweet tooth but still offer reasonable amounts of nutritional value and health benefits. I’ve also been looking into all types of wheat and gluten-free flour alternatives too. Unfortunately it is pretty pricey to eat and bake like this often as you need to combine various types of expensive gluten-free flours and starches to achieve successful baking results – you simply cannot just use tapioca and rice flour in biscuits and cakes and expect a successful outcome. (As I’ve recently discovered). So, whenever possible, I do try to cook with these healthier alternatives and try to apply the learnings from my little oopsie-whoopsie’s along the way.