At the end of September, Kim at The Food Allergy Coach started a series of posts about author Nicolette Dumke. Nicolette writes cookbooks and survival guides for those with food allergies, which grabbed my attention especially because she addressed sugar sensitivity. Of course I wanted to get my hands on her latest book, I Love Dessert.
Before her book actually arrived, I made her Traditional Apple Cobbler with Amaranth Topping that Kim shared at Slightly Indulgent Mondays. If you’ve never had amaranth, it has a distinctly delicious earthy flavor. This was the first time I’d ever eaten amaranth. I took a bite, wasn’t sure if I liked it, took another bite, and thought, hmm…this is good. It’s different, but it’s good. And I felt good after I ate it. I was, however, confused as to why she chose this particular flour given that it’s flavor takes some getting used to.
After spending some time with Nicolette’s book, I could clearly see that her intention was to create not just one version of a recipe, but multiple versions so that regardless of your food allergy, you could find a recipe that works for you. She has not just one cobbler topping but ten – so if you can’t eat buckwheat you have 9 other options for a delicious cobbler topping. Genius.
Options abound in this book – including sweeteners. She uses variety of healthier products, including agave, juice concentrates, steiva, date sugar, and fruit sweet. She gives tips for eating well while maintaining a healthy weight, too, and discusses which sweeteners are best suited for certain goals or health conditions, such as diabetes.
Not every recipe is gluten-free, as this book addresses the entire range of food sensitivities. I think it’s what I love most about this book – if you have food sensitivities of any sort there is something in here that will work for you.
More than anything, though, what struck me is how deeply Nicolette cares about helping others find the right foods for them and helping them to live a full life, including fabulous food that is nourishing and delicious.
I’ve made her carrot cookies, which I find myself thinking about from time to time. But today I wanted to share with you her Amaranth Carob Brownies because I love them. I’ve always been a big fan of carob, so I was happy to see carob powder used here. Joe even came back for seconds and thirds. These don’t taste like your traditional brownie – but they are oh-so-good.
Also, she uses a loaf pan to bake these in so you can make a smaller amount at a time – which works for me because there’s only two of us. I left them out for a couple of days and the leftovers went in the freezer, which after 20 seconds in the microwave taste like they’re fresh out of the oven.
Amaranth Carob Brownies
makes 8 – 10 brownies
reprinted with permission from I Love Dessert by Nicolette Dumke
1 cup amaranth flour
1/4 cup arrowroot
1/3 cup carob powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup apple juice concentrate, thawed
1/4 cup oil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Oil and flour a 9 inch by 5 inch metal loaf pan. If your carob powder contains lumps, press it through a strainer with the back of a spoon to remove the lumps before measuring it. Combine the amaranth flour, arrowroot, carob powder and baking soda in a bowl. In another bowl or measuring cup, stir together the apple juice concentrate and oil. Before the liquid ingredients can separate, stir them into the dry ingredients until just mixed. Immediately put the batter into the prepared pan and pop it into the oven. Bake for 22 to 28 minutes. They they are close to doine, insert a toothpick into the center of the pan. It should come out with a few moist crumbs on it. Do not over bake. The batter will puff up during baking and then collapse after you remove the brownies from the oven which gives them a moist, chewy texture. Makes 8 to 10 brownies.