gluten free real food

It’s the last of this year’s pumpkin recipes, so of course I’m finishing with something sweet.

Store-bought cookies or pre-made mixes that you bake yourself are full of less-than-wholesome ingredients. In fact, I could go as far to say less-than-real ingredients. And I’m not just talking about the obvious artificial flavours and colours.

Enriched wheat flour is the most commonly used flour in baked goods. Doesn’t “enriched” sound so beneficial, healthy, and fancy? It’s not.

White flour has its nutrients stripped away. In today’s surge of natural wellness, this seems pretty preposterous but it was a breakthrough in food science in the 1800s. At this time, most of the population was eating a serious amount of bread. But whole grains are difficult to digest and with this amount of whole grain intake, you can imagine the digestive distress. So white flour was invented and for a time, only the rich could afford such a luxury.

We know whole wheat flour has a brownish colour to it but we wrongfully assume that when the bran and the germ are removed to make white flour that the flour is, well, white. It is actually more of a yellowish colour and this off-white flour is bleached (yes, full on bleached). Scoff, I don’t know about you but I could never imagine eating bread made with off-white flour. Ghastly. Bleach it for heaven’s sake! 

Finally, some nutrients are added back in (that’s the enriched part). The problem is that not all of the nutrients that were originally present are added back in. And the ones that are added back in are neither added back in the amount that was originally present, nor are they added back in their natural form. Obviously man knows more than nature (not) and synthetic forms of these nutrients, namely B vitamins, are added in. Yeah… thanks for saving us with that enrichment.

Ok, my blood may have boiled just a little on this topic but you read that right, lovely. Enriched flour has less nutrition not more. That does not make sense. More importantly, it is sneaky and deceptive. 

It is important, when you are on a journey to eat more real food, to read the ingredient list and look for “whole grain.” The following are a variety of enriched flours to watch out for: bread flour, wheat flour, enriched wheat flour, white flour, bleached flour, and all-purpose flour.

So, even though this flour started from a real food, plant-based whole grain, do you really feel confident in saying that enriched wheat flour is a real food?

I made things super simple with this cookie recipe and took out the flour completely! 

The rolled oats offer up natural, whole grain nutrition from important minerals such as manganese, molybdenum and phosporous, B vitamins, fiber and some protein.

Hemp hearts are added in to boost the nutrition further, offering up protein, magnesium, iron and some fiber. Hemp is so nutritious, you can really sneak it into anything to receive its health benefits.

Leave a comment below and let me know what has been your favourite pumpkin recipe this year.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chunk Cookies
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  1. 1 cup pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
  2. 1/2 cup applesauce, unsweetened
  3. 1 banana
  4. 2 tbsp coconut oil
  5. 2 tbsp coconut butter
  6. 2 tbsp vanilla
  7. 2 tbsp ground chia
  8. 1 egg
  9. 2 cups rolled oats
  10. 1 cup shredded coconut, unsweetened
  11. 1/4 cup hemp hearts
  12. 1/2 tsp Himalayan salt
  13. 3 tsp cinnamon
  14. 2 tsp ginger
  15. 1 tsp nutmeg
  16. 3 cups chocolate chunks
  1. Preheat oven to 340F
  2. Mix the pumpkin, applesauce, banana, coconut oil, coconut butter, vanilla and egg
  3. Once these ingredients are mixed well, add in the chia, rolled oats, coconut, hemp hearts, salt, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg until evenly combined
  4. Gently fold in the chocolate chunks
  5. Drop a tablespoonful of batter onto a parchment lined sheet pan
  6. When the pan is full, use your palm to flatten the cookies
  7. Use your fingers to smooth the edges
  8. Bake for 20 minutes
  1. Oats do not contain gluten themselves but are usually processed with other glutenous grains. Choose gluten free oats if you are Celiac or have a serious gluten intolerance and want them free of traces of gluten.
  2. Enjoy Life makes an allergen-free chocolate chunk. You can substitute with chocolate chips. Enjoy Life and Camino are the best options. Lily's makes a great stevia sweetened sugar-free option.
Jessica Stopard