Read about her delicious results in creating a mouth watering biscotti (that even her Italian father could not resist!) that is not only gluten free, dairy free and egg free - but also totally free of refined sugar and partly sweetened with green stevia. Buon divertimento! (Enjoy!)
As a holistic nutritionist and full blooded Italian, I often eat nutrient dense foods but I also make sure to fit some treats in here and there to satisfy my sweet tooth! I’m a firm believer in limiting, not eliminating food groups unless you have a sensitivity.
In the past I have been on restricted diets that did not allow any sugar or sweets and I was miserable. I had huge cravings and developed an unhealthy relationship with food. Now eating nourishing goodies in moderation keeps me both happy and healthy.,
Biscotti means cookies in Italian, but literally translates to twice cooked (“bis” means twice and “cotto” means cooked).
I truly feel in love with Italy and biscotti two summers ago when I stayed in Sicily for 3 months...
I would drink my espresso and eat my biscotti at the bar counter with other customers - as it’s part of Italian culture to connect with others while you savour your coffee. People would laugh, yell and smile at each other in a typical loud Italian style.
I now find myself incorporating one of my favourite Italian cultural traditions, colazione (breakfast),
into my life here in Vancouver.
My favourite biscotti recipe is (no joke!) from a Canadian Living magazine circa’ 92, but definitely has the approval of my Italian famiglia’s (family's) taste buds.
This week I went all out and attempted to bake a vegan (yes it's dairy free!), gluten free AND refined sugar free biscotti that still had the mouth-watering delicious taste that reminds me of the ones I enjoyed almost every morning in Sicily.
I made three batches of biscotti, one sweetened with just coconut sugar, one with just maple syrup and the third one with maple syrup and green stevia (in order to create a version that uses less glucose-based sweetener).
The maple syrup version had a lovely taste, held together well and had a fantastic crunch.
The coconut sugar version is still very delicious with a “roasted nut” flavour and a great option for people on a lower glycemic diet. However, they were a bit too brittle to stand up to true Italiano standards for texture, though still totally delicious and worth a try!
The green stevia and maple syrup version was also a huge success (much to the surprise of my family).
I actually left a plate of the green stevia sweetened biscotti on the kitchen counter, and two days later they were polished off by my Italian dad! When I asked my dad what he thought, he proclaimed they were excellent! (He had no idea they were green stevia sweetened) When I told him they were sweetened with green stevia and maple syrup and he was very surprised!
And lastly, because biscotti tastes best dipped in cioccolato (chocolate), I used GLOW's Salted Hazelnut Truffle GLOW Spot Raw Chocolate as a final touch.
All you need is a mixing bowl, spatula, oven, and some Italian music (think “O Solo Mio” by Pavarotti) and you are all set!
Are you ready!?
Sugar, Gluten & Dairy FREE Traditional Italian Almond Biscotti
(Dipped in our Salted Hazelnut Truffle GLOW Spot Cioccolato)
Gli Ingredienti (Ingredients)
- 1 ¾ cups of gluten-free flour*
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ¾ cup whole unblanched almonds
- 1 flax egg (1 tbsp. ground flax seeds mixed with 3 tbsp. warm water, let rest for 30 min)
- ¼ cup of grade 3 maple syrup**
- 1/8-1/4 tsp of green stevia***
- ¼ cup melted coconut oil
- 2 tsp vanilla
- ½ tsp almond extract
- 1 tsp of organic orange zest
- 4 Salted Hazelnut Truffle GLOW Spot Raw Chocolate hearts melted for dipping****
* I used a mix suggested by The Gluten Free Goddess Blog that uses a ratio of 1 cup sorghum, 1 cup potato starch, 1/3 cup almond meal and 1 tsp xantham gum. The blog has a few other options for a gluten free flour mix plus TONS of useful information about gluten free baking - so be sure to check it out!
** If you want to try out a lower glycemic coconut sugar version, use ¾ cup of coconut sugar instead of maple syrup and green stevia.
*** Green stevia is zero calorie sweetener and is great for those who need to avoid glucose based sugar, if you don’t have green stevia you can use an additional ¼ cup of maple syrup.
**** You could also use Salted Caramel Almond GLOW Spot Raw Chocolate hearts
Le Instruzioni (Instructions)
2. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder and almonds.
3. In a separate bowl whisk together oil, extracts, orange zest, maple syrup and flax egg, stir into flour mixture. Transfer dough to lightly floured work surface once a soft, sticky dough forms.
4. Divide dough into two balls, and roll each into a log. Transfer to ungreased baking sheet and = pat the dough down to make a more rectangular shape.
5. Bake in oven for 25 minutes.
6. Remove from oven and let cool for about 5 minutes, transfer logs to a cutting board and use a sharp knife to cut diagonal pieces.
7. Turn to 350 degree Fahrenheit. Place cookies upright for the second baking, spaced apart for 20 or until golden. I flipped mine half way through for even colour and crispiness.
8. Once cookies have cooled, melt GLOW Spot Raw Chocolates in a double boiler; transfer the chocolate sauce into a tall glass. Take one biscotti and dip it into the glass, rotating the glass/cookie to get even coverage. Place on parchment paper and let cool until chocolate dries. (I popped mine into the fridge to quicken the process)
I hope you enjoy this egg free, dairy free, gluten free and refined sugar free biscotti!
Stefanie Di Giovanni