Gluten-free… trying to stay away from loads of sugar… what could be a better choice for your Christmas morning!! I love that this recipe that I originally found from the Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen uses coconut sugar. Coconut sugar isn’t from the coconut itself. It’s drawn from the sap of the coconut palm tree buds. It’s similar in taste and color to brown sugar with an almost-caramel flavor. So it doesn’t have or impart a coconut flavor to baked goods, where you can just swap it for granulated sugar in recipes or anything else you’d use sugar for.
Coconut sugar is loaded with minerals, such as potassium, magnesium, zinc, iron, and B vitamins, which is why you may hear some sugar connoisseurs calling it a “whole food sugar.” Also if you are environmentally looking for something that works, coconut palms (Coco Nucifera) can grow anywhere (even sand), use very little water, and are almost twice as productive as sugarcane, according to Big Tree Farms, a popular organic brand. Unlike agave, which is 90 percent fructose, this up-and-coming sweetener—also called coconut palm sugar—contains less than 9 percent of that potentially triglyceride-forming substance.
Another reason for filling your sugar bowl with coconut sugar? It’s also got a considerably lower glycemic index (35) than agave (42), honey (55), and cane sugar (68).
Now you move onto the fact that this uses buckwheat. Did you know that buckwheat is a fruit seed and not actually a grain?
- Did you know that buckwheat is a fruit seed and not actually a grain?
- Buckwheat also contains almost 86 milligrams of magnesium in a one-cup serving. Magnesium relaxes blood vessels, improving blood flow and nutrient delivery while lowering blood pressure; the perfect combination for a healthy cardiovascular system.
- The nutrients in buckwheat may contribute to blood sugar control. In a test that compared the effect on blood sugar of whole buckwheat groats to bread made from refined wheat flour, buckwheat groats significantly lowered blood glucose and insulin responses. Whole buckwheats also scored highest on their ability to satisfy hunger.
- One type of phytonutrient especially abundant in whole grains such as buckwheat are plant lignans, which are converted by friendly flora in our intestines into mammalian lignans, including one called enterolactone that is thought to protect against breast and other hormone-dependent cancers as well as heart disease.
- And it’s gluten-free!!
3 + cups buckwheat flour
1 cup tapioca flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup cooked, mashed sweet potato
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/3 cup Grade B maple syrup
1/3 cup melted virgin coconut oil or grapeseed oil
1 tablespoon corn-free vanilla
1/4 to 1/2 cup softened coconut oil (or soy-free vegan or pastured butter)
1/4 to 1/2 cup coconut sugar or another vegan sugar
2 drops cinnamon essential oil
3/4 cup cooked, mashed sweet potatoes (still warm)
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons coconut oil (or butter)
2 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
2 tablespoons arrowroot powder
2 teaspoons corn-free vanilla
1/8 teaspoon Himalayan sea salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Oil two 8 or 9-inch cake pans. Whisk together the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
- Place all of the wet ingredients into a Vita-mix or your blender and blend until very smooth and creamy.
- Pour the wet into the dry ingredients and whisk together. Once it becomes too thick to whisk, use a wooden spoon. Add more flour until the dough forms a ball but is still a little sticky.
- Generously flour a work surface using buckwheat flour or tapioca flour. Turn the dough out onto the floured surface. Sprinkle the top of the dough with flour if it is too sticky. The trick here is to add just enough flour to be able to roll out the dough but not too much otherwise the cinnamon rolls become too dense.
- Roll out dough using a floured rolling pin into a large rectangle. Spread with softened coconut oil. Don’t use melted coconut oil or another oil. This will cause oil to leak out of the dough from all sides which will make it impossible to roll and hold shape.
- Mix sugar and cinnamon oil, then sprinkle with sugar mix or your filling of choice.
- Begin to roll from the long end down towards you. If your dough is sticking then try coaxing it with a large, thin spatula coated with flour. Once the dough has been rolled out, slice it with a serrated knife, and place the rolls into your oiled pans. Bake for about 30 to 35 minutes.
- To make the frosting, place all ingredients into the blender and blend until super smooth and creamy. Keep scraping the sides down and turn the blender on again to get this smooth consistency. Pour over the rolls as they come out of the oven.
So… it turned out that I didn’t have enough applesauce or sweet potatoes for the frosting, so I made an alternative.
Date Butter Frosting!!
This frosting stays soft and spreadable and makes about 1 1/2 cups
1 cup fortified rice milk
1/2 cup chopped pitted dates or date pieces
1 tablespoon tapioca starch or all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon corn-free vanilla
1/2 teaspoon natural coconut extract* (didn’t have any so I used coconut milk)
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup Earth Balance Soy-free butter
- Combine milk, dates, and tapioca starch in your Vitamix and process until smooth, 2 to 3 minutes on high speed.
- Transfer to a saucepan and heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and bubbles (it will have the consistency of pudding).
- Remove from heat and stir in vanilla, coconut extract, and salt.
- When cool, mix in butter
* Frontier Naturals is a line of natural flavorings that is sold in natural food stores.
Recipe from Healthy Eating for Life for Women by Kris Kieswer.
I hope you enjoy these as much as my family did!!