Recently I embarked on a strict dietary protocol that saw me eliminating all sugar and starch from my diet. Whilst for more than a decade I have by choice, adopted a relativelylow carbohydrate diet – I do occasionally enjoy the odd piece of buttered fruit toast, rice with a curry and my life wouldn’t be complete without chocolate!  Thus I knew that in order to comply with this protocol, I would need substitutes for my vices.

Thank goodness for the internet! Within seconds my search into grain free, sugar free baked goods unveiled a plethora of recipes, most using almond meal and coconut flour as substitutes for ordinary, grain-based flours.  I set about baking breads, cakes, cookies and buns – all void of grain flours and sugar and most happily accepted by my children!  These flours are incredibly nutrient dense and certainly add a beautiful flavour and texture to your baked goods however if you’re planning on using them regularly, they can prove quite costly (at $10-$20 per kilo)  Then there is also the prominent issue of nut allergies.  With this in mind I wanted to trial a grain-free, nutrient dense, affordable substitute for almond meal and came up with sunflower meal!

Sunflower seeds are naturally rich in protein, fibre, unsaturated fat, Magnesium, Selenium, vitamin E, many B vitamins and what’s more they are half the price of almonds:)  The meal is not available for purchase in stores but they can be ground down into a fine meal quickly and easily using a food processor or vitamizer etc.

I look forward to exploring more in the way of grain and sugar free cooking and will discuss this topic in further detail in the new year.  Let me know what your views are on this approach? 🙂 J

Below: my variation of Elana Amsterdam’s Chocolate Zucchini Bread and Chocolate Chip Cookies – both using sunflower meal, grain free and sugar free – YUM