Having healthy, nutritious, and delicious baked goods on hand for breakfast on-the-go is a mainstay of my weekly meal routine. I’ve picked up several useful strategies from Bright Line Eaters over the years for getting flavorful, delicious, nutrition-packed baked goods with hearty, well-formed textures.
These decadent yet wholesome breakfast goodies work without flour or sweetener by using whole grains, fresh fruit, ripe bananas, and the healthy fats and oils in nut butter. Because of learning to bake this way, I no longer miss the “treats” I used to eat for breakfast that led to a blood sugar crash. I’ve come to adore these baked breakfast concoctions. I enjoy them so much that even though I have since reintroduced small amounts of healthful flours and sweeteners into my diet, I still return to these recipes often.
Challenges of Sugar & Flour Free Baking
Flour-free and sweetener-free baking can be tricky. Without flour, it’s hard for moisture to absorb and it’s easy for baked goods to come out mushy. Without sweetener, flavors can be underwhelming, especially since the idea of cookies, muffins, and breads trigger flavor memories and expectations of highly palatable and desirable treats.
As for sweeteners, if I’m baking for others who are accustomed to sweeter foods, I might lightly sweeten these recipes with a teaspoon or two of a minimally processed, low glycemic sweetener such as honey, maple syrup, or agave nectar. For the sweetest baked goods made without processed sweeteners, use overly ripe bananas.
On the flour side, high protein flours such as quinoa, chickpea, almond, and oat are flours that my body tolerates well in small amounts. This is also the reasoning behind legume pasta being tolerable for many following a flour free diet.
A Few Tips & Tricks
Toasting & Processing Oats
While it definitely isn’t necessary, toasting rolled oats improves their flavor, and coarsely processing them in a food processor improves absorbency and adds texture to flourless baked goods.
To toast oats, preheat the oven to 325° F. Place oats on a baking sheet in a thin layer and toast until fragrant (about 15-20 min), stirring about halfway through. They won’t look noticeably different. Let cool to room temperature, add to a food processor, and process 10-15 seconds, until some oats are coarsely ground and others are still whole. I do this in large batches and store the oats in the pantry in a lidded container, ready for use.
If it’s important to you not to eat flour, don’t process them too finely, or, just skip this step. I have found that even just breaking up the grains a little bit improves the texture of the baked goods without affecting my body’s response to them. As always, do whatever is the most comfortable for you and honor your susceptibility.
How To Make a Flax Egg
“Flax eggs” are a popular substitute for regular eggs in vegan baking. Both regular eggs and flax eggs work great in these baking recipes and can be swapped out 1-for-1.
To make a flax egg, mix 1 Tbsp of ground flax seed with 3 Tbsp of warm water in a small bowl and let it sit for 5 minutes to thicken. If you have an issue with flax, you can do the same thing with chia seeds to make a “chia egg.”
Baking Powder & Baking Soda
I’ve found that baking powder works best for leavening flourless baked goods. Baking soda is more ideal when acidic ingredients are present such as lemon juice, cocoa powder, vinegar, or sweeteners.