Adopt a Gluten-Free Blogger: Shirley of Gluten-Free Easily

by Valerie on August 6, 2011 · 4 comments

dark chocolate walnut bliss bars 008

Back in April, Shirley of Gluten-Free Easily posted this amazing looking recipe for Dark Chocolate Walnut Bliss Bars, which I resolved to make just as soon as I had walnuts on hand.  Then I figured I should make them for Adopt a Gluten-Free Blogger because a recipe like that – well it looks too good not to share virtually with others – in fact, that is one of the things I love about this monthly event created by and hosted this month by Sea of Book of Yum.  It is designed to tell each other about wonderful gluten-free bloggers and their recipes. 

Those Dark Chocolate Walnut Bliss Bars are *amazing* – I made a couple of substitutions based on what I had on hand. I was initially going to substitute buckwheat flour and arrowroot starch for the gluten-free flour blend, but I was tired when I made the recipe and used a full 3/4 cup of the buckwheat flour.  I figured it would still work since this was about making a crust to douse in chocolate walnut goodness, so it did not have to be too cakey/light.  I also used ground flax seeds and water instead of the egg.  For the top layer, I replaced the unsweetned chocolate with 4 heaping tablespoons of raw cacao and it worked out perfectly.  The bars are dense, chocolately, walnutty and very satisfying.  I am sure they would be lovely with several different gluten-free flour blends for the crust.  Really, the crust is just about being a vehicle to the chocolate on top.  I love that they are made with coconut palm sugar as opposed to a refined sugar, and I think the flavor of the palm sugar really adds to the recipe.

adoption lunchboxes 003adoption lunchboxes 004

I mentioned yesterday that my pumpkin obsession endured right through this heat wave.  One of the reasons: Shirley’s Pumpkin Pie Smoothie with Honey Whipped Cream.  I swapped the honey for agave and had that smoothie for dinner several nights in July.  Finally, it occurred to me this week it was time to make it for a lunchbox (see here) and actually take a picture of it for this event.  While I forgot to take a picture of it uncovered with the whipped cream, I can guarantee this is full of deliciousness.  I love the unexpected addition of hemp seeds and almond flour – the nuttiness works perfectly with the pumpkin.  I had made the Honey Whipped Cream before with agave, and it is the best whipped cream substitute out there – even my husband (who still eats dairy) enjoys it.    

Shirley’s recipe index has something for everyone – I can’t wait to make this veggie chili when the weather cools down.  She also provides so many grain-free options and emphasizes naturally gluten-free foods, which is all part of the gluten-free easily mission of Shirley’s blog.  That is something I really attach to – especially this quote from GFE’s About Page:

Almost everyone says eating gluten free is hard, the diet is costly, gluten free food tastes terrible, and so forth. The truth is that most REAL food IS naturally gluten free … meat, seafood, fruit, and vegetables … and most dairy is gluten free. Naturally gluten free foods are ones that you’ve been enjoying all your life without realizing they were gluten free. However, the “Western” or Standard American Diet (SAD) has become almost entirely processed foods. Many processed foods contain gluten. If you want or need to go gluten free, I ask you to change your mindset and consider eating real food for the most part.

Finally, this adoption would not be complete without me mentioning how much Shirley contributes to the community of gluten-free bloggers I am so lucky to be a part of – Shirley writes thoughtful, informative posts about gluten-free advocacy issues, advocates for all of us in person, responds tirelessly to emails, leaves thorough comments on so many of our blogs and just generally provides so much support to so many people. I was thrilled that she agreed to participate in the Self-Care Retreat that Cheryl of Gluten-Free Goodness and I hosted.  We both agreed Shirley would be ideal to write about self-care and nourishing oneself with friends, family and pets, and she truly was. Her post is something that I will reread often as I continue to work on my self-care. 

And speaking of self-care – I need some sleep.  Good night.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 dinnae August 6, 2011 at 7:39 am

Since my dh has gone virtually gf, I've been trying to make sure that he has enough snackies for lunches at work – easier and cheaper than buying 'em if I make 'em! He does like chocolate and nuts, so this one should go over very well… love the pic too. :)


2 Jacqueline August 6, 2011 at 8:16 am

Those bars look great. My hubby doesn't like walnuts, but I could share them with my work pals. Bet they would go down well :)


3 gfe--gluten free easily August 6, 2011 at 11:06 pm

Valerie, I am so honored by your adoption of me and all your lovely words–thank you so very much! You sure know how to make a girl feel good! :-)

I love that you easily made the Bliss Bars vegan and that you used raw cacao powder, too. I can't wait to use raw cacao powder next time I make these. I always have raw cacao on hand, but not necessarily the unsweetened chocolate. And you're so right about the crust being a vehicle to deliver the chocolate on top! LOL

I haven't made the pumpkin pie smoothie in a good while. Unbelievably, my local grocery store still does not have pumpkin. I need to buy about a case of the canned organice when I go to the upscale grocery again.

I predict you will love the veggie chili, Valerie. That's one of our and my support group's favorite recipes. I like it far better than traditional chili.

Thanks again for adopting me and sharing so much from my blog, Valerie! I'm truly very lucky to be part of this amazing gluten-free community with you and so many other wonderful folks. :-)

Big hugs of appreciation, dear!


4 As Good As Gluten August 12, 2011 at 8:36 pm

Those bars look delicious! What a great adoption post of a wonderful blogger!


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