Going Gluten-Free may seem like a difficult and limiting task. Fortunately, there are many healthy and delicious foods that are naturally gluten-free. The most cost-effective and healthy way to follow the gluten-free diet is to seek out naturally gluten-free food groups, which include: Fruits, Vegetables, Meat and poultry, Fish and seafood, Dairy, Beans, legumes, and nuts. The most common reason people go gluten-free (besides trying to join the next big food fad) is to maintain Celiac Disease. In people with this autoimmune disease, gluten triggers the immune system to attack the small intestine. Even trace amounts of gluten can cause significant damage. With repeated attacks, the small intestine loses its ability to absorb vital nutrients, such as calcium and iron. Over time, people with untreated celiac disease can develop severe nutritional deficiencies, such as osteoporosis and iron-deficiency anemia, as well as other autoimmune disorders, extreme fatigue, infertility, neurological problems and, in a very small percentage of cases, lymphoma of the small intestine. A gluten-free diet allows the small intestine to heal so it can absorb nutrients properly, and reduces the risk of associated problems. Sometimes gluten sensitivity triggers the immune system to attack the skin, rather than the small intestine and cause a chronic itchy, bumpy rash that can be quite painful. If people with a gluten sensitivity continue to eat gluten, they also may run an increased risk of developing intestinal cancer.
As science evolves and makes it easier for people to pinpoint diagnoses and food sensitivities, more and more people are deciding to gluten-free in an attempt to relieve the nasty side effects a gluten allergy can cause. Gluten free eaters often feel as if sweets and desserts are off limits and typically they are, unless you are willing to get creative. Fortunately, we have chosen our Top great gluten-free dessert recipe based on this list. This recipe is tried and true and a welcome gift to the sugar-starved gluten free person! They are moist and luxurious and will quickly become a staple in your gluten free home.
- Gluten Free Chocolate Frosted Brownies
1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
1 Tbsp. pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups gluten-free all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. xanthan gum
1 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp. salt
6 Tbsp. salted butter
1/2 c. cocoa powder
2 2/3 cups powdered sugar
1/4 c. milk
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease a 9×13 baking dish. I used a 9×13 glass Pyrex. Note that you can use a hand mixer or a stand mixer for this recipe. Melt the butter, then add to mixing bowl. Add the sugar and pure vanilla extract and mix until blended. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition, until thoroughly blended. In a separate bowl, whisk together the gluten-free flour, xanthan gum (if needed), cocoa powder, and salt. Gradually stir the flour mixture into the butter mixture in the mixing bowl until blended. Pour into greased 9×13″ pan and place in preheated oven. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean or with moist crumbs only, no batter. Remove from oven and cool pan on wire rack before frosting.
Using a medium glass bowl, beat the room temperature butter and the cocoa powder together. Add powdered sugar and milk alternately, beating with a hand mixer until creamy. Add vanilla last, beating in until mixed well. Spread over the completely cooled brownies. For nice cutting, chill the completed frosted brownies for at least 30 minutes before cutting.
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