Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Healthy Scottish Shortbread Made With Quinoa Flour Xylitol and Coconut Oil

 This is an experiment with healthy ingredients that worked first time.  It'll fill the base of an 8½”/21.5cm baking tin. 


4 heaped tablespoons of quinoa flour
3 heaped tablespoons of Xylitol sweetener
4 tablespoons of melted coconut oil

A soft sticky dough - but healthy

Put all the ingredients into a mixing bowl.  Don't overheat the coconut oil to melt it; it melts at 76 °F (24 °C).  You’ll get soft dough, which you can just flatten evenly down into a greased and floured baking tray. 

You can mark out the wedge shapes with a knife and crimp or use a fork to decorate the edges. 

Bake for about 30 minutes in a preheated oven at 200°. 

To check if it’s cooked you can put a knife or fork into the dough at the centre of the baking tray and if it comes out clean (no uncooked, moist dough sticking to it) the shortbread is cooked. 

Let it cool and settle for a few hours to get the traditional hard, crumbly shortbread texture. 

The Healthy option for Scottish shortbread
Most people who Google this sort of blog up onto their screen will already know that the three ingredients in the blog's title are known for their health benefits, i.e. quinoa flour, Xylitol sweetener and coconut oil.  Although, I’m not convinced about coconut oil, there’s no official (government, for what that’s worth) advice that coconut oil is any healthier than other saturated fats, like butter.  There’s plenty of information on the web about the different kinds of fatty acids and why the saturated fat in coconut oil is healthier than animal fat (it’s something to do with the length of them). I won’t try to BS you that I know anything much about that, but here’s an article I found on the web.

The traditional Scottish Shortbread is made with butter, but if you believe the guff about coconut oil being healthier, then coconut oil does the job. 

Here's some guff about quinoa:

Quinoa has the nine essential amino acids the body needs for muscle building protein, and fibre for a healthy colon. Quinoa has minerals like magnesium for relaxing your muscles and blood vessels, manganese and copper antioxidants, which protect against cancer, and it has more calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, iron, copper, manganese, and zinc than wheat, barley, or corn.

Health gurus recommend whole grains nowadays, but quinoa isn't really a grain; it's a seed. It's more nutritious than grains, with: amino acids, fibre, vitamins and minerals, enzymes, phytonutrients and antioxidants.

Here are some articles about quinoa:

Xylitol is a natural sugar substitute - they make it from birch tree bark and often, corn.  It attacks the bacteria that cause the plaque, which is the cause of tooth cavities - whilst, as we all know, sugar rots teeth and gums.  It also has a low GI (glycemic index), which means that diabetics can use it safely.  It's much lower in calories too. 

So with Xylitol, you're a winner all round, as long as you're not a dog.  IT KILLS DOGS!  However, I know you're not a dog; otherwise, you'd be in the circus - being, as you are, able to read this, and work a computer. 

Here’s some guff about Xylitol:


  1. Did you know that xylitol is from corn? Just thought I mention it because the corn is something that is good for everyone to be avoided, as it is usually contaminated. Mycotoxins in corn linked to birth defects such as spina bifida.

  2. Yes, I knew they made it from corn Dreamboxes, but I didn't know that corn was harmful. I think they originally made it from birch tree bark, which seems even dodgier to me. We just have to make our own decisions about what to believe is best for us.