whole grain shortbread.Is there a better way to consume butter than in a piece of shortbread?  I think not.  Delicate, buttery, tender, and crumbly, it is simple and understated.  Shortbread practically melts in your mouth, fragrant with maple and vanilla and rich with healthy traditional fat, yet still light in your hand as you bring it up to your lips.

Each crumbly wedge of this sprouted flour shortbread packs a tablespoon of grass-fed, vitamin K2-rich, teeth-strengthening butter.  “What’s that?”, you say.  Teeth-strengthening?  Yep. It turns out that all those traditional diets, rich in vitamin A, D, and K2, were really on to something: the synergy of those three vitamins makes really strong teeth.

And no, I don’t believe that grains are bad for you either.  So I guess what I’m saying is that you should eat healthy whole grains, with plenty of traditional, saturated fat, just like we were meant to eat.  The current low carb and paleo movements tend to frame grains as the root of all digestive and nutritional evil, but it simply isn’t true. 

Yes, grains are different now than they were when humans started eating them.  But humans have been eating grains for 10,000 years!  And yes, some people do have a genuine case of celiac disease and should avoid grains.  But the vast majority of people that have problems with gluten and feel better when they go grain-free, simply do not have their metabolism working at a high enough level to digest grains well and easily.  You can read more about how to get your metabolism up and at ’em here.

We have missed the whole point of what our bodies are telling us when we have gluten intolerance and gut issues running rampant.  Sometimes GAPS or a grain-free diet is warranted for a short time to address severe body healing needs, such as in the case of autism or auto-immune disease.  But even then, you should make sure to keep your carbs up high enough so you don’t trigger ketosis or metabolic stress.

On top of which, when we do eat grains, we don’t do it in the proper way.  You need to soak, sprout, or sourdough grains, so that they are broken down a little before you ingest them.  You need to use einkorn wheat whenever possible, which is an ancient form of wheat that hasn’t been modernized like most of the strains available these days.

Equipment Needed:

  • measuring cups and spoons
  • large mixing bowl, pastry blender
  • small baking dish OR pie plate, good knife
  • cooling racks, small spatula

Note:  When I was on GAPS, I managed to make a really killer grain-free shortbreadwith honey and everything.  You can also check out my Salted Caramel-Dipped Shortbread Bars over on Nourished Kitchen.  Did I mention that I love shortbread?

If you haven’t tried it already, you can make sprouted flour at home, or find it on my resource page.  Enjoy!

Sprouted Flour Shortbread
makes 9 shortbread squares, or 8 wedges

1 cup, plus 2 tablespoons sprouted flour (buy sprouted flour here, einkorn berries here, how to make sprouted flour)
1/2 cup maple sugar OR whole cane sugar (buy maple sugar here, whole cane sugar here)
2 tablespoons arrowroot powder OR rice flour (buy arrowroot powder here)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt (buy unrefined sea salt here)
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, cold, cut into small pieces (buy grass-fed butter here)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (buy organic extracts here)

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the sprouted flour, maple sugar, arrowroot powder, and salt.  Add butter pieces and vanilla.  With a pastry blender, or with your hands, combine ingredients until they form small crumbs.  The dough should stick together if you pinch some in between two fingers.
  3. Press the dough into small 8×8 square baking dish, or a 9-inch round pie plate.  Score the dough into 9 squares (square baking dish) or 8 wedges (round pie plate) so the lines will still be visible after the shortbread is done baking.
  4. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the center of the shortbread is dry.  Remove from oven and re-cut the squares.  Then let cool completely.
  5. Loosen and remove with a small spatula.  Serve.