It’s been almost 20 years now since I began following a gluten-free diet and let me tell you, it was a HUGE lifestyle change for me.

At the time, I was involved in competitive cycling so naturally I was eating a ton of carbs.  Bread, pasta, pizza, muffins….you name it, I was eating it.  I thought all those carbs were fueling my body for racing but eventually I started to notice that my body really wasn’t feeling that great.

Whenever I would eat anything with gluten, I felt bloated, my blood sugar would spike and then I would crash.  Not a great scenario when you’re trying to compete so, on a whim, I decided to eliminate gluten from my diet to see if it would make a difference.

To my surprise, my symptoms completely disappeared.  No more bloating, no more brain fog and my blood sugar levels normalized.  I felt great but I was really missing my comfort foods, especially all those baked goods.

Before long, I found myself trying to replicate my favorite recipes using different gluten-free flours.  If you’ve ever tried this yourself, you know it is not an easy thing to do.  For me, this was a very long process of trial and error and I definitely had lots of errors!

Fortunately, as more and more people began to see the benefits of eliminating gluten, the number of alternative flours grew.  I’m pretty sure I’ve tried most of them but the one I’m loving right now is cassava flour.

Cassava, also known as yuca, is a starchy root vegetable that is similar in shape to a sweet potato.  It has long been a staple in the diets of people living in Africa, Asia and South America.

Cassava flour is made by grating and drying the cassava root into a grain-free flour that has an easy to use texture and a very mild taste.  Some say cassava flour is the “next generation of grain-free baking.”  I say it is a dream come true when it comes to baking.

Cassava flour is extremely versatile and is often used in grain-free tortillas, crackers, bread, pasta and baked goods.  While I always have a stash of ready-made products on hand, I like to keep a bag of Otto’s Organic Cassava Flour in my fridge for those moments when I’m craving a fresh baked treat.  Last weekend I was having one of those moments. 😉

When I woke up Saturday morning and the temperature had dipped into the low 60’s, I knew I was ready to do some baking.  I had recently come across the recipe below so I decided to give it a try.  This recipe did not disappoint.

The combination of almond flour and cassava flour gave the scones the perfect texture and consistency.  They were moist, slightly sweet and so delicious.

Now I know that following a gluten-free diet is not for everyone but if you’re considering it, this recipe would be a great place to start.

While there might be a bit of a learning curve in the beginning, once you learn how to work with gluten-free flours, you’ll be able to make the food you want and enjoy the foods you love.

Grain-Free Blueberry Scones

*  1 cup almond flour
*  1/2 cup cassava flour
*  2 tbs. coconut sugar
*  1/2 tsp. baking powder
*  3 tbsp. coconut oil, melted
*  1/2 cup unsweetened nut milk
*  1/2  tsp. pure vanilla extract
*  1/2 cup blueberries

1.  In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, sugar and baking powder.
2.  Make a well in the middle of the flour and pour the melted coconut oil, nut milk and vanilla into the flour mixture.  Stir to combine and then with your hands, mix the dough.  Gently fold in the blueberries.
3.  Pat the dough into an 8 inch round circle and cut out 8 wedges.
4.  Place the wedges on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Bake at 400 degrees for 18-22 minutes or until golden brown.

 I like to sprinkle a little sugar on top of the scones before baking.

Recipe by Jenny Mollen, author of Dictator Lunches.