Easiest Gluten Free Bread

Photo 2014-06-24, 4 10 23 AMThere are so many misconceptions revolving around this very new and trendy gluten free world. Gluten free is not synonymous with healthy. In fact, it can actually be the opposite. Most gluten free products are filled with tapioca, corn or potato starches. Whats wrong with these, you ask? Its not that these are entirely unhealthy for you. However, they are not the best choices if you are trying to lose weight, control hunger or stabilize blood sugars. Heres why:

These starches helps bind gluten free recipes and improves the texture of baked goods. Tapioca helps add crispness to crusts and chew to baked goods. Compared to wheat flour however, these alternatives have very little nutritive value. They are very low in protein and fibre and have a high number of carbohydrates.These starches are one of the few products that actually raises your blood sugar more than wheat. Mean nothing to you? Heres a point of comparison… regular table sugar raises your blood sugar less than wheat does. So wheat has a very high glycemic index*. The flours used in commerical gluten free breads, baked goods and frozen dinners contain tapioca, potato, corn etc… have an even higher GI!
This contributes to diabetes, cataracts, arthritis, heart disease and growing belly fat. The high glycemic value in these starches leaves you feeling unsatisfied and wanting more and more AND MORE!! Pretty much, this is the gluten free version of white bread.

This is not to discourage you in any way shape or form to derail from your gluten free diet. Genetically modified wheat comes with more problems than gluten free flours. What I do recommend however is to be more mindful of the ingredients in the breads, pastries and other gluten free products you find in your grocery stores. Better yet, if you can find the time to make your own gluten free meals and desserts you will be in control of you are eating! My goal with this blog is to give you guys simple, healthy and delicious recipes that won’t leave you feeling disappointed or unsatisfied. There will be no fillers, unhealthy oils or loads of added starches. With the use of almond, coconut, brown rice and quinoa flours as the main ingredients in your recipes you can make the most delicious breads that can be enjoyed by your entire family.

I don’t often eat gluten free bread because it really does make me feel starved after I eat it. And I have trouble stopping myself at two pieces. It is also filled with vegetable oils, sugar, processed fillers and salt. If baking is not your thing and you would rather buy a bread, I highly recommend a brand that is made here in Quebec called Cuisine L’Angelique. Is it an all organic and gluten free bakery line that is also casein and dairy free. The primary flours in their  bread is made from brown rice , buckwheat, quinoa and amaranth. They only use olive oil in their breads and often add superfood seeds like flax, hemp and pumpkin! These breads do contain xantham gum so if that is bothersome for you, I highly recommend making the super simple bread recipe I have provided here.

Like everything, have your bread, cakes, pastries etc… But eat it in moderation. I cant express this enough: GLUTEN FREE DOES NOT MEAN HEALTHY! Plus those gluten free cookies from the grocery are usually bland and crumbly. Also, because people seem so frustrated with people following this ‘gluten free fad’ it has become quite difficult for those who are celiac to ask for gluten free options or say no to food that has gluten in it. It has become kind of a nuisance to some service people or even peers because it seems everyone is just jumping on board with this health trend and faking an allergy. If you truly are sensitive to gluten I urge you to not succumb to pressure and continue on with your gluten free ways. I don’t care how annoying I may be, my health comes first! It is not worth the stomachache to not be that annoying girl with food allergies. If anything, it is a lot more irritating for us!

This gluten free bread recipe is SO easy to make and requires very little arrowroot starch. I have made this without the starch but you will get less of a crusty crust and more of a… very dense cake. This bread in generally is a bit heavier than most airy toasts, but I really enjoy that. You really only need one slice cut in two and you are more than satisfied. If you rather work without the starches and replace with more buckwheat or almond flour your bread will still taste absolutely delicious. For this recipe all you need is a few good eggs, hand mixer and 4-5 ingredients! Hope you enjoy.

****The glycemic index (GI) is a measure of how quickly blood glucose levels (i.e., blood sugar) rise after eating a particular type of food.
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Ingredients:

• 1 cup almond flour
• 1/2 cup buckwheat flour
• 1/4 ground flax or chia
• 3/4 cup arrowroot starch/flour
• 1/2 tsp salt
• 1/2 tsp baking soda
• 4 eggs
• 1 tsp raw honey
• 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
• 1 tbsp coconut oil

Recipe adapted from Elanas Pantry Bread 2.0

Directions:

1. In a medium bowl, combine almond flour, buckwheat, arrowroot, flax/chia meal, salt, and baking soda
2. In a larger bowl, blend eggs for 5 minutes until light and frothy.
3. In a small saucepan melt coconut oil and honey and whisk until combined. Then stir in honey coconut oil mixture and apple cider vinegar into eggs.
4. Mix dry ingredients into wet.
5. Pour/scoop (it will be a bit thicker) batter into a well greased loaf pan (I used coconut oil)
6. Bake at 350º for 30-35 minutes, until outside looks brown and a toothpick inserted into center of loaf comes out clean.
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Mung Bean Pad Thai

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Who doesn’t like pad thai? Something about the  combination of sweet, sour and salty just gets me every single time. Something else also happens every. single. time. I feel AWFUL. I know I’m not the only one who feels bloated, tired and uncomfortable. Even though the base of rice noodles, veggies and meat sounds like a healthy trio it is loaded with copious amounts of fat and sodium.

Pad thai has been on my recipe list for a while now. I think most home cooks steer clear of asian flavours because they seem complicated. Once you build up your pantry with the basic sauces however, most asian dishes can be tackled with ease. Whats best is that you can control all the ingredients that go inside. You really dont need so much oil, salt and sugar to get the awesome flavours. Use fresh herbs and spices and you’ll see that you actually prefer your own cooking to what you get in restaurants!

My favourite thing to hear from friends, family and guests who eat my food or try one of my recipes is how surprised they are by how great it tastes while still being good for you. What’s best is that everyone feels so much better. People dont want heavy. Why eat a meal if you are going just feel awful and potentially guilty afterwords. You want to feel energized, light and satisfied. And that’s exactly what this Pad Thai will do! I will eventually tackle a raw version of this dish, but these mung bean noodles were an awesome addition.

Mung Beans are packed with protein, fibre and vitamins. If you are not in the mood for meat or tofu, you will get plenty of extra nourishment from the noodles itself. I found these noodles at a speciality grocery store. Check your asian markets or health food stores! If you cant get your hands on these, try using buckwheat soba or brown rice noodles! Also, the tofu can be replaced with chicken or beef. Bon appetit!
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Serves 4

Ingredients:

• 1 package mung bean noodles or noodle of choice
• 1 1/2 cup bean sprouts
• 2 garlic cloves (finely chopped)
• 1 inch piece of ginger (finely chopped)
• 2-3 limes
• 2 tbsp fresh cilantro
• 1 jalapeño or chilli pepper (seeds removed, chopped)
• 1 package non GMO tofu (cubed) or meat of choice
• 1 red pepper (chopped)
• 1 cup broccoli
• 1 medium yellow onion (chopped)
• 2 eggs (lightly scrambled) (optional)
• 3 tbsp cup roasted peanuts (roughly chopped)
• 2 tbsp sprouted buckwheat
• 2 tsp coconut oil (divided)
• 1 tsp sesame oil

Sauce Ingredients:

• few dashes fish sauce (to taste)
• 1/4 cup all natural creamy peanut butter
• 2 tbsp gluten free tamari
• 8 drops stevia or 1 tsp honey
• 4 tbsp apple cider vinegar
• juice of one lime

Directions:

1. Cook noodles according to package directions. Drain, toss in sesame oil and set aside.

2. In a small bowl, whisk sauce ingredients until combined. Set aside.

3. Heat 1 tsp coconut oil in a wok or large pan, and cook onion until tender about minutes.

4. Add garlic, ginger, peppers, bean sprouts, broccoli and cilantro. Sautée for about 5 minutes. Place in a bowl and set aside.

5. Heat remaining coconut oil on medium-high heat and cook tofu until browned. Then re-add veggies and the eggs. Stir until the egg is cooked through. Then add the noodles and pad thai sauce. Stir until completely combined and thoroughly heated, about 3 to 4 more minutes.

6.Remove from heat and toss with peanuts before serving. Garnish with lime wedges, peanuts, buckwheat groats and additional cilantro.
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Cornmeal Berry Cake

Cornmeal Berry Cake Gluten Free
Happy Mothers Day! In honor of my amazing mom, I will be sharing my recipe for her favourite cornmeal berry cake. I have been making this scrumptious cake for her for years. I have even poured the same batter into muffin tins! It is not overly sweet and is a perfect light end to a meal (or start to a day…). I am actually going to be sharing not one but TWO versions of this recipe.. one that is lower on the carb scale, and the other a more simple approach for all you new gluten free folks out there. I make both versions of this cake depending on what I have in my pantry, but both are equally as good.

Corn has become a very controversial ingredient with all the GMO talk swinging around. As always, buy good quality ingredients and do some research. I use Bob’s Red Mill medium grind cornmeal which leave the germ and bran right inside where it belongs. Although not advertised on their bags, Bob’s Red Mill products originate from identity-preserved, non-GMO seeds. If the bags don’t say anything about the GMO’s look up the product on the internet. Most reliable brands will have all your questions covered with a click of a button! Yay for technology! Back to the cake…

Berry Cake Gluten Free
This cake can be turned upside for that cool psychedelic berry look, but I prefer to leave mine right side up! I really think it is most beautiful left with that warm berry stained cake bottom with fresh berries contrasting nicely on the crisp top.  This cake is fantastic with some coconut milk ice cream but it would also go great with some coconut whipped cream or drizzled with pure maple syrup(yum)! Personally, I enjoy the cake as is. Remember that if you are not dairy free, gluten free etc… feel free to replace with your own flours, sugars, milk etc… Likewise if you are vegan, replace the eggs with 1 tbsp of chia/flax to 3 tbsp almond milk for each egg. As always, my recipe is gluten, dairy and refined sugar free! Hope you all enjoy, and show your mom how much you appreciate everything she does!

XX
Jen
Photo 2014-05-10, 11 25 27 PMmixed berriesCornmeal cake

**The low carb version will have a more solid batter. It will look more like cookie dough, don’t be alarmed!

Low Carb Ingredients:

• 2 1/2 cups fresh berries (divided)
• 1/2 cup coconut flour
• 1/2 cup medium grind cornmeal (Bob’s Red Mill)
• 3/4 cup almond flour
• 2 tsp baking powder
• 1/2 tsp pure vanilla
• 1 tsp cinammon
• 1/2 cup xyltiol
• pinch of salt
• 2 eggs lightly beaten
• 2/3 cup almond milk
• 1/3 cup coconut oil (melted)

or for the regular version….

Ingredients:

• 2 1/2 cups fresh berries (divided)
• 1 1/3 cup brown rice flour or all purpose gluten free flour
• 1/2 cup medium grind cornmeal (Bob’s Red Mill)
• 2 tsp baking powder
• 1/2 cup xyltiol
• 1/2 tsp pure vanilla
• 1 tsp cinammon
• pinch of salt
• 2 eggs lightly beaten
• 2/3 cup almond milk
• 1/3 cup coconut oil (melted)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. Line springform or 8 inch cake pan with parchment paper and then grease with coconut oil.

3. Arrange half of the berries on the bottom of the pan. Set aside.

4.In a medium sized bowl stir together flours, cornmeal,xylitol, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

5.In another bowl whisk together eggs, almond milk, vanilla and coconut oil. Add egg mixture all at once to flour mixture. Stir until combined; spread evenly over prepared pan of berries. ** the low carb version will have a thicker batter. Use your hands to spread the mixture across the pan to cover berries.

6.Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until pick inserted near center comes out clean and top is golden. Cool for 5 minutes. Run knife around edge of the pan to loosen sides and remove from pan. Let the cake finish cooling on a wire rack. Top with berries and serve plain or with recommended toppings!
Gluten Free Cornmeal cakeCornmeal berry cake