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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Cinnamon Bun Banana Loaf

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Ok so this recipe is insane. Cinnamon swirl, moist banana bread.. NO GUILT! I’ve made a lot of bananas bread in my day. Paleo, gluten free, whole wheat, chocolate chip, blueberry, coconut etc… but I have to say, this one might be my new favourite.

This recipe is made with coconut and almond flour (paleo friendly, grain free) so you get a good dose of healthy fats, fibre and protein and a lighter load of carbohydrates. The bananas are loaded with vitamins and good carbohydrates to give you loads of energy to get through your day! The ooey gooey filling is just like that of a cinnamon bun without the sticks of butter and heaps of brown sugar. The only added sugar you’ll find in this recipe is in that cinnamon swirl that is made up of natural coconut sugar. Coconut sugar comes from dried coconut sap that is then crystallized to create an amazing sugar alternative. It contains potassium, iron and vitamins. It has been said to even help prevent the blood sugar crashes that make you hungry. The rest of the bread is sweetened naturally with the ripe bananas and just a few drops of stevia!
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I realized recently that I share a lot of tips, tricks and information on my Instagram (@cleaneatinggoddess) account that does not always make it to my blog. So I have made a conscious effort to now include a lot of that information into my posts. A recent tip I posted was about bananas. I use a lot of bananas in my recipes because they are good for you, naturally sweet and give amazing dairy-like texture to non-dairy recipes. They are also an amazing replacement to cut down oil in recipes as they add so much moisture without any fat. They are a key ingredient in my smoothies, pancakes and breads. The problem with bananas seems that they are either too green, not brown enough or a mushy mess whenever we need them most. Heres my tip: Buy 2 bunches of bananas at the grocery store. When they get perfectly spotted, peel and cut the bananas in chunks then place them in a freezer safe bag. Keep them in the freezer to grab and go whenever you need! If you want to make banana bread, simply defrost the bananas for at least an hour and then use them as you would normally. Frozen ripe bananas also help make your smoothies insanely creamy and sweet without the need for any added sugar. Plus, you can also throw them in your food processor and have dairy and sugar free ‘ice cream’. Add in some almond or peanut butter and you have the most delicious snack!
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I know some people who are reading my blog are just beginning their journey for a cleaner lifestyle and I know every little bit of information counts. If you don’t have Instagram, I have made every effort to get CEG’s updates on all social media outlets. So, if you have Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, or Facebook you can find me on those outlets to keep yourself updated (click those buttons on the top right). You can also subscribe to my blog (just enter your email on the right sidebar) to get email updates of new posts. As some of you may know, I am an elementary school teacher and school is finally out! That gives me a lot more time to cook, bake and focus on my blog. I have so much exciting news, recipes and information coming and I can’t wait to share it with you all! Now for that cinnamon bun banana bread…
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Ingredients:

• 1/2 cup coconut flour
• 1/2 cup almond flour
• 3 very ripe medium bananas (mashed very well with fork or blended) + 1 extra banana sliced in half for topping (optional)
• 1/4 cup coconut oil melted + extra for greasing
• 3/4 tsp baking soda
• 1/4 tsp liquid stevia or 1/4 cup honey/maple syrup/agave
• 4 eggs
• 1/3 cup coconut sugar
• 2 tbsp finely shredded unsweetened coconut (optional, for topping)
• 1 tbsp cinnamon
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
• pinch of salt

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line and grease a 8.5 x 4.5 loaf pan with coconut oil. (Don’t forget to line with parchment paper, I did and it got stuck).

2.In a medium sized bowl whisk the coconut flour, almond flour, baking soda and salt until combined.

3. In a small bowl whisk eggs,, vanilla extract, stevia or other sweetener of choice. Then add mashed banana and melted coconut oil to the egg mixture and whisk more until well combined.

4. In a small bowl mix the coconut sugar and cinnamon until combined.

5. Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry and whisk until thoroughly combined and no lumps remain.

6. Pour only half of the batter in your greased loaf pan and spread it out evenly. Pour the coconut sugar/cinnamon mixture evenly to cover the batter.Then pour remaining batter on top of the cinnamon mixture. Spread evenly with spatula.Sprinkle with unsweetened coconut and sliced banana (optional).

7.Bake for 40-45 minutes or a toothpick comes out clean from a piercing in the center.

8. Let it cool for a few minutes then carefully run a knife along the edges to make sure nothing is sticking and invert into your hand and onto a wire rack to cool for 20 minutes. (You also might want to slice a piece off while its piping hot because its almost impossible not to!)

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Protein Pancakes with Maple Blueberry Syrup

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There are all kinds of pancake recipes I have made. Buckwheat, almond flour, brown rice flour, protein powder etc.. Eventually I will get all those recipes up on the blog, but I have decided to share the recipe I go back to time after time. These super easy 4 ingredient pancakes are so incredibly filling without adding loads of unwanted ingredients. Plus, most of the ingredients are right in your pantry. You will get a good daily dose of omega 3s, protein (13g!), vitamins, healthy fats, fiber and carbs that will keep you full until lunch.

Although they aren’t always the most photogenic, these simple pancakes (you can even call them crepes) are so tasty. I don’t know about you, but I like A LOT of maple syrup on my pancakes. But like anything, moderation is key, so by adding some fresh blueberries I have found a way to extend the maple-y flavour. As the blueberries break down with the syrup in the saucepan, the mixture becomes thick and syrupy making that measly tablespoon of maple syrup last a lot longer! Plus it is an insanely delicious sweet topping that go great with the banana flavoured pancakes. Add a little crunchy coconut or walnuts to make a perfect breakfast! This recipe is free of refined sugar, gluten, dairy and is great for those watching their carb intake or who are following the paleo diet! Enjoy!

A little update on me:

If you have read my about section I talk about some of the digestive issues that I had been facing. Since cutting out gluten for good, I am happy to report that I have had NO heartburn, indigestion or acid reflux whatsoever and am off any medication. Although I am not back to my daily coffee routine (because I am no longer addicted) I do enjoy the occasional almond milk cappuccino! I also can enjoy a glass of wine without any discomfort which is amazing! From my own personal experience, it seems that wheat was the culprit of all my pain and discomfort. I have been feeling amazing since starting this new way of life and am constantly changing and adapting my diet based on how my stomach is feeling. Everyday is a new challenge and I am excited to share with you what I discover personally and through studying holistic nutrition. Stay tuned!

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Serves 1-2

Ingredients:

• 2 tbsp flax seed
• 1/2 cup egg whites
• 1 ripe banana (mashed)
• 1 tsp cinnamon (optional)
• 2-3 drops stevia (optional)
• 1 tbsp coconut oil
• 1/2 cup blueberries
• 1 tbsp pure maple syrup
• Optional toppings: coconut, walnuts, peanut butter, almond butter

Directions:

1. In a medium sized bowl, mash banana with a fork (or food process) until smooth.

2. Add egg whites, flax seed, cinnamon, stevia and whisk until combined.

3. For blueberry syrup: In a small sauce pan on medium heat add blueberries and maple syrup and stir. Cook until reduced and syrupy (about 5 minutes)

4. Heat coconut oil on medium high heat. Using a ladle, spoon pancakes batter and fry for about 3 minutes or until bubbles form on top. Then flip! Top with syrup and enjoy!
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