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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Turmeric Roasted Crunchy Chickpeas

Photo 2014-07-03, 3 37 33 AMI’ve been making these oven roasted chickpeas for years now. They are the perfect fix for that crunchy salty craving that will allow you to keep your kitchen chip, popcorn and salted peanut free (although who can resist baked kettle chips once in a while). They take on any flavour you want whether it be spicy or sweet and a great for noshing on the go. For this recipe, I’ve coated the chickpeas in insanely good for you turmeric, nutritional yeast (aka nooch, very high in vitamin b12), a touch of cayenne (a good metabolism boost), and some good quality extra virgin olive oil and then slowly roasted them in the oven. They have a cheesy spicy flavour (almost like ranch) without any dairy or loads of salt!  They’ll keep you full for hours with their high content of  protein, fiber, good carbs and loads of vitamins and anti-inflammatory properties from the seasoning.

Turmeric is gaining lots of popularity these days for its long list of benefits. You can drink it in tea or add it to a variety of dishes for its beautiful yellow colour and its mild flavour. It is a main spice in many indian curries or good quality mustards but the root of the spice is often used to make medicine. The raw material in the turmeric called curcumin can help beat stress, depression, sleep deprivation and fight off infections.You can take turmeric supplement or add the spice to your stir-frys, stews and curries; or just make these chickpeas!

Some use turmeric to help heal:

• arthritis
• heartburn
• stomach pain, diarrhea, intestinal gas, stomach bloating, loss of appetite
• jaundice
• liver problems
• gallbladder disorders
• headaches
• bronchitis, colds
• lung infections
• fibromyalgia
• menstrual problems
• water retention

One word of advice, use a spoon while mixing the turmeric onto the chickpeas. I used my hands and I looked like Marge Simpson for two days and ruined a perfectly good manicure. You even have to be a little careful when eating them by the handful, I highly recommend a spoon! Although these are perfect on their own, stay tuned for some other Clean Eating Goddess recipes featuring these little crunchy guys. As always, this recipe is gluten, dairy and refined sugar free. It is also vegan! Bon appetit!
Chickpeas
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Ingredients:

• 2 cans or 3 cups chickpeas (rinsed well, pat dry with paper towel)
• 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• 1/2 tsp sea or himalayan salt
• 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
• 1/2 tsp garlic powder
• 1 tbsp turmeric
• 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
• pinch of cayenne (optional)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place chickpeas in a medium sized bowl and pat dry with paper towel.
2. Season with salt, pepper, turmeric, nutritional yeast, cayenne and olive oil. Toss well until chickpeas are well coated.
3. Spread chickpeas on a cookie sheet. Bake for about an hour, tossing every 15 minutes until chickpeas are crunchy! (Note: Depending on your oven, you may need to reduce heat to 350 degrees F halfway through because spices will start to burn before the chickpeas have a chance to completely dehydrate. I also keep the fan on during baking. If you don’t have a fan, bake on conventional or you may need to keep the chickpeas in for longer. I find that the crunch factor really depends on the oven. Keep an eye out when you go to toss!)

4. Remove from sheet pan and put in a bowl for serving!

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Tumeric Chickpeas

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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