breads

grain free and dairy free sandwich bread

Posted by on Nov 26, 2013 in breads | 0 comments

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Dressing or stuffing is the one dish on Thanksgiving that is always a bit of a disappointment since I cut out gluten and adopted more of a Paleo way of eating.  I’ve tried pre-made dried bread cubes, but nothing has come close to tasting the way I remember traditional dressing tastes.  So the past couple of years, I decided to make my own stuffing bread cubes.

I use a basic grain free and dairy free sandwich bread made with 2/3 almond flour and 1/3 unmodified potato starch.  I have also used sweet potato flour instead of the unmodified potato starch but after reading this article on Mark’s Daily Apple, I switched to unmodified potato starch for the added benefit of this type of resistant starch to my intestinal flora.  The gut environment thrives on resistant starch that passes through the small intestine undigested and arrives in the colon ready for fermentation by the gut flora (beneficial bacteria).

A flourishing gut environment is crucial for good health.  Those who regularly take supplements or eat foods with high quality probiotics (good bacteria) along with prebiotics (food that those good bacteria need to grow and thrive) and resistant starch experience fewer allergies, less sickness, and lower overall inflammation in their bodies than those who do not.

 

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Making my own bread always seemed intimidating to me until I tried it.  I have a Cuisinart breadmaker, which basically takes ALL of the work out of making homemade bread.  My recipe is super simple with only 9 ingredients:  four wet, and five dry.

 

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I start by letting the wet ingredients come to room temperature.  The finicky yeast granules do not like cold, so to do their thing, which causes the bread to rise, the eggs, milk, melted coconut oil, and honey need to be room temperature.  Once the ingredients have warmed slightly, I whisk them together and pour them into the loaf pan inside the breadmaker.

 

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Now for the five dry ingredients.  I stirred together the almond flour, unmodified potato starch, xanthan gum, sea salt, and yeast granules.  Then I spread the dry ingredients evenly on top of the wet ingredients in the loaf pan.  Time to operate the machinery.  Again, super simple.  I start by selecting the gluten free option on the menu, and then I select 2 pound loaf and medium crust.  Then I press start.  And that’s it…the last of my involvement in the break making process other than removing the finished loaf of bread.  The loaf of bread takes about 2 hours and 40 minutes from start to finish in the breadmaker.

 

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To make the loaf of bread into cubes for stuffing, I cut the bread into cubes and leave it out uncovered on the counter for about a day to dry out.  If you’re pressed for time, you can also place the cubes on a baking sheet and dry them in the oven on the lowest setting for about 45 minutes.

 

grain free and dairy free sandwich bread
Author: 
Recipe type: bread
Serves: 12
 

Ingredients
  • ¼ cup melted coconut oil
  • 1¼ cups canned coconut milk, room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 1 cup unmodified potato flour
  • 1½ teaspoons xanthan gum
  • ¾ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 packet yeast granules

Instructions
  1. Bring all wet ingredients to room temperature: coconut oil, coconut milk, honey, and eggs.
  2. Whisk together wet ingredients and pour into loaf pan in the breadmaker.
  3. Stir together dry ingredients: almond flour, potato flour, xanthan gum, sea salt, and yeast granules.
  4. Spread dry ingredients over wet ingredients in the loaf pan in the breadmaker.
  5. Set the breadmaker to gluten free setting, the loaf size to 2 pounds, and the crust to medium. Press start.
  6. Remove from breadmaker promptly when finished.

 

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paleo lemon squash bread

Posted by on Jul 24, 2013 in breads, breakfast, featured, snacks | 4 comments

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Remember when I said I haven’t met a squash I didn’t like.  Well, this became a joke between two very good friends and me.  We came up with all kinds of creative ways to use squash in cooking – even the less popular or unrecognizable varieties.

Our favorite use for squash was to bake it into squash bread.  I would make loaves of it for each of them, and this recipe is my paleo version of our favorite.

Obviously food is my passion, primarily because of what it can do for my body – the power it has to communicate, influence gene expression, and ultimately heal.  But another reason I love food is that so much of life revolves around it.  Memories are created and traditions are carried on that include special dishes and foods.  Squash bread is part of a memory I have that makes me laugh and brings me back to when I got to spend a lot of time with two people who are very important to me.

 

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To make my squash bread paleo, I used a combination of almond flour and sweet potato flour.  I mixed the flour with the rest of the dry ingredients and then added shredded squash, chopped walnuts, and lemon zest and stirred to coat.

I chose yellow summer squash to use in this recipe because it is so plentiful this time of year.  Yellow summer squash is not only easy to grow (why you see a plethora of local yellow squash in the grocery, along the side of the road, at farmers markets…), but it is also quite good for your body.  It’s yellow color is the first clue that it contains a healthy dose of beta carotene and lutein – two antioxidants especially good at protecting your vision and fighting free radicals.  Plus, it provides a heaping dose of vitamin C, folate, and manganese.  Manganese is a trace mineral that helps your body metabolize fats, carbs, and sugar and also has been shown to benefit your bones and joints and reduce PMS symptoms like irritability and mood swings.

 

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Next, I beat the wet ingredients together and then added them to the dry ingredients, mixing until well blended.

I poured the batter into a loaf pan and baked the bread for about an hour or until the top looked nice and golden brown.  The edges are good and crispy but the inside of the bread is incredibly moist.  I hope you like this summer squash bread!

 

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paleo lemon squash bread
Author: 
Recipe type: breakfast, bread, snack
Serves: 10
 

Ingredients
  • 1⅓ cups almond flour
  • ⅔ cups sweet potato flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon xanthan gum
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 yellow squash, grated
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup honey
  • ½ cup almond or coconut milk
  • ½ cup coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract

Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. Add squash, lemon zest, and walnuts and stir to coat.
  4. Combine wet ingredients in a small bowl.
  5. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix together until well blended.
  6. Pour in a greased loaf pan, and bake for 1 hour or until the top is golden brown.
  7. Cool slightly before slicing.

 

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paleo banana nut muffins

Posted by on Jul 12, 2013 in breads, breakfast | 2 comments

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How many sleepovers can my children cram into the 11 months of summer?  For some reason, hanging out with friends is much more fun at 2am than during the daylight hours.  The older my kids get, the later they stay up when their friends spend the night.  I’ve learned there is no way of predicting when they’ll arise the next morning – today my daughter and her friend slept until 11:15!  I had already exercised, walked my little dog, showered, taken Ben to golf, taken my dog to the groomer, gone to a doctor appointment, gotten a pedicure, and returned a pair of shorts before their sleepy eyes opened.  On mornings like these, when we have guests, I like to make muffins or a quick bread to feed them.  I can bake a batch of muffins as it fits into my schedule, the muffins are ready to eat whenever the kids wake up, and I know they’re still getting some nutrition without too much sugar first thing in the morning.

 

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The last batch of muffins I made – banana nut muffins – was a big hit, especially with Rob.  Because we are about to leave for our summer vacation, I’ve been trying to use up all of our produce and perishables.  I noticed the bananas were looking less than appealing for a smoothie, but perfect for muffins.

Bananas have long been known to be one of the best pre-workout foods, as they contain easily digestible carbohydrates and potassium – a nutrient that helps nerve and muscle function.  Bananas are especially good to eat before morning exercise when you need a little something on your stomach and to give you energy but you don’t want a heavy meal.  Bananas supply all you need to sustain you through a one hour workout – sometimes called nature’s power bar.

 

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When making muffins and quick breads, I like to use a combination of almond and sweet potato flour.  Plantain flour also works well with almond flour.  For these muffins, I used 1 1/3 cups almond flour and 2/3 cup sweet potato flour.  I sweetened the muffins with honey and added some walnuts and cinnamon for more taste.

 

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5.0 from 1 reviews

paleo banana nut muffins
Author: 
Recipe type: breakfast, baked good
Serves: 12
 

Ingredients
  • 1⅓ cups almond flour
  • ⅔ cups sweet potato flour (or plantain flour)
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon xanthan gum
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 very ripe bananas, mashed
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup honey
  • ½ cup almond or coconut milk
  • ½ cup coconut oil

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line muffin pan with paper liners.
  3. Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  4. Add bananas and walnuts and stir to coat.
  5. Combine the wet ingredients in a small bowl.
  6. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, and mix together until well blended.
  7. Fill muffin pans ⅔ full, and bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until golden brown on top.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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gluten free cinnamon rolls

Posted by on Dec 11, 2012 in breads, breakfast, featured | 0 comments

I can’t think of a better breakfast for Christmas morning than fresh, warm cinnamon rolls.  The aroma of cinnamon, the winter spice, conjures up fond memories of past Christmases and creates the perfect atmosphere for making new ones.  Smells are tied to our memories and feelings, as the olfactory bulb is in a part of the brain that is closely associated with memory and emotions.  In fact, smells can call up memories that lead to powerful responses instantly.  Because cinnamon is also known to increase brain activity, cognitive processing, and attention, these easy to make cinnamon rolls make a good breakfast for the kids on school mornings as well.

Cinnamon, with its spicy and sweet taste, is not only warm and inviting for the colder months, but it also has a long history of being something of great value, dating back to Biblical times.  In fact, at one time it was valued more than gold!  This tubular exotic spice comes from the bark of the cinnamon tree, and when dried rolls into what we call a quill that can be ground into the cinnamon we recognize.

Surprisingly, cinnamon is one of the highest anti-oxidant foods and is prized for its aromatic and medicinal benefits.  Its anti-microbial, anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatory properties make it an excellent preservative for foods and a potentially effective medicine.  Many natural dental products like toothpaste, mouthwash, floss, and chewing gum take advantage of cinnamon’s antiseptic and anesthetic principles.  Cinnamon is also commonly found in natural products used to treat candida or yeast overgrowth.

Cinnamon promotes heart health, as it prevents blood clots and lowers cholesterol with its high fiber content.

Other than its nostalgic smell, what I love most about cinnamon is its ability to steady blood sugar, increase metabolism, and thereby help with weight loss and diabetes.  Type 2 diabetes is a scary epidemic in our country, and cinnamon has been shown to naturally regulate blood sugar levels while simultaneously increasing the activity of insulin and increasing the metabolism of glucose.  Not only does cinnamon boost metabolism, but it does so in a way that prevents fat storage, leading to weight loss.  Lastly, cinnamon also helps with weight loss as an appetite suppressant because it slows the time it takes a food to lead the stomach, leaving you feeling fuller longer and that means eating less.

Enjoy the many health benefits of cinnamon this season when you bake this old time favorite…only these have the added bonus of being gluten and dairy free.

gluten free cinnamon rolls
Author: 
Recipe type: breakfast, bread
 

Ingredients
  • 3 cups almond flour (www.honeyvillegrains.com)
  • 2 tablespoons finely shredded coconut
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • ¼ cup honey, a little more if you like your rolls sweeter
  • 2 tablespoons finely shredded coconut
  • ½ cup finely chopped pecans or walnuts
  • ½ cup raisins
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla

Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine almond flour, coconut, sea salt, and baking soda.
  3. In a small bowl, combine coconut oil, honey, and eggs.
  4. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients, and mix until a dough forms.
  5. Dust a parchment lined baking sheet with a little almond flour.
  6. Roll out dough on the parchment lined baking sheet to a 9 x 13 rectangle.
  7. For the filling, pour honey over dough and use a brush or your fingers to smooth the honey over the sheet of dough.
  8. Sprinkle the sheet of dough with coconut, pecans, raisins, and cinnamon.
  9. Carefully roll up the dough tightly and seal to make one log.
  10. Using a knife, cut the log into 1 inch rolls and lay each roll flat on the parchment lined baking sheet. Makes about 10 rolls.
  11. Bake for 10 – 13 minutes, watching closely to not over bake.
  12. For the icing, slightly warm coconut oil, and stir in the honey and vanilla. Drizzle over warm rolls.

 

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sweet potato green chili cornbread

Posted by on Nov 13, 2012 in breads, grains | 0 comments

Growing up, my family loved grits (a food made from coarsely ground corn boiled in water) served with eggs for breakfast.  Fresh grilled corn on the cob in the summer was also a treat.  But it wasn’t until I cut gluten out of my diet that I began to really explore the uses of corn as an alternative to gluten containing grains.  I was surprised to learn that corn has many health benefits and can even help with weight loss.

Corn is considered a whole grain that does not contain any gluten and is certainly not new on the scene of whole grains.  Corn meal has been a staple food in North and South America for centuries, as it was the most important cultivated plant in ancient America.  Corn meal is made from grinding dried corn kernels into fine, medium or coarse particles. It can be yellow, blue or white, depending on the type of corn used, and it is a favorite because it of its sweet flavor.  Common uses for corn are many – tortillas, tamales, corn chips, popcorn, corn muffins, polenta, grits…

My first impression of corn is that is is an empty food – a filler food – packed with calories but coming up short in the nutrient category.  But corn meal actually contains a long list of nutrients: niacin, thiamine, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, folate and vitamins B-6, E and K. It contains 18 amino acids and valuable minerals such as iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper, manganese and selenium.  Especially important to those trying to lose weight is milled yellow corn, like corn meal, grits and corn flour products, because it is rich in antioxidants called carotenoids such as lutein and zeaxanthin. Carotenoids belong to a group of antioxidants known as anthocyanins, which according to a study done in Japan, have a strong affect against the function of fat cells and help in the prevention of  metabolic syndrome or insulin resistance.

Corn meal is also high in dietary fiber which is important for colon health, lowers cholesterol, regulates blood sugar, and helps with weight loss.  Fiber helps with weight loss because we feel satisfied and full for longer periods of time after eating it, which prevents us from overeating and unnecessary munching.  Also, foods high in fiber are less energy dense, so we are filled up on fewer calories.  One cup of whole grain corn meal contains about 10 grams of dietary fiber.  Recent research has also shown that fiber from corn encourages the growth of friendly bacteria in our large intestine which boosts our immune system and helps lower our risk of colon cancer.

So add corn meal to your list of gluten free grains as a healthy whole grain alternative, and enjoy its robust, sweet flavor while also taking advantage of its nutrients, fiber, and benefit for weight loss.  This sweet potato green chili cornbread disappeared quickly in my house when I served it with my pumpkin and pear soup last week.

sweet potato green chili cornbread
Author: 
Recipe type: bread
Serves: 8
 

Ingredients
  • 1 cup Gluten Free Classic Brown Rice Flour Blend from Authentic Foods
  • 1 cup corn meal
  • ½ teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 3½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ cup agave nectar or honey
  • ¼ cup raw coconut oil
  • 1 cup cooked sweet potato
  • ½ cup almond or coconut milk
  • 4 ounce can chopped green chilis
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla

Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Grease an 8 inch square baking pan.
  3. In a small bowl, mix together gluten free brown rice flour, corn meal, xanthan gum, baking powder, and sea salt.
  4. In a large bowl, mix together agave nectar, coconut oil, sweet potato, milk, green chilis, egg, and vanilla.
  5. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix well.
  6. Pour batter into baking dish.
  7. Bake for 25 minutes.

 

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pecan sandwich bread

Posted by on Jul 1, 2012 in breads | 0 comments

I love to bake fresh bread with my bread machine, as I’ve found it is the best tasting gluten-free option out there.  I have a Cuisinart Breadmaker that includes a gluten-free baking option.  From start to finish, with very little prep time, I have warm, fresh bread in about 3 hours.  My favorite recipe for sandwich bread is this pecan sandwich bread (inspired by Annalise Roberts’ Gluten-Free Baking Classics for the Bread Machine), which is made with a bread flour mix I make in bulk, so I always have some on hand.  For sweet twist, you can throw in some raisins.

pecan sandwich bread
Author: 
Recipe type: bread
 

Ingredients
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons almond or coconut milk, room temperature
  • ¼ cup grapeseed oil
  • 2 large organic eggs
  • 1⅔ cups bread flour mix (see note)
  • ⅓ cup finely ground pecans
  • 3 tablespoons agave nectar
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons xanthan gum
  • ¾ teaspoon Himalayan sea salt
  • 1 packet active dry yeast granules
  • ¾ cup chopped pecans
  • ⅔ cup raisins (optional)

Instructions
  1. Set your bread machine to the gluten-free setting. Set your crust to medium. Set the loaf size to 1.5.
  2. Remove bread pan from machine and make sure kneading blades are firmly secured in place.
  3. Whisk milk, oil, and eggs together until frothy, and pour into bread pan.
  4. Whisk bread flour mix, ground pecans, agave, xanthan gum, salt, and yeast in a small mixing bowl until well combined. Sprinkle over liquids in bread pan.
  5. Put the bread pan into the machine, secure in place, and press start.
  6. During the knead cycle when machine beeps, add chopped pecans and optional raisins. Scrape the sides with a spatula to keep flour and nuts from clinging.
  7. Remove bread pan from machine promptly when the bake cycle ends. Turn bread pan over to remove bread and place it on a rack to cool.

Notes
Bread Flour Mix: ⅓ part millet flour ⅙ part sorghum flour ⅙ part cornstarch ⅙ part potato starch ⅙ part tapioca flour

 

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