Monday, May 21, 2012

Best gluten free bread recipe and another 21 Day Sugar Detox!

I want to share with you all the recipe for the best gluten free bread we have had, and I have bought and made many me! But first here is some history on how I came to find this treasure of a recipe. About a year and half ago, I asked my husband if we could have a gluten free household to avoid cross contamination and to help me stay gluten free. Luckily he agreed, because that is the sweet, hunky kinda guy he is and he wanted me to succeed in my attempt to get healthy. Well, in our family, we like sandwiches, they are easy to make and fairly inexpensive...that is if you don't eat gluten free. I found some gluten free sandwich bread cookbooks and made some of the recipes, the results were pretty good, not wonderful though. We also purchased some store bought breads and found we liked Udi's and Rudi's the best, but sometimes both would end up being dry, not to mention expensive. I decided to Google "Udi's bread recipe" and came across this blog, Extraordinary Life: On the road to joyful cooking, she had a recipe called Udi's white bread copycat recipe. I loved how her recipe was so detailed, and the instructions easy to understand. The comments on this recipe was also full of great tips (I urge you to read them if you plan to make this bread). The first time I made this bread, we were in love, sandwiches were tasty and enjoyable again...and guess what, it tasted waaaay better than Udi's (sorry Udi's) not to mention soft and not dry (of course it's not as soft as Webers bread, that stuff is more air than anything anyway).

Fast forward a year or so and I have made quite possibly a hundred loaves of this bread, and have not had any flops! I have also started using a scale to weigh my flours. I have found two benefits to this (that I can think of, could be more) one, it gives consistent bread results, two, it saves you money from using more flour than you need. Don't worry if you don't have a scale, the original recipe contains the measurements in cups.

I have reproduced this recipe on my blog with permission from Lisa @ Extraordinry Life. I have experimented with and created the gram conversions for those that weigh their ingredients like I do, here's the converstion for you.

1 Loaf

120 g Tapioca flour
119 g  Brown Rice flour
48 g Potato Starch (not Potato flour)
2 Tbsp oil
2 Tbsp sugar
3 egg whites
1 pkg or 2 1/2 tsp of dry active yeast (she says rapid rise yeast, but I have always used dry active with no problems)
2 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp vinegar
3/4 cup warm water

Preheat oven to 170 degrees. Once preheated, turn oven off.
Lightly grease on 8 x 4 bread pan. (Albertson's sells Good Cook non stick 8 x 4 pans, I have two of them)

*Grease pan with butter or vegetable shortening.
*In a medium sized bowl, weigh out your flours.
*Add into flours, xanthan gum, salt, baking powder, stir carefully with a whisk or spoon to combine.
*Add water, oil, sugar, yeast into a small bowl or measuring cup and mix until combined.
*Allow water to sit while yeast starts to get foamy.
*Meanwhile, in a kitchenaid type mixer with whip cream attachment, whip egg whites for approx. 1 minute or until it develops soft peak.
*Add vinegar to egg whites and whip for a few seconds.
*Add yeast mixture to the egg whites in the mixer.
*Turn mixer on lowest setting and spoon flour into the egg whites, then turn mixer on to a medium setting and whip the batter for 3 minutes.
*With a spatula, spoon dough into pan and flatten as best you can with back of spatula.
*Put pan in oven and leave to rise for 30 min.
*When 30 min. is up, turn oven on to 350 (keep pan inside) and bake for 70-72 min.
*Take out of oven and turn out of pan, let cool completely before slicing or bread will fall flat and have a different texture. Letting cool completely is key...hard I know, but be patient :)
*Slice with serrated knife and enjoy!

2 Loaf Recipe:

240 g Tapioca flour
237 g  Brown Rice flour
96 g Potato Starch (not Potato flour)
4 Tbsp oil
4 Tbsp sugar
6 egg whites
2 pkg or 5 tsps of dry active yeast (she says rapid rise yeast, but I have always used dry active with no problems)
4 tsp xanthan gum
2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vinegar
1 1/2 cups warm water

Same instructions as above!

Fresh out of the oven!

Beautiful loaves. 

Great texture, not to mention yummy!
Update: Here is the bread recipe made as hamburger buns! I used my Crown Muffin pans, but you really do not need to use them. You can spoon the dough into 6 equal piles on a parchment covered cookie sheet, then flatten and round each pile as best you can, then put in oven to rise for 30 min. according to recipe instructions. Bake only for 30 min. instead of 70! Let them cool, before using or the same thing will happen, they will deflate. You will have to plan ahead, perhaps make them earlier in the day if you will be having hamburgers for dinner. They make excellent rolls too! If you want to use them as rolls, you could definitely eat them not long after they are out of the oven, just break apart with your hands and smear with some butter...

The one loaf recipe will make 6 hamburger buns.

I have two boys (ok three if you count my Hubby) so I used the two loaf recipe to get  12 buns.

My Hubby made 1/2 lb. burgers lol, but boy were they good!

Costco has at this time a great deal on dry active yeast, it looks like a large block of yeast that you will have to chisel pieces off (had an argument with hunny as I did not want to have to break off chunks of yeast lol, but he won out because it is so much cheaper than at the regular store), but when you open it, the yeast is completely granulated and ready to glad I gave in to my hunny!

Now on to the next bit of news...

I am going to do another 21 Day Sugar Detox on Monday, May 28th - June 18th.

After successfully completing the last one, I can feel myself falling back into my old habits, cravings are coming back and the control I thought I had is slipping away. I've made some huge improvements in my health, my thyroid medication has been lowered significantly and I don't want to go back, I need to move BRING IT ON! I can do this again, you betcha!

Anyone want to join me? You've got a week to gear up emotionally and can do it!!

You can choose:
1. Just get the sugar out in all it's forms, click here for a list of 50 different names for sugar. Read labels carefully, you'll be surprised, it's in many things!
2. Get all forms of sugar out and not eat anything sweet, including fruit and stevia, splenda or other non-caloric sweeteners. Studies show that for certain people, just eating something that tastes sweet even though there is no sugar, their bodies will release insulin causing fat storage.
3. You can follow the 21 Day Sugar Detox program by Balanced Bites. This program costs $21 is full of information and recipes, check it out.

So who is with me? We can encourage and support each other!


Monday, May 14, 2012

Making Lacto fermented Vegetables

I have been making my own lacto fermented vegetables for several months now, it's so easy! I will admit that I have wanted to make them for a very long time, but was too intimidated to try it thinking I was going to poison my whole family as well as my self. Along comes Ali and Tom from Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen with a blog post on how to easily make lacto fermented veggies, they even have a video for those who learn visually (me). After reading how easy it was, I decided to get brave and just do it. I enlisted my husband to watch the video with me and listen to all the instructions in case Tom covered information that was not explained in the blog post (it's all explained in the blog).  Next I purchased some wide mouth canning jars along with some plastic lids that go with them. Then I needed to determine what vegetables I was going to lacto ferment first. I chose carrots, cucumbers, bell peppers, cauliflower and red onions. I made six jars full of different combinations of vegetables and set them in a 9 x13 cake pan (to catch any fluid that comes out) and into my pantry. I left them for seven days to get "ripe" since it was still chilly during that time of year (if the weather is hot, it may take less time). After seven days, Eric and I pulled out our jars and tentatively tasted some of the veggies and they tasted delicious, even Eric was impressed! His favorite vegetable combination is red onion, cucumber and bell peppers (red, yellow and orange) and has since started adding some red pepper flakes when he makes some for himself.

I love Bubbies brand sauerkraut from the health food store, but it is a bit pricey if you eat a lot of it and I do. So I decided to try my hand at making my own with this recipe from Healthy Green Kitchen. I liked how she adds an apple for a little sweetness and her beautiful picture just looked so appetizing. I ended up using a green  apple in mine and I have to say that although it came out very good, I cannot detect any sweetness, most likely due to the green apple and not a red one as she uses.

Next, I tried my hand at some coconut mayonnaise using a recipe from The Coconut Mama. Instead of using whey, I used liquid from my lacto fermented vegetables and it came out so good, even Eric loved it. The kids could not tell it was made from healthy ingredients and I did not tell them :)

Eric and I have been eating our lacto fermented vegetables with almost every meal, they are so good and just teaming with enzymes and beneficial bacteria. Here are some of the ways I like to enjoy them.

baked potato with some ghee and lacto fermented veggies, I'm drooling!

brown rice pasta with homemade sauerkraut, so good believe it or not. I love it mixed in with brown rice too!

It's safe to say, I eat them with anything, I've even topped a homemade vegetarian pizza (after it was cooked) with my precious vegetables. I plan to try making some lacto fermented ketchup next!

I can't say for sure that my health has benefited from eating this way, but my doctor just recently lowered my thyroid medication by 30mgs, so I am going to keep doing what I'm doing.

What do you think? Are you interested in trying your hand at making some? I'd love to hear about it!


Update: I wanted to add some links that will offer more information on lacto fermenting

Nourishing Days has a series of posts on Fermented Food for Beginners (this link will take you the last post on the series, but that post will have links to the ones before).

According to Food Renegade, there is 54 billion live bacteria in less than a half a teaspoon of lacto fermented! You can read about it here.

Food Renegade's Raisin Chutney Recipe. I plan to try this one, it looks really good!

Cultures For Health has a compilation of lacto fermented condiment recipes, I'll be trying some of these!

This is just the tip of the ice burg, I hope you found these links helpful, I will update from time to time when I come across more great, informative articles.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Two Parties for Eilan and an Anniversary

Six years ago, May 1st, my husband and I celebrated our ninth Anniversary, we also welcomed our little girl into the world that day as well, I can't think of a more perfect gift than that!

This year for her birthday, my wonderful friend and sister in Christ, Paula, suggested we have a Birthday Tea Party. She said she had everything all ready, teapots, tea cups, saucers, warmers, plates, 3 tiered stands ( we did use one of mine) all we needed was some giggly girls! Thanks to Paula and her two beautiful daughters, Katie and Bonnie, Eilan had an elegant, gorgeous, fun filled party.

The beautiful young ladies (aka giggly girls)

Some of the finger foods...they were all so good and most of them were gluten free. We had a few sandwiches on regular bread for the ladies that did not eat gluten free.

Beautiful table!

Love the colors!

Paula has everything, gorgeous teapots and warmers too! 

Birthday girl and her love for all things pigs :)

The young ladies had their own beautifully decorated table.

My wonderful Sisters in Christ.

I loved spending the day with these lovely ladies!

Ready to sing the Birthday song

Paula, helping Eilan while she blows out her candle.

Cake balls that Paula and I made, they were supposed to be cake pops...oops. Tasted delicious though and nobody knew they were supposed to be cake pops.

Chantel won the sugar cube stacking game!

Eilan showing off some of the gifts she received. She now has her own  pretty hat and is ready for future tea parties.

I am ashamed to say, I did not contribute much, all the beauty and creativity you see is from Paula and her talented daughters! I did however, learn so much in working with them and planning the party, now all I need is to start collecting tea things :)

Thank you so much Paula, Katie and Bonnie for all the hard work you did to give my daughter a day to remember, we love you!!

If this wasn't enough, Eilan also had another party with my family! We went to my Dad's house for the evening to hang out and have some ice cream cake and that was a lot of fun too. The cousins had a chance to play together and catch up on all the things that have happened since Christmas. Meanwhile the adults were able to talk and catch up as well. I love talking to my Sis-in-law, Camilla, she and I have some good conversations on health and well, just about everything. We definitely need to find more excuses to get the family together despite our busy schedules.

Eilan with her Grandpa (My Dad)

My brother Garm and his daughter Madison

Cousins and best buds! Kade, Mattias and Aiden

Mattias and Aiden. 

Eilan and her cousin Madison, they love each other too.

Eric and his baby girl!

Last but not least, to my handsome, hunky husband, I love you so much and thank you for fifteen wonderful years together, may the Lord bless us with many more years together! My husband surprised me on our Anniversary with a waffle maker I had been wanting, I opened it and he said "OK, now make some waffles" I laughed and told him to wait till Saturday. On Saturday morning, I made us all some delicious waffles with my new waffle maker that I absolutely love!