One Grain & Dairy Free Bread Recipe ~ Three Ways

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I’ve tried very hard, but I am just not one of those people who can live on meat and vegetables alone. Sometimes we just need something to sink our teeth into that says, “comfort”. For me, that food item is bread.

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I can go days and days without it, but when I want it, my brain just won’t rest until I get it. I’ve tried on a few occasions to just sneak in a couple of pieces of Udi’s bread, but I am always greeted with swollen fingers and ankles the next day. Inflammation makes all Lyme symptoms much worse, so eating things that increase inflammation are hardly worth it.

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I have to abstain from grains, gluten, and dairy (and most potatoes, legumes, and very limited refined sugar…). That’s the reality, and there’s no way around it if I want to keep the inflammation at bay. Once you embrace the reality of your food limitations and recognize how they affect your body, life will be more enjoyable for you.

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A few weeks ago I set out to find a grain free bread recipe I could love. I had many fails but was pleased when I was finally able to share the Peasant Bread and Garlic Herb Twist recipes with you.

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Amazingly enough, the three bread recipes I’m sharing today – French Toast Bread, Hard Rolls, and Cinnamon Raisin Buns all come from the same basic bread recipe used for the Garlic Herb Twists. So really, it’s 1 recipe made into 4 types of bread!

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This makes it simple. Once you have all the ingredients on hand, you can bake to your heart’s content. I made the bread, the rolls, and the buns all in one evening. If you’re used to making your own bread, you’ll think it’s easy. If you’re not used to making your own bread, it will be a little bit of a challenge at first. There’s still the rising and baking time to be considered as well. You’ll get to know the dough the more you use it and before you know it, you’ll be impressing your family with all kinds of creations throughout the week.

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If you come up with some of your own unique ideas, shoot me an email at luvvinlyfe@gmail.com with pictures of your favorite bread made from my recipe and I will post it right here on the blog to share with others. There’s no reason for anyone with food allergies to go breadless.

Happy Baking!

Basic Grain Free, Dairy Free Bread Dough Recipe

1/3 Cup Arrowroot

3/4 Cup Sweet Potato Flour

1/2 Cup Coconut Flour

2 teaspoons Xanthan Gum

2 teaspoons Double Acting Baking Powder

1/2 teaspoon Sea Salt

1 1/2 Tablespoons Yeast

2 Tablespoons Coconut Sugar

1/3 Cup Dairy Free Butter

**

3 Eggs Separated

1 1/2 Tablespoons Grass Fed Gelatin

1/2 Cup Cool Water

1 1/2 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar

**

(There are step by step photos on the Herb & Garlic Twist post)

Measure all of the dry ingredients into a medium bowl and whisk to combine. Measure the dairy free butter into the flour mixture and work through with your fingers quickly until it has a large, mealy appearance. Set aside.

Separate the eggs. Whites into a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, yolks into a small cup or ramekin. Beat the egg whites on high until they are very foamy and at least doubled in size, but not quite to soft peak stage. Add in the yolks and beat until completely combined, just a few seconds.

Next, in a medium ramekin or in a glass measuring cup, add the 1/2 cup of cool water. Sprinkle the gelatin over the top and whisk in thoroughly with a fork. Microwave for 20 seconds. Set aside.

Measure the vinegar into the egg mixture and turn the mixer on low. Very slowly drizzle the warmed gelatin mixture into the egg mixture until fully incorporated. Turn off the mixer and switch to the paddle attachment. With the mixer on low, add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture and beat on medium for about 1 minute. The dough will be soft.

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For all recipes, turn oven to 400 degrees while the dough is beating in the mixer.

French Toast Bread

I use this bread for french toast because I have yet to be able to make it rise as high as a “real” loaf of bread. It works perfectly though for french toast! It is absolutely delicious. Allow it to soak in your egg mixture for several minutes before frying and spreading generously with dairy free butter and your favorite pure maple syrup. 

Spray a bread loaf pan and line with parchment. I like to do this for easy removal. Scoop the bread dough out of the mixer with a spatula into the bread pan and spread out carefully without flattening the bread too much. It will expand when it rises and then expand into the corners even more while baking.

Spray a piece of plastic wrap with oil, lay over the top loosely, cover with a tea towel, and set on top of the stove to rise for one hour. After 60 minutes, remove the towel and plastic and place on the middle rack of the preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes. Allow to cool before slicing.

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Hard Rolls

While the bread dough is beating in the mixer preheat the oven to 4oo degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment. Flour the counter with either arrowroot flour or the sweet potato flour. Scoop the dough onto the counter and flour the top. Pat it lightly with the flour. Cut the dough in half, then each half in half and so on, until you have 8 equally sized pieces. Do not work the dough too much. Take each piece into your hand and kind of plop it back and forth cupping it to form a ball. Place on the parchment and continue with the rest. Spray a piece of plastic wrap, drape it over the rolls, cover with a tea towel, and allow to rise on top of the stove for 1 hour. After the 60 minutes, remove the plastic wrap and towel and bake in the preheated oven for 14-19 minutes, until golden on top and sides. Allow to cool for a few minutes before serving.

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Cinnamon Raisin Buns

*You will need raisins, cinnamon, coconut sugar, and dairy free butter. You will also need powdered sugar (I used corn free organic, if you have a Vitamix, you could also whiz up coconut sugar to powdered sugar), dairy free butter, and pure almond extract for the frosting.

In a small bowl, whisk together 1/3 cup of coconut sugar, 1/3 cup of dairy free butter, and a pinch of sea salt until smooth. Set aside.

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While the bread dough is beating in the mixer, preheat the oven to 400 degrees and spray an 8×8 baking pan (or a pie pan would work fine too) and line with parchment. Set aside. Flour the counter with either arrowroot or the sweet potato flour. Scoop the dough out of the mixer onto the floured counter and flour the top, patting the flour slightly around. Cut the dough in half, then in half again and so on, until you have 8 equal sized pieces. Working quickly, flatten each piece into a circle. Dollop the sugar and butter mixture equally on each piece and spread around with the back of a spoon leaving the edges empty.

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Sprinkle generously with cinnamon. Sprinkle with raisins (or leave them out, or add nuts, or whatever you like).

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Pick up a round of dough and put it in the palm of your hand. Grab the edges and squeeze them up and together like a dumpling. Press all the edges together and flip it over into your hand. Cup it to shape it a bit, and put it in the baking dish. Continue with the remaining dough rounds. Don’t worry about excess room in your pan. They will rise and then rise and then come together while baking.

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Once all of the buns are in the baking dish. Put a dollop of dairy free butter on each one. Sprinkle generously with coconut sugar and cinnamon, and then sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt.

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Drape a piece of loosely covered plastic wrap and a tea towel over the top and allow to rise on top of the preheating oven for 60 minutes. Remove the plastic wrap and tea towel and bake for 30 minutes draping with foil after the first 10 minutes. Allow to cool for about 15 minutes before frosting.

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Frosting: 2 Tbs of dairy free butter melted, 2 cups of powdered sugar (or powdered coconut sugar), about 2 teaspoons of pure almond extract. Whisk until combined, you may need a tiny bit of water to get it to drizzle/spreading consistency. Spoon over the rolls, wait a few minutes for it to set, and serve.

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Grain Free Biscuits ~ 2 Ways

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Happy Saturday! This week feels like it kind of went by in a whirlwind. Isn’t it strange how when you’re older life does that?

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Tony and I have been feeling kind of clunky the past two weeks so that has put a damper on things. Then, a couple of days ago I ended up with shingles. I haven’t had them in over a year and was really hoping that virus had gone dormant for good. Lyme Disease taxes the immune system and the reality is that along with it comes other unpleasant things. Throw in a little life stress and it’s the perfect storm.

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I’m not one to lie in bed sick unless I’m very, very, sick. I have a high tolerance for pain and illness. Not that I’m “special” or anything, I think that I’m just used to it, and I cannot stand being cooped up. So I’ve taken epsom salt baths, rested when I needed to, taken ibuprofen, slathered the shingles with Carmex (I’ve found it works great for pain and healing) and got on with life.

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I think that’s important when you have a chronic illness…the getting on with life part. I can choose to not do it, or I can choose to do it sick. So most of the time, I choose to do it sick and try my hardest to keep a positive attitude. Biscuits help.

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My husband was home a few more days than usual this week, which was nice. Thursday afternoon we drove to Steptoe Butte State Park so he could go hang gliding.

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He hasn’t been able to go much in the past two years so it’s important that he keeps up his skills.

Checking the wind speed and gusts.

Checking the wind speed and gusts.

Plus, we pay $5,000 extra per year on his life insurance policy because of the hang gliding. Go ahead and gasp, I did. And then some.

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So the goal is to get enough flights in every year to make it worth that ridiculous clause in his policy, not to mention the expense of the gear.

Takes about 30 minutes to set up the hang glider.

Takes about 30 minutes to set up the hang glider.

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My job is to help stabilize it now and then while he’s setting up so it doesn’t blow away. Then, when he’s ready for take off, I also need to help keep it balanced. The last time (my first time) we did this, it was gusty and the wind kept picking me up off the ground while I was trying to hold the hang glider down. We ended up having to scrap it because it was just too difficult and the weather was dangerous. Very nerve-wracking and made me question his sanity. But this time things went much more smoothly.

High tech wind direction equipment.

High tech wind direction equipment.

One more check for the best place to take off.

One last check for the best place to take off.

 

Suited up and ready. There's a parachute in the pack on his chest in case of an emergency.

Suited up and ready. There’s a parachute in the pack on his chest in case of an emergency.

I was shocked at how fast the wind took him up! I had planned to get step by step photos of his take off but before I knew it he was flying around.

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It wasn’t a too lengthy a flight this time because there wasn’t enough lift, but it was perfect for his first flight of the season. He had a safe landing, which is the important part. We ran out of time and wind for him to make another flight so we headed the hour and a half drive home so he could pack for another flight (on a plane) to LA the next day. He had been feeling wonky all day and unfortunately, some bug really got a hold of him because he was violently ill all night before his flight to California. Being the person he is, he mustered the energy to get on that plane Friday morning, and I don’t know how he did it.

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I would have been terrified I’d have to throw up in front of people.  A lesson for the rest of us…stock up on immune boosting aids when you get on a plane because you never know what someone is bringing on board.

But, one must earn a paycheck, so off he went.

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Romeo and Abigail had great fun running around in the field while Tony packed up the glider.

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I woke to Abigail’s feet in my face and song birds chirping this morning. We’ve been guaranteed to have a beautiful day and the next 10 days are supposed to be in the 60’s. Spring is early this year and you won’t get any complaints about that from me. I thought I would start the morning off with a batch of grain free biscuits. I had such luck with the first batch, I decided to experiment with another one.

And now I’m off to sun myself on the patio. Blue skies and sunshine. Food for the soul!

Grain Free Biscuits

*Makes 4 biscuits

1/2 Cup Coconut Flour

1/8 Cup Arrowroot

1 teaspoon Double Acting Baking Powder

1/8 teaspoon Sea Salt

1 Tablespoon Coconut Sugar

6 Tablespoons Cold Dairy Free Butter

3 Large Eggs, separated

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Measure all the dry ingredients into a medium bowl and whisk to combine. Measure the butter, and work through quickly with your fingers until it has a somewhat large mealy texture.

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 With a mixer and whisk attachment, whisk the egg whites on high until frothy and doubled in size, just before they hit soft peak stage. Add the yolks and whisk until thoroughly combined, about 20 seconds. Pour the egg mixture on top of the flour mixture.

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Fold with a spatula, just until combined.

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 At this point you will say, “April, there’s no way this runny mixture is going to turn into biscuit batter”, but it does. Let it sit for 5 minutes. Line a small baking sheet with parchment paper. Use a 1/4 cup measuring cup or scoop to scoop out four biscuits.

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Bake for 17 minutes.

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Allow to cool for 20-30 minutes. They’re a bit fragile when they come out. You could probably safely cut them while warm after 15 minutes.

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Grain Free Frosted Blueberry Orange Biscuits

1 Cup Coconut Flour

1/3 Cup Arrowroot

1/3 Cup Sweet Potato Flour

1/4 Cup Coconut Sugar

1 Tablespoon Double Acting Baking Powder

1 1/2 teaspoons Baking Soda

1/4 teaspoon Sea Salt

1/2 teaspoon Xanthan Gum

1/2 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon

3/4 Cup Cold Dairy Free Butter

2 Eggs, separated

Zest of 1 Medium Orange

Juice of 1 Medium Orange (1/4 Cup)

1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract

1 1/2 Cups Frozen Blueberries

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a pie dish with parchment paper and spray (under and over).

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Measure all dry ingredients into a medium bowl and whisk. Measure butter. Work through with fingers quickly until combined and mealy.

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Whisk eggs in a stand mixer until they reach soft peak. Add egg yolks and whisk to combine. Add zest and orange juice.

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Pour we ingredients over dry ingredients. Fold just until combined.

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Quickly fold in frozen blueberries just until combined. The blueberries will stiffen the batter if you take it too slowly.

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With a 1/4 inch scoop, generously scoop 9 biscuits from the batter into the prepared pan starting in the middle.

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Bake for 27 minutes. You may have to lay a piece of tin foil over them the last 10 minutes.

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In a small bowl melt 1 Tablespoon of dairy free butter. Add the juice of 1/2 orange and 1 Cup of corn free powdered sugar. Stir until combined.

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Drizzle over the biscuits once they have cooled for 15 minutes.

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Allow to cool completely before serving.

Grain Free Garlic & Herb Twists

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These are the rolls on day two. I was so excited to eat them I forgot to take the opening shot the night before. Ha!

These are the rolls on day two. I was so excited to eat them I forgot to take the opening shot the night before. Just as delicious day two warmed, with a bit of dairy free butter.

Bread is finally back on our table and it has been a divine experience.

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I was worried there for a while when I took grains out of my diet, but not anymore. These Garlic & Herb Twists are delicious and I’d be willing to bet that 9/10 people wouldn’t have a clue that they are grain free and dairy free.

 They’re soft, have a very nice crumb, a good bounce like a “real” roll,  and are very flavorful with the perfect combination of herbs, sea salt, and olive oil. Most of us find such comfort in a good piece of bread.

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These could be made a variety of different ways with a variety of herbs and add ins. Get creative!

Grain Free Garlic & Herb Twists

*Grain Free *Gluten Free *Dairy Free *High Protein

1/3 Cup Arrowroot

3/4 Cup Sweet Potato Flour

1/2 Cup Coconut Flour

2 teaspoons Xanthan Gum

2 teaspoons Double Acting Baking Powder

1/2 teaspoon Sea Salt

1 1/2 Tablespoons Yeast

2 Tablespoons Coconut Sugar

1/3 Cup Dairy Free Butter

**

3 Eggs Separated

1 1/2 Tablespoons Grass Fed Gelatin

1/2 Cup Cool Water

1 1/2 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar

**

1/4 Cup Olive Oil

1 Tablespoon Garlic Powder

1 Tablespoon Dried Oregano

1/2 Tablespoon Dried Basil

1/2 teaspoon Sea Salt

Measure all of the dry ingredients into a medium bowl and whisk to combine. Measure the dairy free butter into the flour mixture and work through with your fingers quickly until it has a large, mealy appearance. Set aside.

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Separate the eggs. Whites into a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, yolks into a small cup or ramekin. Beat the egg whites on high until they are very foamy and at least doubled in size, but not quite to soft peak stage. Add in the yolks and beat until completely combined, just a few seconds.

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Next, in a medium ramekin or in a glass measuring cup, add the 1/2 cup of cool water. Sprinkle the gelatin over the top and whisk in thoroughly with a fork. Microwave for 20 seconds. Set aside.

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Measure the vinegar into the egg mixture and turn the mixer on low. Very slowly drizzle the warmed gelatin mixture into the egg mixture until fully incorporated. Turn off the mixer and switch to the paddle attachment. With the mixer on low, add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture and beat on medium for about 1 minute. The dough will be soft.

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Next, line a medium baking sheet with parchment and set aside. Flour a board or counter with arrowroot. Scoop dough onto the arrowroot and lightly flour the top. Very lightly knead the dough quickly to form a loaf, it will not get completely smooth, don’t over work it. Cut the loaf into 8 equal pieces.

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Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Working with one piece at a time and a little more arrowroot, lightly and quickly roll the dough into a strip about 6 inches or so and then roll into a spiral. Place on the parchment covered baking sheet and repeat for the remaining 7 pieces.

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Next, in a small bowl mix together the olive oil, garlic, herbs, and salt and set aside.

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Spray a piece of plastic wrap with oil and drape over the unseasoned twists. Drape with a tea towel and place on top of the stove (that is preheating) to rest and rise for 60 minutes.

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Remove the plastic and towel, brush the tops of the twists evenly and generously, using all of the topping. and bake for 15-20 minutes until browned. Don’t overcook!

After the rise.

After the rise.

After seasoning and prior to baking.

After seasoning and prior to baking.

I served mine with zucchini noodles and meatball sauce.

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The zucchini noodles are incredibly easy and delicious! You can go here for more information on the spiralizer.

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For the meatball sauce I made a super simple baked meatball and used 2 jars of gluten-free, organic, spaghetti sauce. 1 pound of ground beef,  egg, a couple of tablespoons of chopped onion, herbs of your choice (I used oregano and basil), garlic powder, and salt and pepper. Mix it all together, form small meatballs and place them on a parchment lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with  a little more salt, garlic powder, and oregano.

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 Bake them in a preheated 325 degree oven for about 25 minutes and then plop them into a pot with your sauce. Simmer for 2 hours. I also like to season the sauce a little at the end with herbs and a bit of garlic.

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Grain Free Peasant Bread

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I’ve tested, tweaked, researched, asked for advice, used an ungodly amount of ingredients, and thrown away numerous recipe attempts in search of that one wonderful recipe that could really be worthy of being called, “bread”. And it was all worth it. I’ve finally found what I think are the right measurements and combination of items that  transform into a bread that I absolutely love. The second best part next to having a delicious bread we can sink our teeth into: the recipe is basic and can be used numerous ways with just a few little additions or subtractions. Hallelujah and amen.

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I’m sure I’ve told you in the past my least favorite thing about being grain free is the use of mass quantities of nut flours, coconut flour, and eggs. I cannot stand the texture of nut flours and since I’ve been on an elimination diet, I now see clearly that most nuts and I do not get along. I also use organic ingredients, so the use of a gazillion eggs or just egg whites in a grain free recipe can get extremely expensive.  Not to mention how irritating it is when the recipe you’re working on doesn’t turn out the way you had hoped, which in gluten-free and grain free cooking tends to happen often. I cannot tell you how many grain free bread recipes I’ve made that taste like a brick of play dough. Or they’re grainy, or they fall apart, or they taste too much like coconut when I don’t want them to.

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While I haven’t been able to completely eliminate eggs from my grain free bread recipes (YET!), I think they have a more reasonable amount of eggs, no more than 2 to 3. I’ve been able to omit nut flours and lower the content of coconut flour therefore, taking away the strong flavor of coconut. I don’t want bread that tastes like coconut and for a long time I thought that was too much to hope for. But not now!

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Every time I made a grain free bread I was looking for a certain texture, crumb, and taste that I simply wasn’t getting. And actually for a while, it just sucked the love right out of baking. You may have noticed the big gaps in my posting lately. Between health issues and going grain free and mostly “Paleo” and not wanting to inundate you with meat and vegetable dishes…our baking time together has suffered a bit. Baking is my favorite aspect of cooking and I think those items are the most sought after for allergen sufferers.  Comfort food is where it’s at for all of us!

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So after a few weeks of moping around the kitchen dying for a decent piece of bread that actually tastes like bread, I put my big girl britches on and got to work. Those of us who have to be, or choose to be grain free, no longer need to fret. This basic bread recipe, with a few tweaks here and there is going to provide us with all kinds of amazing goodies.

So stay tuned, the lull is over and you and I are back in the kitchen!

Grain Free Peasant Bread

*Grain Free *Gluten Free *Dairy Free *High Protein

3/4 Cup of Arrowroot Flour

1/2 Cup of Sweet Potato Flour

1/2 Cup of Coconut Flour 

2 teaspoons of Xanthan Gum

2 teaspoons of Double Acting Baking Powder

1/2 teaspoon of Sea Salt

2 Tablespoons of Coconut Sugar

1 1/2 Tablespoons of Active Dry Yeast

**

2 Eggs Separated

1 1/2 Tablespoons of Grass Fed Gelatin

1/2 Cup of Cool Water

1 1/2 Tablespoons of Apple Cider Vinegar

Measure all of the dry ingredients into a medium bowl and whisk to combine, set aside. Separate the eggs. Whites into a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, yolks into a small cup or ramekin. Beat the egg whites on high until they are very foamy and at least doubled in size, but not to soft peak stage.

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Add in the yolks and beat until completely combined, just a few seconds.

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Next, in a medium ramekin or in a glass measuring cup, add the 1/2 cup of cool water. Sprinkle the gelatin over the top and whisk in thoroughly with a fork. Microwave for 20 seconds.

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Measure the vinegar into the egg mixture and turn the mixer on low. Very slowly drizzle the warmed gelatin mixture into the egg mixture until fully incorporated. Turn off the mixer and switch to the paddle attachment.

With the mixer on low, add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture and beat on medium for about 1 minute. The dough will be soft.

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Flour a board or the counter with arrowroot flour and scoop the dough out of the bowl.

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Knead the dough several times being careful not to add to much extra flour. Knead it until it is able to be shaped, about 6 or so folds and turns. Shape it into a loaf and slit the top three or four times. Don’t slit it as deep as I did though, I got a little over zealous. Just skim the top about 1/4 inch in.

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Next, line a baking sheet with parchment or silpat. Spray a piece of plastic wrap with non-stick spray (mine was olive oil), lay it lightly over the bread and then cover the plastic with a tea towel and place the pan on the stove.

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Turn the oven on to 400 degrees and allow the bread to rise on top of the stove for 60 minutes. It will grow in size, but not a lot. It mainly becomes “fluffier”.

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Place in the oven and bake for 40 minutes draping it with tin foil the last 15 minutes. **If you’re not using a convection oven, time may vary and will likely take just a bit longer.**

Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 20 minutes before slicing. This is a delicious crusty bread that is wonderful served with dairy free butter, roasted garlic, vinegar and oil dip, served as garlic bread with pasta, served with different types of goat cheese, alongside soup, so many options! And while I was taste testing…I had it with dairy free butter, then with dairy free butter and jelly, and then finally, with chicken liver pate. All delicious!

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Chestnut Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies & Other Stuff

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Yesterday I had a very productive day. I love those days! The days where you wake up at least somewhat refreshed, have a to-do list that’s pretty ambitious, and actually cross off everything on the list by the time you fall into bed.  I used to have many more productive days than I do now, I was full of energy. Now, not so much, but I can still look on the bright side. There are lessons to be learned from life’s hiccups. Good, joyful, lessons! Not just the painful ones.

Having a chronic illness really makes you view your life differently. Very little is taken for granted. So many tasks and things that never even crossed my mind for most of my life, now can sometimes take a lot of effort and can be very exhausting. The little things that I never paid attention to, are very vivid and have a much greater significance. My time, peace, and happiness is more precious now, as is everyone’s, but we typically don’t pay too much attention to that until some or most of it is being used up by something unpleasant.  That’s all in the lesson, I suppose. Learning to deal with each day that is given to you in the way that it needs to be dealt with, and being OK with that.

Well, after “dealing with each day that was given to me” in the form of a migraine all weekend, I was quite happy to wake up Tuesday morning feeling like I could cope with life without copious amounts of essential oils, ibuprofen, epsom salt baths, and ice bags. Yay!

So off I went with the dogs for a hike. There’s a 552 acre conservation area 2 minutes from our front door. It was foggy and gray so you can’t see much, but I promise I’ll take better pictures on a clear day. You can see beautiful farm land for miles and miles! This is the entrance. My goal is always to head all the way up into the hills and hike up to a water tower that’s up to the left. I’d say it’s about 3 miles round trip depending on which trail you take. Not too difficult, but a nice hike and good exercise.

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This is about half way up, looking down toward the entrance. Takes about an hour and 20 round trip. But I am a “slow and steady wins the race” kind of hiker and had to stop twice to catch my breath on a major incline.

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A few weeks ago after reading through Brittany Angell’s new cook book, Every Last Crumb (we’ll talk about that more in a minute), I purchased some Chestnut Flour. It’s been sitting in my pantry ever since, of course. Last week my husband requested his favorite chocolate chip cookies, but I put him off until this week because I wanted to try to figure out a grain and sugar alternative. So after my hike with the dogs I simply Googled, “Chestnut Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies”.

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What I found was a recipe SO GOOD I’m pretty sure my world shifted on its axis a little. Perfect taste, perfect texture, perfect moisture. It’s as if chestnut flour was created for chocolate chip cookies. They are that good. I don’t know where James Trenda has been all my gluten-free and Paleo-ish life, but I’m so thankful Google found him for me!

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I used coconut sugar in place of maple sugar, and arrowroot in place of the tapioca because I’m abstaining from tapioca for a while and didn’t have maple sugar on hand. I also weighed all of my ingredients exactly like he advised. The dough will be thick, thicker than you think it should be, but simply press them out a little and all will be well. They are delicious warm or room temperature and are equally good today as they were yesterday.

You can find the recipe for James Trenda’s “Ultimate Chocolate Chip Paleo Cookies” HERE.

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I am still doing my grain free trial and trying to eat an extremely nutrient dense diet. That means, LOTS of organic vegetables, a good amount of organic grass-fed meats, and a wide variety of colorful organic fruits.

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 I fried up some organic free range chicken liver yesterday, as it’s important to also have organ meats now and then in a nutrient dense diet. I dredged it in a mixture of coconut flour, arrowroot powder, sea salt, ground pepper, garlic powder, and paprika and then fried them in avocado oil.

Luckily for me, I love liver. For those of you that think it tastes like an old shoe…the key is not to cook it to death.

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After munching on those fabulous cookies and snacking on fried liver, I focused my attention on baking Brittany Angell’s  Baguettes.

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I keep this cook book on my counter because every day I think, today is the day I’m going to spend all day baking Brittany’s goodies. Which of course is wishful thinking, but one recipe every now and then is cool too. If you don’t have her new cook book, you need it. It is the grain free baking bible and I promise, her recipes will blow your mind.

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You can find it online and at select book stores for around $25 and it’s only $9.99 for your Kindle. It is worth every single penny and then some.

Eating “Paleo” has its controversies and people will argue back and forth about what a real Paleo diet looks like. My opinion is that your diet should “look like” what makes you feel healthy and heals your body. Who cares what it’s called or whether you eat legumes or quinoa, brown rice, or potatoes, or no grains at all and live on kale?  The important thing is that you figure out what’s wreaking havoc on your gut and get that out of your diet. Then, add in nutrient dense foods that will heal your gut biome and change the way you feel for the better. If you need to abstain from grains for a while or even forever, along with other inflammatory foods, it’s a Godsend to be able to have a piece of bread or baked item every now and then that won’t make you feel like hell.

That’s where Brittany Angell’s, “Every Last Crumb” comes to the rescue.

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Peace & Health ~ And a Few Other Tidbits

8 Comments

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Happy New Year!

I absolutely love the refreshing start of a new year. So many possibilities lie ahead.

Do you make a New Year’s Resolution list? I typically make one every year. I really enjoy looking back on the previous year and thinking about all the great things we accomplished and all of the challenges we faced. Then I sit down with pen in hand and scribble down a few things I’d like to focus on more throughout the following year.

This year I’ve chosen two words to pray about and focus on.

Peace

&

Health

Peace, because I think far too often we get caught up in the craziness of this world and allow the chaos of it and other people to get us off track. Before we know it, we’re being pulled away from what’s really important and life just seems to rush by in a cloud of running around and living life to “just get things done or get it over with”. I hate that. As a Christian I know that I have all the peace I want if I could just slow down, take control of what I do and do not want, learn how to say “no!”, and enjoy it without feeling guilty. So much of what stresses us out, makes us dread a situation, or makes us feel like there’s never enough time, is all because we didn’t put our foot down when necessary or handle our time properly. Peace is a process and I want more of it.

Health, because for me it’s a struggle.  Every day I am at some level of “sick” and although some days are certainly better than others and typically I function quite well even when feeling sick, I’m going to spend even more time focusing on the holistic, natural, healing of Lyme Disease. Much of this can be done with food, exercise, natural supplements and natural antibiotics. I’ll keep you posted and share what works for me.

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On top of my two favorite words for 2015, I also make a little list of things I want to spend more time focusing on. Not a list to stress me out or overwhelm me, or make me feel bad. Little reminders of things I think have room for improvement:

1. Use my time more wisely.

2. Be more mindful of the words I speak and think. No more dwelling on an issue.

3.  Pray more. About everything. All the time.

4. Really think about the “should-s” and “have to-s”. Necessary?

5. Choose wisely. All things. People. Situations.

6. Love more. Praise more. Laugh more. Relax more.

7. Let go of the heavy things.

8. More Joy.

So that’s it. Nothing fancy, or outlandish, or anything anyone cannot accomplish. But they are all things that sometimes fall by the wayside when we allow life to get messy or we forget who is in control.

I would love to hear your resolutions if you make them! Or things you like to focus on for a new year.

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 “And every day, the world will drag you by the hand yelling, ‘This is important! And this is important! You need to worry about this! And this! And this!’ And each day it’s up to you to yank your hand back, put it on your heart and say, “No. This is what’s important.”

~Iain Thomas

Happy New Year to you and your families. Exciting things are ahead! Here’s to a healthy, joy filled, peaceful, 2015!

Lemon Blueberry Snack Bread

1/2 Cup of Coconut Flour

1/2 Cup of Arrowroot Flour

1 Tablespoon of Baking Powder

1/8 teaspoon of Sea Salt

4 Eggs

Zest of 1 Medium Lemon

Juice of 1 Medium Lemon

1/2 Cup of Coconut Sugar

1/2 Cup of Full Fat Coconut Milk

1/4 Cup of Dairy Free Butter, melted (maybe coconut oil…I haven’t tried it)

1 Cup of Frozen Blueberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and Spray an 8 1/2 by 4/12 (5 cup) baking dish with coconut oil and line with parchment. 

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder, salt and lemon zest, and coconut sugar and set aside. In another bowl, whisk the eggs and coconut milk. Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture and add the lemon juice and melted butter. Stir together just until combined, then fold in the blueberries. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 30-35 minutes.

Frosting:

*You can also blend coconut sugar in a high-powered mixer (vitamix) to make coconut sugar powdered sugar. I did not do that for this recipe just for aesthetic purposes. I wanted a white frosting rather than brown. I think if you use the coconut sugar then the whole recipe would be considered “Paleo”. But Paleo itself is a rather relative label.

About 1 1/2 Cups of Corn Free Organic Powdered Sugar

Juice of 1 Small Lemon

About 2 Tablespoons of Melted Dairy Free Butter

Depending on how juicy your lemon is, you may have to adjust the dry or the wet ingredients a bit. Whisk thoroughly until thickened and of spreading consistency. Not too runny, you only want it to lightly drip down the sides.

Cherry Chocolate Banana Muffins

5 Comments

I’ve been trying to stick to a grain free diet for the past few months to help with the inflammation that goes along with Lyme Disease. Abstaining from grains has definitely helped, but I’m not going to lie, it is not easy.

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I’ve found I can sometimes cheat a little every now and then, but not much. So on those days where I’m really craving something “bread like” and sweet, muffins typically fit the bill and they can easily be made grain free.

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They’re quick, satisfying, and can be frozen and heated up for a fast craving curbing snack.

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Muffins are versatile, of course. You can add pretty much anything you like to them. I happened to have dried cherries and chocolate on hand so that’s what I chose, but you can switch them up any way you’d like.

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Here are some ideas: Any type of nut, any type of dried fruit, chopped apple, white chocolate, candied ginger, diced pear, sliced strawberries, blueberries, replace half the banana with pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, you could do a streusel topping, a cinnamon and sugar topping, you could add a dollop of your favorite jam in the middle before baking…the options are endless.

Enjoy!

Cherry Chocolate Banana Muffins

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

3/4 Cup Coconut Flour

1/4 Cup tapioca Flour

4 Very Ripe Bananas (dark brown skins)

4 Organic Eggs

1/4 Cup Organic Coconut Oil (solid, but room temp)

1/4 Cup Pure Maple Syrup

1/4 teaspoon Sea Salt

1/2 Tablespoon Ground Cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda

1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder

1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract

1/2 Cup Dried Cherries (chopped)

1/2 Cup 70% Dark Belgian Chocolate (roughly chopped)

Measure all ingredients into a mixture except the cherries and chocolate. Mix on medium high for 1 minute, scraping down sides once. Fold in the cherries and chocolate and fill muffin papers. Bake for 60 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.