Eat Happy, Be Healthy!
Bread....so comforting yet so convoluted in the gut health arena. If your struggling with digestive issues it's likely you have had to avoid bread or swap traditional breads with gluten-free alternatives. Unfortunately, most gluten free bread out there is S H I T. Firstly, the quality is horrible and secondly it tastes like nothing. So I made it my mission to make a bread that was 1) easy to make, 2) highly nutritious and delicious, and 3) gut friendly. So are you ready??
The Gut Friendly Loaf is THE BREAD for all you folks struggling with gut issues. Why is that?? Well firstly, it is prepared from raw, organic gluten-free grains (not flours). When grains are soaked in acidic water an enzyme called phytase is activated which breaks down phytates. Phytates can be irritating to an inflamed gut and can bind to minerals in our food. However, folks with good gut health and good gut microbiome diversity can tolerate a higher phytate diet because lactobacillus and other bacterial species can produce their own phytase. Most folks with gut issues already struggle with malabsorption and have dysbiosis. Therefore they often find symptom improvement on grain free diet likely because of previous high consumption of poorly prepared grains & flours. Unfortunately, the amount of phytase found in grains is reduced when they are ground to flour because phytase is easily destroyed by high temperatures. Also the longer the flour is stored, the less phytase there is. Optimally flours are ground fresh, soaked and/or fermented, and used immediately. Today convenience often takes precedence over proper preparation. If you are interested in learning more check out this article from the Weston A Price Foundation. Interestingly, buckwheat (a gluten-free pseudo-grain) naturally contains very high amounts of phytase, whereas quinoa does not. Therefore, combining the two grains during the soaking process allows you to reap the benefits of both. Both quinoa and buckwheat when properly prepared are high in plant protein, fiber, and minerals. Plus, they are both considered low FODMAP, which means individuals with IBS and SIBO are likely to tolerate them, especially if properly prepared.
Secondly, the bread is bound with chia seeds (also low FODMAP) in place of eggs or gums which often are not tolerated in gut sensitive individuals. Plus, this bread does not contain yeast, which also can be a common food trigger, and instead baking soda is used for leavening. And finally, this bread is naturally gluten-free and dairy-free, which also helps many.
So with a lot of thought and care I have developed this recipe to serve you in the best of ways. If you have been avoiding grains or eating refined non-organic gluten-free breads, then it's time to give this Gut Friendly Loaf a try. Perhaps it will help bring back more joy to your plate and to your palate and even connect you more with your food. It is simple, nutritious, and very satisfying especially when toasted. I personally love it toasted with butter and local honey or I make open faced sandwiches. Follow me on Instagram for more fun ways to use this bread.
Anyways, this is my holiday gift to you, your welcome!
Buckwheat Quinoa Chia Bread
Makes ~16 slices or 8 servings
1 cup organic tan quinoa
1 cup organic raw buckwheat grouts
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
¼ cup chia seeds
1 cup filtered water, divided
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon Redmond’s Real Sea Salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
Place the quinoa and raw buckwheat grouts into a large glass or ceramic bowl, cover generously with filtered water, and stir in apple cider vinegar. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let soak overnight or at least 12 hours at room temperature.
Strain the soaked grains in a colander and rinse well. Allow the excess water to drain for about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees and mix the chia seeds with ½ cup filtered water. Stir with a fork and allow to gel, about 5-10 minutes.
Meanwhile prepare your loaf pan and line with parchment paper. See the video here for instructions. Ideally use a small Pullman pan, but a typical banana bread loaf pan works too (you just may need to bake it a little longer).
Once your grains are strained and your chia seeds are soaked you are ready for the next step. Transfer the strained grains into a high speed blender (I use a BlendTec) or food processor and add ½ cup filtered water, lemon juice, 2 tablespoons olive oil, and ½ teaspoon sea salt. Process until the mixture starts to become a batter and the blade runs well. Add the chia seeds and process some more until most of the quinoa seeds are blended but not all. Keeping some of the texture allows for a better rise. Finally, add the baking soda and pulse until well combined. Then transfer bread batter into the loaf pan and gently (not deeply) slice diagonal lines or X’s across the top to allow for a more uniform rise.
Bake for 90 minutes at 350 degrees or until inserted toothpick comes out clean. Remove from pan, remove parchment paper, and allow to cool on cooling rack completely before cutting. Store in the refrigerator for a week.
Nutrition Per Serving (2 slices): 200kcal, 30g carbs, 7g fat, 5g fiber, 6g protein.
Note: If you cannot tolerate quinoa, millet or sorghum will likely work too. However, I have not tried this combination yet. Please let me know how it goes if you experiment. Alternatively, use 100% buckwheat.
Most of us know that quinoa is a wonderful, nutritious gluten-free grain. It is much higher in protein than most gluten free grains containing ~5g per 1/2 cup cooked, which is about double that of brown rice. Since it is naturally higher in protein than brown rice, it is also naturally lower in carbohydrates, increasing satiety and stabilizing blood sugars. It also contains about 3.5g of fiber per 1/2 cup cooked, 70-80% of which is insoluble fiber. Insoluble fiber is wonderful at bulking up stool and increasing transit time. If you struggle with constipation or struggle to fully evacuate, then consider enjoying quinoa more often.
However, I find that often many of my clients haven't found a groove with this fiber rich and nutrient dense pseudo-grain. Also unfortunately, many fad diets exclude grains altogether. With Paleo, Carnivore, and Keto diets on the rise, many folks are missing out on this gut friendly and delicious grain. So, unless you have a sensitivity to quinoa, I urge you to reconsider and try to incorporate this little seed into your diet routine more often. Your gut microbes and your belly will thank you for it.
If you have been on a diet that restricts grains, I suggest starting with a small serving, and gradually increasing from there. The body always needs some time to adjust to new dietary changes. To avoid digestive distress, consider cooking your quinoa with more liquid or making a quinoa porridge. A quinoa porridge is a great alternative to oatmeal and can be a wonderful way to add some variety to your morning routine.
Turmeric Quinoa Porridge with Berries
1 cup milk (your choice)
1/2 cup cooked quinoa
Sprinkle turmeric (cinnamon or cardamom also works well)
1/8th tsp sea salt
Raw cranberry chutney (recipe on website)
In a small saucepan heat 1 cup of your choice of milk (I really like unsweetened plain soy milk with this) until simmering. Add the cooked quinoa, sprinkle turmeric, sea salt, and stir until combined. Cook one minute or until the milk becomes golden from the turmeric. Alternatively, you can put all the ingredients into a microwave safe bowl and heat together until hot. If you want to increase the protein content you can add some collage powder to it as well.
Transfer the porridge to a bowl and stir in your toppings. I added 1-2 T of raw cranberry chutney, blueberries, and chopped hazelnuts. Drizzle with maple syrup for added sweetness if desired. Feel the cozy with every bite and hopefully the sweet relief later!
Do you struggle to incorporate quinoa into your regular routine??
Hopefully now you have a tasty way to do so!
As I am writing this I am curled up on my couch drinking green tea, the wind is blowing gusts and the fire is flickering. There is so much cozy going on right now, and I love it! The last couple days I have been making delicious soups and skillet cornbread. There is just something so comforting about cornbread when it is baked in a cast iron skillet. Am I right?
So let me tell you, this is not your typical cornbread! It is a golden delight, perfectly paired with any fall soup or stew. Most cornbread recipes include refined wheat or gluten-free flours and are loaded with sugar or sweeteners. Not the ideal combo when it comes to nourishing a good gut microbiome. My recipe uses old fashioned rolled oats and grated apple instead to keep it nice and moist. This swap not only increases the fiber content but also increases the nutrition density as well. Both oats and apples are rich in soluble fiber, while the corn flours are rich in insoluble fiber. This balance is wonderful for digestive health, increasing stool bulk, speeding up transit time, and feeding good gut bacteria. It also helps increase satiety, keeping you full for longer. Plus, the apple (along with the honey) adds a light but healthy sweetness. Apples are also a rich source of polyphenols, powerful anti-inflammatory phytonutrients that act as prebiotics. As with all my recipes, it's gluten-free too (and happens to be dairy free as well) making it a wonderful side dish to share with friends and family. To make this recipe I suggest visiting the BULK section of your local co-op to stock up on the different flours and oats.
Are you ready to get your fall cozy on? Then whirl up this delicious cornbread in less than 45 minutes. No bowls required, just a high speed blender and a cast iron skillet. And if you don't have one, then use a 9x13" glass baking pan instead.
Whole Grain Harvest Cornbread
1 cup milk (any kind)
1 medium apple, grated with peel
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup raw local honey
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
½ cup cornmeal/Masa Harina
½ cup fine corn flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
Preheat oven to 400 degrees and oil or butter a 12” cast iron skillet. I like to melt a pat of butter in the skillet before pouring in the batter. Place the first seven ingredients into a high speed blender and blend until smooth (I use a BlendTec). Then add the rolled oats, and once again blend until smooth. Add both the cornmeal and corn flour and pulse until evenly combined. Finally, add the tablespoon of baking powder and pulse a few times until evenly dispersed.
Transfer the mixture into the oiled/buttered cast iron skillet and place into the preheated oven. Bake until golden brown for 25-30 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool 15 minutes before cutting with a knife.
Serve warm with a pat of butter. You can easily reheat a slice in the microwave for 30 seconds or alternatively pan-fry a slice in butter.
Note: This recipe is moderately high in fructose due to the honey and apple content. To reduce the fructose content, swap the honey for maple syrup. Then each serving is considered low FODMAP.
What are your favorite fall foods?
I hope you enjoy my creative, flavorful, and nutrient dense approach to whole foods cooking. All recipes are gluten free.