Monday, October 22, 2012

Gluten Free Pumpkin Bread!

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Bread

Just be sure it bakes long enough- I'm guessing, about 50 to 55 minutes up to an hour at 350ºF. This is a large loaf. I adapted this recipe from one I found online, and just made a couple of improvements for healthiness, without removing so much of the good stuff that I removed the YUM factor!


Mix the following--I use a stand mixer, and just keep it rolling while adding each ingredient, but you can also mix dry and wet, and then combine.
1/2 cup packed organic light brown sugar
2 TBSP stevia
4 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1/4 cup light olive oil
2 large eggs, beaten, or 1 tablespoon Ener-G Egg Replacer whisked with 1/4 cup warm water (for those who can't have eggs)
1 tablespoon bourbon vanilla extract
1 cup pumpkin puree (canned pumpkin is fine, but I baked a great "pie pumpkin" from the farmer's market)
1/4 teaspoon light tasting apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
1/2 cup GF buckwheat flour
1 cup coconut flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon or gluten-free Pumpkin Pie Spice blend
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

As needed for liquid as it mixes:

Pure apricot or peach juice


As it begins to mix the ingredients, use a soft silicone spatula to scrape down the sides. After a minute or two of mixing check the consistency. If the batter is at all like my batter, it will be a bit thick and stiff. Add a tablespoon at a time of your favorite unsweetened pure apricot or peach juice until the batter becomes slightly thinner than muffin batter but thicker than cake batter. Not too thin, but not too thick. You'll know it when you see it. When you are happy with the consistency, close the lid and let the paddle beat the batter.

When the top is domed and the loaf is firm to the touch, and a wooden pick inserted into the center emerges clean, this is a good sign it's done. Using a pot holder, remove the bread pan from the oven and cool it on a wire rack for five minutes or so, until it's a tad cooler to handle.

Using a clean tea towel and a pot holder, grasp the pan and carefully tip it upside down to release the pumpkin bread onto the wire rack; set the loaf upright on the rack and continue to cool.

Although you'll be tempted to slice and eat it warm, wait if you can. This moist bread only gets better as it cools. In fact, I did an experiment.

Half the bread- we ate that day. It was tender and moist. The other half we wrapped in foil, bagged and froze. Although the fresh loaf was tasty, I thought the frozen and thawed half tasted even better, and had an improved (less fall-apart) texture.

Makes one generous loaf.
So, today, I brought some muffins from this recipe, with the addition of chocolate chips on top, and I'm awaiting the staff thoughts on it...

Monday, October 15, 2012

Increased Appetite?

It has begun: the fall season, and with it, the natural fattening up process that mother nature intended to be protective for us, as winter sets in and supplies diminish. But, as luck would have it (and we ARE lucky), supplies are pretty consistent, thanks to trucking and airplanes bringing fresh food our way from warmer climes.
Still, have you found yourself craving sweets? What about warm, hearty foods and lots of fresh bread? Watch out: you may be adding as many as 500 calories without even realizing it, and the increased bread consumption can trigger an additional increase in appetite (Dr. William Davis, Wheat Belly). This is the time to reevaluate what you are eating, and explore new and exciting spices, warm stews, and soups that will satisfy your seasonal craving for more without adding an extra inch to pinch.

I have also noticed the typical loss of energy that goes right along with less daylight, and less sunlight. Make sure you are getting some bright light going early in the morning to get your day going, and exercise, which helps to elevate those feel good endorphins! So, with those items in mind, here is a great recipe to try to keep your tummy full, without filling up your jeans!
And then, let's add an exercise of the week, for good measure:
Think of this as a back extension for lower back, as well as obliques. You are face down, with your hips and abs on the ball. Lift the chest up, and slowly rotate to one side, and return to the starting position. Then repeat on the other side. Work up to 2 sets of 12 per side.