Posts Tagged ‘gluten free’
Hot cross buns are a delicious Good Friday morning tradition, but conventional recipes are packed with unhealthy ingredients. Given my weakness for cinnamon morning buns, I had to convert a recipe to obtain the health benefits mentioned in my book. These rolls are packed with nutrient dense foods and the baking process takes advantage of the microbes in starter to alter the content of the dough, resulting an an anti-inflammatory, heart healthy, low glycemic, nutrient dense morning bun with little-to-no gluten.
To serve for breakfast on Good Friday, begin these Wednesday. For Wednesday you’ll need:
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 stick butter
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup starter
2 cups plain flour
1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup almond flour or almond meal
1 t salt
Bring the milk to a boil. Once it begins boiling, remove from heat and add the butter. I slice mine into approximately 7-8 pieces to ensure that all of it melts. Set aside until completely cooled. (This is important because we’re adding the starter in the next step and the scalding milk can negatively affect the microbial activity.)
In another bowl, combine the honey, starter, flours, and salt. Stir to combine. When the milk/butter mixture is room temperature, add it to the flour mixture and stir to combine. You can fold it over a few times in the bowl to ensure that everything is fully combined, but it doesn’t really require any kneading. It will be a very sticky dough, but shouldn’t be runny. Cover the bowl and leave to sit overnight.
The next morning (Thursday if you’re planning these for Good Friday), the dough should have risen a bit. Now we’re going to add the fun stuff and shape the dough into buns. Today you’ll need:
1 green apple, finely chopped
1/4 cup dried cranberries, finely chopped
1/4 cup currants OR 1/4 cup raisins, finely chopped
2 t cinnamon
zest of 1 orange
zest of 1 lemon
Add all of this to the dough while it is still in the bowl. Stir to combine, then remove it to a clean counter-top. Knead until the dough holds together well and the apple bits stop popping out each time you fold the dough over.
Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces. Depending on how you want the end product to look, you can divide those among two pans (for rounded buns) or you can place them all in a single pan (for roll-like buns.) You can use 9×13 (greased) baking dishes or (parchment lined) quarter size sheet pans. Shape your rolls and place them in the pans. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm spot to rise for 24 hours.
If you know you’ll have a busy morning tomorrow, you can also make your frosting today. Combine 4 ounces cream cheese with 1 T butter and 2 cups powdered sugar. Add the seeds from 1 vanilla bean, 1 t vanilla extract, and 1 t cinnamon. Mix until creamy and store, covered, in the fridge.
Friday morning, brush the tops with an egg wash and bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 15-18 minutes or until golden brown on top. (During this time, you can make the frosting or if you made it yesterday, you can bring it to room temperature so it’s ready.) In a piping bag (or a plastic baggie with the corner cut off), pipe crosses on top of each bun AFTER they are completely cooled. If you put the frosting on too soon, the crosses will turn into a huge mess. Serve and enjoy!
(These also store really well so if you don’t have time to bake, let cool, and frost on Friday morning, consider bumping everything up a day to begin Tuesday night. Shape Wed morning, bake Thursday morning, frost Thursday night and serve Friday morning. You’ll need to store them in an airtight container to preserve freshness.)
One of the most common comments/questions I receive through the “contact me” section of the website is from those of you that have read through the Vintage Remedies Guide to Bread, love the idea, but want some additional hands-on help on mastering the technique required to make amazing and real bread through the recipes in the book.
So, here it is.
We have a facebook group set up with about 100 or so people that have read through the book and are baking bread using the recipes in the book, plus a few they’ve created on their own! While I’d love nothing more than to provide personalized tutorials for each of you, with thousands of books in hands around the world, that’s just not going to happen. So, this is the next best thing. I hop on as frequently as I can to answer questions about the scientific side of things, and the rest of the questions are handled by others that have mastered the techniques and are baking amazing loaves of bread, as well as rolls, doughnuts, cinnamon loaves, apple fritters, and much more! So if you have specific questions about the recipe section of the book, head on over and give it a try! And, as always, if you have questions about the science and historical side of things, you’re welcome to contact me or post on the group.
We’re just a little over a week away from the release of the new bread book, but we’ve already shipped hundreds of copies and I’ve had the chance to discuss the book with hundreds more families throughout the country! Through these discussions, I’ve encountered many common myths that are repeated over and over from a variety of sources. While this list is far from exhaustive, it’s a great start at getting many of the essential facts straight about one of humankind’s oldest and most loved foods.
Myth: The hybridization of wheat is how we got wonderbread and other uniformly light and fluffy loaves.
Reality: This bread was the result of a patented production process that was used for decades before the hybridization of yeast. The process was designed to mimic the best artisan breads produced at home, but with a streamlined and predictable method suited for distribution. Light and fluffy (healthy) loaves have been enjoyed for millennia thanks to kitchen skills that have been passed down through generations.
Half truth: White bread is bad for you; use whole wheat instead. Or freshly milled whole wheat instead.
Reality: Whole wheat, even if freshly milled, is still a high glycemic food that contributes to obesity, heart disease, diabetes and inflammation. It also contains a large amount of gluten, which is toxic for many people and can eventually lead to internal inflammation and damage. This doesn’t mean we have to abandon bread altogether. The key to a healthy bread is the process that has the ability to turn even store bought white flour into a low glycemic and low gluten or even gluten free food.
Myth: Soaking whole grains – as the ancients did – will reduce the phytic acid and increase the bioavailability of valuable nutrients.
Reality: Rigorous studies have shown that soaking does nothing to improve the health of whole grains, and there is no evidence found in history of any previous cultures soaking, dehydrating, then grinding grains. The practice was only used for legumes, beans, and as a cooking method.
Myth: We consume more wheat/flour than any previous generation.
Reality: We consume far less wheat/flour than almost all previous generations. Ancient cultures derived over half of their daily intake from bread and bread was a staple in most diets through many different cultures until a sharp overall decline in the early 1900s.
Myth: Refined flour is why we now have problems with gluten and sensitivities.
Reality: Refined flours have been in use since antiquity! The Romans produced a flour that was very similar to store bought white flour we buy today, and I have a collection of nutrition texts and cookbooks from throughout the 1800s that decry the use of whole wheat flour and warn that it should only be used medicinally and should never be allowed to contaminate a batch of good bread.
Myth: Gluten free diets are trends only to be used by hypochondriacs.
Reality: Evidence shows that the levels of gluten we consume today are harming everyone. While some individuals have experienced internal damage that requires a strict avoidance of gluten, all of us benefit from reduced intake. And the health concerns we face are often found to be dose dependent, which means the more we consume, the greater our risks of developing a disorder that requires strict avoidance.
MYTH: The problem with modern bread is linked to the hybridized wheat, refined flours, and additives found in modern bread.
Reality: Countless scientific studies have shown that these factors all contribute to the perfect storm of events that ruined the bread that nourished the ancients, but elimination of all of these factors still will not produce a bread that is low glycemic, nourishing, anti-inflammatory, or healthy enough to form a significant part of the diet. The secret? The production process.
Want more details? For the full story, including over 350 citations for further research, check out the Vintage Remedies Guide to Bread: Unlocking the Mysteries of Grains, Gluten and Yeast.
To those with celiac, allergies, and gluten sensitivities: We hear you. I’ve been involved in gluten free research and treatment for over a decade and even lived through it personally with one of my children. I’ve also worked with many clients that have celiac. In the book, I detail just how difficult it can be to even get a diagnosis with celiac, and I speak from not only professional but personal experience as I’ve walked through that path with close friends through the years. We even have several staff members at Vintage Remedies that have celiac or strong sensitivities.
I understand your frustration when you travel, the risk a restaurant with a “gluten-free” menu poses, especially when you’ve been burned by cross contamination due to one simple mistake. I know how the rest of the world misunderstands your condition. I’ve heard it all too – “would whole wheat work? no? how about a cracker then?” I’ve even taken the harsh comments by those who believed I was harming my child by eliminating gluten. I’ve lived through the anxiety of being a guests in someone’s home who didn’t understand gluten and it’s risks, I still travel frequently always keeping an eye out for nearby grocery stores where I can find safe food, and I understand the glances and the looks from those that think gluten-free is a fad diet – an excuse to be rude. In short, I know your lifestyle because I’ve lived it.
I know how groundbreaking the information in this book will seem and how implausible some of it may seem to those that have heard it all. I, too, had heard it all. Yet, for those of you familiar with Vintage Remedies, you know that we always err on the side of evidence based caution. We’ve taken heat for that stance many times as we refuse to jump on to the latest health fads and we don’t get our attention by launching conspiracy theory newsletters. We’re not opposed to modern medicine; we appreciate all that it has done. We are wholeheartedly in favor of evidence based medicine, believing that our families are not guinea pigs for our home experiments.
We don’t risk the health of our families by jumping to the latest diet – whether that diet is new or a revision of some so-called traditional lifestyle. Why should we when large scale clinical trials have examined these habits on thousands of individuals and can show us what to expect?
The same rings true for the upcoming bread book. In this book, I discuss the history of bread, the diet of the ancients (not as I see it, but as historians and medical anthropologists report it) and the issue with gluten. There is a lot to this subject and without reading through the book entirely, it is difficult to fully grasp the whole of this research. I encourage you to read through it, and if you have time, try to obtain access to as many of the hundreds of clinical trials that I cite as you can to verify what I’m saying. If you need help interpreting them, I plan on continuing to post about the subject here on the blog, so compile your questions and bring them back. I’d love to discuss the issue further!
Yes, in the book, I say that there is a method that can completely degrade the gluten in wheat. But I say much, much more than that and the process I recommend is reversing a “perfect storm” so it’s complex, and at the moment, not many home kitchens are equipped to manage a gluten free diet in this way. Which is why the book concludes with alternate options that begin with certified gluten free flours, including methods shown through clinical trials to make gluten-free bread lighter and fluffier, and can eliminate cross contamination. I think you need to read this research. I feel so strongly that I’ve spent countless hours over 3 years putting this book together to get this information out to you – more time than I’ve ever spent on a single book. Not because you can change things overnight, but because it brings hope. There is evidence that points to a brighter future – one that safely includes more dietary options for all of us.
The book also includes valuable information about the onset and prevention of celiac. With the knowledge researchers have about the onset of celiac, there are many steps we can take to prevent it from continuing to grow as an epidemic in our society. This is equally exciting news because researchers have documented that the prevalence of undiagnosed celiac is multiplying in the general population. This is a trend I’d love to see reversed – and I’m sure you would as well.
The book’s release date is March 20 and pre-orders are currently available through Vintage Remedies and Amazon.com Vintage Remedies will be shipping all pre-orders in early March. As the book is released and shipped, I’ll be posting more on the subject.
Although not a true cereal grain, quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) has always been revered as an ancient grain. It is a hardy plant as it can tolerate extreme temperatures and thrive in some of the worst conditions. It is easily digested, making it an ideal protein source and easy addition to any diet. It has the highest protein content of any grain, and the WHO (World Health Organization) states that quinoa has as much protein as equal parts of milk. Interestingly enough, its amino acid proﬁle is also similar to milk, which is highly unusual in a plant product. It actually contains more calcium than milk and also offers iron, phosphorus, vitamins B complex and E, manganese and magnesium.
Additionally, quinoa is a great source of lysine, an amino acid that can be difﬁcult to obtain through plant sources. Lysine is essential for tissue growth and repair.
Quinoa is a great food for migraine sufferers. The magnesium content helps to relax the blood vessels, which helps to prevent the constriction characteristic of migraines. Those who suffer from frequent migraines will be happy to hear that increased intake of magnesium has been shown to reduce the frequency of headache episodes. This same mineral also helps with high blood pressure and other cardiovascular diseases, and magnesium deﬁciencies are not uncommon among those who consume typical modern diets.
Unlike other small sized grain dishes such as couscous or rice, quinoa slightly crunchy after being cooked, adding an interesting texture to the meal. It is also naturally quick cooking, making it an ideal last minute addition. Quinoa can be substituted for rice, couscous or other grains or pastas in most dishes, or try one designed speciﬁcally for quinoa, like this Mediterranean quinoa and feta salad.
Quinoa and Feta Salad
1 cup quinoa
1/4 cup chopped fresh Mediterranean herbs (basil, oregano, rosemary…)
3 chopped celery stalks
1 cup halved seedless red grapes
1/4 cup chopped sun dried tomatoes
2/3 cup crumbled feta
3 T vinaigrette (try red wine, citrus or Italian)
Cook quinoa according to package directions. Place into a serving bowl with the herbs, celery, grapes, tomatoes and cheese. Add the vinaigrette and toss to coat. Serve chilled.
**From the Vintage Remedies Guide to Real Food, section 3**