Just over a year ago, I would have looked at a recipe like this and scrolled by thinking, yeah right, who just happens to have coconut flour handy? Who’s baking bread without wheat?
Well as it turns out, me. Here I am, changing my ways and baking an experimental loaf of bread that I hope the family will all love.
12 months ago I would have attempted something similar with spelt flour, finding it easier to digest than wheat, but three things have forced me another hundred yards down my road to good health. Firstly, my children, particularly J, are very sensitive to foods containing artificial additives.
Secondly, little R flatly refuses to eat ANYTHING containing wheat apart from teddy bear biscuits. (Even then, I find them only half eaten around the house.) No bread, cakes, piklets, pancakes, nothing.
Thirdly, despite eating what I considered a generally very good diet full of homegrown veggies, free range meats, (admittedly more chicken than beef or lamb) good quality whole grains, full fat unsweetened dairy products and mostly unrefined sugars with the odd “treat” like icecream here or there, I still became seriously anaemic. I needed a high dose iron infusion and apparently was not far off having a blood transfusion. That explained why I was struggling to get off the couch…
Going on the pill or other birth control methods are an option for those with low iron issues, but personally I don’t like the way the pill messes with my hormones and frankly, it also seemed a bit of a bandaid solution to me. I wanted to delve deeper into the problem and figure out why I’m not absorbing iron, along with other nagging health issues like PMS, sinus issues, indigestion, brain fog and low immunity.
Lots of excellent books, websites, blogs and Facebook pages later, I’m fairly certain that a decade in my 20’s of chain smoking and therefore taking countless doses of antibiotics for chest and throat infections, years on and off the pill and antidepressants, years of yo yo dieting and many, many other factors have all led me to a serious lack of healthy gut flora.
Without good gut health, I believe there is no good health full stop.
I will blog more about the road I’m on and include resources soon (basically, somewhere between GAPS and Paleo for those familiar or curious) but in a nut shell, for the time being, I’m cutting out grains and dairy, night shade veggies for a little while, (that won’t last long because I’d take a summer tomato over a slice of bread any day) and adding in lots of nourishing homemade bone broths and soups, green smoothies, fermented foods and good quality probiotics.
I’m hoping that this “cleansing” period will help restore the healthy bacteria in my gut, help me overcome my iron issues, help me to lose weight and generally achieve greater health and well being.
So here is my healthy fruit bread. I’ve just scoffed a piece warm from the oven, a definite no-no so close to bed but it smelt heavenly and was soooo yummy!
Note:There are lots of gorgeous grain free bread recipes all over the Internet but most call for bananas or sweet potato flesh. I had neither so I began with the basic bread recipe from Dr Natasha Campbell-McBride’s book “Gut and Psychology Syndrome.”
2 and 1/2 cups ground almonds
1/4 cup softened butter, coconut oil, homemade yoghurt or creme fraiche
I ACTUALLY USED:
2 cups ground almonds and 1/2 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup homemade coconut butter. See here for the recipe
1 tablespoon cold pressed coconut oil
4 local free range eggs
1/4 cup pure organic honey
3/4 cup Ayam coconut milk (a good quality brand available in Australia)
1/2 cup chopped organic dried apricots (preservative free)
1/2 cup organic raisins (sultanas)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
*Preheat oven to 160 Dc / 320 DF
*Soak dried fruit in a bowl of boiling water while you grind your almonds.
*Mix all other ingredients apart from the coconut flour. Gently stir this through at the end with the drained fruit.
*If this mixture seems a bit too stiff, add a little of the cooled water from the dried fruit. It should be wet and sticky but not too sloppy.
*Bake for one hour until golden brown and a skewer comes out clean.
It’s full of delicious wholesome ingredients so to get him into bed, I told a lingering J (4yrs) he could have some for breakfast. I would be VERY surprised if Little R doesn’t join him!
Give it a go, I promise you’ll enjoy it and as you can see – its pretty easy to tweak things here and there to suit your needs and those of your family.