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Make Your Own Genuine Low Carb Bread

Published on May 30, 2013,

Many people on a low carb diet will miss bread pretty badly and a number of companies have spotted an opportunity to launch low carb breads. However, it’s not clear how low carb they really are and in at least some cases the claims seem quite misleading. The excellent blog Low Carb Support reckons you are much better off making your own genuine low carb bread and shows you how. This is from Low Carb Support…

Half a loaf of homemade potato bread. Ingredie...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Making low-carb bread is actually easier than making traditional bread with wheat and yeast. (There are many benefits to avoiding wheat – carb content is just one of the reasons.)

I wish I could also tell you that it will be just as nice, but unfortunately, I can’t do that. Texture will be different – you won’t be able to recreate the white fluffiness of a baguette. Having said that, low-carb bread can be quite nice in its own way. You can certainly use it for toasting, sandwiches and all those other times when you need to feel the void left by the absence of wheat-based bread.

Low-carb flours

We cannot use any of the traditional grains-based flours, as they are all high in carbs. The solution is to use nut and seed-based flours. They work surprisingly well (and don’t actually taste of nuts).

The most common types are almond, coconut and hazelnut flours, but you can use pretty much any nuts or seeds. You can buy them already ground, or just buy the nuts and grind them yourself at home in a food processor. Flaxseed is another common ingredient. Nuts are obviously more expensive that grains, but you can save a lot of money if you buy them online in bulk (rather than those tiny packets from supermarkets).

Adding moisture

As with traditional bread-making, you need to add some moisture to the mixture. All the traditional ingredients work equally well with nut flours – eggs, butter, vegetable oils, milk and cream. Bread recipes will provide a guideline amount you need to include, but there can be a lot of variance depending on how dry your nut flour is (it tends to dry out as it gets older), and how moist are other ingredients. So sometimes you might need to experiment with recipes to establish the correct amount of wet ingredients.

Leavening and thickening agents

Baking powder tends to work better than baking soda in most low-carb bread recipes. You can buy it in most shops or make your own by mixing 2 parts cream tartar with 1 part baking soda.

Xanthan gum or guar gum can be added to gluten-free recipes to thicken and stabilise the mixture. You don’t have to add them, but they do help to make the bread less crumbly.

Other ideas

There are lots of other ingredients you can add to your bread to make it a bit more fun. Vegetables work well – try cauliflower and courgettes – but please note these do add extra moisture to the mix, so adjust your dry/wet ingredients accordingly. You can add whole seeds and nuts – for example, sunflower, pumpkin, sesame seeds, pistachio and pine nuts. Chopped bacon and cheese also work well. Don’t be afraid to experiment!

Basic low-carb bread recipe

Here’s a basic recipe for almond-flour low-carb bread – try adding other ingredients as described above to make it more interesting.

  • 2 cups of almond flour
  • 1/2 cup of ground flaxseeds
  • ¼ cup of sunflower seeds
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 tbsp olive oil (or other vegetable oil)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp xantham gum (optional)
  • ½ tsp salt

Method:

  1. Combine all dry ingredients and mix well
  2. Lightly beat the eggs and mix with oil
  3. Combine dry and wet ingredients
  4. Pour the mixture into a greased loaf tin
  5. Bake at 190C/375F/Gas Mark 5 for about 45 minutes (or until toothpick comes out clean)

Nutritional information
Assuming 10 slices are made from the amounts above, per slice:
211 cals, 2g net carbs, 18g fat, 10g protein

More at: Low-carb gluten-free bread

See all the excellent low carb recipes and resources at Low Carb Support

Wheat Belly: One Page Summary and Quick Start Guide

Published on December 11, 2012,

Several recent posts related to the Wheat Belly book by Dr William Davis have generated a lot of interest so please find this recently updated ‘quick & dirty’ summary of the Wheat Belly approach from Dr Davis which summarizes the essential dietary strategies of the Wheat Belly approach to 1) avoid all products made from high-yield, semi-dwarf wheat, and 2) create a diet that is otherwise healthy and appropriate for all members of the family. This is from the Wheat Belly blog…

This is the same diet I advise patients in my office to follow that achieves spectacular reductions in weight, provides relief from joint pain and acid reflux, reduces triglycerides, shoots HDL upward, reduces small LDL particles (the #1 cause of heart disease in the U.S!), and unravels diabetic/pre-diabetic tendencies. The diet starts with the biggest step of all: elimination of wheat. But a healthy diet cannot end there, else you and I could eat no wheat but fill our calories with soft drinks and jelly beans. So the next step is to limit carbohydrates if your goal is to lose more weight and correct metabolic distortions like high blood sugar and small LDL particles. Then, we choose our foods wisely to avoid the common boobytraps set for us by Big Food and Agribusiness, not to mention the friendly dietitian at the hospital! Diet in the 21st century is no longer just about carbs, proteins, and fats–it is also about being savvy about the changes introduced into our foods by food producers.

Eliminate:
All wheat-based products (all breads, all breakfast cereals, noodles, pasta, bagels, muffins, pancakes, waffles, donuts, pretzels, crackers), oat products (oatmeal, oat bran), corn and cornstarch-based products (sauces or gravies thickened with cornstarch, prepared or processed foods containing cornstarch, cornmeal products like chips, tacos, tortillas), sugary soft drinks, candies.

Avoid processed foods containing wheat, such as soy sauce, Twizzlers, Campbells Tomato Soup, salad dressings, taco seasoning–examine ALL labels and avoid any food with mention of wheat. (It’s not a bad idea to avoid foods with labels! Cucumbers and spinach, for instance, generally don’t come with labels.)

Enjoy unlimited:

  • Vegetables-except potatoes; fresh or frozen, never canned
  • Raw nuts and seeds-raw almonds, walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, pistachios, Brazil nuts, cashews, macadamians; dry-roasted peanuts (not roasted in oil); pumpkin, sunflower, sesame, and chia seeds
  • Healthy oils (preferably unheated, whenever possible)-olive, flaxseed, coconut, avocado, walnut
  • Meats-red meats, pork, fish, chicken, turkey, eggs. (Consider free-range, grass-fed and/or organic sources.)
  • Ground flaxseed, chia seeds
  • Teas, coffee, water, unsweetened almond milk, coconut milk or coconut water
  • Cheeses—real cultured cheeses only (not Velveeta or single-slice processed cheese)
  • Avocado or guacamole; hummus; unsweetened condiments, e.g., mayonnaise, mustard, oil-based salad dressings; ketchup without high-fructose corn syrup; pesto, tapenades; olives

Limited:

  • Fruit-No more than 2 servings a day (one serving is a level handful), preferably in this order (best first): berries of all varieties, citrus, apples, nectarines, peaches, melons. Minimize bananas, pineapples, mangoes, and grapes and only in the smallest of quantities (since they are like candy in sugar content)
  • Fruit juices-only real juices and in minimal quantities (no more than 2-4 oz)
  • Dairy products-No more than 1 serving per day of milk, cottage cheese or yogurt, unsweetened (Fat content doesnot matter.)
  • Legumes/beans; peas; sweet potatoes and yams; rice (white and brown); organic soy
  • Dark chocolates-70-85% cocoa or greater; no more than 40 grams (approximately 2 inches square) per day
  • Sugar-free foods–preferably stevia-containing, rather than aspartame; other safe sweeteners include erythritol and xylitol

Never:

  • ”Gluten-free” foods made with rice flour, cornstarch, tapioca starch, or potato starch
  • Fried foods
  • Fast foods
  • Hydrogenated “trans” fats
  • Cured meats–hot dogs, sausages, bacon, bologna, pepperoni “fixed” with sodium nitrite
  • High-fructose corn syrup containing foods; honey; agave syrup; sucrose
  • Processed rice, rice flour or potato products-rice crackers, rice cereals, pretzels, white breads, breakfast cereals, potato chips
  • Fat-free or low-fat salad dressings

Quick tips:

  • For healthy breakfast choices, consider ground flaxseed as a hot cereal (e.g., with coconut milk, organic milk, or unsweetened almond milk; blueberries, strawberries, etc.). Also consider eggs; raw nuts; cheese; consider having “dinner for breakfast,” meaning transferring salads, cheese, chicken, and other “dinner” foods to breakfast.
  • Add 1 tsp or more of taste-compatible healthy oil to every meal. For example, mix in 1 tbsp coconut oil to ground flaxseed hot cereal. Or add 2 tbsp olive oil to eggs after scrambling. Adding oils will blunt appetite.
  • If you suspect you have a wheat “addiction” and are struggling to break it, use the first week to add healthy oils to every meal and reduce the amount of wheat by half. In the second week, aim for elimination of wheat while maintaining the oils.
  • Reach for raw nuts first as a convenient snack.
  • Use the recipes in the Wheat Belly Blog and book whenever cravings hit: cookies, muffins, brownies, coffee cake, cheesecake from the recipes can quell appetite with no downside.

More at:  Wheat Belly: Quick & Dirty 2

Video: Must See – Are You Addicted to Wheat?

Published on December 6, 2012,

Thanks to the Diet Doctor for highlighting an excellent interview with Dr William Davis, author of Wheat Belly, on the Dr Oz show. The interview is split into three six minutes sections (direct links below) and covers the problems with wheat, the positive health and weight loss impact of eliminating it (with success stories), and a three part plan for getting going. This is from the Diet Doctor…

Is food made out of wheat flour addictive? Does it result in weight gain and disease? That’s what Dr William Davis claims in his book Wheat Belly.

After spending a long time at (or close to) the top of the New York Times bestseller list Dr Davis was finally invited to the very popular The Dr Oz Show. Nobody likes whole grains more than Dr Oz, so kudos to him.

Dr Davis gave a great performance. And I mostly agree with him – apart from the claim that wheat affects the brain like heroin and makes us eat 440 calories more per day. That seems more sensation-seeking than scientific.

On the other hand wheat can certainly result in extreme blood sugar elevations, insulin spikes and fat storage. I also love Dr Davis’ analogy between whole grain flour and filtered cigarettes (just because something is less bad doesn’t mean it’s good). I often use that analogy myself. Hearing it on this whole grain-loving show was fantastic.

All in all a victory for low carb in America.

Direct links to the videos:

Are you addicted to wheat?, Part 1

Are you addicted to wheat?, Part 2

Are you addicted to wheat?, Part 3

More at:  Dr William “Wheat Belly” Davis on The Dr Oz Show!

© Low Carb Diet News