Good morning, sunshine! It has been a pretty sunny November here in Michigan, which of course is never a complaint for it's residents. Some say it is sunny days like these that help us survive the long winter that is ahead of us, and each day of sunshine is a gift knowing that it may be our last for weeks or even months. As the weather has been changing, it is easy to see the changes that take place in our bodies as well. It seems like with winter knocking at the door, our bodies want to hibernate a bit and start to crave the warm, hearty and even fattening foods. Foods that will insulate our skin against the cold and sickness. There is something very natural about living with, and eating with the seasons. The more you start to eat what is in season, the more you are aware of your body and what it needs in different times of the year.
The warm winter squashes, hearty whole grains and even warming stews full of meat and veggies are more than comfort during the cold months. They keep your immunities up while the sun refuses to shine. Yet, filling up on food over the holidays and snow days may make you feel regretful next spring when you want to fit into your tiny swimsuit, so you have to eat for health over the winter season, and not for pure comfort. What does this mean?
Well, this means that over the holidays, don't let yourself eat 3 pieces of pie just because. Even though our body's may "crave" more warming comfort foods in the cold we can be more aware of it and fill up on hearty whole foods that will sustain us and nurture us for the long haul. Let yourself enjoy special treats, but stay the healthy course of eating a balanced diet of vegetables, whole grains and protein. This means you have to eat quality, over quantity. Eating healthy fats, grains and protein that will fill you up and sustain you longer than empty calories (from the holiday party table). So, that is why this bread came into existence for me. I have been needing more protein in my diet as of late (new nursing momma here), and this bread hits just the spot when I am looking for a good breakfast or snack. It just feels right to eat a hearty bread with a bowl of warming soup or stew. Unfortunately, the smoothie and raw lettuce wrap seem a bit cold for a Michigan resident this time of year.
This bread is full of whole grains with cooked quinoa and whole grain flours. It will not make your blood sugar jump, or have you needing even more than a slice can offer. It is the perfect snack for this nursing momma that has barely time enough to feed herself but still needs nourishment more than ever. And it was a nice 15 minute break while baby slept to have some "me" time in the kitchen. Oh how I love to bake...
Quinoa Protein Bread Recipe
3/4 cup of almond flour (or ground whole almonds in your coffee grinder/food processor)
3/4 cup of millet flour
1/2 cup of brown rice flour
1 cup of cooked quinoa
2 ts. of baking powder
1 ts. of baking soda
1 ts. of sea salt
1 ts. of xanthan gum
1/3 cup of flaxmeal (ground flax seeds in coffee grinder)
1/8 cup of agave nectar
1/4 cup of olive oil
1/4 cup of coconut milk beverage
2/3 cup of pure water
1 TB of apple cider vinegar
Mix all of the dry ingredients and quinoa in a large mixing bowl together, then add all the wet in the same bowl and then mix well together. Let sit together for a few minutes to let the moisture be absorbed by the dry ingredients and to let the xanthan gum and flaxmeal to gel. Then oil a bread pan or tin and put the whole mix in the bread pan. Pat the top and dust with some rice flour if you desire. Then put in a pre-heated oven of 350 degrees for 50 minutes. Check the baking bread at 50 minutes to see if the bread is cooked all the way through with a pick to the middle of the bread, if not, bake another 10 minutes. Let cool at least 10-15 minutes before plopping from the bread tin to a plate or rack to cool down. Also, wait that same amount of time before you cut into the loaf so that the bread stays together better. Then.... eat and enjoy!
Use some of the leftover cooked quinoa in your fridge for this hearty bread. Nourish yourself and stay warm this season. I hope you have a fantastic day and enjoy it's gifts for all it's worth!