Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Low Carb Spiced Pumpkin Bread

I know I have been MIA for a little while. I really am sorry about that. But if you follow me on facebook you know that I have been trying to loose that last bit of pregnancy weight by following the South Beach Diet.  I am super happy to say that it is working awesome, the last few pounds are falling off and I am having a blast "shopping" in my attic for clothing I haven't been able to wear in a long time.  The only downside, is that I have not been very creative in the kitchen.  My mom leant me a few South Beach cookbooks and the blog Kalyn's Kitchen have both been wonderful with keeping the diet exciting, food wise (as much as you can be without eating very many-if any carbs).  But since I was trying to follow the diet as perfectly as possible in Phase One, I didn't feel confidant creating my own recipes.

Now that I am in Phase Two, I am allowed to start incorporating "good carbs" back into my diet.  Knowing my love of sweets and bakery, you can't be all that surprised to hear I was dying to find some "acceptable" baked goods.  Combine that with the wonderful cooler weather we have been having here in Ohio- beautifully sunny and breezy mid 70's. Heaven.  So of course pumpkin comes to mind.  It is super high on the healthy scale and so, so delicious.  I just knew that I could find a low carb pumpkin bread recipe to satisfy my cravings.  This recipe from the online low carb magazine, The Low Carb Luxury is so, so wonderful!!!!  I have found that sometimes low carb bread can have a strange, rubbery consistency that I find rather off-putting.  This recipe isn't like that AT ALL.  If you weren't told this quick bread was low carb you would have no idea.  The whole family loves it, and I will be making it again and again.  I mean, for only 3.8 grams of carbs per slice, you can't beat it!  Oh how I love guilt-free bakery.  This recipe was 100% worth sharing.

Now this recipe uses some unique flours, which is what makes it low carb.  Almond Flour/Meal is simply just very, very finely ground almonds!  You can make it yourself by grinding raw or blanched almonds in your food processor at home, but I decided to save some time and just buy it premade.  I found Bob's Red Mill brand and really loved it.  I found it at Marc's (if you are local to Cleveland, OH area) and I also have seen it at our Super Wal-Mart.  If you have been making those yummy Sandwich Thin Buns, then you are familiar with the Vital Wheat Gluten Flour and the Wheat Bran.  Yay for another place to use them!  Go on out, stock your pantry and most importantly- have fun playing with some new ingredients!

Low Carb Spiced Pumpkin Bread

1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
4 eggs
1 cup canola oil
1/2 cup water
2 cups Splenda
1 1/2 cups Vital Wheat Gluten flour
1/4 cup whey protein powder (I used vanilla flavored because that is what I had on hand)
3/4 cup almond flour
1 cup oat flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
Wheat Bran (or whole wheat flour) for dusting pan

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Spray bread pans with nonstick cooking spray. Sprinkle wheat bran into the pans and tap around to "flour" the pans. This will prevent sticking. Whole wheat or all purpose flour can also be used, but the wheat bran packs in extra healthy goodness.

Using a wire wisk or a hand mixer beat eggs. Add the water, oil, and pumpkin and beat until well combined. Sift together all flours, baking soda, salt and spices in a separate bowl. Add Splenda to pumpkin mixture and mix very well. Add the pumpkin mixture to the flour mixture and blend until wet and fully combined.

Pour into greased and wheat bran (or whole wheat) floured pans and bake for about 40-50 minutes. If you bake in the small loaf pans, be sure to keep an eye on them.  They will bake faster then the large loaves.  Breads are done when toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Makes (2) 8.5" loaves or (4) 5.75x3" loaves- slice into 12 slices per loaf.
Each large loaf contains 46 grams of carbs — 3.8 carbs per slice. (or you can have two small slices for the same amount)

Saturday, August 13, 2011

A Perfect Taste of Summer- Garden Tomato and Basil Sandwich

Garden Tomato and Basil Sandwich
1 tomato
a hand-full of basil leaves
a smear of either mayo or a bit of a Laughing Cow wedge (my favorite is the Light Creamy Swiss)
4 slices Bread of your choice
Corse kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper

Smear a bit of mayo or some of the Laughing Cow cheese onto your bread.  Top with a few nice, thick slices of fresh garden tomatoes.  Add a sprinkling of salt (it brings out the sweetness in the tomatoes) and a grind or two of fresh black pepper.  Top with a few leaves of fresh basil and enjoy.  Seriously you can't beat this sandwich.  So, so good!  I have this alllll the time for breakfast.  And lunch.  And snack.  When tomatoes are in season, it is seriously addictive.

Also I have to apologize for being MIA for so long!!  Our charger cable to the computer broke two and a half weeks ago.  We ordered one, and just our luck, it got lost in the mail. I was seriously so, so mad.  The post office has no idea where it is and we have to wait a full 30 days until we can even make a claim. Who knows how much longer we would have to wait until everything got resolved.  So we ordered another one, and luckily that got to us nice and fast.  So if the post office ever does find the missing charger, well I guess we will just have a back up.  Incase you were wondering, two and a half weeks without a computer is NO FUN!


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