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Tag Archives: healthy bread

Healthy Pumpkin Challah

17 Nov

Is there anything better than the smell or the taste of fresh, hot bread right out of the oven?! To me, there is nothing better :)

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I learned how to make challah bread by another leader in my culinary club I teach on campus, but it was the typical, unhealthy version of it. I knew I wanted to play around with making a healthy version, as one of my favorite foods in life is bread<3 And then life happened and I forgot.

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But then a few days ago, the nutrition’s office that I volunteer for on campus offered me a free bread maker! They were trying to get rid of it, and I gladly accepted. In the rain, on my scooter my mom got me for my 21st birthday, I scooted home with my glasses, interact jacket, and the bread maker in between my legs..probably not the safest thing I have ever done

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And then my passion for bread making was revived! Now that I didn’t have to spend the time kneading the bread, I knew I wanted to make it righttttt away. So, what a better way to begin my whole bread making than trying to make a healthy challah bread.

And then I had a great idea. Why not add a smidge of that PuMpKiN flavor that I love so dearly??

The rest was history. Nomnomnom.

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so maybe not the prettiest challah loaf, but I was proud for it being the first time making it!

My boyfriend who loves bread as well, was in heaven upon first slice.

Top the bread with some coconut oil and cinnamon, some agave, or some of my delicious homemade nut butters (like my java one, almond joy one, or even better, my healthy “not-tella” <3)

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Healthy Pumpkin Challah
Makes 1 loaf
1.5 cups Whole Wheat Flour
1 cup Oat Flour or White Flour
1/2 cup Pumpkin
1 Egg
1 Egg White
1/4 cup warm Milk
1 packet Instant Yeast
3T Agave
1T Coconut Oil, melted
1 tsp Sea Salt
1 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice

For Egg Wash: 1 Egg, 1 tbsp Water, 1 tbsp Brown Sugar

Directions with Bread Maker: Place warm milk and yeast into bread maker. Allow to sit for about 3 minutes. Add All other ingredients except Egg Wash ingredients and turn bread maker onto the “Knead/Dough” setting. Allow to knead dough. When done, allow to rise once in bread maker until double in size. Once doubled. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Remove dough from bread maker and place on floured surface. Divide into 3 sections, and roll into “rope-like” stings of dough. Braid the three pieces of dough and pinch all three ends together on both ends of loaf. Place onto cookie tray sprayed with nonstick spray.Lay a towel over lightly and place in warm spot. Allow to double in size again, about 30 minutes. In small bowl, beat egg wash ingredients together. When loaf has doubled in size, brush egg wash mixture lightly on top (be careful not to deflate loaf), and place into preheated oven and bake for about 35 minutes, or until slight brown and crisp to the touch. Remove and allow to cool. This bread served with a touch of coconut oil and cinnamon, or a touch of agave is delicious.

Pumpkin Benefits:
1) High in Vitamin A which aids in eyesight
2) High in fiber to keep you satisfied
3) Rich in Beta Carotene with plays a role in cancer prevention and benefit your skin
4) More potassium than a banana (great post workout food!)
5) Rich in Vitamin C which is an immune booster, decreases blood pressure and risk of heart disease, and regulates cholesterol
6) Good source of vitamin E, which promotes healthy skin
7) High in potassium which is necessary for energy production, balancing fluid levels, and promoting strong bones

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Savory Peanut Protein Bread (and why I rarely use protein powder)

1 Jul

I use to make high protein recipes a lot, using protein powders as my source to accomplish that. But ever since my sugar detox, and realizing just how many artificial ingredients and sugars there are in most protein powders, I haven’t used them. Now I am not saying I am completely 100% against them and will not ever use them again, as there are some decently clean powders out there; but I am a big believer now in eating real food vs. processed food for most of my nutrients.

This is a huge change in perspective as when I was a competitive athlete, I would drink protein shakes at least once a day, and make tons of protein powder recipes. But I just truly believe that the best way to get all your nutrients is through real food. The real, unprocessed, natural food that God has provided us. Why consume all of this processed junk when the natural stuff is so delicious in itself?! Fruit is nature’s candy, and it truly has satisfied all my sugar cravings during this detox of mine. It is so sweet in itself, why add extra syrups and sauces and junk to it? I just get very confused when seeing a ton of people claiming to “eat clean” and live a healthy lifestyle, spending hours in the gym, only to come home and fill themselves with processed powders as recovery. Or even better, fix something that is healthy, like oatmeal or Greek yogurt, only to load it up with sugar free chocolate syrups(aka processed artificial sugars), “protein icings” (made of processed protein powder and water), sugar-filled bars or store-bought cereal, and my ultime favorite, TWO or THREE packets of artificial sweetener mixed in–and then claim its a clean recipe!! One packet of stevia or whatever their choosing would already be so sweet, but two or three?! It just shows how artificial sweeteners make you crave an unnatural, extremely sweet taste. Which is why I did my sugar detox in the first place, as I was one of those who for a long time, which fell into the false thinking of “sugar free” products being good since they were “calorie free”. But oh was I wrong. Thankfully, I was shown the light and now am freed from all of that :)

Anyways, enough of my ranting, let us get to the recipe! I wanted a bread higher in protein, but didn’t want to use protein powders. I realized my peanut flour was very high in protein, (16 grams for every 1/4 cup!) so I knew that was the flour I would use. Plus, who doesn’t like the slight taste of peanut butter in their foods? I know I usually add nut butter on top of my breads anyways! But I didn’t want to make this a sweet bread. I wanted this to be more of a bread I could use for savory meals and snacks. Which meant I knew I couldn’t use all peanut flour.

But then I found one of my other great flour buys that was high in protein, soy flour! Now, if you have never tried it, let me just tell you something. Without cooking it, soy flour tastes horrible. I learned my lesson when tasting the dough of something I baked in the past. I thought I had surely ruined my creation, but decided to bake it anyways. But to my surprise, when coming out of the oven, the muffins I was experimenting with turned out amazing!! The soy flour now did not have the horrid taste to it! So for the other base flour of this bread, I knew I wanted to use my soy flour.

I have been experimenting with breads so much lately, really wanting to create a paleo bread that in high in protein, not too high in calories, yet actually doesn’t taste like cardboard like all the ones in the store! I have made some absolutely delicious attempts at this, but they will not rise. Ever. Never ever. It has been so frustrating as I have been wanting to share this delicious recipe that I’ve been tested multiple times, but not once have I got it to actually rise well! So I guess I will keep on trying until I find the secret :) (Any tips would be awesome!) But anyways, so as my paleo bread wasn’t working in my favor, I decided to try a different bread, that wasn’t paleo exactly, but still very  nutritious and containing no gluten! This was my result (on the first try too!!).

photo 1Savory Pumpkin Bread
-3/4 cup peanut flour
-1/2 cup soy flour
-1/4 cup raw wheat bran
-1 egg
-1/2 cup egg whites
-1/2 cup water
-1/4 cup Greek yogurt
-1 tsp sea salt and cinnamon
-2 tsp baking powder
-Optional: honey/stevia to sweeten as desired
Directions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Mix all ingredients except baking powder together in bowl until smooth. Add baking powder and stir until incorporated. Spray bread loaf pan (medium sized) with cooking spray. Pour batter into pan. Cook for about 20-30 minutes, until browned. Enjoy!

Peanut Benefits
1)Rich in energy, containing many nutrients, minerals, antioxidants and vitamins
2)Good levels of mono-unsaturated fatty acids
3)Good source of dietary protein
4)Great source of resveratrol, an antioxidant found to protect against cancers, heart disease, and fungal infections
5)Excellent source of vitamin E, which maintains and protects cell membranes and skin
6)Packed with B vitamins