Isn’t it strange how certain smells evoke memories and feelings in us? We all have those smells that trigger emotions. One of those smells for me is homemade bread baking. I used to make homemade bread a lot, and there’s nothing better than warm bread with a big ole pat of butter melting on top. But nothing stays the same. Everything changes. Some things change for the better and some things change for the worse. I’m one of those old souls who love a lot of the old ways. Don’t get me wrong- I wouldn’t trade my washer and dryer, my dishwasher or even my hair dryer. But some of the things I wish we could go back to are the ways our food was grown, without pesticides and herbicides and without genetically modified seeds.
Wheat is one of those crops that have been changed over the years. The wheat we have these days is not the same wheat our grandparents ate. Over the past 50 years, wheat strains were altered to make the wheat resistant to environmental stresses such as drought. Much of the current wheat supply, about 99% of it, is a hybridized dwarf variety that produces a grain with a much higher quantity of gluten that today is associated with celiac disease and leaky gut.
This is why there are so many people who have gluten intolerance from wheat products. Gluten damages the gut and a damaged gut causes so many health issues. Leaky gut hinders the digestive system from doing its job of filtering out the bad and absorbing the good. Leaky gut allows toxins that would normally be eliminated through the digestive system to be absorbed into our blood stream, causing illness and disease.
Besides the extra amount of gluten in wheat, today’s wheat flour and products made from wheat contain bromine. It is added to flour and bread products as an anti-caking agent. Webster’s dictionary defines Bromine as “a nonmetallic halogen element that is isolated as a deep red corrosive toxic volatile liquid of disagreeable odor”. Bromine is a known carcinogen. It binds to Iodine receptors in the body and can cause iodine deficiency which cannot be detected by typical thyroid tests.
Our bodies need carbohydrates for energy, but we need those that do not cause a sudden rise is blood sugar and overload the pancreas; carbohydrates that don’t contain toxic, carcinogenic chemicals, and carbohydrates that don’t damage our gut. Complex carbohydrates such as vegetables and fruits are metabolized into glucose at the pace the body was designed to handle and convert to glycogen, which gives us energy. Simple carbohydrates, by contrast, cause a spike in blood sugar that quickly dissipates, leaving a person feeling hungry and fatigued. Good sources of complex carbs include legumes, fruits, vegetables and whole grains like quinoa, brown rice, amaranth, sorghum, and oats, but wheat should be avoided. To eat gluten-free, look for pasta, crackers and bread products made from these whole grains. They can be found at local health food stores. Be sure to read your labels and avoid “gluten free” products made with GMO corn.
Since I learned about how wheat has changed, I have found new bread recipes using gluten-free flours made from other healthy whole grains, so I can still enjoy that smell of freshly baked bread. Below is a recipe for Gluten-Free muffins you are sure to love!
1 cup Organic Gluten-free flour (I use Bob’s Red Mill All-purpose gluten-free flour)
½ teaspoon Baking Soda
1 teaspoon Aluminum-free Baking Powder
2 teaspoons Cinnamon
1 Tablespoon Organic Ground Flax Seed
2 Tablespoons Organic Gluten-Free oats
1 Ripe banana
½ cup finely chopped walnuts
-In a small bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, flax and oats. Stir to combine.
-In a medium bowl combine 1 egg, ¼ cup melted coconut oil, 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup, ½ cup coconut or almond milk. Mix well and add dry ingredients. Stir to combine.
-Mash the banana and stir banana and walnuts into to the batter. Let sit while oven heats to 375 degrees.
-Grease 6 muffin cups with coconut oil or organic vegetable shortening or line with paper muffin cups.
-Spoon batter into muffin cups. Bake for approx.. 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
You may substitute 1 flax egg for the egg. To make a flax egg combine 1 Tablespoon of ground Flax seed mixed with 2.5 Tablespoons water – let sit for 5 minutes.
Instead of the banana and walnuts, you may substitute 1 cup frozen mixed berries OR Dried Cranberries with a zest of lime OR 1 cup shredded carrots and 1/2 cup raisins.