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Experiment with Low Carb Quick Bread

Monday, September 17, 2012

I've been exploring a lot of low carb food websites lately. Many of them have a number of gluten free baked goods due to nut meals and coconut flour being easy low carb flour substitutions. Mind you, this works better for quick breads than yeasted breads.

Anyway, I found a recipe for a simple white quick bread here. www.sugarfreelowcarbrecipes.com/?p=3

I thought I'd give it a try. I will admit to being a bit puzzled by this sentence: "Eggs were used for leavening, but I suppose baking powder or soda could be added to make a lighter bread." Is there anyone here who can explain how eggs work as leavening, especially if you don't separate them and whisk the whites into peaks?

I do know how quick breads are normally leavened. It involves an acid-base reaction producing lots of teeny tiny bubbles. Baking soda is a base and requires a corresponding acid, e.g. buttermilk or cream of tartar, in order to do anything. Baking powder combines both acid and base in one powder and can act as a leavening agent by itself . If comments weren't closed on the original article, I'd point out over there that I don't think baking soda would work to lighten this bread because I don't see any obvious acids in the original ingredient list.

Now, I thought that the bread in the photos accompanying the original article looked awfully flat, so when I made my bread, I added a tablespoon of baking powder. Here's the results:

This is the batter after I put it in the loaf pan.

This is the finished loaf. I really wish I'd gotten a picture of it before I dumped it out of the pan so I could show just how much it rose thanks to the baking powder.

This is the first slice off the finished loaf. As you can see, it's noticeably taller than the slices on the original site.

I used my Ninja Master Prep to mix the ingredients. It worked really well once I figured out that I need to use the large container.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RHOADAN 9/17/2012 11:42PM

    As is, it doesn't have much flavor, but then again, the original recipe is intended to be a readily modified base for flavored breads, so that's not necessarily a bad thing. It's certainly sturdy enough to stand up to whatever you want to put on it, and plenty moist.

Next time I'll add some Italian seasonings and possibly a strongly flavored cheese. I also want to do a seeded variation with crunch.

Comment edited on: 9/17/2012 11:44:01 PM

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AMANDA_YVONNE 9/17/2012 5:04PM

    How did it taste?

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ERIN1957 9/17/2012 4:06PM

    Yours does look better than theirs. Many low carb breads call of eggs, just part of the food I guess....we LC love eggs and the wonderful fats and proteins they give us.

I have made flax breads before but never a white loaf. My family will like this.

Thank you so much!


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RHOADAN 9/17/2012 1:07PM

    I've done my share of baking pre-low carb, mostly sourdough breads. I also did the occasional yeasted bread (Laurel's Kitchen Loaf for Learning, yay). Quick breads were pretty much confined to corn bread. although that banana pumpkin bread in the previous post was a quick bread. I like Southern corn bread, the kind with no added sugar.

Actually, I suspect that real function of the large number of eggs is to give the bread cohesion. A bread made with wheat flour would get its cohesion from the gluten, but this is a gluten free bread and I don't think the small amount of xanthan (or in this case, guar) gum is enough to make up for the lack..

The texture of the finished loaf reminded me of pound cake. Chasing down information on that gave me fodder for another blog post.

Comment edited on: 9/17/2012 1:08:52 PM

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-LINDA_S 9/17/2012 10:55AM

    Aha! You sound like a baker! I get what you mean. I don't see any acid, either, and I agree about the eggs, at least unless they're really whipped up. Seems like a lot of eggs if they're not doing the leavening. I wonder if you need them all if you add baking powder, but I guess they contribute moisture. Anyway, your bread looks great!

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1CRAZYDOG 9/17/2012 7:59AM

    Hmmmm.....yup. Couldn't explain @ all how eggs could act as a leavening agent nor soda could lighten the bread. Your bread looks scrumptious!!!

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HOTPINKCAMARO49 9/17/2012 3:50AM

  emoticon You go, girl! emoticon emoticon

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An experiment in reducing the carbs in a Pumpkin Banana bread recipe.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

I recently found myself with two overripe bananas and needed to do something with them, so I went to SparkRecipes and did a search on banana bread looking specifically for something to use two bananas. Most banana bread recipes call for three or four.

I found something called "Healthy Pumpkin Banana Bread" ( recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detai
) that would also let me get rid of a can of pumpkin that I'd opened up earlier. Now, as a diabetic, I need to watch my carb intake, so I figured that I'd modify the recipe to reduce its carb content.

If you're wondering about a diabetic eating bananas, 1) I'm a picky eater and bananas are one of the few fruits I like. 2) While one banana has too many carbs for a snack by ADA standards, it's acceptable as part of a meal as long as any other carbs in the meal don't put you over the limit. I usually have them with breakfast. I'll probably lay off the bananas for a while anyway though, as I'm planning on doing some heavy duty testing to figure just how many grams of carbs I can safely eat, and when.

Back to the bread. I basically did two things to reduce the carbs in the bread: 1) I used 3/4 cup of brown sugar and a product called "Sweetzfree"( sweetzfree.com/ )that's sucrolose dissolved in water to fake the Splenda/brown sugar mix that's available in stores in place of the half cup of brown sugar and cup of granulated sugar in the original recipe.
2) I replaced the flours with a blend based on a recipe for a fake whole wheat bread by Dana Carpender, www.holdthetoast.com/ author of many low carb cookbooks.

I put the blend together as follows:
1 1/2 cup Vital wheat gluten
1/4 cup Wheat bran, crude
1/4 cup Raw Wheat Germ
1 cup Oat Flour
1/2 cup Hemp Protein Powder Vanilla (Trade Joe's Brand)
1/2 cup Psyllium Husk

Yeah, all that to replace four cups of flour (2 all-purpose, 2 whole wheat). It does, however, cut the carbs down and bump up the fiber content. It also makes a pretty good bread. My housemate approved of it, and while she's willing to eat a wider variety of things than I am, she's pickier about quality.

I did make a couple of other minor changes that weren't related to the carb content. 1) Replacing the cow's milk with soymilk because I have issues with lactose and have gotten into the habit of using milk substitutes. 2) Carpender's bread mix calls for whey protein powder, but I used the hemp protein powder because that's what I happened to have on hand.

I also ran into a road bump or two on the way to making this bread, the most notable one being that I forgot to add the pumpkin when creaming together the moist ingredients and sweetener, so I had to add it to the complete batter. NB, at least when doing it this way, a whisk is completely inadequate to mix in the pumpkin.

The finished bread is tasty, and there are occasional recognizable bits of pumpkin it. It takes a lot to toast it though; it's very moist and it wants to stay that way.


Giving up the car

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Admittedly, not entirely by choice. I had some issues with the security system and when I took it into the dealership to get it checked out, the estimate for the cost of repairs got into "more than the car is worth" territory. Not the security system by itself, but other issues that the dealership found, mostly notably wear on the timing belt. (Not an immediate need, but more of a "we have to take it off to get at the thing that needs immediate fixing anyway, and it's gonna need work soon so take care of it now" sort of deal) At any rate, I heard the estimate, choked, and decided that donating the car to charity sounded like a really good idea about now. I'd already been considering getting rid of the car, but before that trip to the dealership, I'd hoped to sell it.

So, it's going to a charity that matches people with disabilities with service dogs and therapy dogs. I'd hoped to have the car picked up today, but the way the scheduling worked out, it got picked up yesterday.

I'm not giving cars up completely. I've signed up with a local car share program ( www.phillycarshare.org ). I figure the hourly rental will be an incentive to keep usage to a minimum, e.g. monthly trip to the wholesale club for kitty litter and toilet paper, and the occasional trip to Ikea to replace broken furniture.

This should be good for me. I'll do a lot more walking to places I need to go, and I'll probably get a bike for longer distances (Hello exercise). There's lots of mass transit where I am, so unless I get a job that requires an automotive commute, I figure I'm set.



  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RHOADAN 12/1/2011 12:09PM

    Yeah, my plan kinda depends on having ready access to mass transit. It'd be a lot harder if I still lived in the 'burbs and impossible if I lived in a rural community. As it is, my place is between the eastbound and westbound legs of one crosstown bus; there's two north-south buses no more than three blocks away (one to the east and one to the west); and a subway about four blocks west of me. A monthly pass will get me most of the places I might want to go that are too far walk. Ask me about it again in two years when the transit union goes on its triennial strike. emoticon

Comment edited on: 12/1/2011 12:13:07 PM

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1CRAZYDOG 12/1/2011 9:17AM

    Good luck and excellent solution to your dilemma. Wishing you good health with the extra walking and biking!!

Wish we had mass transit here . . . . but sadly, we don't.

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RHOADAN 12/1/2011 1:39AM

    Twenty pounds of paper every day? That sounds like a good reason to get a bike with a front rack or basket. After sizing up my current bank balance, I've decided that a bike is going to have to wait until after the new year, unless the local used bike store comes up with something suitable for cheap. Based on discussions with my housemate, that seems unlikely. I could get a suitable bike new for the same amount she paid for her current bike used.

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    i admire your spirit about the car. i dont have the patience for mass transit. plus i get motion sickness on buses. the walking idea i really could do it if i wasnt lugging around 20 pounds of paper every night to work on at home. has a friend who doesnt drive and relies on others to take him everywhere. we shop on saturdays my reg errand day and make an day of it. i like the company when i shop. best of wishes to you.

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New Cat

Monday, May 24, 2010

Well, okay, I adopted him a little over a month ago, but since the last cat to enter this household before him arrived in 2002, I think he qualifies as "newly arrived." The shelter estimates that he's between two and four years old, so he's clearly an adult kitty.

His name's Ignace, but if one goes by the theory that dogs come when called, but cats take a message and get back to you, the name on his message box is Iggy. He has picked up some nicknames since he arrived. I've been calling him "Dude" because he's the first male cat we've had in three years and also occasionally calling him "Igster." My housemate, the Button Lady ( www.nancybuttons.com/ ) has dubbed him "Iglet."

So far, Purza, mostly ignores him unless he gets too close while she's eating. Gillian, OTOH, doesn't like him at all, and sometimes goes out of her way to make the point. They do seem to be settling down a bit though.

This is one strong kitty. The adoption fee included microchipping, but he didn't have one and I had to take him in to the vet to get it done. He objected so strenuously that it took two vet techs, one of them wearing gauntlets and wielding a towel to insert the chip. Not fun.

And now pictures:

That's Purza in the foreground watching him.

And here's close up portrait.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KIKOOMAGOO 6/18/2011 6:21AM

    Your cats are so cute! We have two know but used to have four. One is a silver tabby named Buster and the other is a grey/brown/white marbled calico named Saspirilla (but we call her Sassy).

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AUNTWONK 1/18/2011 9:29PM

    Hello! My name is Lori and I really like the pictures of your cats! I have quite a few of my own. I love cats and we have 3 kittens looking for a "forever" home. Their mommy abandoned them when they were just 3 weeks old and they were the size and weight of a week and half year old kitten...anyway they are doing very good now and I just love them to pieces...lol

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TRACYZABELLE 10/14/2010 3:03AM

    Female kitties are so difficult taking in new arrivals-- it has taken mine 2 months to get used to our new on.. which is why we only have new boys

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ANGELBELIEVER 10/14/2010 12:31AM

    He looks like my Thor. Please take a look in my gallery and on my page. I am so sorry it didn't work out with that one kitty of yours. That happened to me once too and I had to take the kitty back to the vet where he was. I was very sad that Thor wold not accept the little one.

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NGILL3 5/24/2010 10:31PM

    Aw adorable! I miss my kitties now, I can't have any here. =( Good luck with the integration lol =)

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    Cool cat. LOL. I like the nicknames. Especially Igster and Iglet.

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GAYLE-G-63 5/24/2010 6:56PM

    What a handsome kitty! Congratulations!

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Not good for the nerves

Monday, September 21, 2009

Shortly after midnight on Saturday, I heard a loud bang. emoticon I mean loud enough to cause me to levitate, or at least make a good attempt. Well, my housemate not only heard the bang, but also glass breaking. From this, we concluded that whatever made the noise was out front. After some discussion, we concluded that calling the cops was probably the indicated course of action.

Now as it turned out, I didn't call the cops, and I'm not sure if my housemate did, but they showed up fairly quickly, so unless they were driving nearby when the bang went off, someone must have called them. The local cop shop is close, but it's not that close despite my joking that they could've heard it there.

The breaking glass turned out to the next door neighbor's front window. Apparently someone threw a large firecracker or something similar at the window. Based on the volume of the bang, I'm tempted to guess an M-80, but I really don't know. At least one neighbor (not from that house) saw someone throw something, but I'm not clear on the details.

I generally think of this area as a good neighborhood, and I've been wondering if the fact that the neighbors in question are Latinos had anything to do with the incident.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RHOADAN 9/22/2009 12:12AM

    So far it hasn't. Let's hope it stays that way.

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MORTICIAADDAMS 9/21/2009 10:05PM

    How frightening!! I hope that nothing like this occurs again.

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