Cultured Coconut “Sourdough” Keto Bread


Well it’s official. Actually it has been official for over a month but being the introverted lady that I am I have only recently felt ready to share. After a battery of blood tests I have been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Disease, which is actually quite a common Autoimmune disease amongst women over 35. I have a dear friend who was diagnosed with it about a year ago while she was in Nursing School. I was misdiagnosed upon my return from Ireland by a different practitioner and after struggling with symptoms for a couple years now I finally paid a visit to a Naturopathic Doctor whom I trust and who has helped me in the past. He also ran a food allergy panel, for which I am eternally grateful as it came back with some totally unexpected (and some expected) results. The big one on the list was ginger, which was so heartbreaking that I literally had to cry it out one night. Goodbye Thai food, Kimchi, Ginger Beer, Gingerbread and every other thing I love that has ginger in it. Which as it turned out seemed to be contained in half my pantry. My other allergies included beef, cows milk & whey, cheddar cheese, chicken egg whites and yolks, LETTUCE (what the heck?!), bananas, pineapple, tomato, lima beans (who cares, really) almonds, and mild allergies to broccoli and brussels sprouts. I already know I have severe issues with sugars any oils that are not extra virgin, cold pressed olive oil, coconut oil and avocado oil so let me tell you… going to a restaurant us FU-UN. Lol. Can you tell that was a joke? Totally not fun. I had one visit recently that resulted in literally numbing pain (as in I couldn’t feel my arm) and another result that I don’t mind talking about but most readers would find it a bit TMI. On the bright side, I can still have organic grass fed butter and ghee and now have a fantastic excuse to eat seafood, which I have missed since having a family. Yay for me!

So there you are… this will slightly change the type of recipes I will be blogging but I still plan to post some cultured things that I am comfortable feeding my family, such as my sourdough einkorn pizza crust and other non-inflammatory for normal people family friendly recipes. My kids have been begging me to create a kids cooking channel on YouTube so that may be a good venue. What do you think?

Recently I posted a recipe for Cultured Sourdough Keto Bread. This is a nut free and dairy free version of that. One of the things I have missed most on Kauffman and Keto and now AIP Keto is sourdough bread, so I did some substitutions and used coconut milk kefir to culture or “sour” the loaf.

Personally, I love the result. These breads are best toasted but they are still pretty satisfying after they have cooled a bit from baking. If you try to cut into them straight out of the oven on the other hand you will end up with a ball of goop. I recently used it to roll out for my pizza crust now that Dr. Berg’s Cauliflower Pizza Crust is no longer an option. Next time I will shape it into a crust before I let it sour but otherwise it was fantastic.

Cultured Coconut “Sourdough” Keto Bread

(Adapted from Dr Berg’s Healthiest Bread in the World)

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup ground flax meal
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1 cup arrowroot flour
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tsp active dry yeast
  • 2 tbsp very finely ground chia seed
  • 2 tbsp organic psyllium husk powder
  • 1/3 cup filtered or well water (no chlorine)
  • 1 cup coconut milk kefir (cow or goat milk kefir is okay if you can tolerate dairy)
  • 2 tsp coconut sugar or maple syrup (sugars are consumed by the yeast)
  • 1 Tbsp Avocado oil or Extra Virgin Olive Oil for coating

Method:

1. In a large bowl, whisk together the golden flaxseed meal, arrowroot flour, coconut flour, and sea salt.

Dry ingredients.
Dry ingredients combined.

2. Place yeast and maple syrup or coconut sugar in 1/4 cup of warm water. Not too hot or it will kill the yeast. Let it sit for 10 minutes until it foams if using maple syrup (12-15 minutes if using coconut sugar).

Activated yeast, maple syrup & water
Activated yeast, maple syrup and water combined with cultured coconut milk kefir.

3. Stir the finely ground chia and psyllium powder into the yeast mixture with 1 cup coconut milk kefir.  Let it stand for 1 minute to thicken, then whisk.

4. Pour thickened yeast-chia mixture into the dry ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon until thick and fully combined. The dough will be slightly sticky, but workable. Knead for 1 minute.

The wet ingredients in the dry ingredients bowl.
Kneaded dough, ready to sit to rise for an hour or culture for 8-18 hours.

5. Put kneaded dough back into the bowl coated in a bit of avocado oil. Cover with a damp cloth and place in a warm spot to rise for one hour OR leave for 8-12 hours (overnight works) to “sourdough”. I left mine for 18 hours.

6. Preheat the oven at 425°F. Place a pizza stone, cast iron pan, or baking sheet in oven to preheat.  If using a baking sheet I recommend putting a silicone mat or parchment down.  It won’t stick to properly preheated cast iron or pizza stone.

7. You can divide the dough or leave it as a round (boule). Shape into a rounded boule. Brush with egg wash, if desired or spray with avocado oil.  Use a serrated knife to score (cut) the top so the bread separates where you want.

Scored dough

8. Place the dough onto the preheated stone or cooking sheet. Bake for 35-40 minutes. Individual ovens and baking times vary.  I prefer the tap test.  When you can turn it over and tap it and it sounds like a hollow door with browning on the bottom, it’s done.

9. Let it cool on a wire rack for about 30 minutes. When completely cooled, slice and serve or store wrapped in a tea towel in an airtight container. If you cut into it too soon you can have goop rather than bread. I enjoy this as fresh bread with grass fed butter and Vegemite but it performs best toasted or grilled.

About 30 minutes after I took it out of the oven. Just beautiful.

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Instant Pot Tuscan Kale & Butternut Squash Stew (Paleo & Vegan)

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Winter is coming.  With it the prices on a lot of greens have gone up or simply the greens themselves do not last like they do in the summer.  Beside that, soups and stews are much more appealing once the weather turns and we can see our breath in the morning air.  I used to turn to Indian curries and North African stews like Harira and Algerian Chorba in the winter but my family prefers more Western flavors.  Simple food, as he calls it, is utmost in my husband’s book.  In my children’s as well.  As much as I love the hotter spices and exotic flavors the foods they most enjoy are mild but full of richness.

I have further challenges in my wee family in the form of food preferences and as much as I believe in eating the food that is in front of you as a principle; I still prefer that those whom I serve food actually enjoy it.  Waste not, want not.  If people like the food in front of them they tend to clean their plate.  My oldest daughter, though she is a meat eater on occasion, does not enjoy vegetables that taste like meat.  She loves her veggies and will eat them raw or cooked and with gusto, but not if they have a hint of animal protein about them.  I prefer most of my soups meat free as well but being raised on a farm diet of eggs and sausage for most of my life I tend to be happy with my veg in any form.  She seems to take after my mother in law and is an uber veggie aficionado, which I love, and has a distaste for certain meaty flavors so  I try to be sensitive to that.  Frankly, I love vegan food and find it gloriously challenging so if at any point I can add to my recipe repertoire in this area, I will.

This recipe is a warm and comforting one.  It is filling and nutritious and versatile in that it is Paleo and Vegan but can easily be expanded by adding a can of cannellini beans or even sausage, for those who prefer the stew in its classic form: tuscan kale & sausage stew.  It is done entirely in the instant pot, which I’m discovering to be a great help these days as I haven’t much time for dinner prep once I’ve gotten the two older kids through their homework.  They go to a Classical Christian School and the curriculum is rigorous as one would expect.  Our children were in Primary 2 and Nursery (2nd grade and Kindergarten, respectively) in Northern Ireland last year so I love that they still get to attend with their age mates whilst being challenged academically. But that is another topic…

Here is the soup, or stew, in all its warmth and simplicity.

Ingredients:

1 medium onion, finely diced (so that little people miss them entirely)

3-4 cloves garlic, crushed

1 Tablespoons coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, or ghee

1 small butternut squash, peeled and diced (about 3 cups)

6-8 carrots, peeled and sliced

1 head cauliflower, broken apart into florets or 1 bag frozen

1 pouch petite diced or crushed tomatoes (or 2-3 fresh ones, diced)

1 bunch curly kale, rinsed and chopped

1 can cannellini or another white bean variety, soaked, cooked, drained and rinsed (optional, NOT paleo)

1 tsp turmeric

1 small handful chopped oregano or 1 Tbsp dried oregano

3-4 teaspoons kosher salt, to taste

2-4 cups water, depending on whether you prefer soup or stew

black pepper to taste (I leave it out as my kids find it spicy)

Method:

Spray the bottom of your instant pot with coconut oil (I use Sally’s Organics bottles filled with liquid coconut oil). Alternatively, you can use a tablespoon of coconut oil or ghee.  I tend not to use olive oil when heating to high temperatures but if you have a high quality unrefined extra virgin olive oil it should have a sufficiently high smoke point and be safe for use.

Add the diced onion and garlic and set the Instant Pot to sauté.  If you are using a standard pot just sauté the onions before adding the other ingredients.   If you are using a crock pot or slow cooker you can either do this step first and then add all the ingredients to the crock or you can just chuck it all in together.  I find sautéing caramelizes the onions and makes them more palatable to little people and husbands who are not fond of strong flavors.  Also, this is similar to how french onion soup is made so sautéing first negates the need for vegetable broth.

Here’s where you decide whether you are going for soup or stew.  For the former, add the butternut squash and then cover with water, about 2 cups.  For the latter add the squash and carrots and then cover with water, which will be 3-4 cups.  Don’t worry, you can always add more later.

Add the kale, tomatoes and cauliflower.   If you’re going for the vegan super soup, add the beans but if you are on a Paleo diet, leave them out.

Lock the lid of your instant pot in place and set to “Soup/Stew” for 4 minutes.  It will take longer than this to heat up, but draw the timer down to 3 or 4 minutes so as not to overcook your vegetables.  If I am cooking with sausage I will cook them separately and let people add them individually, but some would prefer to add them in to the pot, in which case I would leave it at the default soup setting.  On this note, if you are on a keto diet the inclusion of butternut squash will depend on your particular carbohydrate restrictions.

While your Instant Pot is doing its thing, you can whip up a batch of grain free “cornbread” made with coconut flour.

I hope you enjoy this!  We certainly did.  It’s a great “clean” meal to offset all the Paleo and Keto treats I’ve been testing and altogether enjoying in abundance.  Your tum and bum will thank you.

Below: Kale & butternut squash stew with cannellini beans variation.

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