I have been losing a TON of weight over the last 4 months (30 lbs to be exact)! I did this through a combination of dietary changes and exercising. For those of you who haven’t been caught up on my journey, I have made a few YouTube videos about it, so it’s a lot easier to watch those videos than to type it all out here. Suffice it to say, my health was at stake and I am determined to get myself to a healthy state again.
One of the biggest changes I made was switching to a ketogenic diet. It is helping me to lose weight and get my blood glucose numbers down. I did clear it with my doctor. For those of you who may be wondering if doctors actually recommend these types of diets, he actually told me that he recommends a high-protein, low carb diet to his patients with my particular problems, otherwise known as the high-protein ketogenic diet. Let me be absolutely clear here: I use the term “diet” very loosely. This isn’t really a diet in the traditional sense of the word. It is a DIETARY CHANGE. There’s a difference. I completely cut out soda, sugar, bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, and other starchy, carb-heavy foods. My personal goal is to consume a total of FEWER THAN 30 grams of carbohydrates a day. A typical western diet usually includes 200-300 grams of carbs a day, so it’s a massive change. Since I am highly sensitive to alternative and/or artificial sweeteners, it’s tricky to find foods to eat to satisfy cravings that don’t contain any alternative or artificial sweeteners (you try finding a sugar-free Reese’s Cup without artificial sweeteners, it’s not possible unless you make it yourself!). I discovered that I absolutely hate Stevia and Monkfruit, too. The aftertaste is just way too much for me, even though they are natural sweetener alternatives. I did discover erythritol and allulose, which I do like. I’ll do another post on those sweeteners later with the details, so just let me say that starting this diet was challenging for me. It is a complete lifestyle change, not just a diet. I don’t intend to ever go back to eating like I used to. Not ever.
I gave up most of my favorite foods: baked and mashed potatoes, potatoes O’Brien, pasta, rice, and my beloved bread. I love bread so much that I have my own bread-making machine that my husband lovingly bought me for Christmas. I was delighted because fresh, homemade bread is one of my favorite comfort foods. Ok, it IS my favorite comfort food. The only time I could enjoy bread was during my re-feed cycles. If you are new to keto dieting or don’t have any experience with it, refeeding is the process of working on more carbohydrates into your diet for a short period of time, and then removing them again. The process can help to maximize weight loss by disrupting your metabolism and priming your body to burn more fat once you cut the carbs out again. Even during refeed cycles, there aren’t many carbs that I work back into my diet daily. I had an open-faced chicken sandwich during my last refeed (one slice of bread with chicken and gravy on top of it). I make most of my foods at home and from scratch, but I can’t do that with bread. I really love my homemade bread and can’t really keep it in the house or I will break down and nibble on a bit. One person can only have just so much self-control! So my family usually either doesn’t have anything that requires bread, like sandwiches or french toast, or I occasionally get a loaf of bread from the store and keep it in the fridge so it keeps longer.
There are keto bread recipes out there. Most use almond flour. I live out in the country and my almond flour options are pretty pathetic. I have tried them, and they are so grainy and gritty! The label says blanched super-fine almond flour but I don’t believe it. What I do believe is playground sand packaged as almond flour. I have heard good things about Bob’s Red Mill Superfine Blanched Almond Flour but it’s never in the stores around here. So, I got some coconut flour and decided to try that instead. Then I started my search for a good recipe.
I really like yeast bread recipes, but wasn’t having any luck finding one using coconut flour. You see, for a traditional yeast bread to actually get a good consistency and hold together through slicing, it has to have gluten in it. I feel really good when I am cutting gluten from my diet, so I didn’t want to have to add wheat gluten to my bread. That means any yeast bread recipe I find using coconut flour will also have a lot of other ingredients and a very complex weight measurement system that kind of sucks the joy right out of baking bread for me. It had to be more simple and quick. I knew I wasn’t going to find the same satisfaction in making a gluten-free bread that I get from making a traditional wheat bread (yes, I really enjoy making bread… I know, I’m weird) but as long as the taste and texture is on spot, or at least close, I am willing to make something quicker that doesn’t involve all the kneading and rising and punching like wheat bread does.
Then I found it. Honestly, it is the first coconut bread recipe that I tried. But it wasn’t the first one that I found. I know enough about baking and bread making to understand the chemistry behind the whole process and how the ingredients work together. Some that I found were just… off. Just not right. You might know the type I’m talking about… the recipes where the photos just don’t look like the finished product SHOULD look. Something’s off, and they probably used some photo they found from google images or someplace instead of their own. To me, that is way misleading and just downright dishonest. If the person publishing the recipe is dishonest about it, I don’t trust the recipe. Keto friendly ingredients aren’t the cheapest thing in the world and I don’t want to waste them on recipes that I don’t think will turn out well.
The recipe has step-by-step instructions with clear expectations, photos for each step, and a believable finished product shown. The image for this post shows you how it turned out for me. Yes, that is a photo of my own first attempt at making this recipe. Even with my success using this recipe, I want to let you know one important thing: most bread loaf pans that you buy in the US and Canada are a little big. I discovered this years ago and just made larger loafs when I was following a non-North American recipe. Even so, this recipe is important to get right, as the macronutrient listing is based on the exact amount of ingredients. So I baked my bread in a larger bread pan and the loaf was very short. VERY short. When it came time to slice it, I didn’t slice it vertically like you would normally slice bread. Instead, I cut the loaf vertically into sections and cut each section horizontally. I got a proper amount of slices, they were big enough for a sandwich if I wanted one and the crumb (texture and stick-togetherness) was strong enough to withstand the horizontal slicing without falling apart. I did let it cool completely before I sliced it, so that helped. I used the optional xanthan gum from the recipe and I think I will omit it the next time. The bread was a little wet feeling… if you use xanthan gum in your household, you know that feeling I’m talking about. I didn’t care for it in my bread but once I put some butter on a slice and took a bite, I couldn’t feel that weird-almost-oily-feeling in my mouth. I had a slice with butter to go with my dinner and it was EXCELLENT! My coconut flour was still a little course, so the texture was a little more course than my homemade bread that I use a professional baker grade flour with but I did expect that. After all, this was a test purchase of coconut flour so I didn’t go for the super expensive stuff. I didn’t expect it to perform like the super expensive stuff would. I got the Great Value Coconut Flour from Wal-Mart and it did perform just fine for this test within my expectations. That being said, my next coconut flour purchase will be a higher grade flour so I will get a finer, more powdery texture. Until then, I will sift my coconut flour and try to get some of the larger particles out that way.
Now that you know all the details, here’s the link to the original recipe. Please go give it a try and let them know Digital Kristen sent you! https://www.fatforweightloss.com.au/keto-coconut-bread