My new modus operandi: to pretend I live in a foreign country.
You know, like, somewhere third-world, rural. A place that would positively limit my eating choices — no matter how much I might crave peanut butter, there would be nary a single jar to be found. And I would just have to deal, because it would be a third-world country. With problems a wee bigger than my not having peanut butter.
Honestly, the temptations of the holidays haven’t been that bad — I’ve only been to a couple of parties, and was able to eat beforehand so as not to starve. But Sunday morning, after spending the night holding the hair of my puking 8-year old, I wasn’t feeling so hot myself. I downed a glass of my favorite apple cider vinegar cocktail, and went back to bed. At lunchtime I woke, and was thankfully no longer feeling like I might hug the toilet myself — but was in that tricky place of being hungry, but not really sure what for.
And then it hit me — what I wanted more than anything, what I thought I might be willing to sell a small useless portion of my soul for — was a saltine. An all-white-flour, Nabisco saltine. Or a whole sleeve of them.
I apparently said this out loud. Because all of a sudden Tim was responding to me, “What? And we don’t have any?”
And I gave him my best eye roll, and went all “hello!!! gluten???!!!” as if he’d suggested that a portion of my soul was in fact useless.
So I pouted a bit, and then rolled up my sleeves for a few google searches. I ended up with a loaf of almond bread that, toasted, was but a shadow of my original gloriously processed craving. But the energy spent did something to curb it, and in the end I went to bed and woke this morning thankful that I didn’t cave.
One way I haven’t had to deny myself is in the category of holiday bread. Having grown weary of making loaves of pumpkin bread that I couldn’t enjoy, I finally experimented and settled on a grain-free cranberry-orange loaf. This is a bread that my kids wouldn’t eat anyway — the fresh cranberries give a burst of tart that’s a bit too much for their palates — so I don’t have to explain to them that this is “Mommy’s bread,” not to be touched by their cute, greedy little hands.
The photo above — admittedly lame as it is — shows the bread in a glass dish, but I don’t recommend using one. My first batch was baked in three metal mini-pans, and the loaves popped right out. This second batch was baked in glass, and the bread clung to the bottom and sides, and had to be dug out, now only photogenic as a culinary train-wreck. So stone or metal (well-greased) seems to be the safer way to go.
Not that it matters to me. When you’re ready to pawn your soul for certain foods, eating the mangled remains of a crumpled loaf of holiday bread with a spoon is a thing done with ease.
Recipe: Cranberry-Orange Bread (grain-free, dairy-free)
- 1 1/2 cups almond flour
- 1/2 cup coconut flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3 eggs
- zest and juice of 1 large orange
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/2 cup raw (or soaked/dehydrated) walnuts, chopped
- 1 cup fresh cranberries (frozen ok)
- Preheat oven to 350º and grease a metal loaf pan with coconut oil or palm shortening.
- In a large bowl, sift together the first five ingredients (flours through salt).
- In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, orange zest, and orange juice. In a glass measuring cup, warm the honey and coconut oil together (just enough to easily stir — I use the microwave) and stir to combine. Add this to the eggs, and whisk to combine.
- Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry, and stir well. Fold in the walnuts and cranberries.
- Spread batter into loaf pan, smoothing the top (grain-free breads do not rise much, the top will not dome).
- Bake for 40-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Let cool for 15 minutes in the pan, then carefully turn out onto a rack to cool completely.
Copyright © Katy Carter, 2011.