Mrs P’s courgette and walnut bread (gluten and dairy free)

My husband and I love to make our own soups as it’s a fast, cheap, one pot dish and one of the quickest ways to get an immediate boost full of vitamins, nutrients and antioxidants.  Last night I made us a spicy butternut squash soup and as an accompaniment made a courgette and walnut bread.

I have never been a massive “bread” fan, so giving up gluten for me all those months ago was not an issue at all. The times I’d had bread in the past it would send my blood sugars sky-high (white, brown, whole grain- you name it) and I’d feel heavy, deflated, suffer from headaches and be incredible bloated  for days afterwards (how lucky is my husband!). That being said, I do understand the comfort that bread gives, that “stodgyness” that so many people crave and desire and also the versatility and practicality of it when you are in a rush and just want toast / a sandwich. However, there is nothing healthy about gluten or bread and no benefits will come of eating it. Contrary to popular belief, carbohydrates are not essential. We do need glucose for energy but this can be obtained from fruits, vegetables and animal proteins. Limiting carbohydrates (avoiding gluten and other grains) is a safe and effective way to lose weight, improve blood pressure, cholesterol levels, blood sugars, insulin resistance and other metabolic problems.

So to practise what I preach I did some experimenting with a gluten / grain free bread and thought I’d share it with you all. This is as close to being called a “healthy bread” as you will get and deserves a star on the Hollywood walk of fame, it’s light with a crust, packed with flavor, fluffy and has only 5 key ingredients.

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What you need:
To make 1 large loaf

1 large courgette
6 eggs
1/2 cup walnuts
4 cups ground almonds
2tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp raw honey

Equipment:

1 loaf tin
Mixer / blender

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius and grease a loaf tin (mine was about 10” x 5”)
  • Peel the skin off your courgette (unless you want green bread of course) and place courgette in to blender to be grated (or grate by hand)
  • In to a stand mixer (I use the KitchenAid) place all your wet ingredients other than the courgette. Beat for 2 minutes until frothy
  • Add in courgette and beat for another 1 minute until fully mixed
  • Slowly add in the dry ingredients and keep beating until all the mixture is fully combined
  • Spoon the batter in to your loaf tin, add a few more walnuts to the top and some of your sliced courgette skin (if you wish) and place in to the oven
  • Bake for 30 – 35 minutes until a sharp knife or toothpick comes out of the center clean
  • Allow to cool completely before serving

Suitable for: Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Dairy-Free, Vegetarian, Paleo

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Why gluten should be avoided:

ANTI-NUTRIENTS: Gluten is a poor source of bioavailable nutrients due to it’s mineral-binding phytic acid, gut-irritating lectins and other anti-nutrients
DISEASE: Gluten has been strongly linked to heart disease and can act as a catalyst for some cancers
DIGESTION: Gluten is very hard to digest and can cause damage to your gut lining, whether you experience gastrointestinal symptoms or not. Some of the most common conditions and symptoms associate with gluten are:
*Gastrointestinal issues such as IBS, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, abdominal pain, heartburn, gluten intolerance and celiac disease.
*Autoimmune diseases including rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, lupus, multiple sclerosis
*Skin problems – including eczema, acne and hives
*Mental health – including depression, ADHD, autism, anxiety and schizophrenia
*HORMONE DISRUPTOR AND PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) – Gluten and the pesticides that are sprayed on it can act as hormone disruptors which interfere with the functioning of the endocrine or hormone system. I for one having been diagnosed with PCOS 3 yrs ago have since giving up gluten (and dairy) had regular periods- which I had never had before
HIGH CARBOHYDRATE: Carbohydrates offer a quick source of NON lasting energy. As soon as gluten is consumed it is broken down in to sugars. To get this sugar out of your blood, your pancreas produces insulin (unless you are Type 1 diabetic like me and have to manually work out how much to give yourself). However, because a lot of people are sedentary at work or not physically active after they have eaten, your cells only burn a little amount to get the energy they need. The rest is mostly stored as triglycerides, or FAT- most commonly around your waist, hips, thighs arms and your cheeks!

 

Would you give up gluten? or have to given up gluten? Would love to hear your thoughts!

 

 

 

 

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19 thoughts on “Mrs P’s courgette and walnut bread (gluten and dairy free)

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  4. All of your recipes look so yummy! Have been trying to follow a paleo lifestyle but find I struggle with finding time to make things that will go down well with the children and husband! Sometimes they just want regular bread. Plus I keep getting tempted back by refined sugar 🙁

    • It is very hard and you definitely have to be prepared all the time which I imagine can be difficult when you have kids who want something immediate. My nephew loves the “mini muffin omelettes” which are quick to do and can be kept in the fridge for days. To ween yourself off the need / craving for refined sugar you need to really give it up for 30 days to give your body time to completely take itself back to its natural state! It’s is hard but you CAN do it 🙂 Good luck!

  5. Hi! I have just put this loaf into the oven however my batter didn’t look like yours. I used the 4 cups of ground almonds as the recipe indicates but my batter was very thick , almost the consistency of rock bun mixture. Did you use large eggs? Mine are from a local free range farm and I think they are only medium sized really. Oh, I hope this turns out ok :-{

    • Oh dear- perhaps add in 1/2 cup almond milk? Or is it too late? Keep an eye on it and see how it turns out. I usually use medium eggs for all my baking unless indicated. I only made this loaf yesterday with the instructions and it worked out well. Let me know how you get on, fingers crossed!

  6. Was also just wondering if you might be able to add in measurements in grams please? I do have proper cup measures but I think I must have put too much of the ground almonds into this loaf mix – my loaf tin was full to the brim unlike your 3/4 -filled tin. Something’s not right here with mine. Will let you know what emerges from the oven ………..

  7. Oh thank you very much, that would be great. I am having a brain foggy day so it is always possible that I added an extra cup when I stopped to check the recipe during measuring the almonds out and then went back to the almonds – I could’ve lost count! I will know in another 10 mins!! It looks quite nice though, rising ok , a bit lumpy and bumpy on the top but browning nicely. First time using this oven so if it doesn’t work out , I will just blame the new cooker 😉

  8. Well….. it has worked!!! Seems absolutely fine , bizarrely. I used 430g of ground almonds, give or take a gram or two. I had started a new 1kg bag of ground almonds so I was able to weigh the remaining amount to see how much I have used in this loaf. Will be interested to see what your gram measurements are in comparison. I am sooooo relieved ! I can have my tea now! 🙂 Yay!

    • Oh goody! I have been worrying for you! I just measured the almond flour I currently have in the cupboard and 1 cup = 130g (so 520g in total) ! I will weigh my eggs when I buy some more tomorrow. What a relief it worked though! I hope you enjoy it! 🙂

      • Yes it’s good thanks – super filling which isn’t surprising. How well do you think it would freeze? I would like to keep some emergency bread supplies in the freezer for the days I feel I would rather just hibernate under the duvet!

      • I would think it should freeze ok as it’s quite dense. I would try freezing a couple of slices and see how they go. My only worry would be that the courgette when the courgette defrosts it makes the bread soggy. I will try next time I make a batch too and let you know! 🙂

  9. Hi, thanks for the recipes! How do you normally store the bread – in the fridge or in a tin? I’m just worried about it going off. Thanks!

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