Celebrate National Toast Day!

For those of you who have been following with me for a long time, you know about my history with ulcerative colitis. When I was diagnosed at the age of 12, we (thanks, mama) began experimenting with diets to help with my symptoms, noting my trigger foods and also enlisting the help of naturopaths and other medical professionals. This, along with some other factors, swayed my decision to become a Registered Dietitian. I have been practicing as a RD since 2011.

Throughout the experimentation process, I learned a WHOLE LOT about myself and the foods/ingredients/etc. that triggered my symptoms to flare. When I was younger, it was harder for me to have the willpower or desire to manage these symptoms by eliminating certain foods from my diet, but now, it’s pretty much a no-brainer. I’ve learned that for me, my biggest trigger is gluten, followed by dairy and processed sugar. I know that if my gut is beginning to feel “off” that I need to really cut these foods back or out for a while until I get back on track. Sometimes I can eat these foods and feel perfectly fine, other times not so much.

I generally follow a low-gluten, low-dairy diet. My sweet tooth loves it’s chocolate but I am incredibly mindful when I am eating my sweet treats (which I do daily). I also work with a naturopath and take a variety of natural supplements.

I could go into this whole ordeal in full detail but this post would completely derail from the main intention of this post, so I’ll have to save it for another day.

Little Northern Bakehouse and National Toast Day

Recently, I was approached by Little Northern Bakehouse, a bakery that proudly uses non-GMO, whole-food, quality ingredients, to create delicious, certified gluten-free and vegan bread loaves. They asked me if I would want to help them celebrate National Toast Day on on February 23rd and offered me the chance to try their bread. Um….HECK YES!

I have fond memories of my mom making me toast with melty peanut butter and honey drizzled, or cinnamon sugar sprinkled over the top. MMMMMmmm. Even today I still love that snack and so do my kids.

Little Northern Bakehouse sent me two of their loaf varieties to try: Whole Grain and Cinnamon & Raisin.

Other products they offer: White Wide Slice Loaf, Millet & Chia Loaf, Seeds & Grain Loaf, Millet & Chia Hot Dog Buns, the Millet & Chia Buns and just recently added Sprouted Honey Oat Bread and Sprouted 7 Grain Bread (I REALLY want to try those ones). Learn more about their products on their website!

Cinnamon and Raisin Loaf

I jumped on the first chance I had to get that cinnamon raisin bread toasted up for myself and the kids. In about three minutes, I had the bread toasted up, and slathered with peanut butter. I gave the boys the option of banana slices as well, which Bode (now 4 years old) happily accepted. He adorned his with a single blueberry too, because why not?!

You could top this beauty with chia seeds, coconut flakes, nut butter of your choice, or vegan cream cheese and grapes (or full dairy cream cheese if you’re not vegan). My family is not vegan, so I am hoping to use some of this bread for French toast in the near future or a sweet and savory toasted egg sandwich?! YUM.

Whole Grain Wide Slice Loaf

Next, it was time to experiment with the whole grain bread. I gravitate towards the peanut butter always, but wanted to branch out and be more creative, so I grabbed myself a container of vegan cream cheese and got busy…

The delightful end-product included a heavy slather of cream cheese, English cucumber slices and everything but the bagel seasoning to finish it off. I cut it into four triangles before crunching into it because triangles are THE BEST way to eat bread. The creaminess of the cream cheese coupled with the crunch of the bread and the coolness of the cucumbers…absolutely perfect. I would love to use this toasted bread as a dunker for soup too. Tis’ the season for soup after all. Just kidding, any time of the year is soup season for me; my favorite!

I am always happy to find gluten-free products that I can enjoy without sacrificing flavor or texture. I am thankful that I was able to give these products a go and give my approval too!

Try it!

If you want to try some for yourself, you can use their handy “store locator” on their website to find out where to buy: Little Northern Bakehouse

Also, follow @BeautifullyNutty and @LittleNorthernBakehouse on Instagram to enter the sweepstakes for an opportunity to win a $1,000 gift card for “Brunch for a Year”!

Disclosure: I received free products from Little Northern Bakehouse for review. The review and opinions of the products are solely my own.

How are YOU going to celebrate National Toast Day?

Gluten-Free Sandwich Bread

Remember how I told you I treated myself this weekend to some time in the kitchen baking, cooking, etc.? Well one of my goodies that I baked up was two loaves of gluten-free sandwich bread.

I used my nutty gluten-free bread recipe but substituted in some brown rice flour for the almond flour (recipe is below). The end product was a loaf of bread which wasn’t quite as dense or moist as the full almond flour bread. It has more of a sandwich bread consistency. I was pretty pumped about this! At first bite it tasted a bit to me like corn bread, and to me, that was a good thing!

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It would be perfect with some deli sliced turkey, mustard and veggies, and of course you can’t go wrong with a pb and j.

What I love about this recipe, and the nutty gluten-free bread recipe, is that they are SO easy. You literally put everything into one bowl at one time, mix it all together, and bake it. That’s it. No need to dirty up any extra bowls for this one.

Gluten-Free Sandwich Bread
Print
Makes two small loaves.
Ingredients
  • 3 cups brown rice flour
  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • ¾ tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups non-fat Greek yogurt
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 egg white
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Mix together all ingredients (I use a hand-mixer).
  3. Pour into two lightly greased bread loaf pans.
  4. Bake for 50-55 minutes. Bread is done when toothpick inserted into center of loaf comes out clean.

You could try making this in one loaf pan for a taller loaf, but I can’t make any guarantees how it would turn out and of course baking times would vary. Feel free to experiment though!

Enjoy and happy Thursday!

What is your favorite sandwich? 

I love a good old turkey sandwich from Subway with all of the veggies (minus jalapeños) with a little bit of mustard. That is another thing I have actually kind of been craving during pregnancy but since I am staying clear of deli meats, I will have to wait another five months. I am PERFECTLY okay with that! Hehe. I also really like any sandwich with melted cheese. Pb and J is a fav too. Oooo and Cubans. NUM!

Baking, Shopping, and Good Food

I am most definitely linking up with Becky for Treat Yourself Tuesday today because I have been treating myself quite a bit lately.

This weekend I treated myself to time in the kitchen. I baked up a couple of loaves of gluten-free bread using brown rice flour and almond flour.

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And I made these amazing snack bars!

raw cocoa bars

I enjoyed a relaxing evening with two calming essential oils: gentle baby and lavender. I also treated myself to a couple new ones: ylang ylang which smells AMAZING and citronella to try diffusing when we are sitting out on the deck to help keep the skeeters away.

ylang ylang essential oil

On Saturday Dana and I treated ourselves to lunch at The Bulldog in Minneapolis. We were both in the mood for a good burger (typical these days) and Becky recommended this place for amazing burgers, so we thought we would go check it out.

the bulldog

Patty melt for me! So good!

the bulldog burger

I treated the babes to a new outfit from Target. It was on the clearance rack for $5 and I just couldn’t resist.

baby boy clothes

I also treated myself to some maternity clothes and some looser fitting regular clothes. Besides pants and shorts, I should be set for a while! I stocked up on dresses!

pinkblush

Last night I was treated by my brother as he cooked up an awesome stir-fry dinner for me and the fam! As much as I love to cook, I love it even more when someone else cooks for me!

stir fry

Thank you Becky for hosting the link-up!

How did YOU treat yourself this week?!

Pumpkin Bread to Warm the Soul

How was everyone’s weekend? Mine was pretty darn nice and I have to admit, I didn’t take too many photos. Here’ the weekend recap!

Saturday

Dana, Moose, and I hit up the neighborhood for a 3 mile run. The temperature was low to mid 50’s so I dressed in capris and a long sleeve wicking top. It was a bit cool run at first, but I warmed up quickly and it eventually felt perfect. The run felt great too and I can confidently say I can comfortably run 3 miles again. Now, it’s time to progress on the mileage!

After our run we made our way to the local farmer’s market to pick up some veggies I needed for an appetizer I was making for a get-together that evening.

I made a white bean dip served with crudités (fancy word for an appetizer with veggie sticks right?). I cannot believe I did not take one photo of this dish, but at the same time I’m not surprised since I was kind of running around like a crazy person trying to get ready.

To make the bean dip I added all ingredients into the food processor (unsure of exact amounts):

  • 1 minced shallot and 1 minced garlic clove sautéed in 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 1/2 cups white beans (I used northern)
  • lemon juice from half a lemon
  • Olive oil
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • salt and pepper
  • garlic and onion powder

I whirled this up and it turned out to be a nummy and creamy white bean dip. I served it with a tray of veggie sticks: carrots, zucchini, celery, and red bell peppers.

Here is a small plate of it:

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The big dish of it was WAY prettier.

We met up with three of my college friends (one being my bridesmaid Haley), their husbands and two babies. We had a blast hanging out, eating amazing food, playing with the babes, going nuts with Catch Phrase, and seeing Grace’s beautiful home.

I loved every second of it. She lives about an hour and a half from us so we called it a night at around 8:30 so we could make it home in good time. You all know I need my sleep, plus the pup still needed to eat dinner.

Sunday

We ran our standard Sunday morning errands after eating breakfast, reading the paper, and drinking our coffees.

I was thrilled to have had very few plans for Sunday. I need these days to just “be.” I’m struggling with this whole relaxation business however. I find that when I do have time to just relax that I can’t because I feel too guilty about relaxing. It’s a vicious cycle.

I feel like I should be folding the laundry or doing food prep or cleaning or running errands. I am working on getting this idea out of my head because relaxation and doing nothing is important for all of us.

You know what I like to do to relax? Bake.

I actually made this loaf up on Friday when I had about an hour time frame to bake the bread, shower and get ready to go meet up with my mom so that experience wasn’t as much for relaxation as it was I felt I needed to make the bread RIGHT THEN AND THERE! I get so stubborn sometimes. Where are your time management skills, Melanie?! But really, I do enjoy baking.

Either way, I whirled up a batch of grain-free SCD-friendly pumpkin bread. It turned out magnificent if I do say so myself. Once again I forgot to snap a photo of the entire loaf, but here is a shot of about half the loaf. I’ve been eating it for breakfast everyday. I told you I love this stuff….

**Recipe at bottom of post and is now in a printable version!**

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Slather the bread with apple butter, nut butter, honey, a light coat of butter, or eat plain. Any way you have it you’re sure to enjoy! Remember that most SCD breads do not rise well due to some limiting factors in ingredients, so you usually render a more flat, dense loaf. Yes you can be on the SCD and still eat bread! Wooo!

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Let’s see, the rest of the day was spent with some odds and ends around the house and then a bomb dinner. I won’t be sharing it with you until tomorrow but let me tell you it is one you won’t want to miss. My hint is that it involves acorn squash.

Also, I forgot to mention that one of my wonderful readers commented on my post about the cinnamon apple sauce I made the other day and said that she makes apple butter in the crock pot! I just had to try this so on Friday afternoon I started up a batch in the crockpot.

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Come this afternoon, it should be done! I’ll let you know how it turns out. Thank you, Amanda! I even bought the cans to store the apple butter and everything!

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I am off to get a workout in, and then I’ll be out on the prowl in search of a dress for that wedding I mentioned. Thank you for your comments about that orange dress I found but unfortunately they don’t have the dress in my size which of course means I won’t be ordering it. It wasn’t meant to be apparently. Cross your fingers for me that I find one today. I absolutely despise trying clothes on in the fitting rooms. I get so hot and worked up.

One more thing…I bought this amazing coffee yesterday at my favorite store in the whole world, Target.

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I make it last a long time but only adding in one scoop of it to regular coffee. It is so smooth and buttery and I LOVE it. It was a good buy.

Again, this post became rather tangenty. I apologize for that and for the lack of photos. I promise there will be more tomorrow. Have a magical Monday. Catch up with you soon.

Pumpkin Bread to Warm the Soul
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Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
(Grain-free, Gluten-free, SCD-friendly) Makes 2 loaves
Ingredients
  • 3 c. almond flour
  • 1½ Tbsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg
  • ½ tsp. all spice
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 c. pumpkin puree
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 3 eggs
  • ⅓ c. egg white (or 2-3 large egg whites)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • ⅓ c. honey
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly grease 2 standard size bread loaf pans; set aside.
  2. In medium bowl combine dry ingredients; set aside.
  3. In large mixing bowl blend together wet ingredients.
  4. Slowly add dry ingredients to wet. Mix until just combined.
  5. Pour batter into loaf pans.
  6. Bake for 60 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center of loaf comes out clean.