Ketosis and A Low Carb Bread?
Well, it’s a pretend bread, really… or perhaps a savoury sponge….not that I want to talk you out of it. This recipe is really a good substitute for bread if you are following a grain-free, gluten-free, low carb regime as I am at the moment.
I say at the moment, because I am conducting a 30 day self-experiment on ketosis. I have read a lot about ketosis where the body uses fat for energy instead of glucose. It works on the theory that what you eat affects your hormones, particularly insulin. It is not to be confused with ketoacidosis which can develop in those with type 1 diabetes, a dangerous condition, and follows on from the paleo/sugar-free ideology. It again questions the “not all calories are equal” hypothesis too.
The paleo diet and sugar fee diet restricts carbohydrates. Eating low carb lowers your levels of the fat-storing hormone insulin, allowing your fat deposits to shrink and release their stored energy. This tends to cause you to want to consume fewer calories than you expend – without hunger – and lose weight.
Ketosis is a state at which the body can create fuel for our body from fat instead of using glucose. To do this, the amount of insulin in your bloodstream must be low. Which means no sugar (carbs).
Whilst I am trying this to immobilise some stubborn fat (which I have plenty of), the ketogenic diet has proven to be a successful treatment for many health issues such as autism, depression, migraine headaches, PCOS and type 2 diabetes. There is also evidence from clinical trials in animals that ketosis can provide symptomatic relief in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease and possibly stroke.
It is not a high protein diet. Too much protein in your body will convert to glucose and bump up your insulin levels. I have been focussing on plenty of leafy vegetables, a small amount of protein and lots of FAT!!
We all know that there are good fats and bad fats. And that the parameters of what constitutes good and bad have changed!! Butter is now OK to eat as are egg yolks and grass fed, organic meat fat too – all saturated fats previously taboo. My favourite fat is MCT fats including coconut oil, and macadamias. But that’s another post!
This bread recipe is a high protein bread that works as a perfect vehicle for FAT!! It is best toasted and spread lavishly with butter or pate or nut butter. I got the original recipe here but have modified it to be a little more forgiving. I’m afraid that the Thermomix will not cut it here – you will need to use your stand beater to get the most volume out of your egg white.
This bread will crisp up on the crust and have a soft open texture in the middle. It is very eggy because, well, it’s the main ingredient. Don’t overcook it as it can become dry and powdery. I prefer it toasted the next day, but beware – it toasts quickly! I have added some quinoa here, so it’s not totally grain free but the recipe needed something to give it some substance and quinoa has the highest protein and lowest carb content that I liked. You could try substituting the quinoa for linseeds, sunflower or almonds – I might try almonds next, but it will affect the texture.
Anyhow, here’s the recipe…6 eggwhites 1 teas cream of tartar 3 egg yolks (use the rest in Hollandaise!) 2 tabs protein powder (or just use extra quinoa) 3 tabs quinoa (or quinoa flour) 1/2 teas baking powder 1 teas psyllium powder Sesame or poppy seeds for garnish. Grind the quinoa (or alternative) in the Thermomix for 1 minute until finely powdered. Sift the dry ingredients (except cream of tartar) together in a bowl. In a clean dry bowl, whip the eggwhites with the cream of tartar until very firm. Add the egg yolks and dry ingredients carefully, folding in so that you don’t lose the volume. You will lose a bit, but don’t worry. Spoon into a lined loaf tin, right up to the top. Sprinkle with sesame seeds or poppy seeds and bake in a 170ºC oven for about 40 – 45 minutes. Cool before cutting as it will squish when hot!! Try adding garlic powder, onion powder or yeast flakes to taste for a savoury bread.