In an effort to lower the carb count in some of my foods, I’ve looked online for substitutes, searching through the many low-carb blogs for recipes etc. Many times I’ve been disappointed or turned off by the ingredients that are recommended, with one exception: almond flour. Using almond flour made sense to me since almonds are a healthy food. According to CalorieKing.com, ½ cup of raw almonds contains just 14 gr. of carbs and a whopping 8 gr. of fiber! They are full of healthy fats (mono and poly-saturated) with only a wee bit of saturated fat. Oh, and 15 gr. of protein! Good stuff.
I’ve already posted the recipe I found for almond flour pancakes and muffins here as well as my trick for baked chicken. I continue to make all of these things and enjoy lower glucose readings and a feeling of being satisfied for a long, long time after eating. I really wanted to find a recipe for almond bread so I could have sandwiches without guilt (or high glucose readings). I tried one recipe awhile back and it was a dismal failure. Recently I found a recipe and tried it with results that left me hopeful.
You can find the recipe I used here. My only adjustments were that I used flax meal (because I have some and use it in my pancakes/muffins) and I used canola oil instead of coconut oil. I also doubled the recipe to make a full-sized loaf of bread. I purchased some coconut flour and this is the first time I’ve ever used it.
· It is a very dense bread. You could probably take out an intruder with this sucker if you bopped him on the head. A veritable brick. This is not your momma’s Wonder bread.
· I can taste the coconut. That surprised me since I see coconut flour all over the low-carb recipe world and have never read someone say that you can taste it. I like coconut so it’s not that big of a deal but I’m not used to my sandwich bread tasting like a tropical island. (Let me insert here that I’ve never actually tasted a tropical island, but you know what I mean…don’t you?)
· It’s a mite crumbly. It holds together just fine when you slice it and even survived the toaster, but when I made a sandwich it didn’t hold together that well (read: messy damn sandwich). Its stick-to-it-ivness is better than the other recipe I tried.
· This bread is freakin expensive to make! If you’ve gone to look at the recipe you can see that, since I doubled it, I used 10 eggs to make one loaf of bread! (My dear husband with a heart issue won’t be eating this bread.) Not to mention the cost of almond and coconut flours…and flax meal. Surprisingly, this bread does not taste “eggy”. Odd, eh?
· I used http://caloriecount.about.com/cc/recipe_analysis.php to analyze the recipe and came up with approximately 13 grams of carbs per slice with a whopping 10 grams of fiber. (estimating 10 slices per loaf. Total swag on my part since I didn’t slice the whole thing right off the bat.)
So by now you’re probably thinking that I view this experiment as a disaster and won’t be making this recipe again. You’d be wrong. (Remember I said that I’m hopeful?) I tested my blood glucose before and after eating sandwiches made with this bread and the results were amazing:
· I made a chicken salad sandwich with homemade chicken salad, lettuce and tomato. Before lunch bg = 116. After = 96!
· I made an egg sandwich with ham and cheese. Bg before = 120. After = 113!
That’s right, in both instances my glucose went down and the sandwiches were good. Now, let’s compare that to the veggie burger on a whole wheat sandwich thin that I ate the other day. Bg before = 104. After = 154. Hmmm.
I am fully aware that there are tons of things that go into how our blood glucose reacts but I tried very hard to keep things as equal as possible. I didn’t eat any side dishes with any of these meals. I drank only water. However, I have never had my glucose go down after eating a sandwich…NEVER.
Now do you understand why I love almond flour? Yes, this bread was expensive and chock full of eggs, but DANG, I’m worth it! Yes, it’s a mite crumbly, but I can live with that. No, I won’t be making and eating this all the time but it’s nice to know that there is an option out there for me now and then. I think I will make it, slice it and freeze it so I can take out a couple of slices when I feel the urge. Who wouldn’t love to have a sandwich without blood glucose issues? (Kate is raising her hand.) Next time I think I’ll try making it with egg substitute in order to lessen the cholesterol issue. I do wonder if the addition of almond flour to my diet hasn’t caused this plateau effect with my weight. (It does have calories you know.) I think that if I up my veggie intake and watch my portions a bit better, that may turn around.
My love affair with almond flour wasn’t just a summer fling. It has turned into a long and lasting relationship that I see continuing for a very, very long time.