Monday, January 21, 2008

Buckwheat Blueberry Bread

Um.  Hi.

Back when I introduced myself, I believe I mentioned being a teacher. Which may explain my complete lack of posts since before September 1. Still, wow, that's embarrassing. I had such grand plans! But I am still trying to keep to the philosophy, if not the posting, so there's hope. And I have a big backlog of photos of projects that didn't get posted back in the summer. Keep peeking in here from time to time, and I'll try to keep putting something up from time to time.

Like today.

So, how've I been doing? Well, I've trained myself to feel full on much smaller portions, to eat more variety and less cheese, to snack less frequently and to eat ice cream and others sweets much less frequently. I've been taking yoga classes weekly since mid-September, and even practicing on my own sometimes. I've been wogging (alternately jogging and walking on a loop around my neighborhood) sporadically and have taken to ice skating weekly on Thursdays. I've given blood successfully, so my iron count must be fine, and my blood pressure is still nice and low. I haven't gotten around to going to a doctor yet, so I don't know any stats about my cholesterol, but I'm optimistic. And I finally called the office of a new doctor just before sitting down to write this, so I should be back on track with regular health care soon. (Okay, I need a dentist, too. I'm hoping the new doctor might have advice about local dentists who get the gluten-free thing.) I don't own a scale and haven't weighed myself, but I'm wearing one size smaller than I was last summer, and am getting comments from friends at work. I'm working really hard not to let my self-image get tied up in my weight, but I do feel better about myself, nonetheless.

A lot of my healthier eating has taken place through variety and portion control, more than through avoiding fats and sugars. I'm saving money by eating less and making my groceries last longer (and buying fewer of them when I shop).

So the recipe I invented today isn't exactly heart-healthy.


This is a sweet, almost toffee-ish bread with a crisp, chewy outside and soft inside. It's the descendant of my previous experiments with buckwheat-cornmeal pancakes, which I started doing when I had too much cooked buckwheat porridge and couldn't begin to face eating it anymore.

1 cup cornmeal
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp egg replacer
1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup plain nonfat yogurt
1 cup cooked buckwheat porridge
1 1/2 cups frozen blueberries

1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Grease a 9"x5"x3" loaf pan and dust the bottom and lower sides with cornmeal.
2. In a small bowl, combine the cornmeal, baking soda, baking powder, salt, xanthan gum and egg replacer. Set aside.
3. In a larger bowl, cream the butter with a wooden spoon. Add the brown sugar and cream well to combine. Mix in the egg and vanilla, stirring well until smooth. Add yogurt and mix thoroughly. Add buckwheat porridge, using back of spoon to mash if it has become solid from sitting, and mix until well combined.
4. Sprinkle the dry ingredients over the wet ingredients until the surface is just coated, then mix them in. Repeat until all of dry ingredients have been added to wet, and the batter is uniform.
5. Fold in blueberries until well distributed. Pour batter into pan and use spoon to level top.
6. Bake about 1 hr, 10 min, or until bread is firm and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
7. Cool in pan about 10 minutes (which I didn't - oops!), then run a spatula around the edges of the pan before turning bread out onto a rack to cool completely.