Gluten-Free Strawberry Bread With A Hint of Cinnamon

Strawberries are one of the most delicious fruits. However, they can be one of the most finicky ones, too. perfectly fresh one day and then spoiled the next. So, the next time you’re in the strawberry hot-zone, try this tasty treat.

This Gluten-Free Strawberry Bread recipe is super moist, quick to make and the hints of cinnamon are so refreshing.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup fresh chopped strawberries
  • 1 1/2 cups gluten free all purpose flour (or any other GF flour substitutes)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon Xanthan gum (Click here for the brand I always use)
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 eggs

Directionsimg_5299

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Grease 5×9 pan.
    -For extra moisture, put aluminum foil at the base of the pan then grease.
  3. Combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, salt, baking soda and xanthan gum in large mixing bowl.
  4. Beat eggs; add butter.
  5. Combine wet and dry ingredients.
  6. Fold in strawberries
  7. Pour batter into pan.
  8. Bake for 35-55 mins.
    -Toothpick should come out clean.

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Enjoy! 

Want A Calmer Mind? Check Your Gut! 4 Foods To Limit In Your Diet

You always hear, “you are what you eat” but this could really ring true when it comes to anxiety.

Sweaty palms, a racing heart and a hyper-active mind are all symptoms people with anxiety often suffer with. However, certain foods we eat can give us these same sensations. Which in turn, can make our anxiety worse.

Here are 4 foods to limit if you’re battling the anxious mind and things try instead:

Drink Coffee Espresso Caffeine

1. Caffeine

Did you know that caffeine-induced anxiety is a thing? Studies have shown that people who take in high amounts of caffeine, 200 mg or more a day, can increase their anxiety and even induce panic attacks.

By the way, 200 mg of caffeine is just two cups of coffee!

According to American MedTech, caffeine-induced anxiety can look different for different people. Along with panic attacks, people can also see obsessive-compulsive symptoms or phobic symptoms.

05-hands-sweaty-palmsSome of the physical signs you see with too much caffeine are sweaty palms, restlessness, and a racing heart. All of which people with anxiety can experience.

Being mindful is the key to really knowing how our bodies respond to anything.

“Take a moment and really reflect,” says Dietitian, Brenda Fikry. “How are we feeling before we have the caffeinated beverage? Are we feeling calm? How does our heart rate feel?”

Try Instead: If you’re used to having hot coffee every morning, Brenda suggests trying decaffeinated tea or all-natural fruit/veggie juice (that is low in sugar content).

“The really high amounts of nutrient-dense foods really give us a good boost of energy.”

2. Refined and Artificial Sugars

sugar_spoon_cutlery_sweeteners_sweet-1331928.jpg!dThe thought of sugar being taken out of our diet can already be a depressing thought. However, for those already dealing with anxiety, reducing your sugar intake could be the medicine you need.

Sugar does not cause anxiety, but it can worsen your symptoms.

Side effects from sugar include blurry vision, difficulty thinking and fatigue. When someone who has anxiety is feeling these symptoms, they could interpreted these as signs of a panic attack. All the while, this is making their worry, fear and anxiety worse.

Also, it’s not just a sugar rush but the crash that has it’s own side effects similar to anxiety. Symptoms include pounding heart, racing pulse, shakiness, dizziness, confusion and irritability.

Try Instead: Brenda suggests natural sugars. Examples being pre-chopped fruit, all-natural frozen fruit bars and in moderation, chocolate covered almonds and raisins.

3. Alcohol 

When you have a glass of wine… or two… or three, in the immediate, it feels great! You finally relax, stress leaves and anxiety decreases. However, that quickly changes.

wineIn fact, your anxiety can increase within just a few hours of consuming alcohol; and the effects on anxiety can be felt the next day.

A study done by the University of North Carolina School of Medicine found heavy drinking rewires our brains and can increase our chances of anxiety issues.

The CDC defines heavy drinking as:

“For men, heavy drinking is typically defined as consuming 15 drinks or more per week. For women, heavy drinking is typically defined as consuming 8 drinks or more per week.”

Try Instead: Brenda suggests doing some inward reflection to learn healthy things you love which make you feel calm. Examples being: playing guitar, reading, or working out. She also suggests trying the App Calm which has free 5 minute meditations, breathing techniques and bed time stories.

bread4. Gluten/Processed Food

You might be saying…. “I’m not allergic to gluten” and you may be right!

However, if you suffer with an anxiety disorder, you could be a part of the 1 percent general population who has a gluten-intolerance. If you are, you’re not alone. I was diagnosed with a gluten-intolerance 8 years ago. 

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One of my favorite local grocery stores: Earth Fare

Most people with gluten issues have physical symptoms like digestive problems and anemia. However, there are “non-classic” symptoms of gluten which include brain atrophy, epilepsy, depression and anxiety.

“Gluten is mostly found in highly proceeded food,” says Fikry. “There was a specific study done that has proven that anxiety increases by 25-29 percent with consumption of the Western foods – which is known to be highly processed.”

Brenda also points out that our gut plays a huge role in our mental health.

“95 percent of serotonin receptors are in our gut,” says Fikry. “And serotonin is the hormone that makes us feel happy and helps ward off depression symptoms and anxiety symptoms.”

Try Instead: Gluten is found in a lot of our comfort foods like, bread, cake, cookies and pizza. You can replace those carbs with naturally gluten-free options like rice, potatoes, quinoa and beans.

Get To Know The Face Behind The Knowledge: 
Brenda Fikry MS, RD, LD, EP-C

Brenda is a dog loving, yoga-practicing, health guru who is also my go-to dietitian in Tampa Bay! She’s always willing and ready to answer any of my nutrition questions and is ready to do the same for you.
Connect with her on Instagram!

Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Brownie Recipe

img_6064I love these brownies because they are quick, easy and do not taste gluten-free!

Prep time takes about 15 minutes and baking time takes about 22 minutes.

Why am I still talking? Let’s bake!

Ingredients: 

  • 1/2 cup gluten-free flour
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • (1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum (more info on what xanthan gum is)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • mini chocolate chips

 

Directions:

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1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Mix eggs, vanilla, butter and sugar together in large bowl.

3. Add flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, cocoa powder and salt into wet mix.

4. Pour mixture into greased 7×11 pan.

5. Bake for roughly 17 minutes.

6. Take out of oven, sprinkle chocolate chips on top, put back in oven for additional 5 minutes – or until fork comes out clean (chocolate chips will still be gooey).

 

Add some whipped cream or eat it plain and share your creations with me on Instagram!

 

 

 

 

Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Banana Bread – With One Key Ingredient

This recipe is close to my heart because it was passed down by family.

My husband’s grandmother was making this chocolate chip banana bread when we visited this past January. Usually I would say, “that looks good” then move on. But with trying to expand my cooking/baking skills, I asked for the recipe.

Best decision I could have made.

It was originally not gluten-free but I put my personal twist on it.

What You Need:

  • 2 cups gluten free flour (I used rice four)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon gluten free baking powder (I use Rumford.. and just get the cheapest)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup butter softened
  • 3 medium ripe bananas
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips or chopped pecans

 Key Ingredient:

  • 2 teaspoons Xanthan GumIMG_3396

This ingredient is key because it’s the ‘glue’ that holds everything together. Traditionally, gluten is that key ingredient when baking with flour. Without it, your cakes, cookies, breads and anything else you bake will be crumbly. That’s where xanthan gum comes in. You will use different amounts of xanthan gum depending on how much gluten-free flour is needed in your recipe.

If you’re saying, “I don’t know how to use it,” don’t worry. Most packages will tell you how much you should use. I really like Bob’s Red Mill which you can find at most grocery stores.

Directions: 

1. Lightly blend or mash bananas and combine with eggs, butter and brown sugar in medium bowl.

2.  In separate bowl stir flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and xanthan gum.

3.  Combine all ingredients then stir in chocolate chips/chopped pecans.

4.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

5.  Spray (9×5 or 8×4) pan with non-stick cooking spray.

6. Cook for 50-70 mins.

  • 9” x 5” cook time: 50-60 mins.
  • 8” x 4” cook time: 60-70 mins.

*If you stick a fork in the center it should come out clean – minus the chocolate chips.

7.  Let cool for 10 minutes. Put plate over bread, flip over, pull pan off, and flip bread right side up again.

Share your pictures with me on my blog or Instagram page!

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