GF Quinoa Cranberry Breakfast Bread

Hello friends! This naturally gluten-free quinoa cranberry breakfast bread is packed with flavour and goodness… and delicious any time of day, not just for breakfast.  Really, breakfast is just your starting point with this chewy, not-too-sweet loaf. Studded with sweet-tart dried cranberries & scented with orange peel, it’s perfect with a drizzle of honey or a big swipe of almond butter- or both!  It’s hearty enough for a meal and a source of complete protein from the quinoa, seeds, and nut butter. What better way to fuel yourself through the day?

I made this bread as part of the snack table for my “Food Freedom” seminar last week, where we talked about how to break free of that endless cycle of restrictive eating/chronic dieting (“I will be good today!”) followed by binge or overeating (“I blew it again…”)

Diets and dieting behaviour actually set us up for overeating… I know this first-hand from my 5-month competition prep and the subsequent “post-show” months last year.  During that time of dieting, I did indeed lose weight and achieve the ultra-low body fat I needed to compete well. But I was hungry and restricted for so long that after the show, I ate everything on my “Foods I Want to Eat” list (made during an evening of extreme hunger and lethargy just before my show) and gained back up to my normal body weight in about 6 weeks.

Most diets will fail you, both in terms of permanent weight loss and the effect they have on your self-esteem & self-image.  The reason for this is that diets are based on restriction and external cues (“eat this, don’t eat that, eat now, don’t eat then”) and teach us to ignore the internal signals that regulate our food intake: hunger, fullness, and food satisfaction. And then we wind up feeling like the “failure,” blaming our lack of willpower or discipline. It’s no wonder that we can so easily fall into the cycle of restriction, extreme hunger, overeating, feelings of guilt/shame, and more restriction.

So how do we overcome this?

First, let’s be gentle with ourselves and recognise that dieting down below our normal and healthy body weight (and your body may have a higher “ideal” than you do!) is a complex process that your body will eventually fight against.  The fight becomes harder the lighter and leaner you get.  It’s a matter of basic survival mechanisms ingrained in us from the beginning of time.

That said, let’s listen to our internal signals.  Let’s try to become more aware of when we’re hungry and when we’re full.  And as much as possible, let’s respond well to those signals (and that could mean eating late at night, or an hour before lunch, or at 5am when you first wake up… and it could also mean skipping lunch because you had a big breakfast, or leaving food on your plate because you’re full, or having a smoothie for dinner because that’s just what sounds good.)

Let’s make good food choices most of the time, recognising that our bodies feel best when we nourish them well.  But let’s also make room in our diets (and lives!) for foods that are just fun… that may or may not be “superfoods” or contribute to our Recommended Daily Intake of ten nutrients. But let’s eat them just because they feel good and are signs of celebration and the joy of eating.

For me, that’s a couple squares of chocolate in the afternoon, homemade cupcakes eaten with my kids, and a good cheese plate shared with Mark on a Saturday evening. What is it for you?

Yes, I’ve digressed from our quinoa bread! But this bread is also representative of intuitive eating, because it just makes you feel good.  It’s thick and hearty and full of healthy fats.  I love its chewy texture and nutty flavour. I feel like I’m giving myself a big gift of nourishment (body & soul) every time I cut a slice and smother it with almond butter.  In short, this bread makes me happy- and I hope it does you too.

If you have any thoughts or concerns about restrictive eating, chronic dieting, binge eating, or how to get in touch with your internal self-regulation signals, please feel free to email me at rebeccalwin@thexpatdietitian.com. I would love to hear from you.

Meanwhile, enjoy the quinoa bread!

GF Quinoa Cranberry Breakfast Bread

Prep Time: 8 hours, 15 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 8 hours, 50 minutes

Yield: 1 loaf, about 15 slices

GF Quinoa Cranberry Breakfast Bread

Ingredients

  • 2 small bananas (~6 oz), mashed
  • 1 cup quinoa, soaked in 2 c. water + 1 T. lemon juice overnight (drained)
  • 2 T. chia seeds
  • 2 T. sesame seeds
  • 3 T. hemp seeds
  • 1 T. finely grated orange peel
  • 1/3 cup dessicated unsweetened coconut (~50 g)
  • ¼ cup coconut flour (40g)
  • 2 T. almond butter
  • 2 T. maple syrup
  • 1 ½ t. cinnamon
  • ¼ t. salt
  • 2 t. vanilla
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries (~30gm)

Method

  • Heat oven to 180C (350F.) Spray a large loaf tin with cooking spray and line with parchment paper.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and stir well. You will have a thick batter. Pour batter into prepared tin and bake 30-35 minutes or until a wooden pick comes out clean.
  • Let cool thoroughly before slicing.

Notes

Prep time includes time for soaking the quinoa.

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