Like I said in my previous post, living a healthy lifestyle is all about finding healthy alternatives to your not-so-healthy favourites. Unlike following a strict diet, this approach allows you to enjoy food again and not deprive yourself or feel guilty after eating.
A favourite of mine is fresh, warm bread right out of the oven. The problem with traditional bread is that it’s typically made with white flour. White flour behaves like white sugar in that it spikes our blood sugar when we eat it. Our pancreas than secretes insulin to start working on the sugar, and put it to use as energy. This process works fine if you only have a small amount, but if your diet is high in white carbs, the insulin production can’t keep up with the demands, and that process stops working. This leads to weight gain, and is a pre-cursor for Type 2 diabetes.
With all that being said, there are healthy bread options out there and one of my favourites is traditional Colombian cheese bread called Pan de Yuca. When we were living in Colombia this was one of my favourite breakfasts. It’s crispy on the outside, and soft & chewy on the inside.
Instead of white flour it uses gluten-free tapioca flour, which is made from the cassava plant. The other main ingredient is feta cheese; a salty, goat’s milk based cheese. Goat’s cheese is a healthy choice because it’s higher in enzymes than cow’s milk cheeses, making it easier to digest. People with a dairy sensitivity find that goat’s milk & cheese are better tolerated. And unlike traditional bread that can be tricky to make (have to let it rise, etc.), this recipe is simple and only calls for a few ingredients (I can’t take full credit for this recipe though – I had a lot of help from my Colombian bestie Lisette).
This bread is the perfect addition to any holiday brunch, and you’ll impress your guests by making fresh-baked bread.
Pan de Yuca (Traditional Colombian Cheese Bread)
1 ¾ cups tapioca starch
2 cups feta cheese, crumbled
1 ½ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. coconut palm sugar
Preheat oven to 450F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or grease with coconut oil or butter.
Using a food processor, combine the tapioca starch, feta, baking powder and sugar.
In a separate bowl, beat the egg, and slowly add it to the flour & cheese mixture. Process until combined.
Remove dough from the processor and knead it into a large ball. You can add more flour here to reach desired consistency if dough is too sticky.
Form into 12 small balls, and place on a cookie sheet. Bake for 15 minutes. Bread will be crispy on the outside and soft & chewy on the inside. Serve warm, fresh out of the oven with a side of scrambled eggs.