Benefits of Sourdough Bread and How to Make a Gluten Free Sourdough Starter

Fermented foods, of which our diets are severely lacking, have the ability to make food easier to digest as well as provide our bodies with needed nutrients and beneficial bacteria. Sourdough is one of those fermented foods.

It’s been a few years since I’ve taken the time to experiment with sourdough breads, it always seems so tricky and I got tired of baking bricks. I was able to make a few good loaves, but never with consistency. The one sourdough food we really loved though were pancakes. So easy to make and deliciously light.

We then went gluten-free and gave up bread for the most part, making only a loaf of yeasted bread every few months.

As we discussed yesterday in our post about digestion, preparing foods properly is really important. It helps our bodies absorb more nutrients and it is easier on the gut, causing less issues. One of the ways to properly ferment grains (breads) is to use a sourdough method.

This method has been used for centuries; our great-grandmothers worked in their kitchens making this traditional bread, their cupboards held a jar of the starter. Instant yeast was not easily accessible if available at all, so sourdough was the only way you could get a bread to rise.

“Sourdough breads are leavened by a starter that contain natural yeasts and acids. The airborne yeast creates the enzymes needed to eat up or predigest some of the toughest-on-your-belly parts of the grain. This action creates carbon dioxide, which gets trapped in tiny pockets of dough, resulting in a natural rising of the bread.” –Shannon

Preparing breads using a sourdough method is also known to break down the gluten when using a wheat flour, lowers the starch content of the grain as the bacteria present consume the sugars and starch, and it also nutralizes an enzyme within the grain called phytic-acid.

Through the process of lactic acid fermentation is also activates the phytase to hydrolyze (dissolve) the phytates, thus freeing up minerals such as: zinc, iron, magnesium, copper, and phosphorus. (source: Katie Kimball)

All in all, sourdough breads are much easier for the body to digest and as an added benefit, the bacteria also add nutrients into it as well.

In my goal to make 2013 the year of the ferments in our home, I’m beginning to experiment again, and we currently have a nice little gluten-free sourdough starter happily fermenting away on the counter.

gluten free sourdough

How to Make a Gluten Free Sourdough Starter

5.0 from 1 reviews
How to Make a Gluten Free Starter
Author: 
Recipe type: Breads and Grains
 
Ingredients
  • 4 cups brown rice flour
  • 3 cups filtered/non-chlorinated water
  • optional - 2 tbsp water kefir
Method of Preparation
  1. It's important to have water free from chemicals, specifically chlorine as it may damage the starter. If you have city water (versus your own well) you can place a jar or bowl of water, uncovered, out on the counter overnight. You can also boil the water for ten minutes and let cool to room temp.
  2. Day one - four you are going to place ¼ cup of flour and a scant ¼ cup of water into a jar and stir with a wooden (or plastic) spoon every morning and every night. I find that when making a starter, it's helpful to feed it twice a day for the first few days. Cover your starter with a thin towel or cloth jar cover. (I've also used coffee filters and rubberbands which work well)
  3. If your starter doesn't seem every active, you can "boost" it a bit by adding a tablespoon of water kefir.
  4. By day five your starter should be bubbling along and able to sustain just one feeding per day, so each day you add ½ cup of brown rice flour and ⅓ cup of water. The consistency we're looking for is going to be like cake batter, so add more or less water based on how yours looks.
  5. At day seven you should have enough starter to make your first sourdough recipe! If you're not looking to use it immediately,place it in a mason jar with a solid cover and refrigerate, feeding once a week or so to keep it active.
Notes
It is important to keep your starter in a warm place; if it gets to cold it won't be active enough to work. I find that keeping mine in the oven with the pilot light on can help immensely during the cold winter months. Others find that they can place it next to the stove or on top of a refrigerator for warmth.

 

If you are not completely gluten-free, you can also add a few tablespoons of whole wheat flour (I’d recommend spelt or einkorn flour) as it can help boost the health of your starter. You can also make a whole wheat sourdough starter.

gluten free sourdough

Check out this month\'s sponsor, Natural Fertility Shop. They are 100% focused on helping you during your journey towards parenthood and have expert staff and knowledgeable customer service here to help you every step of the way.

All images and content are protected under US copyright laws, please do not copy and paste.

Links in the post above may be affiliate or referral links - meaning that through a sale I may be given monetary benefit. I blog with integrity and only endorse companies and products I love.

I am not a doctor and don\'t pretend to be one. Use everything you read only to inspire you to do your own research and be an advocate for your own health. Please read my disclaimer in full.

Pain Redeemed {a review}

I don’t remember when I met Natasha exactly, and we’ve not yet met in real life unfortunately, just by virtual means.

She deals with infertility, as I and many of you do/did. And she recently wrote a book and I would love to tell you about it!

Pain Redeemed, when our deepest sorrows meet God

“I wrote a book.

Not because I’m the world’s best writer but because I feel that God has given me a message.

It wasn’t a message I particularly wanted. I mean, who wants to know pain intimately enough to write a book about it? But I do and He said, write, so I wrote. It’s a story, really. My story, intertwined with those whose lives have intersected mine. A story about pain. And miracles.

Are you struggling through heart-shattering pain? Perhaps this book was written just for you. It’s my soul laid bare. Tread softly. And come taste the miracle with me.” – Natasha

I feel very blessed that she sent me a copy of her ebook to read. I stayed up late one night devouring page after page, reading her thoughts and bits of her journals that she included.

It was like reading my own journals.

This pain, this depression, this darkness she speaks of – I know it intimately.

I stopped reading that night, wanting to finish it later, but weeks went before I was ready again. Because facing your own pain, and loss, again is difficult. It’s the reason why I haven’t mentioned much of my own pain for months and months now.

This book is what many of us need to read right now.

I could struggle to put into words all that Natasha does- her book is like balm to a hurting heart. To hearts that are searching for God in their pain, searching for answers to their lost dreams, who strive to overcome infertility while still physically struggling with it.

I have been greatly blessed by this book and know you will be too.

You can also buy her book for Kindle as well.

Check out this month\'s sponsor, Natural Fertility Shop. They are 100% focused on helping you during your journey towards parenthood and have expert staff and knowledgeable customer service here to help you every step of the way.

All images and content are protected under US copyright laws, please do not copy and paste.

Links in the post above may be affiliate or referral links - meaning that through a sale I may be given monetary benefit. I blog with integrity and only endorse companies and products I love.

I am not a doctor and don\'t pretend to be one. Use everything you read only to inspire you to do your own research and be an advocate for your own health. Please read my disclaimer in full.

Overcoming the Ugly {my guest post}

Do you ever feel that bitterness or jealousy creeping up inside you?

Me too.

Today I’m guest posting at Still Standing, an online magazine dedicated to helping women embrace life in the midst of infertility and loss. I’d love to invite you over there to join me in the conversation about how we can overcome these feelings that tend to paint our heart ugly.

Click here – {Overcoming the Ugly, a guest post on infertility and self-care}

Check out this month\'s sponsor, Natural Fertility Shop. They are 100% focused on helping you during your journey towards parenthood and have expert staff and knowledgeable customer service here to help you every step of the way.

All images and content are protected under US copyright laws, please do not copy and paste.

Links in the post above may be affiliate or referral links - meaning that through a sale I may be given monetary benefit. I blog with integrity and only endorse companies and products I love.

I am not a doctor and don\'t pretend to be one. Use everything you read only to inspire you to do your own research and be an advocate for your own health. Please read my disclaimer in full.

Stories of Hope and Healing

Ann’s story of hope and healing:

I am infertile.

Just wanted to get that out of the way.

It’s true.

Two and a half years and 9,000 tests and procedures later, we know. We’ve known since December 23, 2010 actually, but it takes a while to process something like that and really accept it.

I’ve grieved.

I’ve been in denial.

I’ve been angry.

I’ve legitimately thought that I could fix it if I tried hard enough.

Now, I just know.

Not long after I found out that my fallopian tubes were blocked due to endometriosis, I began delving into research about treatments for the inflammation and scarring that was rendering my tubes useless and keeping me from becoming a mom. I have tried special diets and supplements, seen multiple naturopaths, enrolled in a “yoga for fertility” class, had weekly mayan abdominal massages, endured acupuncture and even completed 1 cycle of IVF.

I’ve learned a lot and I believe I’m mostly healthier for it, but I’m still not pregnant.

Here’s the biggest and most important lesson (of many) that I’ve learned: I can’t make myself pregnant by eating better, praying more, or generally trying harder. No amount of striving on my part will make me pregnant.

The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but the victory belongs tothe LORD – Proverbs 21:31 (ESV)

While it is not wrong of me to prepare my horse (or in this case perhaps uterus?) for battle, the victory (or outcome) will always belong to the Lord. He is in control of this situation. I do not have to put my hope in my strivings. That’s a good thing! I fail every day no matter how hard I try. I can never seem to consistently cut out all dairy, gluten, and soy for any substantial period of time. I do not do the massage and castor oil packs I’m supposed to every night. I can’t seem to remember the plethora of supplements I am supposed to take every day. The list of my shortcomings could go on forever.

The war horse is a false hope for salvation, and by its great might it cannot rescue. – Psalm 33:17 (ESV)

My strivings can’t save me. I was hoping they would and they failed me again and again. I was putting my hope in my carefully prepared war horse, the wrong place. I am not healed and I may never be. I am not a perfect wife and I never will be. I am not a perfect homemaker/cook/ dietician and I never will be. I am not a mother and I may never be.

But, I AM God’s precious daughter.

He loves me and I am forgiven, perfect, and clean in his eyes through Jesus. Does that mean I am fine with being childless and suffering physical and emotional pain as a result of my disease? No, no, and no. I am not fine with it. It sucks. It is so awful and painful that sometimes I scream and cry and yell to God. But, this is the worst it will ever get for me. I’ll say it again. This is the worst that I will have to endure! This is the closest to hell I will ever be! And, God is with me right here in the thick of it.

The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. – Psalm 34:18 (ESV)

Someday, I will be in heaven with Jesus and this will all be over. I won’t be in pain anymore and it won’t really matter that I was. Part of me can’t wait for that. That is where my hope should be. God is the only place for my hope.

At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. – Titus 3:3-7 (NIV)

Ann blogs at http://www.annguthrie.com to share her and her husband’s story and hopefully give glory to God as He works in them and through them.

Do you have a story of physical, emotional, or spiritual healing? Join the community and share your story.

Check out this month\'s sponsor, Natural Fertility Shop. They are 100% focused on helping you during your journey towards parenthood and have expert staff and knowledgeable customer service here to help you every step of the way.

All images and content are protected under US copyright laws, please do not copy and paste.

Links in the post above may be affiliate or referral links - meaning that through a sale I may be given monetary benefit. I blog with integrity and only endorse companies and products I love.

I am not a doctor and don\'t pretend to be one. Use everything you read only to inspire you to do your own research and be an advocate for your own health. Please read my disclaimer in full.

Stories of Hope and Healing: the hard journey

hope and infertilityMy name is Heather and this is my story of hope and healing.

My husband and I are 2 1/2 years into the throws of infertility.  I have a history of hormone imbalance that was shrugged off by doctors for most of my life.  I was put on birth control to keep my symptoms manageable and was told not to worry about my hormones until I was ready to get pregnant.

My husband and I were both in our early 30’s when we got married and didn’t want to wait more than a year before trying to become pregnant.  By this point, I had taken birth control for 15 years and knew it would take my body some time to readjust.  I already ate a fairly healthy diet, but was thankful for the additional resources I found through the NKU blog.  Even though I was seemingly healthy on the outside, my hormones remained a mess, and so we began our journey with infertility doctors and treatments.

These past two years have been an emotional roller coaster filled with invasive tests that were often painful, awful hormone altering drugs and many doctor’s appointments and opinions.  On February 13 of this year, my husband and I learned that I am missing 1/3 of my uterus and my left fallopian tube.  We were given the options of IUI or IVF along with more hormone treatments.  After several weeks of prayer, we decided that those options are not for us and we have called it quits with infertility treatments.

In that decision I felt complete peace AND a great loss of hope. It was very hard to lay down my plans and grab hold of God’s.  Don’t get me wrong, I often go back over to my plans and try to pick them up again because they seem so much better.  But God in his grace reminds me that he is good and that he can’t fulfill his plans for my life if I refuse to let go of my own agenda.

This journey has been the hardest thing I have ever endured.  I have cried until my eyes were so swollen that I could barely see.  I have been angry and asked God why over and over again.  I have compared myself to other women who seem to have all of their plans neatly fall into place.   But slowly, God is healing my heart and my hope is returning.  I don’t know if a baby is in our future, but I hope because I know that God has not forgotten me and he is writing a beautiful story for my life.

 

Do you have a story of physical, emotional, or spiritual healing? Join the community and share your story.

Check out this month\'s sponsor, Natural Fertility Shop. They are 100% focused on helping you during your journey towards parenthood and have expert staff and knowledgeable customer service here to help you every step of the way.

All images and content are protected under US copyright laws, please do not copy and paste.

Links in the post above may be affiliate or referral links - meaning that through a sale I may be given monetary benefit. I blog with integrity and only endorse companies and products I love.

I am not a doctor and don\'t pretend to be one. Use everything you read only to inspire you to do your own research and be an advocate for your own health. Please read my disclaimer in full.