No-Knead Bread

This bread has been a life changer for me! I love bread, but I have dairy and egg allergies. I can’t buy bread from the store, because they often use eggs, milk or butter, not to mention the processed sugar! As women with PCOS we all know that processed sugars are not our friend. It can lead to diabetes since we are already at risk just by having PCOS.

I had to find a way to make bread that wouldn’t require me to spend hours in the kitchen. The only thing spending hours in the kitchen is the bread itself. Because we don’t knead it we let the bread sit over night with a towel draped over it. I keep my in the oven, just because I have cats who might try to sneak under that towel. And there is the added benefit that the oven will keep the moisture generated by the yeast that we use.

I have made two different versions with this recipe. One was with sesame seeds, pecans, chia seeds and pumpkin seeds. The other one I went for a vegan olive cheese bread. Did I mention I’m allergic to dairy? And PCOS women shouldn’t consume dairy anyway, sooooo I tried to replicate the flavor of breads with cheese in them. Not exactly the same, but I liked the flavor. I still need to do more experimenting with that one, so I will share the first one only. The recipe I used is from The Awesome Green and it’s called the No Knead Bread with Buckwheat, Rye, Seeds and Nuts. Have you been to her site yet? I love it! Great photos and fun posts…unlike mine, but anyway! I just had to share this recipe, because it’s too good not to!

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Photo Courtesy of The Awesome Green

All you have to do is mix all the ingredients together and then cover it. Keep it in a slightly warm place, this is why I used my oven. Whatever heat the dough would generate would stay in the oven and it helps it to keep the moisture. Which is really important if you use coconut flour like I do.

Now let’s get to the recipe!

No-Knead Bread with Buckwheat, Rye, Seeds and Nuts
Prep time
14 hours
Cook time
1 hour 10 mins
Total time
15 hours 10 mins
Loaded with fiber and minerals, the no-knead bread doesn’t require any baking skills and comes with a delicious crunchy-crust and nutty flavor.
Author: The Awesome Green
Cuisine: Vegan
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 2 cups whole-wheat flour (wholemeal)*
  • 1 cup buckwheat flour*
  • 1 cup rye flour*
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • ½ cup toasted hazelnuts
  • ½ cup walnuts
  • ½ cup toasted sunflower seeds
  • ¼ tsp instant yeast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1&1/2 cups filtered water
  • *extra flour to sprinkle the working surface and bowl
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl combine flour, yeast, salt, nuts and seeds, then add water.
  2. Stir to combine and obtain a sticky dough.
  3. Cover the bowl with a clean towel and let the dough rise at room temperature for for 12 hours (until bubbles appear on its surface).
  4. Sprinkle a working surface with flour, transfer the dough on it, fold it once or twice and give it a ball shape.
  5. Sprinkle abundantly the bowl with flour, place the dough inside, cover with a clean towel and let it rise for two more hours (it should double its size).
  6. With about 20 minutes before the dough is ready, heat the oven at 220ºC/450ºF and place a cast-iron pot or a clay one into the oven, empty, to accumulate heat.
  7. Remove the pot from the oven, carefully transfer the dough into it, cover with a lit and bake for 30 minutes.
  8. Remove the lid and bake for 40 more minutes.
  9. Remove from the pot and let cool for a 10 minutes before slicing.
Notes
I subbed half buckwheat and half coconut flour when I didn’t have rye flour or whole wheat flour and it worked well! Just remember to keep adding water until the dough sticks to itself and feels sticky, otherwise it will just be a crumbly mess. It’s best to use 1 cup coconut flour, 1 cup rye flour and 1 1/2 cup buckwheat flour. Add the amount of water recommended in the recipe, but if it falls apart add more. Like I said before keep adding water a little bit at a time until it sticks together and it starts to feel sticky. Then place in the oven (off!) and leave it over night.
I don’t have a pot with a lid that can be baked, so I use a frying pan that can be baked and cover it with aluminum foil. It works great!
Don’t be afraid to experiment with what you throw in. I’ve used sesame seeds, olives, nutritional yeast and it turns out great. Find the flavors you like in your bread to switch things up.
Let me know how it works out! Happy baking!

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Photo courtesy of The Awesome Green.

 

Entering the decade of my 30’s

February 1st was my 30th birthday. I have officially entered my 30’s. I know many people weren’t ready for it, but I was.

I appreciated all that I have learned in my 20’s. From the crazy nights of clubbing and drinking during college to becoming more responsible and going to work (not hungover). I grew from the immature and strong headed girl into who I am today. Of course, I can still be strong headed, but I’ve learned to not fight everything that comes my way. I’ve learned to let things go and say “oh well”. I’ve let go of friends (or at least pseudo friends) to keeping a small, close set of friends. That’s not to say I don’t make new friends, I do. I just now know how to recognize who will be a good friend for me. It isn’t about the quantity, it’s the quality of our friendships that matter.

I moved countries in my twenties. I met my husband in my twenties. I learned I had PCOS in my twenties. I started fertility treatments in my twenties. My twenties were a time of learning a lot about myself. Finding what worked for me. Learning how to deal with my health. I began to love cooking, because it was a way to take care of myself and experiment at the same time. My twenties…

I experienced so much in my twenties, but I was ready to say good-bye when my 30th birthday was approaching. Now, that I am officially thirty I can say that I look forward to what my thirties will bring. I hope that my thirties will bring me a baby or two, but I have no control over that. Whatever comes I know I will be able to handle it. The good and bad is a part of life and I will remind myself to focus on the good days, more than the bad. The bad days are so strong that I need to remind myself about the good. Otherwise, that will become a sinkhole that I don’t want to have to fight out of. I have enough on my plate thank you very much.

I think I’ve grown a lot, but I know that there will be more to learn and experience. There is always something to do or that happens. I hope that whatever comes my way I handle it gracefully and am able to look back on it and learn from it. Of course, I know there will be plenty of wonderful moments and I will try to hold onto to those and let go of the bad ones.

So, I say “Hello 30. I’m Victoria. It’s wonderful to meet you. What do you have for me today?”

No-Go

The last time I mentioned that 30 follicles had been stimulated. I went to my follow-up appointment and nothing had changed. Which means the medication (Sexovid) didn’t give me enough of a boost. So, my doctor ordered a 2 week break in which hopefully my period will come.

According to my doctor the medication isn’t going to cut it. It’s been a year since I started using Clomid, Sexovid and Hormone shots to try and ovulate. I just turned 30 on February 1st. I’m thinking these are a few of the reasons why my doctor decided to try IVM after a year of trying with the medication.

I have to admit I was a bit shocked to hear my doctor recommend IVM after only a year of hormone medication and shots. I wondered if my condition was that severe. I mean, I do have a partial bicornuate uterus on top of the PCOS. But then I realized, that it might actually be a good thing to move to this stage so quickly. The medication of hormones clearly aren’t working on my body, I hope to have at least 2 children and I would like my first child before I turn 35. In the long run, this might be the best thing for us. At least that is what I am telling myself and it helps to keep me in high spirits. At this point anything to keep up our spirits are the best thing.

I will talk about IVM in another post. It’s a rather new technology compared to IVF. It started to become available in 2007 or 2009. For those of us that can’t mature eggs IVM will be (hopefully) a little more gentle on the body (not to mention the wallet).

Dark Chocolate “nutella” oatmeal bars

I have discovered these sinful bars. They were supposed to be cookies, but with the texture I got I thought it would be better to press them down and then cut into bars. It was still like eating cookies (square cookies!). These are just cooked on the stove top and then the oats are mixed in before pressing down. Very simple! Just have the oats measured out and a baking sheet covered in wax paper ready to go before starting.

The mix of hazelnut butter and cocoa (plus carob powder) created the nutella flavor I had been looking for! I’m allergic to dairy and, of course us PCOS ladies shouldn’t be using processed sugars so, these are made with some coconut sugar and stevia.

The coconut oil helps to reduce the amount of nut butter you would normally need in a nut butter cookie. I added cinnamon to these and it was a wonderful addition (who doesn’t love cinnamon?). I used the recipe from Jay’s baking me crazy’s recipe on the Golden Barrel website.

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(Photo courtesy of Jay’s baking me crazy and Golden Barrel.)

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You add all of the ingredients except the vanilla and oats. Like in the above photo (courtesy of Golden Barrel and Jay’s baking me crazy). I substituted hazelnut butter instead of peanut butter. I also used 1/4 c cocoa powder and 1/4 c carob powder (I wanted a dark chocolate flavor). Another substitution was 1 cup coconut sugar and 1/2 tsp of stevia (instead of 2 c raw sugar) and oh boy were they sweet! Next time, I will try 1/2 c of coconut sugar and 1/2 tsp stevia and see how they turn out.

 

Ingredients

3 1/4 c oats (measured out and set aside)

1/2 c coconut oil (it’s currently winter so I used 1/4-1/2 c solid coconut oil)

1/2 c Hazelnut butter (or really any nut butter of choice, Jay used peanut)

1/2 c Almond milk (or any milk of choice, add a little extra if including my additions)

1 c Coconut sugar (This is still VERY SWEET!)

1/4 tsp Stevia

1/4 c Cocoa powder

1/4 c Carob powder (optional)

1/2 tsp Himalayan pink salt

1 tsp vanilla (I used 1/2 tsp vanilla powder)

1 tbsp cinnamon (optional)

Directions

  1. Measure out the oats in a bowl and set aside. Cover a baking sheet with wax paper and set on the counter.
  2. In a large sauce pan combine everything from coconut oil to salt.
  3. Turn on the heat and cook on Medium (no higher) stir constantly until a rolling boil.
  4. Set the timer for 4 minutes and constantly stir, scraping down the sides and bottom regularly.
  5. Once the 4 minutes are up turn off the heat and remove the pan from the heat.
  6. Add the vanilla and stir quickly.
  7. Add the cinnamon and stir quickly
  8. Add the oats and stir till well combined
  9. Spread out the mix on the baking sheet and press down. Once cool cut into squares. At this point you can eat a few squares (It was delicious with almond milk poured over it) Or, you can place them in a tupperware wrapped in wax paper and chilled. They are delicious in a solid form!

Enjoy!

30 follicles have been stimulated

Well, after my morning sickness side effects my doctor didn’t give me the fourth shot and when I went in for my next scheduled check-up my doctor saw that I had about 30 follicles that were about 12-15mm on my right ovary. He told me that another shot of hormone is too risky, because the chances of OHSS (Ovarian Hyper Stimulation Syndrome) was very likely to happen in this situation. Instead, he prescribed Sexovid again. Remember Sexovid is similar to Clomid, but a little weaker which means less chance of side effects. I took it for 5 days twice a day.

No major side effects although I do feel a lot of pinching around my right ovary and my breasts have a lot of pings and pangs going on throughout the day. I’ve felt the need for chocolate, so I made myself some. I went to the gym one day so far this week for cardio. The rest of my workout is from walking about 40-50 minutes to work in the morning or some basic weight training like push-ups, triceps, squats and stretching.

Currently, I have finished all of my meds and am waiting to see the doctor (tomorrow). Here’s hoping that one or two (or three or four) eggs are ready to be released! Then the doctor can give me a shot of something or other that will make my body release the egg(s). Cross your fingers for me!