Thinking about going keto, huh?

The first thing you need to know is that “eating keto” takes work!  Real, physical labor type work, and I’m not talking about exercise.  There are very, very few ready-to-eat foods in grocery stores that support this way of eating.  Oh, there are several products claiming to be “keto-friendly” and they may contain fewer carbs than their regular versions; however, many of these products still contain too many carbs and sugars for the gung-ho keto enthusiast.  You can’t just walk down the isles of the supermarket, pick things off the shelves, then toss them in your buggy.  Keto-eating requires that you read the product labels to calculate sugars, fiber and net carbs, etc.  There is a very high likelihood that you’ll be required to do a lot of home cooking.  I mean A LOT.  It will take some truly dedicated effort to start and maintain this way of eating, but it is totally worth it, in my opinion.

My husband and I have been eating the keto way for over a year now.  He’s lost 50 pounds and I’ve lost 20.  Both of us have met and/or exceeded our ultimate weight loss goals and, with only minor, temporary fluctuations, we’ve kept our weight off.  Keto works.  It is not intended to be a “fad diet” that you’ll follow just long enough to lose weight fast and then slowly return to your old way of eating.  It is intended to be a lasting change in your diet, your new way of eating, your permanently adopted lifestyle.  In time, the carb cravings fade away.  The foods you eat are much more satisfying and you remain satisfied for longer periods of time between meals.  We still enjoy all of our favoite foods such as pizzas, tacos, hamburgers, and even desserts, all of which would normally be loaded with carbs.  Our foods are simply homemade, from keto-compliant recipes, and they are delicious!

Now, I have always loved sandwiches, and sandwiches require bread, right?  I have yet to find a keto bread in any of our local grocery stores.  But, for a month or two, I have noticed ads for cauliflower-based breads claiming to be suitable for keto.  I’ve read the nutritional info as well as ingredients and they really do seem to pass the test for being keto-friendly.  That’s cool!  However, they are ridiculously high-priced.  Some flatbreads will cost you a whopping $2.00 per slice which would make for an extremely expensive loaf of bread, given the fact that the seller requires you to buy a minimum of four packages.  Since I flat out refuse to pay $20 or more for a freaking loaf of bread — ANY bread — I was determined to find a recipe and make it myself.

There are hundreds of low-carb bread recipes on the internet and I’ve tried a few that call for coconut flour.  Disgusting!  I have two containers of this coconut flour that will not be used in this household again and are now free to a good home!  Or, any home!  I’m an almond flour fan, to the core.  Months ago, I came across a recipe for Keto Cheddar Bay Biscuits, you know, like those yummy delights they serve you at Red Lobster.  I make them on occasion and we’ve used them for tuna salad or turkey sandwiches, as well as for hamburgers.  These biscuits are truly delicious and I think I like them even better than the traditional ones.  Sorry, Red Lobster.  Still, I wanted to find a bread recipe that was more like, you know, normal bread.

My internet search yielded two acceptable recipes for cauliflower bread that I was willing to test.  My first attempt is the one for which I already had all the ingredients.   Have you ever chopped through a head of raw cauliflower with a knife?  Little beads and clumps of this vegetable bounce and scatter everywhere.  Well, except for the 10% that actually remain on your cutting board.  Next comes the grinding, or ricing, of the vegetable in a food processor.  Once the cauliflower is sufficiently pulverized to the consistency of mashed potatoes, it goes into the microwave for five minutes of cooking.   After it cools enough so as to not burn you when you touch it, it’s time to squeeze out as much moisture as you can by putting blobs of the minced cauliflower on tea towels, wrapping the blob, then twisting the towel as hard as you can.  I’d prepared three tea towels for this twisting-squeezing fun and divided the cauliflower guts between them.

Tea towel #1:  I molded the cauliflower guts into a nice ball in the center of the towel, twisted the ends around it and commenced the squeeze-and-twist while allowing the liquid to drip into the sink.  Unbeknownst to me, this little tea towel had a lovely little hole in it.  So, when I began twisting and squeezing the blob of cauliflower, its guts spat out of that hole like a giant, explosive zit, spraying all over the front of my shirt and then dripped onto the rug beneath my feet.  Did I mention that the guts were still a bit hot because I’m too impatient to wait until they’re thoroughly cooled off?  I gathered up what I could save of the hot guts from the clean part of the sink and returned it to the tea towel.  I ignored the mess on the rug, to be dealt with later.  Then, I grabbed a regular towel to reinforce the defective tea towel and continued my squeezing twisting fun.  Once it was as dry as I could get it, I dumped it into the mixing bowl.

Tea towel #2:  Twist.  Squeeze.  Cauliflower guts shoot all over the front of the sink and my shirt — again.  How on earth am I not seeing these holes?!  Do I need new glasses already?  Grab another regular towel to reinforce this mess, too.  Squeeze.  Dump in bowl.

Tea towel #3:  Surprisingly, this one was in perfect shape and I had no issues with hot, explosive guts, whatsoever.

While I’m cleaning up the mess from the cauliflower massacre, I rinse out one of the tea towels so I can use it to wipe the counters.  Forgetting about tea towel #1’s explosion, I step right in the pile of cauliflower guts on the rug and proceed to create little mashed potato looking foot prints between the sink and the stove.  Good times!  Rinse out the 5 towels that I’d used to make this better-not-freaking-be-delicious bread.

I was secretly hoping this bread would suck so I wouldn’t have to go through the tedius and very messy process of making it — EVER again.  After the timer went off, I opened the oven door and poked a toothpick into the middle of the loaf which came out clean.  I removed my masterpiece from the oven.  I’ve got to say, this bread looked absolutely beautiful!  The instructions said to let the bread cool completely before slicing.  I actually followed this instruction.  This properly cooled loaf of bread sliced perfectly.  It is a denser bread and is more moist, similar to a pumpkin bread.  I decided to toast a slice because the ultra-moistness kinda grossed me out, seeing as it was intended to be more like traditional white bread, for sandwiches.  So, I browned a slice in a skillet.  This extra heat changed the bread’s texture to one resembling that of a pound cake.  Though this bread is more dense overall, it was sturdy yet tender and, according to my carb-junky daughter, “It’s really good!  I can’t believe it’s keto!”  I see some toasted tuna salad sandwiches in my future and maybe a grilled cheese sandwich, or two.

Moral of the story:  It appears that I will be making this bread in the future.  Dang it!!   However, not before new tea towels have been purchased, I’ll tell you that much.


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