Vegan blueberry muffins with sourdough, the deal with bread/gluten, and sourdough benefits for the skin

I have to admit that when all the reports started coming out that gluten is bad for your body, I jumped on the bandwagon. I didn't eat bread for almost a year and although I did have less bloating and general sluggishness after a meal, I missed the simple pleasure of having toast in the morning.  Is that so wrong?

The truth is, that unless you have Celiac disease, bread made with sourdough is actually good for you. And we've never had a problem with gluten per se, our beef has been with the industrialization of bread all along. The human race has been eating bread for 6,000+ years it's only in the recent 200 years that we started having to mass produce bread. This meant:

  1. Having to make the bread shelf stable.  This means adding chemicals/preservatives and anything to keep it from molding/going stale. 
  2. Make all loaves look "pretty" and consistent.  This means that they have to mill out all brown stuff like the germ and hull, which is consequently is where all the nutrients are. Also, by doing this, they are taking out the fiber from the bread which means there is nothing to slow down the digestion process, thus the carbohydrates get turned into sugar super fast and spikes our insulin levels.
  3. They have to make it fast. Sourdough bread takes much longer to make so instead they replace natural leavening (such as sourdough) with instant yeast for a faster rise. The problem with this is that when you use a manufactured yeast, there is no fermentation and breaking down of the gluten that you would have with sourdough. This means that your body has to jump though hoops to break down this concentrated gluten.  

Long story short, I broke down one day and ate sourdough bread and felt the benefits immediately when I started to incorporate it into my diet.  Not only did my mood improve drastically, my skin was glowing.  This I realized later was my body benefiting from sourdough's amazing ability to balance your intestinal flora. Also, the lactic acid fermentation that occurs in sourdough increases the nutrients available for our bodies. 

Below is our favorite recipe for discarded sourdough.  It's not too sweet, has a very moist but light crumb, and uses no refined sugar. Hope you love it!

Vegan blueberry muffins with sourdough

  • 1 cup flour, preferably whole grain
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 cup sourdough starter
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1 flax egg (one tablespoon ground flaxseed meal with three tablespoons of water, allowed to thicken for 15 minutes)
  • 1/4 cup oil (we use sunflower)
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 cups blueberries
  1. Preheat oven to 425F and grease muffin tin.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together starter, milk, flax egg, oil, honey until well blended.
  3. In a separate bowl, blend remaining dry ingredients together.
  4. Combine wet and dry ingredients with a whisk just until smooth, be careful not to over mix.  
  5. Fold in blueberries gently by hand.
  6. Fill the cups of the prepared muffin tin until 2/3rds full.  Allow to rest for 30 minutes in warm place.
  7. Bake for 25 minutes or until tops are golden brown.  Remove from oven and let cool in tin for 10 minutes before removing and allowing to cool on cooling rack.
  8. Enjoy!
Michelle Wu