Since I began trying to eat healthier, bread has been a struggle. Coming up with a bread recipe that was both delicious and good for you seemed like a near impossible task to me for the longest time.
Recently, however, I came across one of Sarah Britton's posts on her blog, My New Roots, which is one of my very favourite blogs for food inspiration. She posted a recipe for a nut and seed bread, that was completely vegan and gluten free. It looked amazing... nutty, dense and flavourful. And not only was is gluten free, but it actually didn't have any flour in it at all. Obviously my mind was blown. I couldn't imagine how this recipe could work. How would it not fall apart?
And then I learned about an magical ingredient that I had never heard of before. Psyllium husk powder. I made my verision of Sarah's bread recipie quite a lot different than her original recipe, but this is one ingredient that was definitely crucial. It has forever changed the way I think about making bread. Its binding power in this loaf is unbelievable.
You can buy Psyllium husk at most health food stores, or Whole foods. For my fellow Vancouverites, I got mine at Choices Market on Commercial Dr. If you don't have a health food store where you live you could also buy it online. Psyllium husk is essential for this recipe and there's nothing you can substitute for it.
A little about psyllium husk...
Whenever I learn about a new healthy food, my inner nerd comes out. I want to learn about all of it's healing and medicinal properties, what it's good for, where it comes from, how much of it to ideally eat and all about every study ever done on it. So here's the condensed version of what I've been learning.
Psyllium Husk is a friendly fibre, able to absorb about 10 times its weight, similar (but more impressive) to how chia seeds expand when they're mixed into something liquidy. Psyllium husk is great for the gut. It is both a soluble and insoluble fibre, which means that is good at sweeping away anything that may have been stuck to the intestinal walls. It's often used in combination with cleansing (juice cleansing, herbal cleanses, etc.) to help the body with elimination, ahem, pooping.
Psyllium husk is often sold as a remedy for constipation so if you google it, you'll find all the information in the world about poo. Great. But not to worry, because psyllium husk doesn't just speed up digestion but it also slows it down if necessary. So basically you don't need to worry about running to the bathroom every 5 minutes just because you ate some of Karley's bread today. You just get to look forward to great poops and less gas. Hurray!
Also, studies have shown that Psyllium husk is also great for lowing cholesterol levels and can affect your heart by lowering blood pressure and improving lipid levels (fatty acids).
So here's the recipe! It keeps in a tightly sealed container for 4-5 days, or can be pre-sliced and frozen. This bread makes the most amazing toast. I often just pop 1 or 2 slices from the freezer straight into the toaster and eat it topped with a little almond butter. So good.
Difficulty: Medium Prep time: 15 mins Bake time: 55 minutes Yeild: 1 loaf
Prep time: 15 mins
Bake time: 55 minutes
Yeild: 1 loaf
*Note that the bread will need a minimum of 4 hours to "set" before baking. I find that longer is better. A good system is to prep your loaf the night before, let it sit in the pan all night and bake in the morning.
- 1/3 cup sunflower seeds
- 1/3 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1/4 cup flax seeds
- 2/3 cup crushed walnuts
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 2 tbsp chia seeds
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1 tsp fine sea salt
- 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh basil
- 1/4 cup finely sliced green onion
- 3 cloves minced fresh garlic
- 3 tbsp melted coconut oil
- 2 tbsp pure maple syrup
- fresh cracked pepper
- 1 cup water
- 3 tbsp psyllium husk powder
Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl, except for the psyllium husk powder.
Grease an 11 inch loaf pan with coconut oil.
Add the psyllium husk powder to the mixture very last. Stir quickly, and immediately press into the loaf pan. Press it in firmly to help the loaf stick together extra well.
And now the fun part. Just kidding. Now we wait for anywhere between 4-12 hours for that loaf to set. It's really up to you. I think a good system is prepping the loaf in the evening, letting it sit all night and then baking it in the morning. But you do you.
After you've given the loaf time to set, preheat the oven to 350 F and bake for 30 minutes. Then flip it upside down directly on the oven rack and bake it some more without the pan for another 25-35 minutes. It's ready when it looks slightly golden and sounds hollow when tapped. Allow it to cool completely before you slice into it (If the loaf is still warm when you start to slice it, it will crumble much more easily).
And thats it! If you have any questions or comments please post them below. Happy baking!