I can’t live without bread in my diet! What will I eat?
Sounds familiar? We have this conversation on a daily basis, with friends, family and especially clients. So what is so wrong with bread? A very contentious conversation is followed. Lets be upfront, we are not bagging ‘bread’ we love bread and some of the bread products out there like The Peoples Bread and Gia (available at Soulfood Wanaka), there is nothing but living foods and beneficial nutrients hiding out in these products. In fact the traditional loafs of bread made with sourdough starters are truly beneficial for you and your gut! But bread unfortunately has evolved into something far removed from its historic beginnings and this is where the issues lie.
Know your Nutrients
Next time you are at the supermarket, we want you to work your way down the bread aisle and pick up, what you think are the healthy bread options. Take a look at the ingredient. Substances (We call them this because they are certainly not food) that you might find are:
Canola oil: Not really a pure oil. Canola was developed through the hybridization of the rape seed, and is an oil that turns rancid very quickly. Canola oil goes through the process of caustic refining, bleaching and degumming — all of which involve high temperatures or chemicals of questionable safety. And because canola oil is high in omega-3 fatty acids, which easily become rancid and foul-smelling when subjected to oxygen and high temperatures, it must be deodorized. The standard deodorization process removes a large portion of the omega-3 fatty acids by turning them into trans fatty acids. Trans fatty acids are linked to heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity and inflammation just to name a few.
Emulsifiers: Emulsifiers are chemicals that make emulsions happen. Emulsions are crucial to the consistency of a number of mass manufactured baked goods. Ingredients such as polysorbate 80, lecithin, carrageenan, polyglycerols, and xanthan and other “gums,” all of which keep ingredients—often oils and fats—from separating. They are also used to improve the texture and shelf-life of many foods found in supermarkets. These ingredients have been found to contribute to the rising incidence of obesity, metabolic syndrome, and inflammatory bowel disease by interfering with microbes in the gastrointestinal tract. In short - Emulsifiers wreak havoc on your gut health.
Acidity Regulators: These are food additives added to change or maintain pH (acidity or basicity) and preserve food to make it last longer. Acidity regulators are indicated by their E number, such as E260. These include Lecithins, Alginic acid, Sodium alginate, Potassium alginate, Ammonium alginate, Calcium alginate, Propane-1,2-diol alginate and Agar just to name a few. The side effects…. Intestinal disorders and digestive problems are a start, but the wider effects are still unknown.
Right so what is a good solution? Well to make your own bread is the ideal one! Here is a recipe adapted from the ‘Life Saving Bread’ recipe. It is super easy, and can be adjusted to suit your tastes. Love cashew nuts? Sub the almonds for Cashews? Love sweet fruit toast? Add some mixed spice and some organic sultanas and coconut for the best fruit bread ever! I have done this and it is a winner. Have a bag of scroggin in the cupboard? Add some psyllium husk, rolled oats, chia and water and turn it into bread!
½ cup crushed brazil nuts
1 cup pumpkin seeds
½ cup flax seeds/linseeds
½ cup almonds
1 ½ cups rolled oats
2 Tbsp. chia seeds
4 Tbsp. psyllium seed husks
1 tsp. fine grain sea salt (add ½ tsp. if using coarse salt)
1 Tbsp. maple syrup or honey
3 Tbsp. melted coconut oil
1 2/3 cups water
Combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl, mixing well. Mix maple syrup, oil and water together in a measuring cup then pour this to the dry ingredients.
Take time to mix this very well until everything is completely soaked and mixture becomes very thick. If it is not thick enough add a couple more TBSP of water.
Pour your mixture into a baking paper lined loaf tin, or silicone loaf tin. Pack the mixture in well and smooth out the top with the back of a spoon.
Cover and let the mixture sit out overnight.
Preheat oven to 175°C.
Place loaf pan in the oven on the middle rack, and bake for 20 minutes. Remove bread from loaf pan, place it upside down directly on the rack and bake for another 30-40 minutes. Bread is done when it sounds hollow when tapped.
Let cool completely before slicing... a must do or it will crumble.
Store bread in a tightly sealed container for up to five days or freeze. Slice before freezing for quick and easy toast!