Updated: Nov 30, 2018
More and more people this days is favouring carb free diets; what's not to like?
They send the scales down fast and almost magically, I wouldn't say effortlessly, as it is a big commitment to abolish a whole nutritional group from your daily intake.
Thumbs up for people that can stick to this way of living and that see positive results from following them; I am very careful when it comes to new diets and new weight loss techniques. After all, not long ago margarine, artificial sugars made in labs and low fat foods were the best thing for us... remember that?
I, myself, have opted for a semi vegetarian way of living for the last 20 years. I've learned that my body works better without meat, as easy as that, although I also agree with the ethical and environmental reasons to reduce meat consumption but I don't impose my preferences to my family or anyone around me, I give them omnivore choices (healthy and balanced ones) and leave that personal decision to themselves, including my 2 year old son.
I have to say I agree with the aforementioned extreme diets in one thing. I think there are carbs to be banished and never to be mentioned yet consumed again and those are the refined and empty type found in overly processed food. The ones that make white cheap bread, that you find in a commercial donut, in fast food, in supermarket cereals or cakes, those that make bagged frozen chips and unhealthy snacks. Those produce in mass and processed so excessively that the goodness have been stripped entirely away from them. The ones that are genetically engineered to benefit the producers, to enrich their pockets and not our gut.
Saying this, we shouldn't be afraid of all carbohydrates, there are good ones too. Full of nutrients, fiber and vitamins, that give you energy, keep you satiated and keep your digestive system like clockwork. Carbohydrates found in whole grains for example, like farro, brown rice, spelt, rye, barley; in unrefined flours that make natural sourdough loaves; in pseudo cereals, in sweet potatoes, even in potatoes. These tubers are seen as the devil because they make the bulk of those "convenient" but empty and fattening meals and because they've become a staple on our plates rather than an addition to a healthy diet.
Carbohydrates, the ones that nourish your body are also found in a long list of, legumes, fruit and vegetables.
I'm not one to preach, I respect people's opinion as I like mine to be respected.
This is a confusing subject and I talk about it from my professional point of view (as a chef) and also from my personal experience, I am not qualified enough, like a nutritionist, to talk about the chemical effects of food in your body, biochemistry, BMRs and terminology that is far from my reach, but I wish to share with you ways and steps for a healthier and wholesome life.
Recipes that are easy, realistic but good enough to keep you nourished, happy and without breaking the bank.
The principles I use when it comes to food is natural and homemade its best. I understand that we live in a fast paced world where time is money and cooking or sourcing natural ingredients is not at the top of our list and that most of us live on a budget; but I also know that there's no money or time that can give us our health back. That if we don't look after our bodies and nourish them there won't be a tomorrow for them. No matter how much we try to bring our old healthy selves back.
Until the government steps up and bans the production of food as a mean of getting wealthy before a way of keeping the global population nourished and healthy we have to take it in our hands.
So again your way of living, what you eat and what you feed your family is a personal decision.
I share the things I believe in, it's up to people to agree, to differ or to take what they think works for them.
After getting a bit side tracked ( in a very important subject I must say) I will get back to the purpose of this post that is to share a recipe for a seed loaf with you.
Thanks to this hip diets (gluten free, low carb) people get to experiment with different products and to think outside the box when creating recipes. I love this positive side of it.
This is where the seed loaf comes from, no gluten, no flours, no eggs, no dairy, no kneading, no proofing, no mess.
How does THAT taste you're thinking right now, it's pretty good is my answer. It's not fluffy and stretchy as wheat bread is, but its delicious, nutty, filling and full of nutrients!
You just need to mix the ingredients, wait for a couple hours ( I leave it overnight for maximum activation), bake it and enjoy!
My recipe comes via but not entirely from Sarah Britton from My New Roots, check out her post because she explains in detail the whats and benefits of psyllium husk, which is the binding agent on this gluten-free recipe.
Last thing to say before getting into business is that I enjoy this bread toasted, super toasted actually, till its almost crispy. And as it is definitely not a cheap recipe I slice it, eat some fresh and freeze the rest to enjoy effortlessly during the week or stretch even further.
Ingredients for 1 loaf:
1 cup rolled wholegrain oats
1/2 cup almond meal
1 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup flax seeds
1/2 cup whole almonds or any other whole nuts (hazelnuts, walnuts, pecans)
2 tbsp chia seeds
4 tbsp psyllium husks
1 tsp fine sea salt
1 tbsp maple syrup or honey
2 tbsp melted coconut oil, cold pressed olive oil or ghee
1 1/2 cups of water
In a big bowl combine all dry ingredients mixing well.
Measure wet ingredients in a measuring jug and add to dry ones mixing thoroughly until everything is well combined and wet. The mixture will start to thicken. Tip into a lined (22 x 11 x 6 cm) tin or silicon loaf pan, if you use silicon you won't need to line it. Flatten the top with the back of a spoon to make it even and let sit for at least 2 hours, its best to let it rest for 24 hrs or overnight.
Bake in a preheated oven at 175 ºC for 20 minutes, after that remove from the pan and bake for another 30-40 minutes on top of the rack checking often to ensure the bread is fully cooked. As with traditional bread if you tap the bottom it will sound hollow when its ready. Leave to cool before slicing.
Store in the fridge.
My favorite toppings are avocado (of course!) with chilli flakes, sliced tomato with a drizzle of olive oil and flaky salt, labneh and cucumber, butter and salmon, parmesan spread... just to mention a few.