It is already day 5 but I think I can still say ‘Happy New Year’!! For many of us the New Year starts with some sort of detox . I have chosen to give up alcohol, coffee and gluten for a month. Coffee is probably going to be the hardest, there are coffee shops everywhere! I already found myself walking past one and being hypnotized just by the smell of coffee. It is incredible how sensitized I already am after only a few days without the brew. I also experienced light headaches in the first couple of days, a withdrawal symptom which is normal. Looks like I seriously seem to have been hooked on the stuff. My replacement is green tea at the moment. It contains small amounts of caffeine but is rich in antioxidants, which help with the detox.
Giving up gluten means giving up bread and cake, so I will have to come up with some alternatives, as I don’t really want to live without them. There is gluten found in many other products, so I will have to keep an eye out . Last year my mum sent me the recipe for a gluten free multi-seed bread, which is super easy to make and absolutely delicious, if not addictive. Oh oh, another thing to get hooked on. This one would be a good one though as it is full of good fiber and rich in minerals. The fiber works a treat on our digestive system and our bones and cells will be happy to get a mineral top up after all the partying over the past few weeks.
There is no flour used in this recipe, instead pysillum husk and chia seeds bind everything together. In case you wonder, psyllium husks are from the seed of the plantago ovata, originally grown in India and Pakistan. You can get them in health food stores, the powder form also works for this recipe. Psyllium husk is a highly soluble fiber which turns into a gel like mass when mixed with water, making it a perfect binding agent for this bread. The mucilaginous properties are soothing for the digestive tract and keep things going smoothly. Some research has shown that psyllium husk is cholesterol lowering and helps aid a number of digestive discomforts.
The other ingredients consist of mineral and fiber rich seeds, nuts and oats . The combination of the ingredients is quite flexible. This is nice for a change, as most baking recipes don’t leave much room for alterations. I used sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, linseeds, oats and some left over chestnuts. To give some examples of combinations, for the multi-seed bread to go with my chestnut hummus I added olives, rosemary and grated carrot, which gave it a rich Italian winter flavour. You can also turn the it into a breakfast loaf, adding dates or figs. Just make sure you soak the dried fruit before chopping and adding them to the mix. Adding finely chopped shallots give a lovely sweet onion flavour. Just delicious all the way.
Gluten free multi-seed bread – makes 2 small loafs
Chop the baked chestnuts into small pieces or cut in half and thinly slice them, mix all dry ingredients together in a bowl; then whisk together sirup, oil and water until oil is dissolved and add to the dry ingredients; stir with a wooden spoon until you get a nice texture (its not dough like, its more like a thick but smooth porridge) . If the mix seems to dry add a little more water. Prepare small bread baking pans with baking paper, that way the the bread won’t stick to the pan. I even use the baking paper on non sticky pans, safes washing up and I try and re-use the paper. Add the bread mix to the pans and leave covered at room temperature for at least two hours, even better over night.
Once the mix has rested, preheat the oven at 175c and bake for 20minutes, then take the bread out of the pan and put upside down on baking tray, using baking paper to keep everything clean.
Put the ‘upside down’ bread loafs back in the oven and bake for another 30-40 minutes. The bread is ready if it sounds ‘hollow’, when gently tapping on the top.
Leave the bread to cool before cutting and eating it . The bread keeps in the fridge for 3-5 days. I usually slice it and put in the freezer, so I can have it fresh when ever I fancy it. It works well going straight from freezer in the toaster. Top with your favourite bread toppings , mine include cheese & pickle, mushroom pate, hummus, ghee & a sprinkle of salt, honey, marmalade or avocado & spring onions with a little bit of tamari sauce. Just too good!