The German in me lives for the impressive variety of breads available to me. My Indian-self craves the rice with almost every meal and the Italian-lover me, is captivated with the pastas and risotto and the kid in me could live off creamy mashed potatoes for quite a few days. Over the year my intake of simple carbohydrates adds up to extreme levels.
I was not feeling quite myself towards the end of the year. It was not just the low energy levels and really having to force myself to get to my exercises it was also being moody and tired. Over the years I have come to listen to the signals my body sends me. I also know that too many of the simple carbs especially between Thanksgiving and Christmas usually plays chaos in me.
For the past 3 months I have drastically reduced the intake of the simple carbohydrates. We all know what the difference between “good” and “bad” carbs are but I always believe that everything in moderation is always good for you. At times one looses the balance and I like to bring myself, my mind and my body back into harmony before the scales tip too far. For the first 8 weeks I cut out all bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, grains and even to a certain extent fruit. I rely heavily on beans, lentils and other legumes and vegetables – those more complex carbohydrates to boost my energy.
While my diet before was not unhealthy by any means it was just often a sandwich here, a bowl of pasta there, some potatoes with the meat, and rice with the dal, maybe a croissant or maybe granola for breakfast and so it went throughout the weeks. When I actually sat down and analyzed the intake over the week – there was a lot of carbs going on that were unnecessary.
The only really hard part for me during the first 8 weeks was the abstinence from fruit and … keeping away from the fresh bread! In the roughly 6km that I need to drive from home into town we have 5 bakeries – each one with an incredible variety of bread. Then there is our weekly tradition of “Brotzeit” usually on Friday with a cheese and charcuterie board, gherkins, pickles, and fresh bread of the day, something we all look forward to. I was very strong I have to say but I knew I had to find a substitute for the bread.
A little research and inspiration helped me with this bread I am sharing with you today. Flourless cakes are often made with almond meal and a closer look into the Paleo diet highlighted the use of coconut flour and often flax seeds. I did not go for the coconut flour but wanted the bread to be richer in fiber, which the flax seeds here provide quite well. I experimented with ground hazelnuts, added a mix of seeds – pumpkin, sunflower and sesame seeds and the experiment and idea came together beautifully. Carrots came into it to give it texture and a slight sweetness and I played around with a few aromatics like dried herbs and spices. The mixture is not like your typical bread dough – that’s something to keep in mind when making this. Being more crumbly the mixture is not kneaded but brought rashly together with your hands.
Baking the bread on medium temperature ensures crispy edges and a moist center and it keeps for about a week. The result is a bread that is crumbly, yet moist, nutty and so versatile that it works with all kinds of spreads and toppings. Being grain-free and flourless the bread is well suited for all kinds of diets be it gluten-free or Paleo and it also fits into the vegan diet perfectly.
Recipe: Flourless Carrot Multi-Seed and Nut BreadMeeta K. Wolff
- 150g carrots, grated
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 packet (about 5g) dried yeast
- Pinch of salt
- 50g almonds, finely ground
- 50g hazelnuts, finely ground
- 50g sesame seeds
- 50g flaxseeds
- 50g sunflower seeds
- 50g pumpkin seeds
- 1-2 teaspoons za'atar
- A few pinches of sumac
- 100ml warm water
- Place the grated carrots in a large bowl, add the dried yeast, ground hazelnuts and almonds, the olive oil, salt and aromatics - here the sumac and za'atar.
- Toast the sesame, flax, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, then grind them finely and add them to the bowl with the other ingredients. Pour water and using your hands quickly bring the mixture together. It will not be like a smooth sticky bread dough but rather slightly crumbly, nonetheless it should come together easily.
- Line a small baking tray with some baking paper and with your fingers spread the mixture into the pan. Smoothen the top, then cover with a cloth and allow to rest for about 15 minutes. Pre-heat the oven to 170 degrees C.
- After the resting time bake the bread in the oven for 25-30 minutes keeping an eye on it so that it does not brown too much. Nice crispy edges are good though! Take out of the oven and allow to cool
Notes: Use any other aromatics that suit your fancy. I have used garam masala and cumin seeds, which is also one of my favorites. But dried herb mix like herbs de Provence are great to.
What I love about this bread is that it is so easy to put together, provided you have a grinder to grind the nuts and seeds. For this purpose my Cuisineart spice and nut grinder was heaven-sent! Be it with eggs for breakfast, a quick sandwich with air-dried venison, with cheese and caramelized onions, avocado slices, fresh butter, drizzled with raw honey and some thyme or, my favorites - with hummus or cashew butter this bread has been one of the integral parts of my diet over the past several weeks. It’s very filling and a slice is often more than enough to keep you satiated for a while. Toasted in butter until crispy and golden, leftover bread slices make great croutons for all kinds of soups.
Don’t miss your chance to sign up for one of the upcoming workshops this Spring! Join me for an awesome, fun and hands-on food experience!
|Vienna, Austria |
17-18 April 2015
Details & registrations
|London, UK |
1 - 2 May 2015
Details & registrations
If you love bread you will enjoy these:
- Sally’s rosemary and date syrup bread
- Sylvie’s Cherry Tomato, Olive and Thyme Focaccia Bread (Grain-free)
- Regula’s Wheaten Soda Bread with Stout Beer, Oats and Molasses
- Jeanne’s Wholewheat quick bread with olives, feta, spring onions and za’atar
More bread from What’s for lunch, honey?:
|French Baguette||Saffron Wholemeal Whole Wheat Bread Rolls||Bagels|
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