Every month in 2016 I’ll share four recipes as part of Dr. John Douillard’s 3-Season Diet Challenge. My intention is to help you discover the glow we can feel – inside-out – when we eat with the rhythm of the seasons. Each new harvest brings us into balance with the sun, snow, warmth, cold and other changes in the natural world and in our bodies. Starting with this recipe, I invite you to join me in savoring this month’s flavors while experiencing the personal transformation that can come from this ancient Ayurvedic approach to food! (Find more 3-Season Diet Challenge recipes in the categories to the left (under “Recipes”) or in the search bar above.) Enjoy!
Photo by Allison Usavage
Photo by Allison Usavage
We’re going on an adventure! Not your average adventure, no. Sure, we’ll encounter some of the familiar bells and whistles of adventuring: prudent planning, a dash of uncertainty, a smattering of jitters, an enthusiastic embarkment, a peak with unrivaled satisfaction and the bittersweet downhill amble, as the sorrow from this adventure’s end fades with new fantasies of the next. But this adventure happens in the kitchen. I’m talking about bread, folks. Bread!
To be fair, this recipe started on the brink of a DIY Adventure Film Fest, imagined up by my dear kitchen-mate Elizabeth and staged in the living room a potato’s throw from Frisch Kitchen. We recently acquired a home cinema projector, an excuse to gather the finest fleet of Ithaca’s adventurers to screen journeys of epic proportions.
From our armchairs and eagle creeks, we trotted from an 8-day cross-country ski across Alaskan ice fields, to scuba diving in Costa Rica’s famed reefs, to a 6-month sail from the brittle, wintry Chesapeake Bay to the crystal Caribbean waters, to the majestic, bursting-green peaks of the Drakensberg range in South Africa, to the thick, incessant jungle screech of the Columbian Amazon, to the vanilla bean farms of Nosy Komba off Madagascar’s shores, to the thrusting Volcanos of Ecuador’s Andes, to a roller-skating extravaganza in our very own Ithacan hometown (a reminder that every day is an adventure!).
So what does all this glory have to do with bread? In my quest for a trail-inspired food, my mind wandered to the dense European bread, often found in Nordic countries, or Germany. With a drawer full of beloved watermelon radishes, I wanted to lather a fine, trail-packable slice with butter, pickles and radishes, inviting the simplicity of French picnics. I stumbled upon a gorgeous recipe; with 183 comments praising its birth, it wasn’t difficult cajoling myself into this adventure! As usual, I had trouble sticking to the instructions, so have taken some liberties using the author’s suggestions.
Sara Britton of My New Roots was spot on when she said this was a “Life-Changing Loaf of Bread.” This bread is absolutely sensational and packed to the brim with nutrition! It’s composed entirely of nuts, seeds and whole grains, including the digestion hero: Psyllium Seed Husks. Bottom line: it’s good for you, it’s gluten-free, and it tastes aaaaaaaaaa-mazing! In particular, toasted with a smear of butter and a drizzle of honey, or stacked with butter, pickles and radishes.
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Based on Sara Briton's amazing recipe.
I strongly urge toasting each slice before serving. Before toasting, each slice tends to retain a moist quality that just ain't as good as a firm, nutty toasted surface made perfect for eating plain or lathering in ghee and jam or drizzling with olive oil and herbs. Toast, toast, toast! You can let it get cold after toasting.
- Basic Recipe:
- Sunflower seeds - 2 cups raw sunflower seeds
- Flax seeds - 1 cup
- Almonds - 1 cup almonds (substitute with walnuts, pecans or hazelnuts)
- Oats - 3 cups rolled oats
- Chia seeds - 4 tablespoons
- Psyllium seed husks - 8 tablespoons psyllium seed husks (use 6 tablespoons if using psyllium husk powder)
- Sea salt - 1 1/2 teaspoons
- Maple syrup or honey - 2 tablespoons
- Coconut oil - 6 tablespoons (plus additional coconut oil for greasing pans)
- Water - 3 1/2 cups
- For a Currant-Rosemary Bread, add:
- Ground almonds or oats - 2 tablespoons
- Currants - 1/3 cup (substitute with raisins)
- Dried rosemary - 1 tablespoon, crushed with fingers
- For a Tropical Loaf, add:
- Shredded coconut - 1/4 cup
- Dried papaya - 1/3 cup, diced
- Dried pinneapple - 1/3 cup, diced (substitute with date pieces)
- Use solid (not melted) coconut oil or coconut oil spray to lather the inside of two bread pans. (Skip this step if using a silicon bread pan).
- In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients and stir well. (If using silicon, add the ingredients directly into the pan). In a separate medium bowl whisk together the maple syrup or honey, oil and water.
- Add the liquid ingredients to the dry, and mix together with a spatula. At first the mixture will seem watery; keep stirring until the dough thickens and fully absorbs the water.
- Pour the dough into the bread pans. Smooth the top of the dough with the back of a spoon. Let the dough nap in its crib for 2 hours minimum, unrefrigerated, though you can also let it rest overnight! (Soaking nuts and seeds makes them optimal for digestion).
- When ready to bake, use a knife to separate the dough form the sides of the pan. If the loaves pull away and retains their shape, you are ready to bake!
- Preheat the oven to 350. Place the loaves on the middle rack and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the loaves from the oven and flip them upside down out of the pans and directly onto the oven rack (or another cleaner rack if you have one). Bake for about 45 minutes more, but begin checking at the 30 minute mark as ovens vary between kitchens. The bread is done when it sounds hollow if tapped.
- Let the bread cool completely before slicing; don't let the warm, freshly-baked aroma seduce you into early cutting, or it will crumble in despair! Store the bread in an airtight container for up to five days, or slice the bread and freeze it for toasting another day.
Allergens: tree nuts