Let’s talk bread! It’s become a bit of a dirty word around the traps hasn’t it!? Everybody desires it, but nobody wants to eat it. Our mouths love it, our tummy’s hate it. It’s quick, easy, soft, cheap and sold everywhere! It’s popular for school lunchbox sandwiches, simple for work lunches, toothless toddlers can munch on it easily, quick for breaky and even dinner! Convenient on those days that dinner time has just come around way too fast, and we are way too frazzled to think of something more. You know what I mean, don’t you?! Scrambled eggs on toast, baked bean jaffles, or just “get yourself some toast if you are hungry!” called out to the family as you collapse onto the couch!
So why has bread become taboo? Because many commercially made breads, are not healthy bread. They are not only nutritionally void but are a concoction of unhealthy ingredients. Chemicals and pesticides on the grains which are processed to within an inch of their life and often bleached. Some of the grains are genetically modified and many supermarket breads contain preservatives. Sugar or high fructose syrup is unnecessarily added and vegetable oils like canola are also a common ingredient. So once we remove the husky fibrous layer (germ and bran) from the wheat or grains we’ve lost most of the nutrients. It also means the bread will be digested quickly spiking our blood sugar levels and they tends to zip down just as quickly shortly afterwards. I don’t want to have to reference this blog with peer reviewed research papers and scientific studies because my bed is calling me, so I won’t include too much info here, but bread is pretty addictive. Gluten filled bread is believed to excite the brains opiate receptors, and you guessed it, make us “feel good” for a short while, then we are seeking out more only a short while later.
Gluten free lifestyles as well as paleo food choices are becoming more popular as people find they feel more alive, energetic, happier and healthier with a fresher, real or whole food diet. But what does this mean for bread?
Alternatives, substitutions and other options are at your fingertips!!
Some commercially made paleo or nutritional gluten free healthy breads are available at health food or specifically stores, delis, cafes. They are rarely cheap, but for some, the price of being unhealthy isn’t “cheap” either. Or … you could roll up your sleeves, bring out your inner cave person and get baking healthy bread… its easier than you think!
If you want to try a plain fairly light loaf this grain-free bread might be your style. Based on chickpea or besan flour (legume), potato flour (vegetable) and tapioca (a root) its smooth inside and crusty top is very popular in our family.
If you want a grain-free protein packed paleo bread, then go for your life with this one. This protein packed healthy bread can seem like a bird seed block, to those who are accustomed to light fluffy white wheat loaves, so beware. Based on chickpea flour, potato flour and tapioca it’s also packed with ground almonds and copious amounts of seeds. With organic eggs, your choice of oil and loads of love, your bread is sure to set your heart on fire and warm your belly! Check out our video of Paleo Bread in the making here! It’s the real deal healthy bread.
I was talking to a friend the other day at playgroup about the journey to better health and in reality it’s probably a life long journey, rather than journeying to a destination. For some people big leaps towards pristine health is what’s right for them; going completely vegan or strict paleo, always organic or growing and making all your own foods. But for most people it’s baby steps, reducing the consumption of the worst offenders first. If you are keen to develop healthier eating habits, take your time to make a lifestyle change, rather than jumping on a diet band wagon only to slip back to old habits. You’ve heard that before hey?
We each take it on when the time is right. If it’s the right time for you to tackle “bread” then I hope these recipes are a helpful start to kicking the commercial refined fluffy white empty bread and embracing the nutrient dense loaf of healthiness.
Happy bread baking!