After suffering the financial loss of a ‘rental void’ for the past six months, we’ve finally found new tenants for Sarah’s much beloved old home. Whilst landlords shouldn’t let their heart strings rule their heads when choosing prospective tenants, on this occasion they seemed to be so much ‘on our page’ it was almost love at first sight! Nature lovers, vegan and spiritually inclined, we can at least be rest assured that they won’t be poisoning our lawns and garden with Glyphosate, which is what our last tenants did because they were too idle to pull up the weeds!
A vegan at heart but not in practice, I frequently find myself drawn to the possibility of being vegan à la Paleo - that is, without eating grains, pulses and white potatoes. It goes without saying that processed soybeans used in tofu, soy milk and various revolting dairy and meat substitutes would be off limits too. I suppose I’m just a deluded vegan food fantasist, because in reality I don’t even qualify as a fully-fledged vegetarian. The reason being, I find it virtually impossible to go to a restaurant or socialise without eating meat or fish and I can’t envisage a diet that’s not high in healthy fats such as organic egg yolks, cheese, butter, milk and cream, being anything but bland and boring. Nevertheless, our new tenants have piqued my interest in vegan recipes, so I can but try harder.
Today’s Vegan Paleo Nut & Seed Bread, is precisely everything it says it is. A loaf of bread full of healthy protein and fibre made without eggs, grains, dairy, yeast or added sweetener. If ever the day comes when I’m ready to make the transition, I’ll rename this recipe Susan’s Vegan Survival Bread because it’s probably one of the easiest and most useful recipes I’ve ever come up with. It really works. As well as being Primal, Paleo and vegan friendly, it’s tastes absolutely wonderful and slices brilliantly - even when still warm from the oven. As with all grain-free bread, there’s no kneading or proving required. Just whack it all together for not much more than a minute in a food processor and you’re almost done. Plus, you can make the loaf well in advance of when you want to bake it (it can be left out at room temperature for several hours or as long as overnight), it will keep well in the fridge in a sealed container for up to five days and it makes really good, hot toast.
The ace up your sleeve for making this loaf of bread successfully, is fabulously nutritious, naturally sweet, organic tiger nut flour. Tiger nuts are an antioxidant-rich, antibacterial, high-in-fibre, pre-biotic ‘superfood’ that not only makes this bread super tasty without adding sweetener, it’s also thought to benefit male sexual performance. Surely a ‘Bread For Life’ that you shouldn’t have any problem getting the man in your life to make for you!
All in all, an amazing Paleo-inspired loaf of bread for vegans and the gluten sensitive, which looks, tastes and behaves like real bread - crusty on the outside and nicely dense and chewy in the middle. A must-bake recipe for anyone who wants an easy-to-make, healthy, omega-3 packed, sustaining, gluten-free bread to add to their low-carb repertoire.
Vegan Paleo Nut & Seed Bread (makes a 900g/2lb loaf - approximately 24 slices)
45g cold pressed organic coconut oil (or grass-fed, organic unsalted butter or ghee)
2 tbsp chia seeds
1½ tsp fine grain sea salt
350ml filtered water
In a small saucepan over a low heat, heat the coconut oil (butter/ghee) until it’s just melted. Use a little of the melted oil to grease the inside of a 2lb / 900g non-stick or silicone loaf pan (I used this one), then set the rest of the oil aside to cool slightly.
Place all the dry ingredients - all the seeds, nuts, tiger nut flour, ground almonds, psyillium husks, and salt - into the bowl of a food processor and whizz for about 30 seconds, or until it’s ground into a flour-like consistency.
Add the melted coconut oil (butter or ghee) to the dry ingredients and whizz for about 10-15 seconds to incorporate. With the machine still running, add the filtered water and process for another 20 to 30 seconds or until the mixture comes together into a very thick, almost paste-like dough.
Immediately tip the dough into the greased loaf pan, press it down very firmly then smooth out the top with a flat spatula or the back of a spoon. Cover loosely with cling film and set aside for 2 hours or longer to rest.
When you’re ready to bake the loaf, pre-heat the oven to 180℃ / 350℉ / Gas mark 4
Place the loaf in the centre of the oven and bake for 25 minutes.
After 25 minutes, take the loaf out of the loaf pan and place it upside down directly onto the oven rack (see note below) - then continue to bake for another 40-45 minutes.
To check if the bread is done, take it out of the oven and give it a firm tap with your knuckles. It’s cooked when it sounds hollow.
Leave the loaf to cool on a wire rack before slicing.
If you have one, I recommend you use the oven’s grill pan and rack for the second baking so that you can calmly re-position the hot, part-baked, upturned loaf onto the grill rack before placing the whole grill tray back into the oven. This is far less risky than reaching into the oven and burning yourself on an already dangerously hot oven rack!
You can use any mixture of seeds and nuts, just make sure that they’re all raw, organic and within their use-by date. Any hint of rancid nuts, seeds - and indeed pysillium husk - will totally wreck the taste of the finished bread. As a food blogger and recipe developer, I always buy my nuts and seeds in bulk from Healthy Supplies but for most people it’s better to buy in smaller quantities and use them whilst they’re still really fresh.
Grinding all the seeds and nuts down into a coarse textured flour enhances the nutrient availability of Vegan Paleo Nut & Seed Bread and allowing the raw dough to rest for several hours, or even overnight, helps ease digestion.
I consider good health to be the first form of wealth, so I always invest in the best ingredients - pure, unadulterated and organic - when cooking for my family and developing Primal Plate recipes. I don’t flinch at the price of good food, so I used finely ground Pu‘uwai Deep Ocean Hawaiian Sea Salt in this Vegan Paleo Nut & Seed Bread because it’s the finest, purest sea salt in the world. This delicious, mineral-rich sea salt provides 2% daily value of calcium and magnesium per serving and also contains potassium and selenium, plus many trace elements such as copper, iron, zinc, manganese and chromium, which are missing from common surface sea water. Worlds away from cheap table salt, you can learn the truth about table salt and the chemical industry here. If the price makes your eyes water, fine ground Celtic sea salt or fine Himalayan Rose Pink Salt, are good alternatives that can be purchased for about half the cost.
This bread freezes well and can be made into croutons or breadcrumbs for coating.
Carbohydrate 8g Protein 5g - per slice