Tag Archives: Chia Seeds

* Embas Bread *

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Embas Bread

I’d been searching for a wholesome, super healthy bread recipe for a long, long time, as bread was one of the only foods I ate that I didn’t make from scratch and I like to know what’s really in my food. Store-bought, overly processed bread just does not seem to agree with me and although I do indulge occasionally, it is best avoided. I was overjoyed when this recipe for Life-Changing Loaf of Bread popped into my mail box from the beloved My New Roots blog, as it saved me many, many hours in the kitchen and gave me some serious inspiration to bake.

I’ve called my take on this recipe ‘Embas Bread’, as in stark contrast to regular wheat bread, this keeps you going for hours, much in the same way that Lembas Bread kept those wee Hobbits trekking for days. And my other name (no, not Super Foodie, the other one) is Em.   Ta da!

I’ve adapted the original recipe by increasing the ratio of flaxseeds and decreasing the sunflower seeds, oil and salt. I’ve also made two versions of this bread, a savoury and a sweet. The sweet option is my fave and is reminiscent of the Müsli-Brot that was a weekly staple whilst living in Berlin. It’s laden with figs and dates, spiced with cinnamon and mixed spice and is perfect for breakfast as banana on toast. The savoury version is also rather delicious and certainly keeps the Other Half happy. I make them both at the same time and store them in the freezer, sliced and ready to tuck in to.

Both versions of the bread are extremely nutritious and get a big Super Foodie tick of approval. Psyllium husks are high in both soluble and insoluble fibre and keep those bowels in top form. Flaxseed and chia are tiny seeds with mighty powers which provide a solid protein hit, as well as alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), the plant-based omega-3 fat which is very good for your heart. There is also no flour in these recipes, the base being made up of rolled oats, which are renowned for sustained energy release to keep you powering through the day.

As well as being a Super Foodie dream, this recipe is also easy. No kneading, no rising, no finicky measures. Just bang it all in a bowl or pan, wait a couple of hours or overnight, bake and await the glorious scent of fresh bread wafting through your home.

Sweet Embas Bread

1 1/2 cups of rolled oats

3/4 of a cup of flaxseed (a mix of whole and ground if you like)

3/4 of a cup of sunflower seeds

A cup of figs and dates, rustically chopped (you can also add nuts too)

4 tablespoons of psyllium husks

2 tablespoons of chia seeds

A teaspoon of cinnamon

A teaspoon of mixed spice

1/8 of a teaspoon of fine Himalayan rock salt

2 tablespoons of honey, agave or maple syrup

2 tablespoons of oil (coconut, olive or rice bran)

1 1/2 cups of water (you may need a touch more if you are using ground flaxseed)

Savoury Embas Bread

1 1/2 cups of rolled oats

3/4 of a cup of flaxseed (a mix of whole and ground if you like)

3/4 of a cup of sunflower seeds

A cup of nuts and/or other seeds (pumpkin, poppy and sesame seeds work well)

4 tablespoons of psyllium husks

2 tablespoons of chia seeds

1/4 of a teaspoon of fine Himalayan rock salt

A tablespoon of honey, agave or maple syrup

2 tablespoons of oil (coconut, olive or rice bran)

1 1/2 cups of water (you may need a touch more if you are using ground flaxseed)

Grease a loaf pan or line with baking paper. Mix all of the dry ingredients in a bowl or in the loaf pan. Mix all of the wet ingredients together, add to the dry ingredients and mix well. If using a bowl, transfer mixture into the loaf pan. Spread evenly in the pan and allow to rest for anywhere between 2 – 24 hours.

Preheat the oven to 160° c fan bake. Place loaf in the oven and cook for 25 minutes. Remove the loaf from the pan and place upside down on the oven rack and cook for a further 25-30 minutes. The loaf is ready when it’s a wonderful golden brown colour and sounds hollow when tapped.

* Lemon Chia Curd *

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Lemon curd is surely one of the finer things on earth – put simply, it’s silky, smooth sunshine in a pot.  With the addition of chia, this lemon curd is decorated with tiny, speckled seeds which provide a rich source of antioxidants and give a delightful twist on an old classic.  It is so versatile that when I have a batch in the fridge, it is likely that I’ll have it on toast for breakfast, on crackers or mixed into yoghurt as an afternoon snack and featured somewhere in a dessert that evening.  The truly brilliant thing about this recipe is that you can have the zesty, creamy goodness sans unnecessary fat and refined sugar, which is usually present in traditional lemon curd recipes.  It is seriously simple – eggs, lemons, honey and the shining super food star, chia.  The chia seeds provide a dreamy texture and gelatinous quality to the curd which butter would usually achieve.

Chia is a relatively new product on our shelves, but has been cultivated and used in a variety of ways in South America for centuries.  It comes from the plant Salvia hispanica and is a member of the mint family.  Chia is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids and unlike flaxseeds, does not have to be ground to enable nutrients to be absorbed by the body.  Chia seeds are also a good source of fibre, magnesium, copper, iron, zinc, calcium and niacin.  When mixed with liquid and allowed to sit for 20 – 30 minutes, chia forms a gel which can be used as a vegan and gluten-free thickening agent.  Basically, you can add chia seeds to anything you like – sprinkled on salads or porridge, as an energy-boosting ingredient to a smoothie or ground up in baking.

Lemon Chia Curd

2/3 of a cup of lemon juice (about 5 large lemons)

The zest of two lemons

1/3 of a cup of good quality honey

5 free-range egg yolks

1 free-range egg

1 teaspoon of vanilla paste

1 heaped tablespoon of chia seeds

Place all of the ingredients into a thick-bottomed saucepan and whisk* together at a low – moderate heat.  Whisk constantly until the mixture thickens, usually about 5-6 minutes or when the mixture sticks to the back of a spoon.  Take off the heat, transfer into a vessel and allow the mixture to set in the fridge for 1-2 hours.  The lemon chia curd will keep well in the fridge for up to two weeks, though it will most probably be snaffled in the first couple of days.  Serve with anything you like, the possibilities are truly endless.

* Note:  I’ve found that using a silicone whisk as opposed to a metal whisk makes for a far superior tasting lemon chia curd.