Even looking at those three words makes me wrinkle my nose.
Is it just me, or does gluten- free bread have a problem with sticking together? I mean, the stuff is crumbly. As in, it crumbles easily. As in, if you try to spread anything on it, it falls apart and leaves you with several pieces of torn bread.
No, worse than that - you don't even need to spread anything on it. When you use it to make a sandwich and then take a bite, it still breaks in your hands and leaves you with several pieces of torn bread. And as an added bonus, it also leaves your hands covered with sandwich fillings.
That one characteristic of gluten- free bread is the main reason I avoided the stuff for so long.
Okay, perhaps I shouldn't have boycotted all gluten- free bread. Maybe there are actually decent versions out there that do stay in one piece when you bite into it. Maybe I just haven't tried the right brands yet.
But alas! I am still haunted by the memory of that flight back in 2010. It was a Melbourne- to- Sydney flight that lasted a painstaking 1 hour and 45 minutes. All I did was take a bite of my gluten- free bread. One bite. And I was left with breadcrumbs all over my clothes, lap and blanket for the rest of the flight. I then accidentally ran my fingers through my hair and ended up with more crumbs in my hair and on my face.
The woman sitting across the aisle had glanced over at me and then shook her head ever- so- slightly in dismay. The air stewards also looked perplexed. Rightfully so - I looked like I had chosen to throw breadcrumbs all over myself instead of eat my dinner.
Anyway, if anybody can recommend a good brand of gluten- free bread, I am brave enough to try it now. And by "good brand", I mean something that will not only stay intact when bitten into, but also something that will pack a nutritional punch and taste amazing.
Can't think of any? Well, never fear! Here I have my recipe for a spinach and mixed nut bread that satisfies those three criteria. I love to eat it by itself - the aroma and the crunch of nuts just does it for me. But I also love it with this seeded mustard omelette of mine. And this omelette is one I eat at least a couple of times a week. This meal just makes me (and my tastebuds) very happy.
my spinach & mixed nut bread
makes 1 loaf
- 3 cups almond meal
- 1/4 cup organic unsalted cashews, oven- roasted and roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup organic unsalted macadamia nuts, oven- roasted and roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup unsalted walnuts, oven- roasted and roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup organic coconut palm sugar
- 2 tbsp gluten- free baking powder
- 2 tsp xanthan gum
- 1/2 tsp organic Himalayan sea salt
- 4 organic, free range eggs, whisked
- 1/4 cup organic extra virgin coconut oil, melted
- 1 cup (firmly packed) organic baby spinach leaves, washed
- 1 cup organic, unsweetened almond milk
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.
In a large bowl, combine the almond meal, coconut palm sugar, baking powder, xanthan gum and sea salt.
Put the spinach leaves and half of the almond milk (i.e. 1/2 cup only) into a food processor or blender and whizz for about 30 seconds until it is well blended.
In another large bowl, combine the whisked eggs, spinach mixture, the coconut oil and the remainder of the almond milk.
Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and use a large metal spoon to mix well.
Scatter the oven- roasted nuts over the batter and mix well with the spoon.
Pour / scoop the batter into a silicon loaf pan - you could probably use a greased and lined metal loaf tin instead - and bake for 35 minutes on the middle shelf. A deep brown crust will develop.
Take the loaf pan out of the oven & carefully cover with a sheet of aluminium foil. Bake for a further 35-40 minutes. Leave it in the pan for 10-15 minutes before turning it onto a cooling rack, and then leave for a further 15 minutes before slicing it with a sharp knife.
my seeded mustard omelette
- 1/2 tbsp organic seeded mustard
- 2 organic, free range eggs
- 2 tbsp organic, unsweetened almond milk
- 1/2 tbsp organic extra virgin coconut oil
Put the seeded mustard, eggs and almond milk into a bowl & whisk until well combined.
Heat a nonstick saucepan over medium- high heat and swirl the coconut oil around. Pour the egg mixture into the saucepan.
When the sides of the omelette start to cook and set, use a wooden spatula to drag the cooked sides into the centre of the omelette. You can use a metal one if that is all you have - just be careful not to ruin the nonstick surface of your saucepan. This should allow the uncooked egg to dribble out to the sides and start cooking.
Continue to do this until the omelette is almost entirely cooked through - you might need to lift the saucepan and swirl it around towards the end, to help the uncooked egg reach the sides of the pan.
When the omelette is almost entirely cooked, turn off the heat and leave it for a few minutes. The residual heat will continue to cook the egg.
Carefully slide the omelette onto a plate to serve.
It is already (very) tasty like this, but you may add toppings if you wish. I recommend fresh slices of tomato, a bit of sliced Spanish onion, some organic feta and a small handful of fresh mint and basil leaves. Perfect.