When I have the hankering to cook, I have a tenancy to go overboard. Instead of experimenting with one recipe, I'll whip up 2 dips, a side dish, and 3 desserts. That's exactly what happened while I was finagling with this seed bread recipe. While the bread cooked, I made:
- Pumpkin pie dip (a Pinterest favorite)
- Acorn Squash with kale and nutty "parmesan" (stay tuned for the blog post!)
- Vegan vanilla ice cream
- Red wine poached pears
By the time the loaves were done, the kitchen was a disaster and I wanted nothing more than to get away from my mixing bowls and into bed. After snapping a couple photos of the bread after it came out of the oven, I did just that.
It wasn't until the following morning when I ventured slice of the nut-and-seed loaf that I realized just how delicious this "bread" really is. I'd found the original recipe on My New Roots, who calls this bread the "life-changing loaf." Before I actually tried the bread myself, the name seemed like a load of hyperbole. But trust me: this bread is, indeed, life-changingly good. Ingredient-wise, it's almost more like a cracker than a loaf of sandwich bread. Thanks to some pre-bake time spent letting all its nuts and seeds soak up water, though, the loaf's interior has a wonderful dense texture.
What makes this healthy nut-and-seed bread so wonderful? Well for starters, it has absolutely no wheat, dairy, or processed ingredients in it whatsoever. In place of eggs and flour, it has natural plant proteins, seeds, and nuts. It's thus incredibly high in fiber and protein, with none of the empty carbohydrates associated with wheat products. And, did I mention it's delicious? Like, really delicious.
A great recipe needs a great name. Although I do find the "Life-Changing Loaf" moniker pretty apt, I wanted to come up with my own name that took into consideration the few modifications I made from the original recipe. Since the loaf is comprised of nothing other than squirrel food (aka healthy nuts and seeds), I settled on the name "Squirrel Bread."
Check out the recipe below.
Squirrel Bread1 cup sunflower seeds
½ cup whole flax seeds
½ cup chopped almonds
1 ½ cups rolled oats
2 Tbsp. chia seeds
3 Tbsp. sesame seeds
4 Tbsp. psyllium seed husks
1 tsp. fine grain sea salt
1 Tbsp. maple syrup
3 Tbsp. melted coconut oil or ghee
1 ½ cups water
1. In a medium bowl, combine all dry ingredients.
2. In another bowl, mix together maple syrup, melted coconut oil/ghee and water.
3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix thoroughly. The dough will be very thick, but if it's too thick to even stir, add a bit of water until it's pliable again.
4. Spoon the dough into your loaf pan (or 2 miniature loaf pans), then smooth out the top with the back of a spoon.
5. Let your loaf pans of dough sit out on the counter for at least 2 hours, or all day or overnight: you want the nuts and seeds to absorb the water and become firm to the touch.
6. Preheat oven to 350°F
7. Place loaf pan in the oven on the middle rack, and bake for 20 minutes.
8. Remove bread from loaf pan, place it upside down directly on the rack and bake for another 40 minutes. Bread is done when it is lightly golden on the outside and sounds hollow when tapped.
Let cool completely before slicing, then dig in an enjoy. Bread should be stored in a tightly sealed container but can last for up to five days. Conversely, you could also freeze your loaves to greatly extend their shelf life. Let the noms continue!
- You could use ground flax meal, but I quite enjoyed the tang and crunch of the whole flax seeds in the bread. If you do choose to use ground meal, reduce the amount added: flax meal is highly water absorbent
- Psyllium hulls can be hard to find in supermarkets; I ordered mine on Amazon
- If almonds aren't your thing, you could use hazelnuts or potentially even macadamia nuts. Whichever suits your fancy!