There's really only one cereal that I ever recommend to people. It's the only one that provides any measurable benefits when it comes to lowering LDL cholesterol (the bad one), improving blood sugars, and actually manages to get the bowels moving predictably. But, if you've ever had All-Bran buds, you know they look like hamster pellets, and taste like cardboard. It's annoying to me when health food tastes like health food.
I've let two, surprisingly expensive, boxes go stale in my cupboard, because despite the benefits, I never looked forward to eating them. Plus, cereals in general kind of fly in the face of my whole-foods-as-much-as-possible outlook on nutrition.
So, I've always been on the lookout for something better. And I am excited to tell you I have found the solution. All the benefits of bran buds, in a whole foods, much more delicious, loaf of bread.
Sarah, from My New Roots, is someone I have followed religiously for well over 5 years. And yet, oddly enough, this might be the first recipe I've tried from her site. She has rightly named it "The Life-Changing Loaf of Bread".
I can't say enough good things about about this nut and seed loaf. It makes the greatest tasting toast, it fills me up for hours, it's by far the easiest bread I've ever made ( just measure and stir everything together), plus the psyllium husk, flax and chia combo provides us with soluble fibre. This is the amazing stuff that helps to draw cholesterol/fat/sugar out of the body and into the stool - which is what provides all the health benefits that the cardboard hamster buds give us. Plus, it's easily gluten free if you make sure your oats are, and easily vegan if you use coconut oil instead of butter.
This is bread I actually feel good about eating. Great, even. Be warned though, I use the term bread loosely. I consider it more of a nut and seed loaf. But at the end of the day, I don't care what it's called, I can spread butter on it warm from the toaster and that makes me happy.
Also, as I'm sure you have noticed, this space has been painfully neglected recently. I have been feeling somewhat uninspired in this space these days. The site is just not what I want it to be, so I am working on a full overhaul from the ground up. Which I hope will better showcase some recipes, learning how to become a competent home cook, and of course some nutrition related information - all on a more professional platform.
Sarah's Life-Changing Loaf of Bread: Cinnamon-Raisin style
Makes 1 loaf
I adjusted the original recipe to my preference. I just go to Bulk Barn and get all of the ingredients in the approximate amounts I need, so that I avoid having random bags of leftovers. If you are wanting to substitute some of the ingredients, she has some great advice in her original post about which ones are essential and which ones are flexible. I also find this turns out best when cooked in a smaller loaf pan (I actually got mine for $5 at Bulk Barn, pictured below). Otherwise it will be very short and the slices will be about the size of two fingers, which makes it more awkward to toast.
1 cup sunflower seeds
½ cup ground flax seeds
½ cup walnut pieces
1/2 cup sultana raisins
1 ½ cups large flake rolled oats
2 Tbsp. chia seeds
4 Tbsp. psyllium seed husks
1 tsp. fine grain sea salt
1 tsp cinnamon
3 Tbsp. melted butter
1 Tbsp molasses
1 Tbsp. maple syrup (optional)
2 cups water
In a medium bowl combine all dry ingredients, stirring well. Whisk molasses, maple syrup, butter and water together in a measuring cup. Add this to the dry ingredients and mix very well until everything is completely soaked and dough becomes very thick (if the dough is too thick to stir, add one or two teaspoons of water until the dough is manageable). Add mixture into a small loaf pan, lined with parchment (as pictured below). Smooth out the top with the back of a spoon, pressing down gently, aiming to get the top of the loaf flat. Let sit out on the counter for at least 4 hours, or all day or overnight.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit
Place loaf pan in the oven on the middle rack, and bake for 20 minutes. Run a knife along the edge if necessary, and remove bread from loaf pan, place it upside down, onto a baking sheet and bake for another 30-40 minutes. Bread is done when it sounds hollow when tapped. Let cool completely before slicing (difficult, but important).Slice bread into 1/4 inch slices or about the width of your pinky finger, place into a heavy duty bag or container and store in the freezer.
When ready to eat, serve well toasted with your choice of toppings and enjoy!