Way back in July – ok it was only the month before last but it already seems like ages ago – I spent a week at Kaliyoga, the most wonderful yoga retreat, in Puglia, right in the high heel of that beautiful boot that is Italy.
I will most definitely do a blog on the retreat, I’ve started it a couple of times but either ended up in a daydream or downward dog.
One of the many high points of the retreat was the food. The most delicious vegetarian and vegan delights which totally tantalised the tastebuds on a daily basis. (Yes, I love alliteration almost as much as I love yoga retreats.)
The queen of the kitchen at Kaliyoga is Alessandra, this woman has more health and wellness qualifications than you could shake a celery stick at. As well as overseeing all the culinary goings on at the retreat, she also offers a weekly food workshop to the guests, which of course I signed up for.
The most beneficial part of this for me was learning how to make the ‘Life Changing Loaf of Bread’, which was a very popular staple at meals throughout the week. Even more importantly, I learned that it was really easy to make – seriously – it’s a step up from a mud pie and it’s awesome. It’s wheat free, full of nuts and seeds and even has psyllium husks, definitely not your ‘regular bread’, more so ‘keep you regular bread’.
I have made it several times since I came back from Italy and think I have perfected it now, it takes less than 15 minutes to prepare and less than an hour in the oven. The recipe originally comes from the My New Roots blogger; holistic nutritionist and cookbook author Sarah Britton.
I like to slice it up and stick it in the freezer. All summer I’ve just extracted a slice or two for lunch, toast it, dice it and put it on a salad. It’s a taste and texture sensation! I don’t think it has changed my life, but it has definitely changed my lunch.
The Life-Changing Loaf of Bread
Makes 1 loaf
1 cup / 135g sunflower seeds
½ cup / 90g flax seeds
½ cup / 65g hazelnuts or almonds
1 ½ cups / 145g rolled oats
2 Tbsp. chia seeds
4 Tbsp. psyllium seed husks (3 Tbsp. if using psyllium husk powder)
1 tsp. fine grain sea salt (add ½ tsp. if using coarse salt)
1 Tbsp. maple syrup or agave (for sugar-free diets, use a pinch of stevia)
3 Tbsp. melted coconut oil* or ghee
1 ½ cups / 350ml water
1. In a flexible, silicon loaf pan combine all dry ingredients, stirring well. Whisk maple syrup, oil 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). Smooth out the top with the back of a spoon. Let sit out on the counter for at least 2 hours, or all day or overnight. To ensure the dough is ready, it should retain its shape even when you pull the sides of the loaf pan away from it it.
2. Preheat oven to 350°F / 175°C.
3. Place loaf pan in the oven on the middle rack, and bake for 20 minutes. Remove bread from loaf pan, place it upside down directly on the rack and bake for another 30-40 minutes. Bread is done when it sounds hollow when tapped. Let cool completely before slicing (difficult, but important).
4. Store bread in a tightly sealed container for up to five days. Freezes well too – slice before freezing for quick and easy toast!
*I found ‘odourless coconut oil’ recently and would definitely recommend that.