Paleo Bread: An Ideal Raw Fusion Solution
Have you ever heard of the Paleo diet? Also known as The Caveman Diet, it’s come into vogue over the past year and purportedly reflects the way our cave (hunter/gatherer) ancestors ate thousands of years ago, before civilization began planting and harvesting grains and legumes.
While I think that many people would find it challenging to follow this lifestyle over time, it does have quite a lot of merit because of how difficult it is on the body to digest grains. More and more individuals are becoming intolerant to wheat, oats and other long-storage grains that contain glutens, leading to a rampant health hazard called Leaky Gut Syndrome. Gluten Free is becoming a booming industry in the U.S. but I would have to say that most of what I see on the market in the way of Gluten-Free is highly processed and often uses cornstarch as the base. There are probably even more people in this country who have a sensitivity or allergy to corn than to wheat because of how detrimental genetically-modified grains (and over 80% of the corn in the US is GMO) affect one’s health as well as their negative impact on the environment.
Paleo eating seeks to model the diet to which we have been genetically adapted or hybridized.
Their guidelines are to avoid the following foods: Dairy, Grains, Potatoes, Processed Food & Sugars, Legumes, Alcohol
Acceptable Paleo Foods: Fruits, Vegetables, Lean Meats, Seafood, Nuts & Seeds, Healthy Fats (Avocado, Coconut Oil etc.)
Because I eat so little animal protein, I would be hard-pressed to make Paleo my main lifestyle. By the same token, the Raw Fusion philosophy is very flexible and permissive and seeks to find the best ways to maximize nutrition and minimize inflammation, so I find a lot to commend in the Paleo diet — particularly because with grains being non grata, most Paleo meals would embody much better food combining, where proteins and starches are not mixed, making them much more digestible.
Breads that Beat the Glycemic Impact
No grains mean — no bread. That could be a hard thing for many people to give up. Of course, I personally feel that wheat-based breads and other food products may well be a huge contributing factor to obesity and diet-related illness. Over the past few years I have switched to millet or flaxseed breads for my mid-morning toast, which I spread with coconut oil, honey and cinnamon.
There are plenty of Paleo Bread Recipes on the internet; Breads made with flours from nuts, ground flaxseed, dried coconut and other foodstuffs that pack much less of a glycemic punch. They also don’t contain yeast, another common allergen. So, I’ve been doing some experimenting in my constant quest to find Raw Fusion Solutions.
Years ago I used to make a special banana loaf for an anti-Candida diet (reducing yeast and inflammation) and have since dug up that recipe so I’ll be reporting on that soon. My first foray into the paleo-friendly breads was this recipe for Paleo Biscuits (it also features a White Sausage and Mushroom Gravy but I did not make the gravy.) I was not crazy about how they turned out but I did find a good use for them (besides being quite popular with our brood of Cocker Spaniels!)
One of the main tenets of the Raw Fusion Lifestyle is proper food combining. In a nutshell, proteins that come from animal products like eggs, cheese, yogurt, chicken, steak, ham etc. do not digest well when served with starchy carbohydrates, such as corn, potatoes, rice, pasta, yams etc. I will go into much more detail on this to not make this an exhaustive post, but these combinations often lead to bloating, gas, inflammation and ultimately weight gain.
This means that our standard American fare — a sandwich — or even eggs and toast — are not recommended pairings. But the other day I was craving some eggs, so I basted a couple in coconut oil with some sauteed spinach and garlic and crumbled some of the paleo biscuits in the mixture to give it some ooomph.
Elana’s Pantry is a very popular Gluten-Free website and so I tried another interesting recipe for the Paleo Bread loaf pictured above. You can find the full recipe and details on her website but essentially it contains ALMOND FLOUR, GROUND FLAXSEED, EGGS, COCONUT FLOUR, COCONUT OIL, BAKING POWDER, HONEY, APPLE CIDER VINEGAR — some stellar ingredients, from the Raw Fusion perspective.
Tips and Techniques
Flaxseed Meal: Once ground, flaxseed meal can quickly become rancid. Either buy it from the refrigerated section of your local health food store OR grind as you need it in a dedicated coffee grinder (to avoid cross contamination or giving food the flavor or coffee beans :- )
Almond Flour — You can buy this at most health food stores or order online but it’s pricey. I decided to make my own, nutrient-enhanced, Raw-Fusion version. I soaked my almonds overnight, removing all of the anti-nutrients and enhancing their bio-availability. (see my post on soaking nuts) and then dried them in the dehydrator. Then I ground them into a flour. I stored the rest in the fridge in a mason jar.
My Paleo Loaf did not come out looking quite so good as the one above (Elana’s Pantry)– could have been that my loaf pan was not oiled enough or just too old and beat up. More likely because in my impatience to remove it from the pan before fully cooled, much of it stuck to the bottom. This is a NON-RISING bread, as their is no yeast. When cut, mine looked more like “paleo spears” (see blog photo) – actually kind of like pieces of cornbread. I tried one with my usual coconut oil, honey and cinnamon mixture and it tasted very comforting.
The taste of Paleo Bread is dense and not very grain-like. Because of the high volume of eggs (5 in one loaf) it has a slight taste of French Toast (not a bad taste) but does take some getting used to.
Here’s a Raw Fusion Solution using paleo biscuits or bread: If you like Tex-Mex Chili (made with either beans or beef — and by the way, would limit to one or the other for proper food combining) but you want to avoid the potentially high glycemic impact of adding cornbread, serve the Chili over a bed of greens and have a spear of Paleo bread alongside, or crumble some over the chili.
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