The Runner’s Simple Seed Bread
I love to cook. My kitchen is typically littered with pots and pans and spoons and spatulas and splotches and crumbs. Some days, when I finish a meal, I clean up the mess only to start again.
Some days, though, I just want simple. I mean, I believe that the food we put into our bodies should nourish us, and bite for bite, I want the calories to be out-shined by the number of nutrients. As Dr. David Jacobs, Mayo professor in epidemiology at the University of Minnesota recently said,
But nutritious usually equals a lot of chopping and sautéing, which doesn’t always ﬁt my need for simple.
Last weekend I stumbled on this bread recipe (ingredients and directions below). Itʼs not bread in the truest form: think of it more as a dense, seedy, nutty, spectacularly flavored loaf-shaped brick of nutrients. Besides the ingredients and some measuring cups, all you need to make it is a loaf pan and a spoon. No, really. Dump. Mix. Soak. Bake. Thatʼs it.
A half a slice of this would be great before a run–perfectly savory, especially if you donʼt go all in for protein bars. A whole slice topped with some of the suggestions below would be great after a run. This bread is packed with fiber, Omega-3s, and protein–way more than a slice you would pull from a grocery store plastic bag. It definitely maximizes the nutrients per bite.
I usually do a lot of editing of recipes, even before I try them, but, like Mary Poppins, this one is practically perfect in every way. Recipe credit given to My New Roots, a whole foods, food blog. Serving suggestions mine.
All ingredients–seeds to nuts–should be raw.
- 1 cup / 135g sunflower seeds
- ½ cup / 90g flax seeds
- ½ cup / 65g hazelnuts or almonds
- 1 ½ cups / 145g rolled oats – If you are gluten-free, seek out certiﬁed gluten free oats (you probably already know this).
- 2 Tbsp. chia seeds
- 4 Tbsp. psyllium seed husks (3 Tbsp. if using psyllium husk powder). Psyllium husks are sold in the nutrition section at Trader Joeʼs, as well as at Whole Foods, and Iʼm sure at any natural foods market. At Trader Joeʼs, it is sold in a black tub under the name “Secrets of the Psyllium.”
- 1 tsp. fine grain sea salt (add ½ tsp. if using coarse salt)
- 1 Tbsp. maple syrup (for sugar-free diets, use a pinch of stevia)
- 3 Tbsp. melted coconut oil or ghee
- 1 ½ cups / 350ml water
- The author suggests a silicone loaf pan, which I donʼt have. I used a regular Pyrex loaf pan and greased it with coconut oil before continuing with the recipe.
- 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 (I soaked mine 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.
- Preheat oven to 350°F / 175°C.
- Place loaf pan in the oven on the middle rack, and bake for 20 minutes. Remove bread from loaf pan (I just ran a knife around the edge of the pan before turning it over. It turned out a-okay), 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).
- Store bread in a tightly sealed container for up to five days. Freezes well too – slice before freezing for quick and easy toast!
- This bread makes really excellent toast–in fact, itʼs density and moistness almost requires it.
- Spread simply with Earth Balance.
- A little open-face sandwich with arugula and roasted butternut squash.
- Natural peanut butter, a banana, and a sprinkle of cinnamon (oh, go ahead, drizzle a little real maple syrup on that while youʼre at it).
- Smashed avocado sprinkled with sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, and a splash of good balsamic vinegar.
- I mean, you know what to do with toast. Just do it.