Vegan/Paleo Caraway Seed Bread

Makes 1 loaf
No grain, gluten, dairy, egg, yeast, cane sugar; with options for nuts

Made almost entirely from seeds, their fat content ensures the bread stays moist and pliable – even if refrigerated in hot weather. Basically mix and bake. Delicious as is or toasted. Serve with avocado or nut butter. Or my Dynamite, Hummus or Pesto spreads. Keeps and freezes well too.

Looking like long-grain black basmati rice, wild ‘rice’ is actually the seed of a marshland plant. It only grows wild. Here it is mixed with quinoa: another seed and grain act-alike.

Seeds are nutrition power-houses as they contain a wealth of macronutrients (fat, protein, high fibre carbohydrates) and micronutrients (vitamins, especially Bs, and minerals such as zinc, potassium, magnesium and calcium) sufficient to support new life and grow a healthy plant.

This recipe is based on one by Libby Bird and other Miracle Bread variations, but with nuts and seasonings for more flavour. I boil extra wild rice and quinoa (can be cooked separately or together) and use that for dinner and lunches. About 1/3 cup raw of either one with 2/3 cup water will equal 1 cup cooked. Extras are great for salad, soup, stir fry, fritters, and as a side for stews. Or replace with brown rice, but this is a grain for those sensitive to such starches. All ingredients are available in good supermarkets.

1 cup cooked wild rice (or use brown rice, but this is a grain)
1 cup cooked quinoa*
½ cup walnuts or pistachios (or omit and increase seeds by 1/2 cup)
¼ cup linseed
¼ cup sunflower seeds
¼ cup pumpkin kernels
¼ cup chia seeds
4 Tbsp psyllium*
1 Tbsp maple syrup (or honey, but this is not vegan)
1 Tbsp white wine vinegar (or other vinegar)
3 tsp sea salt with kelp*
2 tsp caraway seeds
2 tsp thyme
1 cup (250 ml) water

Brush a loaf pan (19 cm x 12 cm; or your loaf could be longer and thinner) with oil or line with baking paper. Heat the oven to 180°C (350°F).

Place all the ingredients in a food processor. Process until the mixture is sticky and damp. Everything should be well chopped, but not pureed in texture. Spread into the prepared loaf pan and smooth top. There is no leavener so the loaf will not rise. Bake for 60 – 70 minutes until a skewer in the centre tests dry.

Place on a rack and cool completely before slicing. Store covered in a cool place, or refrigerate if hot.

Shopping and Preparation Tips*

• Psyllium powder: ground, high soluble fibre husks from the plantain plant. Can help replace the binding action of eggs in vegan recipes. Numerous therapeutic qualities help regulate bowel and liver function. Sold in health stores and some supermarkets.

• Quinoa: (pronounced ‘keen-wah’) is a seed from Peru: high protein and fibre, low-starch; good source of manganese, magnesium, folate, flavonoids, some Omega 3 and other anti-inflammatory factors. It has a mild nutty taste; resembles and is used like a grain such as rice. Many people who are grain-sensitive can do well on quinoa as it is not a member of the grass family. Whole quinoa (looks like millet) and flaked quinoa (resembles rolled oats) are in most supermarkets. Use 1 part rinsed quinoa to 2 parts water or stock. Cover, boil and cook like rice for 12-15 minutes.

• Sea salt: is sea water dehydrated by sun. When mixed with seaweed or kelp (containing iodine and other minerals low in our soil) it is ideal in terms of flavour (interesting but not too strong) and mineral balance. Try Pacific Harvest or Malcolm Harker brands; both in health and gourmet stores. NOTE these are less salty in taste than other brands.

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