In my last post I started writing about my new venture into eating Paleo in an attempt to help heal my long-standing IBS issues and shared my top tips on surviving the first few weeks of living like Wilma Flintstone.
When it comes to cooking and planning meals, what quickly dawns is that without the reliable go-to carbs you really have to start thinking outside the box to find new alternatives. To begin with I focussed on seeking replacements for the the habitual items I missed most like bread – lovely, delicious sourdough bread, the delivery vehicle of delivery vehicles for chilli flecked avocado and poached eggs. One of the most instagrammed dishes out there, the humble egg and avocado when paired are modern internet stars but imagine taking the slice of toasted sourdough out of the marriage and you’re left with something very different. Brunch has always been my favourite meal of the day so the thought of losing such staples was frankly a real bummer.
So in a bid to find an alternative to satisfy my sourdough needs, I set off scouring the internet for ideas. I started with a coconut loaf which was just all wrong, it just too sweet for breakfast and the texture was chewy from the dessicated coconut. Undeterred I came across a recipe from ‘The Urban Poser’ blog in the US. With a little tweaking (cup measurements are so frustrating how can anyone bake accurately with these?!) and the addition of savoury seeds, happily this loaf after was a winner. Fairly thinly sliced it can be toasted well (too thick slices tend to burn around the edges before the centre has browned) and makes the perfect bed for eggs, however you take them 🙂
RECIPE – Paleo ‘Sourdough’ Seeded Cashew Loaf
**While this is a very simple loaf to make, it does require at least 12 hours of culturing pre-baking. This basically means leaving it alone in an oven with the light on to work it’s magic. Simple. I like to prepare the cashew nut mix before I go to bed and then bake the bread in the morning. I’ve amended the original recipe to work in a larger tin, mine measures 8 by 4 inches and easily makes enough bread for me for a week. You’ll also need probiotics for fermenting the cashews to give it the ‘sourdough’ taste. For this recipe you’re looking to add about 50-60million live bacteria – I use 3 of the ‘Healthspan Super20 Probiotics capsules’ which equates to 60million and I find this works really well. I’ve also added seeds to the recipe as I think they add great flavour as well as texture and personally like ‘The Food Doctor Savoury Seed Blend’ which contains a mix of roasted seeds however any mix will do 🙂
425g raw cashew nuts
3 probiotic capsules / 50-60million live bacteria
3 large organic eggs, separated
1.5 tbsp water
3/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
3/4 tsp salt
50g roasted mixed seeds
1 yolk for egg wash
- Add the cashew nuts and water to a food processor and blitz until it reaches a smooth, non-grainy paste. Stop and scrape the sides in a few times to ensure all the nuts are caught then sprinkle the probiotics over the mix and give a last whizz to incorporate
- Transfer to a ceramic or glass bowl, lay a plate on top to cover and add to an oven with the light switched on only and leave for at least 12 hours or up to 20 hours to sour
- Once ready, remove the bowl and preheat the oven to 150′ then prepare the loaf tin by greasing / lining it. I like to cut two strips, one that is the same width as the base but overlaps the ends and another that fits the length of the tin’s base but overlaps the sides so once positioned with a dab of oil underneath there is no tin showing – this makes it really easy to left the loaf out later without damaging it or burning fingers
- Add the 3 egg yolks and water to the cashew mix and beat in with a wooden spoon till smooth then stir in the bicarbonate of soda, salt and most of the seeds – leaving enough to sprinkle over the top of the loaf
- In another clean bowl, whisk up the egg whites until they’ve reached soft peaks then add to the mix and gently fold the whites in before transferring the finished mix to the prepared tin and gently spreading flat
- With a little salt, lightly whisk the spare egg yolk then carefully paint over the top over the loaf before sprinkling over the last of the seeds
- Bake for about 50 mins or until the loaf is risen and sounds hollow before turning the temperature up to 190′ and baking for a last 5-10 minutes or until the top is golden and has formed a crust
- Leave to cool for 5 minutes before lifting out of the tin and leaving on a wire rack to cool completely. Don’t be tempted to cut into it before it’s cool as it tends to fall apart. Store wrapped in paper in a cool area.
And here’s a great thing about going paleo, with the sugar and processed foods extradited from your life, fat is your new best friend and the perfect excuse to try making some Paleo bread and use it to deliver a cheeky full English with all the trimmings or a 3 egg omelette feast 🙂