A sandwich bread using grated pumpkin, not only means you get more nutrition but a lovely tasty and moist loaf of bread. Enjoy toasted or to accompany a hot bowl of soup. You may also like this variation: add 3/4 teaspoon dried oregano and 1/4 cup sliced Kalamata olives. Ideal for dipping into olive oil and dukkah.
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Preheat oven to 160c/320f. Grease a medium loaf tin and line the base with baking paper.
Add chia seeds and water to a small jug and mix. Soak for 10 minutes to form a gel.
In a medium bowl combine, eggs, oil, vinegar and chia gel. Whisk well to combine.
In a large bowl mix together all the dry ingredients (add oregano here if using). Make a well in the centre and pour in the wet ingredients. Mix all ingredients together well. Add grated raw pumpkin, you will need a strong arm to mix it through (if using olives, mix through after grated pumpkin).
Spoon batter into prepared loaf tin. Press mixture down firmly, flatten and smooth the top with a spatula. Sprinkle the top with pumpkin and sunflower seeds, press them down gently.
Place in the oven and bake for approx. 1.25 - 1.5 hours or until top is crisp and firm and a skewer comes out clean. Turn during cooking for even colour.
Cool in tin for 30 minutes, then finish cooling on a wire rack. Wrap and place in fridge for 1 hour before slicing, this will make it easier to slice thinly without crumbling.
Store in the fridge or freeze, slice before freezing, delicious toasted.
These little seeds absorb 9-12 times their weight in water and are excellent to add as a thickener to sauces and fruit spreads. They can also be use as an egg replacement in muffins and cakes (1 tablespoon chia seeds mixed with 3 tablespoons of water). There are many health benefits of chia. It is the richest plant source of Omega 3 fats, dietary fibre and protein. Chia seeds are also packed with a variety of vitamins and minerals, antioxidants, amino acids and fatty acids.
I feel it's much better for our health if we filter our water. Our tap water contains disinfectants, chlorine and chloramine. Also floride is add which I believe is toxin to our bodies.
I have used large free range or organic eggs from a 700g carton in my recipes. Eggs are one of the few foods considered to be a complete protein because they contain all 9 essential amino acids, also studies have shown that lutein (yellow colour) in egg yolks protects against the progress of early heart disease.
Macadamia nut oil is the non-volatile oil expressed from the nut meat of the macadamia tree, a native Australian nut. I avoid heating to very high temperatures but use it extensively for grain free baking at lower temperatures in the oven. Delicious over salads and it's also one of the healthier nuts, as it's higher in Omega 3 oils than other nuts.
Apple Cider Vinegar is used extensively throughout my recipes due to its health benefits. When purchasing, look for raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar ‘with the mother’ it has a cloudy appearance. Avoid malt vinegars as they are made from barley and contain gluten.
The most favoured gluten/grain free flour substitute in my kitchen is almond meal. It is finely ground blanched almonds and is also known as almond flour. It has a slightly sweet flavour so you don’t have to add as much sweetener when baking with it. All kinds of nuts can be ground down to make a meal and are excellent for raw cheesecake or pie bases. Nut meals/flours are best stored in airtight containers in the fridge or freezer to prevent them going rancid.
Golden flaxseed meal is ground linseed. You will find it in many of my recipes. It is also a great egg substitute when mixed with water. Flaxseed is very low in carbohydrates, making it ideal for people who limit their intake of carbs. It is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, which is the key force against inflammation in our bodies. Flaxseed must be stored in the fridge. I like to use golden flaxseed as it is lighter in colour, than the brown variety and produces a nicer colour to your baking.
Also known as Bicarbonate of Soda or Sodium Bicarbonate and is used as a rising agent in baking, it contains no gluten or grains. I use Bob's Red Mill baking soda as I find it rises better than other brands I've tried.
I am sure you will notice as you read my recipes that cinnamon appears quite frequently. It lends itself to savoury and sweet dishes. I have used ground cinnamon in my recipes if not stated otherwise. The best cinnamon to use is Ceylon (Verum). It has huge health benefits in regulating blood sugar levels. Cinnamon has antifungal properties and candida (yeast overgrowth) cannot live in a cinnamon environment. Added to food it inhibits bacterial growth, making it a natural food preservative and these are just a few of the benefits.
Raw pink Himalayan salt crystals is unlike common table salt which can be a highly refined industrial byproduct, otherwise know as sodium chloride. Himalayan salt is completely pure and may naturally balance the body's alkaline/acidity and regulate water content. In addition Himalayan salt helps in the absorption of nutrients from food and contains many trace minerals for healthy cell structure. I purchase fine pink Himalayan crystal salt so I can use it in my shaker and for cooking.
Like all orange pigmented vegetables, pumpkins are rich in beta carotene (vitamin A) and studies show pumpkin contains more than carrots.
Pumpkin seeds or pepitas are an amazing health food, a quarter cup of pumpkin seeds contains nearly half of the recommended daily amount of magnesium. They are small packages full of nutrition (plant based omega 3 fats, zinc, anti-inflammatory benefits). Sprinkle over salads, add to snack bars, granola, smoothies and they can also be ground down to add to grain free baked goods.