Twice baked crispy rosemary & fig toast (aka Melba toast), is perfect for your antipasto platter or eaten as a cracker with toppings for a light lunch. Delicious served with an assortment of pickled vegetables, olives, sun-dried tomatoes, pate, spicy sausage or prosciutto. The perfect paleo appetizer!
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Preheat oven to 170c (fan-forced). Line the sides and bottom of a 22 x 12cm loaf tin with baking paper, also line 2 baking trays and set aside.
Add the almond meal, arrowroot flour, 1/4 cup of both sunflower and pumpkin seeds, 1 tablespoon of poppy seeds, baking soda and salt to a food processor. Process for 10 - 12 seconds to produce a fine texture.
Add the eggs, rosemary and apple cider vinegar. Process approximately 8 seconds until the dough starts to gather together to form a ball.
Evenly sprinkle, 2 tablespoons of both sunflower and pumpkin seeds, 1 teaspoon poppy seeds and the chopped figs evenly around the bowl. Pulse 4 times to mix through the dough but not break up.
Scoop the dough into the prepared tin, use your fingers to press the dough firmly down and smooth over the top.
Bake for 25 minutes or until the bread is lightly brown on top. Remove the baked bread from the tin and allow it to cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes.
Place the bread onto a chopping board while it's still warm and slice very thinly using a bread knife. Slice slowly to prevent the edges crumbling and slice no thicker than 0.5cms. Lift the slices onto the prepared baking tray using the flat blade of the knife or a spatula.
Bake slices at 170c for 20 - 25 minutes or until they start to brown and become crisp. Allow to cool on trays.
The toast slices will keep for up to 2 weeks if stored in a glass airtight container.
The most favoured gluten/grain free flour substitute in my kitchen is almond meal. It is finely ground blanched almonds and in some countries, it is called 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 and seeds meals/flours are all best stored in airtight containers in the fridge or freezer to prevent them going rancid.
Arrowroot is a herb, the roots are cultivated for its starch properties. It is used in my recipes as a thickener and I also like combining it with almond meal to produce a much lighter texture, more like a gluten flour. I find the starch helps to bind the ingredients together. You can substitute tapioca flour, which is made from the dried roots of the cassava plant. Tapioca can be used in baking, it has a slightly sweet flavour. However, I do not recommend thickening with tapioca, as it has a stretchy, gummy texture. Supermarkets only sell in very small containers, which is not cost effective. Purchase from baking specialty stores, health food stores or online. ( When substituting for cornflour in recipes, 2 teaspoons arrowroot = 1 tablespoon cornflour/starch).
Sunflower seeds have a mild nutty flavour. An excellent snack as they are high in protein, delicious added to smoothies and grain free baking. Sunflower seeds can be finely ground to replace almond and other nut meals/flours in baked goods, substitute ratio 1:1. They are high in Vitamin E. Vitamin E travels throughout the body neutralizing free radicals. Sunflower seeds are also a good source of magnesium, which can help calm your nerves, muscles and blood vessels.
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.
Poppy seeds are widely used as a spice and decoration in and on top of many baked goods, they can also be made into a paste and used as a filling in pastries. The tiny black poppy seed is less than a millimeter in size and it takes about 3,300 poppy seeds to make up a gram. Poppy seeds are a nutritionally dense spice with high levels of essential minerals calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium.
Coconut palm sugar is produced from the sap of the flower bud of the coconut palm tree and is a natural food sweetener. I use it when a dry sweetener is required. It has the benefit of a low glycemic index (low GI 35 compared to sugar at 68) and nutritional content. Use in baked goods as an occasional treat but don't over indulge.
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.
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.
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.
The herb rosemary is a woody perennial herb with evergreen, needle-like leaves and has a strong fragrance. Rosemary is often cooked with lamb or in Italian dishes and is added to stews, soups and broth to give extra flavour, also the oil is extracted and used for many purposes including body creams and shampoos. Rosemary leaves are used fresh or dried.
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.
Figs are a good source of potassium, calcium and iron, high in fibre. Figs are harvested late summer and early autumn. Fresh figs spoil quickly and need to be eaten within 2 - 3 days, because of this figs are usually dried. When purchasing dried figs, buy organic without preservatives.