Flatbread is generally used to accompany dishes that have a sauce or gravy for dipping, but this delicious recipe is also perfect on its own. Drizzle the flatbread with a little avocado oil and some coriander leaves or dip into a mixture of oil, balsamic vinegar and a pinch of sea salt. I also have an option for those allergic to nuts and eggs, see notes below.
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Preheat oven to 180c (fan-forced) and line two baking trays with baking paper.
Add the almond meal, arrowroot, baking soda and salt to a large bowl. Stir to mix and remove any lumps.
Add the coconut milk and filtered water to the dry ingredients (if your coconut milk is watery, use a little less filtered water or replace milk with cream). Whisk or stir well to remove any clumps in the mixture.
Add the oil and beaten egg and mix well to produce a smooth thick batter. Add the garlic and coriander and stir to distribute them evenly through the batter.
Add four equal portions of the batter to each lined tray. Roughly two heaped tablespoons for each of the eight portions of flatbread. Use the back of a spoon to flatten and spread out the batter into rounds, approximately 11 - 12 cms in diameter.
Bake for 15 minutes or until the tops are firm and bottoms are lightly brown (there will only be a slight colour change on top).
Serve drizzled with avocado oil and a sprinkling of chopped coriander leaves, or dip into a mixture of oil, balsamic vinegar and sea salt.
NUT and EGG FREE Version: Swap the almond meal with finely ground sunflower seeds made into a meal and use 1½ teaspoons of baking powder in place of the baking soda and you can omit the egg and increase the coconut milk, roughly 3 tablespoons extra. (Why swap to baking powder? If you mix baking soda/bicarb with sunflower seeds a chemical reaction makes the mixture turn green, it’s fine to eat just looks funny).
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. Almond meal/flour is rich in manganese which helps the body heal after injuries and also helps the body break down carbohydrates. Almond flour is also rich in magnesium, which can help control your blood sugar levels. It's rich in vitamin E and other antioxidants, which may help reduce the risk of serious health conditions like cancer, diabetes, stroke, and heart disease. Almonds are also a good source of calcium.
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.
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).
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.
Organic unbleached, unrefined organic Celtic sea salt or pink Himalayan salt is my salt of choice as these contain healthy minerals and trace elements that our body needs. Regular table salt has been bleached, refined and processed leaving minimal health benefits. If you choose to use regular table salt in my recipes you will need to reduce the quantity or the end result will be to salty.
I use this extensively throughout my recipes; from soups to dinners to desserts and cakes. I think it is the best dairy-free alternative. It gives so much flavour and creaminess to a wide variety of dishes. See coconut milk recipe on page 299 of The JOYful Table cookbook. If purchasing in the can read your labels, even some organic brands contain gums and thickeners, choose full-fat not low-fat versions. I use Honest To Goodness organic cream 400ml and Ayam which isn't organic but has no additives or thickeners and is much creamier and thicker than other brands (that's why I love it), it comes in 400ml, 270ml and 140ml size cans.
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.
Avocado oil is excellent for dressings and dips, pan frying and barbecuing, baking and roasting. Recent research on the heating of oils, has revealed avocado oil is perfect for high temperature cooking. Choose cold pressed, extra virgin, avocado oil. My favourite brand is 'Grove'. Purchase in a dark bottle and do not refrigerate.
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.
Garlic is a close relative to the onion and has been used throughout history for both medicinal and culinary purposes. In most of my recipes I use minced garlic as I find it distributes better throughout the dish. When in a hurry I use organic minced garlic which I purchase in glass jars and store in the fridge. When garlic powder is needed for a particular recipe, I use 'Simply Organic' brand. Why is garlic so good for us? It is an immune booster, antibiotic, good for the heart, cancer fighter and it's also knew as a weight loss aid (appetite suppressant).
Coriander is also know as cilantro. The fresh chopped green leaves in large amounts are a good source of vitamin C. The fresh leaves are an ingredient in many Indian, Thai, and Mexican dishes. They are usually tossed through just before serving as the heat can diminish the flavour. The dried fruits are known as coriander seeds, the seeds have a lemony citrus flavour when crushed. The word coriander in food preparation may only be referring to the ground seeds not the plant.