Before going paleo, Olive Ciabatta bread was my all time favourite loaf of bread. I'm happy, my Rosemary and Olive Loaf has replaced it. This loaf is delicious warm straight from the oven with organic grass-fed butter. I've used Kalamata olives but you can use any black olive you choose in this recipe.
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Preheat oven to 170c (fan-forced). Line a baking tray with baking paper.
To a food processor or blender add the flaxseed, sunflower and chia seeds. Grind the seeds for a few seconds to produce a fine meal texture. Add the milk, vinegar, eggs and garlic. Blend together to combine for 10 seconds, then allow the mixture to sit for 6 - 8 minutes to absorb some of the liquid.
Add the almond meal, baking soda and salt. Process until combined and the mixture has started to gather around the sides of the bowl.
Add fresh rosemary leaves and pulse a few seconds to chop them roughly and distribute through the dough. Add the sliced olives and mix through by hand.
Scoop the dough into the centre of the prepared tray. Using hands smeared with olive oil, shape the dough into an oblong shape, approximately 20 x 10cms with a height of 3.5cms.
Use a large knife to cut 4 diagonal slices into the top of the dough, then wipe over extra olive oil and scatter a few whole rosemary leaves on top with a pinch or two of sea salt. (Click the arrow in the corner of the above photo to view the process).
Bake for 35 minutes or until crunchy on the outside and lightly browning. Allow to cool slightly before serving warm with organic butter or ghee.
Golden flaxseed meal is finely 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.
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.
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 used as an egg replacement in muffins and cakes (1 tablespoon chia seeds mixed with 3 tablespoons of water). Chia seeds can also be used to make delicious chia puddings for breakfast or desserts. 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.
A dairy free milk made from soaking almonds over night, rinsing well and blending with fresh water. Drained through a nut bag and all the liquid milk squeezed out. Recipe on page 297 of The JOYful Table cookbook, if purchasing a commercial brand, read label to avoid added sugars, gums, thickeners and preservatives.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
The Kalamata olive is a large dark purple olive, almond shaped with a plump smooth flesh. Kalamata trees are grown in southern Greece and primarily used for eating and not as much for their oil. Olives are high in good heart healthy fats and disease-fighting phytochemicals (antioxidants). Kalamata are my favourite olives due to their flavour and plumpness. Purchase organic if possible in glass jars, read labels as many brands contain caramel colour and preservatives (I purchase macro Organic Kalamata olives, which are reasonably priced).