By now you might have heard about the Life-Changing Loaf of Bread recipe rolling around the blog-o-sphere. I have to agree that this bread is incredibly delicious and a packed with nutrition and nutty goodness. However, what is missing from the recipe are some key steps if you want to ensure a maximum level of digestibility and nutrient content.
First of all, rolled oats are called for in the recipe. Like all seeds, grains, and legumes, oats contain a certain amount of phytic acid (or phytate) and enzyme-inhibitors ~ basically, anti-nutrients that bind minerals and nutrients, not allowing them to become available to the body through digestion (magnesium being a good example).
Oats actually do not have enough phytase (an enzyme) to neutralize the high level of phytates that it has. So, if you are going to eat oats, you must prepare them traditionally by soaking them in water with whey, yoghurt, kefir, or buttermilk.
In Scotland, where oats are an important food source, the traditional technique to process oats was a long fermentation. As well, in Russia, traditional techniques call for a long fermentation process. They even have a fermented drink using oats as a base. Again, the high nutrient content and digestibility does not become available until traditionally prepared.
Even though the paleo figure ‘Mark’s Daily Apple’ does not incorporate much grains, seeds and legumes into his diet, he at least highlights the proper technique of preparation for those who wish to incorporate grains, seeds, and legumes. Here is a good blog post on the basics of understanding why it is so important to prepare these foods traditionally (fermenting, soaking, or sprouting).
I, personally, do incorporate certain grains, seeds, legumes, and nuts in my diet and I traditionally prepare them. The only ones that I don’t tend to prepare traditionally on a regular basis are small seeds. One of my favorite spiral-bound booklets on the topic of traditional preparation (super easy to read and a great resource) is from the folks at Simply Being Well ~ it’s called “With Love from Grandmother’s Kitchen.”
With that said, when I prepare the Life-changing Loaf, I actually soak the oats the night before in water & whey. And, I try to use nuts that I have already soaked in salt water and dehydrated (but sometimes I don’t have any handy and I just use nuts). Whereas grains have high phytic acid content, nuts have high enzyme-inhibitor content (salt water has traditionally been used to denature this).
I know. It’s a lot. For those of you that haven’t tapped into the traditional foods preparation world, it can definitely seem like a lot.
Take one piece at a time… I encourage you to be curious, to experiment, and to explore… The first time I soaked and dehydrated pecans…years ago…my entire home filled with this lovely sweetness. When I tasted a nut prepared this way…it tasted really deep and rich. After that experience, I just couldn’t go back to just plain ole nuts.
Life-Changing Loaf, Take 2
Take 1 1/2 cup of oats and place in a bowl. Add 2 Tablespoons of whey to your measuring cup and then add 1 1/2 cups of water. Add this water/whey mixture to the oats and stir. Let this sit overnight.
The next day, simply add the following ingredients to the bowl of soaked oats and stir well:
1 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup flax seeds
1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts, almonds, walnuts, etc (soaked or sprouted, dehydrated or still moist)
2 tablespoons chia seeds
4 tablespoons psyllium husk
1 tsp sea salt
1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup
3 tablespoons melted coconut or ghee
Line a bread pan with parchment paper. Pour ingredients into the bread pan. Let sit for 2 hours (to 2 days, up to you!). Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake for 40 min’s. Remove bread from bread pan and place upside-down on baking rake in oven and bake 20 min’s more. Let cool completely. Will last outside the fridge for up to 5 days. Store in fridge for longer keep.