Is This a Life-Changing Loaf of Bread? Perhaps...


FINALLY! I'm posting about the Life-Changing Loaf, or my prefered name of Superhero Bars!

After several of my real life, Facebook and Instagram friends started posting versions of this recipe, I read up on it and, as someone who loves to cook but doesn't really bake, I determined this was totally doable! 

The first time I made it, I followed Sarah Britton's recipe from her gorgeous My New Roots blog to a T. It was good. Really good. But there were a couple of things I felt I could change to make it even better for me. I'll go into that in a bit.

First of all, if you're expecting this to come out like your typical loaf of bread that you slice up and make sandwiches out of, you're going to be disappointed. It's DENSE. Like, if someone was breaking into my apartment and I didn't have a weapon handy, I could probably use this to at least stun the creep and make my getaway! That said, it is delicious! Nutty, seedy, oaty and there's no flour in it. It's obviously vegan and made of entirely whole foods as well as gluten-free and Paleo-friendly if you buy the right oats. All of these, good things! 

Even though BUB said yes, I should have said no. Two is too much!

After making it for the first time, I sliced two pieces, toasted them (it toasts really well) and ate them with my usual breakfast of olives, cashews, nut cheese, a half a banana and a tangerine with Taj√≠n. It was TOO MUCH!! I was really full before I got to the second piece but ate it anyway because it was so yummy. Oof. I felt like I ate a brick for about an hour afterward. Not great as I was headed out for a run and to the gym. However, once I let it digest for a while, I felt great! I had a kick ass run and everything at the gym felt weirdly easy! AND I wasn't hungry until like, 3:00pm that afternoon! Pretty cool! Thinking it was a fluke, I did it again for the next few days, having one slice instead of two and BOOM! Same results! 

That lead me to start thinking of it as more of an energy or power bar instead of bread. The amount of calories that are in it (it's a LOT of nuts and seeds), it actually makes more sense to view it that way, I think.

Now I'm on my third loaf of it in less than three weeks and I've tweaked the recipe to the way I like it, or at least what works for me. For instance, in the original recipe, which you can find here, it calls for a half cup of flax seeds. Now, it doesn't say 'whole' but that's how I interpreted it. Most of the info out there states that to get the nutritional benefits from flax seeds (omega-3s and fiber) you should really eat them ground up. Ideally, you'd be the one doing the grinding in either a coffee grinder or high-powered blender, but store-bought ground seeds work too. If you've ever tried to eat whole flax seeds you probably noticed that it's really hard to chew them up – they're slippery little suckers – and they just end up going right through you, if you know what I'm sayin. 

Before we get going, I'd like to add a little note about psyllium husks too. They are what bind this bread together in lieu of flour and eggs, though they most definitely will not bind you up! (More poop talk, yay!) If you're like most vegans, you're most likely used to being somewhat regular, but if you don't eat a lot of veggies or fiber, you may be in for a surprise! Personally, I think it's a good surprise, but I'm a freak. Bottom line (get it?), if you like to poop, you'll like this recipe! 

And we're off...

Ingredients:

1 C Sunflower seeds
1/2 C Ground flax seeds plus 2TBSP whole
1/2 C Almonds, hazelnuts, cashews, whatever you like (Rosemary marcona almonds from Trader Joe's are awesome in it!)
1/4 C Shelled pepitas
1-1/2 C Organic rolled oats (Find GF ones here)
2 TBSP Chia seeds
4 TBSP Psyllium husks (3 TBSP if using psyllium husk powder)
1 tsp Fine grain sea salt (add 1/2 tsp if using coarse salt)
1 TBSP Real maple syrup (more if you like it sweeter)
3 TBSP Melted coconut oil
1-1/2 C Water
Rosemary, thyme, parsley, pepper, etc. to taste if you want it more savory. Chopped dried figs, cherries, dates etc. to taste if you want it sweeter (optional)

This is what the "dough" will look like. It won't rise.

Directions:

In a flexible, silicone loaf pan combine all dry ingredients, stirring well. Combine maple syrup, oil and water together in a measuring cup. Add this to the dry ingredients and mix very well until everything is completely soaked and dough becomes really thick (if the dough is too thick to stir, add more water a TBSP at a time until the dough is manageable). Smooth out the top with the back of a spoon. Cover and let sit out on the counter for at least 2 hours or overnight. You'll know the "dough" is ready when it retains its shape even when you pull the sides of the loaf pan away from it it. It will not rise.

Preheat oven to 350°F.
Place loaf pan in the oven on the middle rack, and bake for 20 minutes. Remove bread from loaf pan, place it upside down directly on the rack and bake for another 30-40 minutes. Bread is done when it sounds hollow when tapped. Let cool completely before slicing. It will fall apart if you don't! Use a straight chopping knife to slice it as a bread knife will shred it. 

Store it in a tightly sealed container for up to five days. Freezes well too – slice before freezing for quick and easy toast before you head out to the gym! 


My favorite topping for it is a raw tahini, parsley and cilantro spread from my friend Dee Dee (more on that later), but you can put whatever you like on it...vegan butter, cream cheese, preserves, whatevs! 

I hope you like it! Let me know what you think!

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