Wednesday, May 17, 2017


B E A U T Y   B I T E S  |  G R A I N - F R E E   B R E A D S
A guide to grain-free breads to break over your dreams of gluten, including a healing one based on Ayurvedic Medicine . . .

PLUS a dairy-free creamy brazil nut cheese spread recipe

click here to catch my crackers & chips edition!

S U R Y A   S P A   B R E A D
There might be a plethora paleo bread & cake recipes online and certainly no longer even a dearth of  boxed mixes, but Surya Spa's bread remains a stand-out amidst them. Located in Los Angeles, this spa offers a truly holistic menu from treatments such as detoxifying panchakarma to their bread. Crafted in a dedicated certified gluten-free kitchen—still a rarity coveted by those with Celiac's such as myself—this bread is combined with Ayurvedic herbs specific to the three doshas. 

According to Ayurvedic Medicine, every individual has one of three physical constitutions or doshas that make their bodies function optimally more with certain food than others. You can take a test here to find out your dosha, which will also guide you in how to nourish it beyond food with a holistic account of your body's needs. Surya Spa takes this into account by spicing their three breads accordingly, which are Apple Date, Gingered Turmeric & Pear, and Almond Banana Walnut. As an extreme vata, my favourite is unsurprisingly the last one. Despite being a dedicated baker myself, I frankly must admit that this bread surpasses any paleo bread I have made or eaten. The care & Ayurvedic knowledge they craft their bread with gives it its cachet. The light sweetness and its pillowy texture reminiscent of bakeshop sweet breads is unsurpassed. 

S I M P L E   M I L L S  B R E A D  M I X
I unashamedly had an obsession with this bread mix. So much so that sensing that it was a little de trop, I had to quietly put the spatula and mixing bowl down for a while. This bread mix was the first one that I tried that expanded me from my own trials, tribulations, & tested and true recipes. I alter the recipe to add three tablespoons of extra apple cider vinegar to render a flavour reminiscent of sourdough and bake it in my cocotte to achieve a crispy brown crust. It softens up more on the inside the next day and when toasted, it comes out even crispier on the outside to create a deep textural contrast. Ok, I'm making a batch tomorrow . . .

B A R E L Y   B R E A D

The crispy proximity this bread reaches that of the regular whole grain sandwich variety is jaw dropping . . . which you swiftly pick up to face plant into it. As much as I have a love affair with the Simple Mills mix, this bread is not only convenient to whip out of the freezer & toast but also provides a different level of satisfaction with its crunch. If you're following my notes on texture, you'll notice that I have a thing for it and this bread satisfies it to the last finger-picked crumb. . .

M I S S I O N   H E I R L O O M
Yucan Crunch dressed with a spread from my upcoming book
I have mentioned the yucan crunch in my chips & crackers post, but I'll include it again here. It's the perfect vehicle for anything from savoury avocado toast to topped melted raw chocolate for desert. There are many brands on the market that offer alternative chips, but very few are processed without pesky ingredients like hydrogenated vegetable oils, iodized salt, and even the devil's breastmilk that is sugar. Out of the clean options, many don't satisfy the crunch that gluten-filled options delight in. 

Enter: yucan crunch.  These crunchy morsels are handmade by artisinal groups around the Caribbean Sea by local casaberos and only contain oneingredient: yuca or cassava/tapioca root. Like plantains, they're a form of resistant starch that feed the healthy micriobiome of our digestive system. As it "resists" digestion, it doesn't spike blood sugar or insulin levels like other sources of carbohydrates do, i.e. corn or potatoes in chips. You can read more about the critical role they play in a healthy digestive system here

I delight in these crackers as a savoury toast replacement with avocado, a smearing of ghee, and smoked Maldon salt; serve it as amuse-bouche with a variety of toppings including grass-fed liver pâté; and enjoy them as dessert with royal jelly honeycardamom, and ghee on top. 

C R E A M Y  B R A Z I L   N U T  C H E E S E   S P R E A D 
This spread is so versatile in its adaptability to savoury and sweet combinations. I love to spread it on toast or whip it up with a little nut milk, stevia, and superfood powder for a sweet version. I love using Stamba's Perform powder, which gives it a light purple hue. It's comprehensively crafted with immune supporting mushrooms; energy- and hormone-balancing maca & cacao; and anti-oxidant maqui berry. I also like pitaya powder by Hybrid Herbs, which gives it a jubilant highlighter pink hue! It's rich in fiber, magnesium, & antioxidants, making it a great skin-boosting addition.

1 cup raw Brazil nuts, soaked for 8 hours
3/4 cup filtered water
Sea salt
Savoury | add 1/4 cup seaweed gomasio
Sweet | dilute with nut milk and add Perform or pitaya powder

Soak then rinse the brazil nuts.

Add the soaked nuts, apple cider vinegar, a dash of sea salt, and water into a high speed blender to blend until smooth.

Place a cheesecloth or nut milk bag into a glass bowl and pour the mixture into it. Grab the cloth or bag to squeeze out as much liquid as possible. 

Once most of the liquid is squeezed out but the mixture is not crumbly, place the wrapped cloth or bag into a clean bowl to sit out for two days at room temperature, away from direct sunlight. Check each day that it's fermenting properly—it should smell sour but not pungent. It might take a little shorter or longer depending on the temperature of your home; a warmer home will yield quicker fermentation. 

After it has fermented, gently remove the cheese from the cloth or bag, place onto a new bowl or plate, then refrigerate for  a day. This will solidify it. When ready, either roll the cheese in seaweed gomasio for a savoury cream cheese spread version or whip it as directed above for a sweet topping!