Earlier this year I kept asking myself, “What more can I do for the planet?” I’ve been trying pretty hard to eliminate plastics but some things are easier to let go of than others. An easy starting point is at the grocery store.
I was already using reusable produce bags and canvas totes; I’ve been buying coffee, seeds and nuts in bulk at It’s Only Natural (conveniently located across the street from cinder + salt!), and always buy milk in a paper carton, rather than plastic jug. Items like yogurt and cottage cheese I’m really not ready to start making myself so plastic packaging is a necessary evil at the moment, but bread… I could work on bread.
It seems like such a small thing but every bag of bread, is well, in a plastic bag! And even though bread bags can be recycled (with regular plastic shopping bags!) it’s better to not use them at all. When I don’t have time to bake bread, I’m a huge fan of Thin Sliced Good Seed by Dave’s Killer Bread, which is why I quickly fell in love with this recipe for a Seeded Whole Grain Quick Bread from EatingWell.com. I actually saw this exact photo in a magazine and was like “yes yes YES I’M MAKING THIS!!!” The rest is history.
(And omg I'm baking it as I write this blog post and it is so fragrant and delicious smelling! I don't understand how people are gluten free by choice because bread just brings me so much joy.)
One loaf will last me about two weeks, accounting for one slice a day. I usually start my mornings with a slice of toast, two eggs and iced coffee but honestly, this bread is so filling I often skip an egg or two. Sometimes I’ll even just have a slice of bread for dinner and call it a night - it’s full of healthy fats and 10g of protein that for a vegetarian like me it’s kind of a good option when I don’t feel like cooking!
Truth be told, this bread is 100%, a thousand times better toasted and loaded up with butter. Obviously. Because it’s so fatty (thanks to seeds and olive oil) it takes awhile to toast but it’s so, so worth the wait! Also… I think I did the math once and with butter it was like 400 calories for a slice so it kind of is it’s own meal.
I’m not going to give you the recipe here; you can literally just click this link, which appears in several places in this post, and get the details straight from the folks who wrote the darn thing. But I do make a few tweaks!
I don’t even know what white whole grain flour is but mine is brown-ish, and I substitute a half cup of it, (25%), for Tapioca Flour, which I’m told is a good binder so it makes the bread less crumbly. If you read the comments on the recipe there’s a bunch of haters saying this bread falls apart, which is true, so take in a few of those tweaks in the comments to make substitutions of your own.
Also… people are impatient. And dumb. (Whatever, I’m not afraid to say it!) If you cut one slice and it all crumbles, don’t keep slicing until you have a cutting board full of crumbs! After the bread has cooled, I tightly wrap it in bees wrap and refrigerate it overnight. The next day, while it’s still chill, I’ll slice it while holding it in its shape, meaning I cut all the slices without letting them fall off the end. This keeps everything nice and tight in bread-land. I take my end slice, gently place it in the toaster oven (an actual toaster might be tricky for this bread) and then promptly wrap the rest of the loaf tightly and throw it back in the fridge.
Baking your own bread is such a small little thing (ok, you save one plastic bag) but if every household baked bread it would save millions of bags every week! You really have to choose to think bigger picture on little things like this. Plus, when you’re in control of the ingredients you can make healthier food. #winning
If you don’t have an awesome bulk store near you for seeds and flours, I would recommend Nuts.com - they have literally everything (including tapioca flour) and you can even order small sample sizes for things you won’t use a ton of (like sesame seeds).
Long story short, adding "bake bread" to my weekend to-do list has become one of my "fun" things to do. I'll have a latte, or an iced coffee, or a glass of wine while I pull out all the ingredients and just quietly spend 20 minutes to myself prepping my delicious toasts for the week. I've come to find so much peace in the quiet, domestic moments at home (away from work!) and it helps to feel like they do right by planet Earth too!