Congratulations! Vegan Lunches for Country’s Second-Largest Public School District

Congratulations to the Los Angeles Unified School District! Earlier this month, school board members unanimously voted in favor of bringing healthful plant-based options to L.A. schools next fall in a pilot program championed by students, parents, and doctors. Lila Copeland,... Read more

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Lasagna

This is very reminiscent of traditional lasagnas, but of course, without the meat, cheese, and added salt and oil. Bottom line: it’s delicious! Instead of meat, I have used zucchini and mushrooms, and a great tofu blend to take the place of the ricotta. Lasagnas are a labor of love, for sure. But they are worth...

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No, Butter is Not Back

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Saturated fat – found primarily in animal products – promotes chronic disease. Still.

This is solidly established in the scientific literature. Although recent industry funded meta analyses, designed specifically to confuse and obfuscate the health issues, appear to absolve saturated fat, this does not change the results of metabolic ward, animal model, and careful population studies of the past. Rather, they sift, sort and screen the voluminous data and use title, abstract, and conclusion wording to confuse.

Doubt is their product.

Hence the refurbished old news that hit headlines once again last week…based on this article, published in BMJ.

In this fantastic rebuttal by Dr. David L. Katz, called “Heart Disease is Not Hypothetical,” he states, “I confess I don’t understand why hypothesizing by several cardiologists who have expressed this opinion before, involving no new research, citing review articles from two and three years ago on the causes of coronary artery disease should be worthy of publication in the peer-reviewed literature.”

Yet it was. And, as usual, it captured media attention.

Nothing has changed. The preponderance of data demonstrate that eating diets high in saturated fat increases disease risk.

The American Heart Association maintains their recommendation to aim for a dietary pattern that achieves 5% to 6% of calories from saturated fat.

A whole food, plant-based diet averages approximately 6% to 7% of calories from saturated fat. Adding in one serving of animal products or tropical oils (yes, including coconut oil) easily brings that number to above recommended limits.

And it is not just cardiovascular disease that saturated fat promotes. This article by Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine shows 12 more reasons besides cardiovascular disease to reduce saturated fat.

Ignore the headlines. Focus, instead, on the overwhelming evidence in support of plant-based diets for optimal health.

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Vegiterranean Feast

Vegiterranean Feast

Making all things Vegiterranean on #LunchbreakLive with Jane Velez-Mitchell and Lisa Karlan…hummus, baba ganoush, easy caprese, and falafels. Bring your appetite and your questions!

Posted by Plant-Based Dietitian on Tuesday, February 21, 2017

 

Here are two of the recipes:

Easy Caprese

A simple, traditional dish, this combination satisfies as a perfect appetizer. Hearty in texture, but zesty and light in flavor, you can throw this together in minutes and enjoy as a light snack in the afternoon or before dinner.

Makes 2 to 4 servings

2 large heirloom or beefsteak tomatoes, sliced into 1/2-inch-thick slices
1/3 cup fresh basil leaves
4 ounces organic soft tofu, thinly sliced
2 to 3 tablespoons reduced balsamic vinegar

1. Layer the tomato slices on a large plate. Evenly place the basil leaves over the tomatoes, followed by the tofu slices. Drizzle the vinegar over all.
2. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
Note: You can use your favorite regular balsamic vinegar as is, or try reducing it. Using at least triple the amount of vinegar called for in the recipe in a saucepan (you can store the leftovers in the refrigerator for up to a week), bring the vinegar to a boil over medium heat, and then reduce the heat to low and simmer until at desired thickness, at least 20 to 30 minutes.

Hummus of the Earth

Hummus should be a food group with its infinite combinations of ways to enjoy. With the addition of cannellini beans and spices, this essential version is earthy, warm, and classic. Use it in sandwiches, as a dip, or in salad.

Makes 1 3⁄4 cups

2 cups cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed if using canned
1 cup cooked cannellini beans, drained and rinsed if using canned
1⁄4 cup nutritional yeast
11⁄2 to 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice with zest
11⁄2 tablespoons tahini
1 tablespoon tamari
3⁄4 teaspoon ground cumin
3⁄4 teaspoon smoked paprika
3⁄4 teaspoon ground chipotle powder
1⁄8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1. In a food processor, combine the chickpeas, cannellini beans, nutritional yeast, 1⁄4 cup water, lemon juice and zest, tahini, tamari, cumin, paprika, chipotle powder, and red pepper flakes, and puree until smooth, 30 to 60 seconds, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
2. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days.

The rest of the recipes can be found in The Vegiterranean Diet.

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Six Serious Reasons to Just Ditch Dairy

Haven’t ditched dairy yet?

Here are 6 serious reasons to just do it:

 
ditch dairy1. As per Dr. Michael Klaper, the purpose of cow’s milk is to help a baby calf grow, grow, grow as fast as possible. Dairy is hormonally active…intentionally. But once we are full-sized adults, growth is not a positive thing…it inspires cancer growth and contributes to other health problems.
 
 
2. Upwards of 70% (or more) of the world’s population is lactose-intolerant. The fact that more people than not react with painful gastrointestinal symptoms upon consumption of dairy demonstrates the fact that the human body is not intended to consume it. Doctors and dietitians are now pushing the use of lactase enzymes and other symptom-relieving medications in order to ensure “adequate” intake of dairy products. Yet, if we have to force our bodies to accept something it doesn’t want, shouldn’t that be a sign that something is wrong?
 
3. You do not need dairy for healthy bones. There are excellent plant-sources of calcium that are alkalizing and support bone health. Broccoli, kale, bok choy, other leafy green veggies, sesame seeds, tahini, calcium-set tofu, almonds, aditch dairynd fortified plant milks/juices all have adequate amounts of calcium to meet daily requirements. In fact, calcium in kale is absorbed 30% better than from dairy!  
 
4. People are always concerned about the phytoestrogens in soy foods. Yet, dairy has estradiol, natural animal/human-based estrogen, which is 10,000 times more potent than environmental or phytoestrogens.
 
5. Dairy, particularly cheese, is the number one source of artery-clogging saturated fats in the diet. Remember, according to the American Heart Association, a heart-healthy diet contains no more than 5-6% of total calories from saturated fat, the amount found in a typical vegan diet.
 
ditch dairy6. There is a currently a wall o’ milks that are plant-based and delicious at your neighborhood grocer. Choose between almond milk, soy milk, hemp milk, oat milk, coconut milk, flax milk, rice milk, chocolate almond milk, horchata rice milk, vanilla soy milk, almond-coconut milk, and the hundreds of other varieties now available. Exciting, decadent, creative, and much healthier….dairy milk is indeed jealous! So jealous that Big Dairy recently approached the FDA to intervene and make it illegal for plant milks to be called “milk.” However, consumers are not buying plant-based milk because they’ve been tricked into believing they actually came from a cow. They’re buying plant milk because it’s healthier, cruelty-free, and easier on our planet.
 
Eat plants. Drink plants. For your health.

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Two New Papers Putting the Power of Plant-Based Diets in the Spotlight

The Power of Plant-Based Diets Validated Once Again in Recent Research

According to abundant scientific support, plant-based diets have consistently been associated with not only significant health advantages, but also nutrient adequacy. Despite headlines blaring out messages of deficiency and danger, the evidence continues to show otherwise.

Two brand new compelling papers were published expressing the safety, adequacy, and powerful health benefits of eating plants…

First, The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the leading organization for nutrition experts, Registered Dietitians, updated their Position Paper on Vegetarian Diets. Here is the abstract:

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Here is the link for the position paper to share with your physicians and other healthcare practitioners, friends or family, or anyone concerned about a plant-based diet, which is actually the most health-promoting, disease-fighting, sustainable, nutrient-dense way of eating possible.

Secondly, this revolutionary new paper authored by Ray Cronise, BS, Andrew Bremer, MD, Ph.D., and David Sinclair, Ph.D. shows why plant-based diets are optimal for health and weight management.

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This Food Triangle is a tool to understand the energy density of different diet schemes:

  • Western diets are “bottom feeders,” consuming combinations of the most energy-dense foods: meat and potatoes, fish and chips, pasta and meat sauce, burger and fries.
  • Paleo diets, on the left side of the triangle minimize energy from starch, which is why they may lose weight initially (while still missing out on critical nutrients found in plant foods such as beans and whole grains).
  • Vegan diets, on the right side of the triangle, omit the energy-dense animal products and focus on nutrient-dense, disease-fighting whole plant foods. When leaving out oils, sugars, salts, and flours, this offers the most nutritional bang for the caloric buck with all the ingredients for easy weight management and long-term health.

This paper is disruptive as the authors debunk deeply ingrained myths, clarifying that:

  • Nutrition is not an emergency.
  • Our metabolisms are not broken.
  • Using the terms “carbs, fats, and proteins” is confusing.
  • Our obesity epidemic is due to chronic overnutrition.
  • You simply cannot out-exercise your diet.

Both of these articles validate all we know about the benefits of eating plants. It is simply the most health-promoting, disease-fighting, nutrient-dense diet and it is ideal for people across the lifespan.
Here is more information on how to implement a plant-based diet, The Physician’s Guide to Plant-Based Diets for healthcare practitioners, and sample meal plans with hundreds of recipes.

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Say Cheese for these 20 Delicious DIY Whole Food Plant-Based Recipes

You can have your cheese and eat it, too!

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There are a plethora of paramount health reasons to ditch dairy – particularly in the form of cheese – from the high saturated fat, sodium, cholesterol, and hormone content to the opiate-like casomorphins that encourage its addictiveness. Just the mere fact that approximately 75 percent of the global population is lactose intolerant is enough to reason that we have no business consuming the milk of another species!  Fortunately, there has never been an easier time to chuck cheese because there are infinite plant-based alternatives available both commercially and in the DIY format (a la delicious recipes).

To reduce calorie density and maximize nutrient density, I recommend minimizing or avoiding the use of oils. Thus, if you love cheese the way many people do, it is ideal to make your own without using oils.

Here is a collection of 20 whole food, plant-based cheese recipes that are easy to make, oil-free, and absolutely divine…

1. Vegan Feta (That Tastes Really Good!) by Dreena Burton

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2. Cheesy Cauliflower Sauce by Fat Free Vegan

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3. Vegan Cheese Sauce by Contentedness Cooking

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4. Nut-Free Vegan Nacho Cheese Slices by Vegan Richa

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5.  “Cheezy” Cashew Dip by Jazzy Vegetarian

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6. Sharp White Cheese Sauce by Veggies Don’t Bite

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7. 6 Ingredient Vegan Cheddar Cheese Sauce by Veganosity

cheese-6-ingredient8. Pistachio-Crusted Cheese Ball by Jessica in the Kitchen

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9. Veggie Cream Cheese Spread by Veggie Inspired

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10. Spicy Vegan Almond Cheese Spread by Vegan Chickpea

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11. Cheesy Smoky Butternut Squash Pasta from The Vegiterranean Diet via The Blender Babes

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12. Vegan Queso Fundido by Veganosity

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13. 2 Vegan Parmesan Substitutes: Brazil Nut Parmesan and Cheesy Sprinkle by Dreena Burton

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14. Walnut and Herb Vegan Cheese by Green Evi

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15. Jalapeno Cashew Cheese Spread by Cadry’s Kitchen

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16. Sundried Tomato Cashew Cheese by Loving It Vegan

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17. Vegan Cheese Quesadillas by Contentedness Cooking

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18. Ultimate “Cheese” Sauce by Veggies Don’t Bite

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19. Vegveeta Dip by Dreena Burton

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20. Roasted Garlic Cheese Fritters by Contentedness Cooking

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The post Say Cheese for these 20 Delicious DIY Whole Food Plant-Based Recipes appeared first on Plant Based Dietitian.

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20 Plant-Based Experts’ Favorite Recipes

Delicious Nutritious Recipe Roundup

If you haven’t heard about Lighter yet, here is your chance to get an exclusive taste of their deliciousness! A powerful tool designed to help the world eat better, Lighter offers insanely useful grocery lists and flexible weekly menus based on the recommendations of plant-based leaders. To follow my eating recommendations – customized for you – visit my Lighter profile.

This recipe roundup features favorites of experts in the plant-based world, from physicians and dietitians to athletes and food bloggers, and offers a super sampling of what Lighter is all about.

1. Dr. Michael Greger’s Super Salad with Golden Turmeric Dressing

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2. Dr. Neal Barnard’s Tabbouleh

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3. My Green Salad with Maple Mustard Dressing and BBQ Tofu Wings

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4. Micaela Karlsen’s Salad Nicoise

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5. Kathy Pollard’s Potato Leek Soup

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6. Dr. Michael Greger’s Go-To Quickie Tacos

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7. My Hearty Nachos

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8. Marco Borges’ Moroccan Lentils with Sweet Potato (*Omit Oil*)

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9. David Carter’s Classic Crunchy Lentil Tacos (*Omit Oil*)

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10. My Japanoodles and Noritos

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11. Dr. Michael Greger’s Portobello Steaks With Mashed Cauliflower

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12. Christy Morgans’ Zucchini Noodles with Chunky ‘Meat’ Sauce

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13. My Holy Kale with Herbed Tahini Dressing

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14. Dr. Joel Kahn’s Tamale Pie

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15. Kayli Dice’s Yamadillas

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16. Matt Ruscigno’s Easy Spanish Rice & Black Bean Burrito

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17. My Fiesta Fantastica

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18. Dr. Michael Greger’s Collard-Ritos

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19. Kayli Dice’s Portobello Black Bean Tacos with Avocado Cream

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20. My Lentil Chili

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For more recipes, profiles, meal planning strategies and then some, visit Lighter.

The post 20 Plant-Based Experts’ Favorite Recipes appeared first on Plant Based Dietitian.

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It Doesn’t Get Easier Than These 50 Whole Food Plant-Based Recipes with 5 Ingredients or Less

In this previous post filled with meal plans and hundreds of wholesome recipes, there leaves no question that there are infinite delectable dish options on a plant-based diet. The other crucial part of this lifestyle is that eating this way does not have to be challenging. At all. In fact, it can be super simple. With a sprinkle of creativity and a twist of courage, you can whip up a meal that is healthy, delicious, quick, low in cost, and (yes!) made with five ingredients or less!

Here are 50 – yes 50 (!) – oil-free, sugar-free, whole food, plant-based recipes that can be made with five or fewer ingredients from breakfast through dessert:

***Note: I did not count herbs, spices, or other seasonings in this roundup because those are optional and the easiest addition to anything, as it is just a dash or sprinkle here or there. I also excluded other optional ingredients or garnishes in the “five” for a few of these because they were too good not to be included and still just as simple as the rest…

1. Chocolate Crispy Fruit Squares from The Vegiterranean DietVegiterranean Crispy Fruit Squares_2

2. Green Chia Pudding by Veggies Save the Day

3. 3-Ingredient Vegan Pancakes by Green Evi

4. Easy Oil-Free Granola by Feasting on Fruit

5. BLT Savory Oatmeal (*Omit Oil*) by The Mostly Vegan

6. Instant Pot Buckwheat Porridge by Veggie Primer

5-ingredient-savory-oatmeal7. Raw Peanut Butter and Jelly Collard Wrap by Lauren Vacula

8. Glamping: Easy Power Muesli by Champagne Tastes

9. Perfect Pumpkin Pudding by Garden Fresh Foodie

10. Sweet Potato Toast by It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken (*Top with oil-free hummus, mashed avocado, smashed banana, or nut butter*)

11. Lemon Vanilla Bean Rawnola by Feasting on Fruit

5-ingredient-carrot-soup12. Easy Vegan Carrot Soup by Contentedness Cooking

13. Kachumber Salad by Vegan Richa

14. 5-Minute Lentil Tomato Salad by The Garden Grazer

15. Basil Mustard Salad by Eating Vibrantly

16. Detox Broccoli Soup by Contentedness Cooking

5-ingredient-avocado-mash17. Chickpea Avocado Mash with Lemon by The Garden Grazer

18. Tuna-Less Tuna Salad by Rouxbe Online Professional Plant-Based Cooking School 

19. Warm Asian Bok Choy and Mushroom Salad by Carob Cherub

20. Creamy Tomato, Basil, & Rice Soup by Sprinkles & Saturdays

21. Simple Spaghetti Squash by VegAnnie

5-ingredient-thai-green-curry-meatballs22. Thai Green Curry Meatballs by Contentedness Cooking

23. Hummus Tortilla Pizzas by Dreena Burton

24. “Hungry Guy” Burgers by Jazzy Vegetarian

25. Quick Avocado Pasta by Green Evi

26. Crispy Baked Potato Wedges by Carob Cherub

5-ingredient-portobello-fries27. Oil-Free Baked Portobello Fries by Fat-Free Vegan

28. Smoky Spiraled Sweet Potato Fries by Strength & Sunshine

29. Perfectly Crispy Baked Tofu by VegAnnie

30. White Bean Artichoke Burgers by A Virtual Vegan

31. Tofu Sofritas by Rouxbe Online Professional Plant-Based Cooking School 

5-ingredient-rainbow-collard32. Rainbow Collard Wraps by Phruitful Dish

33. Spicy “Refried” Lentil Dip by Veggies Don’t Bite

34. Frijoles de Cabo by Fried Dandelions

35. Yellow Split Pea Dip (Greek Fava) by Veggies Don’t Bite

36. Jalapeño Hummus by My Plant-Based Family

37. Crock Pot Potato Soup…A Bowl Full of Comfort by My Plant-Based Family

Bowls of Red Lentil Ragu and Fresh Pesto Zoodles38. Blueberry Balsamic Mint Cauliflower Steaks by Athletic Avocado

39. Red Lentil Ragu with Zucchini and Fresh Basil by Garden Fresh Foodie

40. Oil-Free Vegan Avocado Pesto by Glue & Glitter

41. Sweet Potato and Ginger Soup by Sweets and Greens

42. Gluten-Free Baked Oat Bread from The Vegiterranean Diet

5-ingredient-truffles43. 2-Ingredient Blueberry Ice Cream by Vegan Heaven

44. Mango Coconut Ladoo by Vegan Richa

45. Baked Apples in Parchment by Jazzy Vegetarian

46. 5-Minute, 5-Ingredient Chocolate Gelato by Dreena Burton

47. Maple-Raisin-Date Truffles by Jazzy Vegetarian

5-ingredient-choc-ice-cream48. Mint Chip Brownie Homemade Lara Bars by Feasting on Fruit

49. Vegan Coconut Panna Cotta by Green Evi

50. 4-Ingredient Vegan Chocolate Ice Cream by The Vegan 8

 

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The post It Doesn’t Get Easier Than These 50 Whole Food Plant-Based Recipes with 5 Ingredients or Less appeared first on Plant Based Dietitian.

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Vegiterranean Baked Oat Bread (Vegan, Gluten-Free, Oil-Free)

Being gluten-free for many, many years, I find it almost torturous to witness people joyfully jumping into a basket of bread at IMG_3649-e1471754349458dinner, bundling up with a hearty sandwich for lunch, or just opting for a comforting breakfast of warm, crispy toast. I explored commercial gluten-free bread options, but many of them were not feasible, as they were either not vegan or the rest contained oils and/or other additives.

Thus, I was eager to find an easy, DIY version that meets all of my requirements so I could keep it on hand at home as a staple. When I was writing The Vegiterranean Diet and developing its recipe collection, I found the perfect excuse to develop my ideal recipe. And that is when this Baked Oat Bread was born…

Baked Oat Bread Recipe

Eating Vegiterranean would be incomplete without a staple whole grain bread to add to a meal. Enjoy this gluten-free, soft, and sentimental pure recipe guilt-free. Baking bread is the ultimate in science meeting art, so follow the directions carefully, ensure the yeast is fresh, and that you begin preparation several hours ahead of mealtime.

IMG_3648-e1471753407331Makes 1 loaf

1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast

2 tablespoons pure maple syrup

1 cups warm (not hot) water

3 1/2 cups oat flour

1 3/4 teaspoons salt

2 tablespoons hemp, poppy, pumpkin, sesame, or sunflower seeds (optional)

1. In a large bowl, combine yeast, maple syrup, and warm water. Stir gently with your fingers, cover with plastic wrap, and set aside until bubbles rise to the top, approximately 10 minutes.

2. Once the yeast become active, pour in oat flour, 1 cup at a time, stirring well. Add salt and stir until well combined. Cover with plastic and set aside in a dry, warm area and allow to sit for at least 90 minutes.

3. When dough appears puffy, and as risen, push it down, using the plastic wrap (it is very sticky) and cover again.

4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

5. Transfer dough to a silicon loaf pan and shape evenly throughout. You can sprinkle with a couple tablespoons of seeds, if desired. Bake for 20 minutes or until bread appears lightly brown on edges. Do not overcook. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

 

 

 

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