If you happened to read my blog post for ‘healthy’ matcha, raspberry and honey cake, then you will know that in the next few weeks I am trying to use recipes that have less/ no refined sugar in them in a half hearted attempt to be healthy (I say half hearted because I still snaffle all the traybake cut offs at work *cue ‘Human’ Rag and Bone Man*).
After one week of successfully managing to do this, however, I have already turned to the savoury stuff to make my job a little easier. So this week I’m actually cheating a little and using a recipe from Jamie Oliver’s ‘Everyday Superfood’. The Myers household has always been a big fan of Jamie’s recipes in spite of some rather interesting airbrushing, some questionable recipe names (e.g. ‘snake in the hole’, that’s all I’m saying) and his needing to learn an adjective other than beautiful whenever he makes a TV appearance. However, there is no denying the man can cook. Therefore I was hoping his superfood protein loaf, which is wheat-free and gluten-free if you omit the marmite from the recipe, wouldn’t disappoint. It’s a super easy loaf that doesn’t require any kneading and proving and, unlike Paul Hollywood in his recipe I used for my ginger and chilli olive ciabatta, Jamie knows the difference between dough and batter consistencies. Therefore I have no cases of bread rage to report in this instance. And, while it was baking in the oven, I have to admit it smelt healthy and delicious at the same time!
Since I usually try and put my own spin on the recipes I use in my blog, I therefore thought I would offer you an alternative topping to the ones suggested in the book. I decided to go with a beetroot hummus topped with feta, pumpkin seeds and a little bit of rocket. Admittedly these choices were made, not for any specific healthy reason, but more because I liked the sound of them and they aren’t going to have as many calories as, say, pizza. But in a bid to justify them I did do a wee bit of research. Apparently beetroot is a good source of iron and can help boost exercise performance, lower blood pressure and prevent dementia, while pumpkin seeds have a plethora of reasons and basically sell themselves pretty well on Google. Feta cheese, unfortunately, is still cheese but you can get away with using slightly less as it’s so flavoursome, and chickpeas are a good source of protein (*pats self on back with now unusually strong arms*).
So, what was the final result? Aside from my slightly overfilling the tin, which meant I had extra loaves growing on the different trays of my oven and a rather amorphous spillage on the side of the tin, it looked pretty tasty if I do say so myself. While the bread was nice to eat, I have to admit I am not a full convert. The bread was lovely, soft and light while having a kind of density to it at the same time and the flavours went with the hummus and the feta really well, but I have to admit that I am not a full convert. For me, this loaf doesn’t beat the sliced stuff unfortunately. However, if you are looking for something a little healthier I would definitely give it a try! A few things I will add are that I chose to leave it overnight before I baked it, but it can be baked straight away if you prefer. I also chose to leave tahini out of my hummus, but again feel free to add a dessert spoon in if you wish. Either way I hope you enjoy!
Superfood Protein Loaf, Beetroot Hummus, Feta and Pumpkin Seeds
For the Bread
- 7g dried yeast
- 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 250g gram flour
- 100g ground almonds
- 50g linseeds
- 100g mixed seeds (I used chia, sunflower, pumpkin and sesame)
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary
- 4 large eggs
- 3 tsp Marmite (optional for gluten free)
For the topping:
- 1 packet cooked beetroot
- 1 400g tin chickpeas
- 2 garlic cloves
- Lemon Juice
- Olive Oil
- Salt and Pepper
- Pumpkin Seeds
- Preheat your oven to 190C/ 170C Fan.
- Fill a jug with 375ml of lukewarm water and add the yeast and the extra virgin olive oil. Mix with a fork and leave to stand for at least 5 minutes.
- Put the flour, almonds and the seeds in a bowl with a pinch of salt and stir until all the ingredients are evenly distributed. Finely chop your rosemary leaves and add to the flour.
- Beat the eggs and marmite in a separate bowl and add gradually to the flour. Once the two are mixed, repeat the process with the yeast mix. You will find it is more of a batter than a dough once all the ingredients have been added.
- At this point you can either bake it straight away or leave it overnight to develop, but when you do decide to pop it in the oven it will take about 45-50 minutes until it is golden brown on the top and the skewer comes out clean. Make sure you leave it at least 25 minutes if you can before slicing into it.
- To make the hummus, put the beetroot, chickpeas and garlic into a food processor and blitz. Keep adding olive oil until it is the right consistency, then add the lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste.
- Spread the hummus over a slice of the bread and top with a small amount of crumbled feta. Put in the grill for about 5 minutes until the feta starts to brown slightly. Finish with a sprinkling of pumpkin seeds and a few rocket leaves.