Early this year, two seemingly unrelated areas of my life converged unexpectedly. Although I have been working with clients as a professional graphic designer of print and web materials since 2001, in one of my past lives I worked as a bread baker / entrepreneur in Toronto, baking organic bread in the commercial kitchen of a neighbourhood church, and delivering the bread on bicycle to my Cabbagetown customers.
Ever since January 2015 when I got gently and kindly strong-armed by a force of nature named Eddy at BPM Fitness (a place I recommend for London Ontarians who want to get their butts kicked) into eliminating sugar, processed foods & grains from my diet (except on my once-a-week "cheat day" when I eat almost a week's worth of sugar and grains), my bread baking & eating looks completely different.*
Early this year I was involved with the incredibly resourceful team at Alpha Health in creating a cookbook that just happened to be quite similar to the diet I was (and am still) following – what the folks Alpha Health refer to as ketogenesis. This means eliminating sugar, processed food, and most grains, and adding in extra fats – healthy fats. I know – it sounds a bit faddish and difficult and all that but – actually – for now I am unexpectedly enjoying this style of eating, and (most importantly) I feel great!
Despite a compressed project schedule for the book, in many ways it was a dream project for me for a few different reasons. 1) Nothing makes me more excited than coming up with gorgeous designs & layouts that help my client's projects come to life and boost the success of the project. In this case, the owner of the company also happens to be a talented designer so (as he writes in his blog entry describing the process of creating the cookbook) his biggest challenge was letting go of the design work. I had my work cut out for me! 2) I love cookbooks 3) the Alpha team was inspiring – taking on the photography, food styling, recipe development and writing, editing and pre-press of the book in the short span of a few months?! And doing it all amazingly well! The book is titled Keto•Genesis: 30 well fed days to a new, leaner, & healthier you, and you can order it here.
Here is my favourite recipe from the book (so far)! Thank you to Alicia Tobin, Chris Gursche, Matt O'Donnell & Alyssa Robertson for all your hard work! Congratulations!
Serves 8 | Ready in 30 minutes
95g almonds, ground
10g flaxseed, fresh ground
15g pecans, chopped
10g chia seeds, ground
15g hemp hearts
10g coconut flour
5 mL baking powder
2.5 mL salt
30 mL Alpha Balance™ Oil or camelina oil
100 mL quark (or sour cream)
- Preheat oven to 175°C (350°F)
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
- Combine the first 8 dry ingredients. Add the oil, eggs and quark until well mixed
- Using a spatula, spread over the parchment-lined baking sheet, about 1cm thick. Another option for buns is to use a 2-inch ring mold and form rounds 1 cm thick
- Bake for 20 minutes
- Cut into 8 equal pieces
These can be enjoyed many different ways! Try with a nut butter, homemade jam or with slices of avocado and tomato.
- I usually triple the recipe and spread the batter out over 2 sheets so i can freeze a whole bunch and then whenever i need toast i pop one of the pre-cut pieces into the toaster....
- I tried making "buns" but to me, they are just not as versatile as the flat bread.
- You can't really screw up this recipe -- i have substituted pretty much EVERYTHING! for example, in the absence of sour cream, yogurt works fine. For the oil, olive oil works. If you don't have coconut flour, use arrowroot starch etc.
- If you don't have chia seeds or hemp hearts etc - ya don't worry about it, carry on.. (note: yesterday i made this and put in a bunch of ground flax without measuring, but i think i should've compensated by adding some extra liquid)
- Sometimes instead of almond flour I use mostly ground up pecans from the bulk barn. But i like it both ways. The ground up pecans are curiously less expensive than the ground almonds at the Bulk Barn here...
- I always use 2 baking sheets stacked to make sure I don't burn these, since the ingredients are expensive – just a weird habit.
- You obviously can cut these to whatever size you like after they're baked : ) I like toaster size.
- I always grate some nutmeg into the dry stuff, just because i love nutmeg : ) You could experiment with making this sweeter and cinnamony too.
* Thanks Eddy for encouraging me to make healthy changes to my lifestyle (at least for now) that I really didn't want to make.