|Amount||Ingredient||£ / day||Source|
|25||g||Flax seeds||£0.10||Real Food Source|
|46||g||Sunflower seed kernels||£0.25||Amazon|
|5||g||Nutritional yeast flakes (see below)||£0.15||Amazon|
Total Daily Cost:
|£1.39||Add Ingredients |
to Amazon Cart
This recipe is nutritionally complete with a subtle flavour. This means it goes well with anything, sweet or savoury, from marmite to peanut butter, and it works particularly well as a sandwich bread. Nutritionally complete diets don't need to be monotonous, nor do they need to be expensive. Live happily and healthily, cheaply and easily, with minimal impact on the environment.
The current flavour of this flour is sage. If the sage is removed then the flour will have a neutral flavour, but It will lack vitamin K. Sources of vitamin K aren't neutral in flavour, and so the reader may be interested in playing around with the balance of the following ingredients, to find a taste that suits them.
- Herbs: 4.3 grams of dried sage, thyme, or basil; or 5.5 grams of dried parsley or coriander leaf
- Leaves: 16 grams of spinach, 72 grams of lettuce (cos or romaine), 15 grams of nettles, or 11 grams of kale
When adding herbs, mill and mix them in with the flour. When adding leaves, they can either be pureed like the carrots and mixed in with the flour, or they can be added to a sandwich.
- Nutritionally complete
- Subtle taste and colour
- Free from soya and nuts*
- Optionally gluten-free
- As natural as possible
- Easy to make
- Low cost
*If you source the ingredients carefully. If you can't find a particular ingredient with no traces of nuts (like the flax seeds), then look in the replacements section below and try those.
Note that this recipe is currently in the early stages. If you manage to improve on it, then please leave a comment saying how.
Also note that the protein in the current version of this recipe has not been tested for completeness. The gluten-free version listed below is known to be complete though.
For a gluten-free alternative, remove the barley flour, increase the oats to 262 grams, and increase the sunflower seeds to 50 grams. This will reduce the calories to 1500. As these will not rise without gluten, the best method of cooking them is with the hob and pan.
Oats are fine for most people with gluten sensitivity, though make sure to get gluten-free oats, avoiding oats contaminated by coming in contact with other grains.
- A mixing bowl
- Scales with at least 0.1 gram accuracy (USB rechargeable is also nice)
- Some way of mixing in the carrots: either a knife with a mortar and pestle to puree them, or a blender, or a food processor, or a grater
- A grain mill; while you can buy the ingredients in a pre-powdered form, it is healthier to buy them whole and mill them yourself (see the question below about shelf life)
- An oven with a baking tray, or, preferably, a hob with a pan
- Mill and mix all of the dry ingredients into a flour
- Mix in the carrots; either by chopping them finely and pureeing them in a mortar and pestle, or blend them into the flour, or grate them
- Gradually add the water to the flour, around 220ml, bringing it into a dough
- Avoid kneading the dough too much, as that will knock the air out that's produced by the baking powder equivalents when the water is added
- If the dough is too dry and doesn't come together, then add a bit more water; if the dough is too wet and sticky, then add a bit more flour
- Divide the dough into 4 parts and roll each into a ball
- If cooking in the oven, then place them onto the baking tray, flatten slightly, score, and bake at 180 degrees Celsius for around 30-40 minutes
- If cooking on the hob, then flatten and round each like English muffins, around 2cm thick, placing each onto a pan preheated to a medium heat and cook on both sides until brown
- The carrot can be replaced with 6 grams of paprika.
- The flax seeds can be replaced with 28 grams of chia seeds.
- The sunflower seeds can be replaced with 64 grams of almonds.
- The chlorella is optional if using nutritional yeast flakes with added vitamin B12.
- The kelp (also known as kombu) can be replaced with a gram of wakame, or by replacing the salt with iodised salt.
- The ascorbic acid can be replaced with many alternative sources of vitamin C, including powdered acerola cherries and rose hips.
- The oats can be replaced by increasing the barley to 280 grams, adding 37 grams of almonds, and decreasing the sunflower seeds to 36 grams. This improves the texture but increases the price by about 20 pence. Oats also have avenanthramides and ferulic acid, if you're into that sort of thing.
- Marigold extract (0.1 grams at 20% Lutein & 2.5% Zeaxanthin)
- Broccoli sprout extract (0.2 grams at 0.3% Sulforaphane)
- Tomato extract (0.1 grams at 10% Lycopene)
- Turmeric extract (1 gram at 95% Curcumin)
- Black pepper (0.2 grams at 5% Piperine)
- Ginger extract (1 gram at 5% Gingerol)
- Garlic extract (1 gram at 3% Allicin)
- Inulin (8 to 12 grams)
Nutritional yeast flakes
This is an important ingredient for the nutritional profile. The one linked to from South Garden is quite niche in that it contains vitamin D, having been exposed to ultra-violet light. Alternative manufacturers include: VidiFood, which can be bought from the VidiFood website, or from Amazon; and Marigold, which is the most available but has the lowest vitamin D content, and can be bought from Amazon, Tesco, and many health food shops.
If you can't find nutritional yeast prepared in this way, then replace it with standard nutritional yeast flakes and obtain vitamin D from another source. Other sources of vitamin D include:
- Sitting in the sun
- Taking a supplement
- Adding sundried mushrooms
- Starting down the long road of making your own nutritional yeast
If you add nutritional yeast flakes with added vitamin B12, then the chlorella is optional.
Flax seeds are a good source of Omega-3 in its ALA form. ALA must be converted to EPA and DHA before it can be used by the body, but our bodies are generally inefficient at this. This recipe includes enough flax seeds to give a good amount of Omega-3, but as the conversion rate varies from person to person, it's not certain.
What is the shelf life of this flour/bread?
Preferably you should make it on the same day that you will use it. Otherwise, keep it in the fridge and use it within a few days.
It may seem odd that it has such a limited shelf life, but it is really a myth of the modern world that you can have a (healthy) flour or bread that will happily sit on the shelf for months. The way that commercial manufacturers achieve this is by removing everything good from the grains and seeds, notably the fat and the bran. The end result is a sterile product that the mould avoids. Hint: if the mould wouldn't eat it, then neither should you.
Is there enough protein in this recipe?
Note, this answer was for the gluten-free version; this version needs retesting for protein completeness
Yes there is a good amount of protein in this recipe, most of which comes from the oats. In this quantity, oats are a 'complete protein' and so they contain all of the essential amino acids in all of the recommended amounts.
That said though, the bodybuilding crowd would consider this to be on the low side, and so if you have high protein requirements then having these with a nut butter is a good way of achieving that.
Does the cooking process reduce the nutritional content?
Yes, some nutrients are unstable in heat and start to breakdown, but in this case the unstable nutrients have been included in larger amounts to compensate. WHFoods is a very good source for this as it includes a summary for each nutrient, including what percentage you can expect a nutrient to decrease by during cooking.
Isn't it better to just eat a varied diet?
If you're interested in nutrition, and dedicated to eating healthily, then for you, probably yes. But for most people, telling yourself that you'll be healthy by eating a 'varied diet' is usually to fall prey to a myth, the myth that being healthy is easy. Especially if you go vegan. A balanced diet can't just be stumbled on by eating 'five a day' or 'ten a day' or whatever else. If you don't give your diet full attention, then it will be lacking, and if you do give it full attention, then eventually you may find yourself putting together a list of ingredients with high nutrient densities, refining that list to filter out those that you think taste bad, filtering out those that are hard to find or are expensive. Then with that list of essentials, you may start to get the idea for combining them into a single form, for the sake of expedience and ease of remembering. First you may try to make it drinkable, but then you may find that drinking 250 grams of oats a day is difficult, at which point you will realise that bread is the staff of life.
Why not just take a multivitamin?
Despite the implicit promise of multivitamins, they lack many nutrients, including calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, sulphur, etc. This is because these are needed in large amounts (multiple grams) and so if you decide to go down the route of getting your nutrition from pills, you will easily be taking upwards of 10 pills a day.
Besides that, this route makes the assumption that the field of nutrition science knows every nutrient that the body needs. This is not a safe bet, which is why it's better to get your nutrients from as many natural sources as possible, so that you get all of the unknown nutrients that they contain, as well as the known ones.
So why not make it completely natural?
A previous iteration of this experiment was completely natural, and while it was not bad, it would have been hard to live on; the taste was not neutral and it wasn't very nutritionally dense, so there was a lot to get through. Adding a few refined ingredients helps keep the taste neutral and makes the recipe more nutritionally dense.
Can I copy or modify this recipe for use elsewhere?
Yes, this recipe is released into the public domain, so you can do with it whatever you want. That said though, as the recipe is continually evolving, it is better to link to it directly where possible.
While the ability to copyright a recipe is questionable, for what it's worth this recipe and all accompanying text are placed into the public domain, under the Creative Commons Zero licence.