Updated: Jul 18, 2019
One thing I struggled with was eliminating processed foods like bread. I have had a gluten allergy for years, developed an allergy to nuts, eggs, yeast, and pretty much all the components of bread and bread alternatives….but all I wanted was a sandwich! However, I began to understand it was not the foods themselves I was allergic to, it was how they were processed. I knew I’d never settle for store bought bread again. From the processed grains that are often sprayed with chemicals, the mystery ingredients, the sugar content (no matter the source), and the GMO oils it just is NOT worth it. Store-bought bread also is wrapped in plastic and believe it or not this makes a difference. Micro-plastic particles find there way into the food they package and are then ingested into our bodies upon consumption. Over time these micro plastic particles can build up and cause serious issues within the body. Grains, once the majority of the human diet, are now so processed and genetically modified that you aren’t really getting what you used to. People have a preconceived notion that buying organic eliminates these risks, but the truth is organic does not necessarily mean better. Forging organic certifications is actually quit easy and with the mass of food production, inspection is not as thorough as you would assume. To qualify as organic, a product only has to be at the 90% mark. Leaving room for 10% of that product to still contain chemicals, modified ingredients, and other miscellaneous ingredients. On top of that, bread was originally meant to be eaten within a few days. Our bread today contains a much longer shelf life and with that you can expect the addition of preservatives. Preservatives have been linked to conditions like ADD and ADHD. Preservatives have been noted to cause allergies, cancer, chronic headaches, heart conditions, depression, anxiety, and more. Don’t get me wrong, who doesn’t love bread!? But is it really worth the risk? NO!
I know many will say, "Well I can eat bread without any issues". Sure, you may not notice anything, they may not be very detectable symptoms, but I advise that you take a break from regular processed bread for two weeks and tell me how you feel after. I guarantee you would notice a difference in some degree in your mood and/or physical well being. Additionally, with the rise in processed foods and lack of regulation we have an ever growing problem. Our bodies all have a threshold, some will have higher threshold's but that does not mean they are unaffected. Toxins, preservatives, GMO's, and micro plastics build up in the body and when the body hits it's max capacity, it eventually breaks and cannot keep up leading to a wide variety of issues from migraines to cancer. We have a rise of individuals in our society today that are gluten intolerant, something that was rare 10-15 years ago... and we wonder why?!
So how can I have my bread, and eat it too? Enter my totally plant based, allergen, salt, oil, sugar free bread using plantains aka the Unicorn of Breads! Yes, you read that right. You would assume this bread would be sweet like a banana bread, and it can be, but in this recipe I really tried to make it more versatile to mimic something along the lines of a whole wheat bread… and mama we made it!!!
Benefits of Plantains
Plantains are an amazing food. They naturally contain starch which helps in the bread making process. I also incorporated them into my diet regularly while healing my body and believe that they aided in my healing process significantly. Many people avoid them because of their carb or sugar content but their sugar content is naturally occurring and mixed with the carb and starch aspect does not cause blood sugar spikes and is actually beneficial to the heart. They also contain Vitamin B6, Magnesium, and fiber. Plantains are high in antioxidant’s which can help protect the body from free radical damage that has been linked to aging, heart disease, types of cancer, and immune issues. Plantains contain 32% of the daily Vitamin C intake and 40% of our Vitamin A intake in one cup. Vitamin A and C help control your immune response and aids in battling illness. Vitamin A is also essential for skin and cell growth as well as wound healing. They are one of the highest natural sources of potassium. Potassium is essential for organ function, regulates blood pressure, and aids in muscle health. One serving of plantains provides 16% of the needed Magnesium. Magnesium is important for biochemical reactions in the body and helps the body absorb calcium. Plantains and Magnesium have been proven to lower blood glucose levels and aid in lowering the risk of Type 2 diabetes. They can aid in insomnia, depression, migraines, skin issues, and immunity issues. Overall it’s an amazing natural food to incorporate into your diet to provide your body with natural vitamins and minerals necessary to function and essential for healing. The best part is plantains are 110% unprocessed and naturally occurring limiting the risk that potential ingredients of “regular” breads pose.
What You’ll Need
12-14 medium ripe plantains. You want them to have some black spots but you do not want them to be completely black. Plantains that are mostly yellow with minimal black can also be used. I generally end up with a combination. The only thing you really want to avoid here is green plantains. You can find them year round at places like Whole Foods, Sprouts, and Asian Markets. They are actually not too hard to find when you are looking for them. If you cannot find ripe ones you can stick them in a paper bag and roll the top over to enclose them. Leave them in the bag for a few days to a week and they will naturally ripen.
1 teaspoon organic aluminum free baking soda
2 tablespoons flax seed or chia seeds (or one of each)
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon tahini (you can use coconut oil or flax oil here if you perfer but decrease it to 2 teaspoons)
**I added rosemary and sage to this loaf but this is optional. I have added dates and cardamom to loafs for a sweeter option similar to cinnamon raisin bread, or I have added seeds to make it more hearty, it’s up to you!
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
Peal all plantains. I like to cut a slit along the side and open it up from there.
Place all plantains into a blender. (I use a spoon at this point to scrape the remainder of plantain off the peels as it contains the most nutrients)
Blend on HIGH until a batter-like consistency.
Add remainder of ingredients to the blender and blend until combined.
Grease your pan. For everyone avoiding oil, I use homemade vegetable broth for this.**My pan is glass and this may not work with a steel or aluminum baking pans.
Use as spatula to transfer the batter from the blender into the bread pan.
Place bread in the oven for about 45 to 60 minutes checking consistently. ***We all have different ovens and they all operate and cook differently. What you are wanting to look for is a nice risen golden crust. You can check the bread by poking something directly in the middle and there should NOT be anything sticking to the knife/stick/etc.