Vegan Nut and Seed Bread
A nutrient-dense vegan nut and seed bread inspired by My New Roots' Life Changing Loaf but adapted slightly to fit my taste. It's a simple, blood-sugar stabilizing bread that is perfect for toasting and topping with either sweet or savory toppings.
This vegan nut and seed bread may just become a weekly staple in your house. It's that good! It's dense, chewy and equally as satisfying as it is delicious. Don't get me wrong, I love a slice of actual bread (I prefer dense, sprouted bread) but this vegan nut and seed bread is one I try to always have on hand.
What I love about this bread is that right in line with the whole food, plant-based philosophy that focuses on minimally processed nutrient-dense foods. The bulk of the bread is made from nuts and seeds but combined with rolled oats for that "bready" chew. It's held together by psyllium husk (this is essential!) as well as ground flax seeds and chia seeds.
The beauty of this recipes is there are no tedious, hands-on bread making techniques required. There is no dough (in the traditional sense), no kneading, no proofing, etc. It's a one, bowl recipe that couldn't be more simple to make. Yes, it does require a little patience (letting it sit for the liquid to absorb before baking and letting it cool before slicing) but it's so worth it.
This bread is full of nourishing ingredients and is balanced with protein, healthy fats and fiber. This nutrition trifecta is what I focus on and what I coach individuals to start focusing on at every meal - protein, fat and fiber. Balancing out a meal with these three groups helps keep your blood sugar stable as well as helps keep you full and feeling satisfied.
Nourished by Nutrition Facts:
Protein - The majority of the protein in this bread comes from the pumpkin seeds and almonds, but the oats also contribute to the total 10g of protein per slice. This amount of protein in a slice of bread is incomparable to other traditional bread, even sprouted whole grain. For more on protein and its function, check out the Protein 101: a simple guide to understanding protein post.
Healthy Fats - This bread is made up of a variety of nuts and seeds without any extra oils. The mix of nuts and seeds provide a wide variety of healthy fats. Healthy fat sources like nuts and seeds are essential for healthy hair and skin, balancing hormones and slowing down the absorption of food so we can go longer without feeling hungry. Chia and flax are rich in omega-3s which are essential fatty acids. Most individuals aren't getting enough omega-3s or in the optimal 4:1 ratio of omega-3s to omega-6s. This bread makes it easy to get omega-3s in without having to think about adding them to smoothies or other meals.
Fiber - Fiber means happy digestive system! Fiber plays an important role in stabilizing blood sugar, acting as a pre-biotic which feeds the good bacteria in your gut, and keeping us regular. All the main ingredients in this bread are a good source of fiber, but the main source of fiber in this recipe is psyllium husk.
Ingredient Spotlight: Psyllium Husk
Psyllium husk is a fiber made of both soluble and insoluble fiber (70% soluble, 30% insoluble). Soluble fiber works by absorbing the water in the intestinal tract creating a gel which easily moves digested food through your system. For this reason, it is commonly found in laxatives, fiber supplements and cleanses, which may not make it sound too appealing. But just think of it as a concentrated source of fiber with a number of benefits! Some of these include helping reduce cholesterol and triglyceride levels, aiding digestion and weight loss, and alleviate diarrhea and constipation. This excellent source of fiber helps keep you feeling full and help keep blood sugar stable by slowing down the digestion of carbohydrates.
In gluten-free and vegan baking, psyllium husk is used as a binding agent, often in the place of eggs. Unlike other binders, psyllium creates a chewy, spongy texture, which is perfect for bread and other baked goods. This is the role of psyllium husk in this recipe, but you also get all the benefits of it being an excellent source of fiber!
This bread is best sliced thin and toasted before serving. When toasted, the bread crisps up perfectly and takes on an extra depth of flavor. It can be eaten plain or with any toppings of your choice - sweet and savory!
I recently asked on Instagram what you all would top your slice with. My favorite responses included apple butter, peanut butter and jam, and of course, avocado. My favorite to eat this nut and seeds bread is with baba ghanoush or my classic olive oil hummus topped with refrigerator pickled onion (basically the easiest recipe you'll ever follow).
The psyllium husk is essential. It is more absorptive that both flax and chia and is needed to bind the loaf together. Luckily, it is not hard to find and is relatively inexpensive. I get mine from Trader Joes but most grocery store should carry it. Look for it in the supplement section of the store by the digestive support or in the bulk bins.
Individualize it: keeping ratios the same you could substitute any nuts and seeds. It's a perfect way to use what up what's in your pantry. Think of it as a pantry clean-out!
Spice it up: this recipe was kept plain so it could be used as an all-purpose bread but feel free to add any spices or herbs you'd like! To get your mind going, here are some options - cinnamon, cardamom, turmeric, garlic, oregano, onion powder, or maybe ever some everything bagel seasoning! (I'm hoping to do a slightly sweet take on this bread next!)
Vegan Nut and Seed Bread
A nutrient-dense bread made from a variety of nuts and seeds. I recommend cutting into very thin slices and toasting before serving.
Makes 22 slices
2 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 cup pumpkin seeds
3/4 cup almonds
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/3 cup ground flax seeds
1/3 cup psyllium husk
3 tablespoons chia seeds
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon maple syrup
2 1/2 cups filtered water
In a large bowl, add all the dry ingredients - oats, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, almonds, flax, psyllium husk, chia seeds and salt. Mix together to evenly distribute the ingredients. Add the maple syrup (coconut nectar) and water. Stir well until the water is soaked up.
Line an 8x4 loaf pan with parchment paper. Pour the mixture into the pan and use your hands to press the mixture firmly together. Smooth the top and create a slight dome. Cover the dough and let sit at room temperature for at least 2 hours (you can let it sit overnight or up to 24 hours).
To bake, preheat the oven to 350F. Uncover the bread and place in the oven for 1 1/2 hours, or until the bread is dark and toasted. Remove the bread from the oven and let cool for at least 2 hours (don't skip this part!). The bread needs to be completely cool before slicing.
To serve, use a serrated knife to slice into super-thin slices (around 1/2-inch, 12mm). Toast the slice and enjoy plain or with toppings of your choice.
To store, keep the bread in an airtight container for up to one week or in the freezer for a couple months.
There are so many great questions and substitutions in the comments on My New Roots and Green Kitchen Stories but from experience, you can substitute the nuts and seeds to suit your preference or what you have on hand just keep the total amount the same.
Psyllium husk is imperative to this recipe. Fortunately, psyllium husk can be found almost anywhere nowadays, even Trader Joe's carries it! You may need to look in the supplement section of the store.