Monday, November 13, 2017

How to Make Toast

With the Nativity Fast coming up, along with the inevitable and painful lack of breakfast cereal and milk that might mean for you, I thought I'd chat about toast.

Of course, you could always poor orange juice or Gatorade in your Cheerios. We did that for several years with my son who was allergic to dairy. Or you could use your favorite nut milk, though the cost of those is significantly more than dairy milk. I do buy some for my coffee - which maybe shows my selfishness that I'm willing to buy a little for me but hate to buy enough to supply the whole family with a Life cereal habit. Let's be serious, though, and this is one reason why I've been moving away from cereal and towards other forms of breakfast even when we are not fasting: what child eats only the serving size of cereal? My children easily double or triple a serving, making the box of cereal last maybe two days, so even if it was on sale, it feels like money slipping down the drain.

So we are going to save money and eat a little toast sometimes. We'll also eat baked oatmeal, breakfast cookies, and muffins; but let's not forget toast, because one doesn't have to prep it the night before. Hypothetically, everyone in your family might not mind eating plain toast every morning for weeks. If it had butter on it, that's one thing, but it's not the thing we are doing just now. Plain toast would certainly be simple and within the spirit of the fast, and even monastic, maybe. Actually, that might be your child's dream breakfast scenario, and if so, you can joyfully quit reading here. My children, at least some of them, would tire of plain toast if it wasn't on the side of some scrambled eggs. We -  those of us feeding a family with various growth stages, tastes, and needs - must live with the reality we've got when menu planning. It would be nice to plan in some options that can leave our littles feeling content after breakfast. A slice of white bread toast will not do that.

First, since you are not getting the protein you would have procured in a glass of milk, it would be nice if your bread had protein. Also, fiber would help fill up your crew, so they are not asking for more toast an hour later. I'm sure you know some good brands, but if you do find yourself at the store looking, try to choose a loaf with at least 4 grams of protein and 4 grams of fiber per slice.

I'm going to share my favorite two bread recipes. One is nutrient dense for the parents and one is just filling for the kids.

1. El Seed
If you have time and already buy these sorts of ingredients in bulk anyway (hello, my friends making a gluten-free menu), then this recipe from My New Roots is super; literally, almost all the ingredients are super foods. Take a look:

photo courtesy of Sarah Britton at www.mynewroots.org


1 cup / 135g sunflower seeds
½ cup / 90g flax seeds
½ cup / 65g hazelnuts or almonds
1 ½ cups / 145g rolled oats
2 Tbsp. chia seeds
4 Tbsp. psyllium seed husks (3 Tbsp. if using psyllium husk powder)
1 tsp. fine grain sea salt (add ½ tsp. if using coarse salt)
1 Tbsp. maple syrup (for sugar-free diets, use a pinch of stevia)
3 Tbsp. melted coconut oil or ghee
1 ½ cups / 350ml water

I change the directions a little. I replace the nuts with pepitas because we have a nut allergy at our house. This makes it totally Seed Bread. The same person with the nut allergy also does not prefer the chunks in the bread, so I grind all the dry ingredients in a food processor before mixing in the wet.  The result is bread that looks less artistic and more like normal bread. Also, friends, I buy the generic version of Metamucil. Yep. Look at the two ingredients: psyllium seed husk powder and sugar. Just don't buy the orange flavor! Also, omit the maple syrup because the powder comes with a little sugar. After mixing and baking the bread, let it cool then slice it and place in a freezer bag. It makes great toast right out of the freezer and here are the nutrition facts in case you are curious:

6 grams of protein
5 grams of fiber
2 grams of sugar
12 grams of healthy fat (0 cholesterol!)
8% of iron for the day

178 calories per slice

I'm just going to put this our there: my kids don't like this bread. But my husband and I do. My mother likes it so much that she said that from here on out, for every birthday or Christmas present, she wants a loaf of this bread. However, I still must feed the kids, so I buy them cheap bagels and whole wheat bread from Aldi, force them to include some sort of protein, and trust their child-like metabolisms and prayer.

photo courtesy of artisanbreadinfive.com
2. Bucket Bread

The children's favorite bread is what we call Bucket Bread, from Artisan Bread in Five, because I ask my 10 year-old or 14 year-old to keep a bucket mixed up for me. No kneading. Super quick.

I've mentioned this bread before. The bucket lives in the fridge and whenever we want a loaf (say, wouldn't that soup be more tasty with some warm fresh bread?) I scoop a blob of it onto a pan and bake. Also, we use it for pizza dough and focaccia, and that website has about 50 other ways you could use it. If you leave the scraps of dough in the bucket after using the last bit, and mix the new ingredients right in there with the old, you'll develop a slight sour-dough tang that makes it a little more complex and less flat and white-bready.  Basically, once your kids are old enough to mix this for you - I keep a laminated copy of the recipe right in the pantry next to the flour - and they realize that they will have to eat the store-bought 100% whole wheat bread if they don't mix it up for you, the bucket can stay full all the time.





And you can use the leftover bread for toast. 

Toast

You know how to make toast and top it with what your family likes.
Here are some obvious choices:
    jam
    peanut butter & bananas
    cinnamon toast
    avocado with Tony's


    photo courtesy of www.tonychachere.com


      Here are some not-as-obvious toppings:

last night's veggies





with hummus





refried beans and salsa

chopped nuts mixed into cinnamon toast topping

sweet potato spread (puréed with honey, oil, vanilla, salt, OJ)

sweet seed mix (sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, raisins, chopped apples)

vegan mayo* mixed with onion powder, chopped olives, and pecans
 
beany cheese spread (from Fasting as a Family)




I don't have a picture of the Beany Cheese Spread on toast, but here it is in a tortilla.
You'll have to use your imagination.

You get the idea. To increase the variety for your toast, try to keep some options on hand, options that have protein especially. Please let me know if you have some good ideas, because I am always on the lookout for more!





*I don't get any affiliate Amazon money when I put up these links, but maybe I should set that up!





















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