A small group of us ventured out early one morning to climb the steps leading to Odhimalai. Aside from the gorgeous view and fun company is also the memory of wolfing down slices of delicious adventure bread made by my friend Divya Chandran. It was the perfect food to sink one’s teeth into after a great outdoor workout.
In all honesty,I must admit that that this adventure bread is quite unlike anything else that I have tasted thus far ! We were completely bowled over by the texture and taste of the diverse range of seeds and nuts.
The recipe that she followed was from the David Lebovitz website and it was definitely something that I wanted to try making when time permitted.
While reading the ingredients (there are many), there was one that I hadn’t heard of before called, ‘psyllium seed husks’. When Divya told me that it was quite easily available at our local food store, I was more than a little surprised and looked it up online.
Psyllium husks are in fact derived from the seeds of a herb called Plantago ovata ,grown in India ! It is sold as a fibre supplement in the form of husks as is required in this recipe or even in powder and capsule form. We may be more familiar by it’s commonly known name; Isabgol.
No wonder it was easily available. It’s one of those things that you’re always aware exists but cared to find out little about it’s origins.Well Isabgol did surprise me, no doubt about that at all !!!
For as far back as I can remember Isabgol has always been something that was prescribed for digestion issues.It never would have occurred to me to think of it as an ingredient that can be added to a dish to enhance it’s fibre quotient.
While going through the health advantages of making this gluten-free adventure bread,we realized that the psyllium husks are used as a binding agent for the rolled oats to compensate for the lack of gluten which is usually found in wheat flour.That set me thinking.The isabgol can probably also be used as a thickening agent in sauces and gravies as long as it’s used in very small amounts. It’s also said to be beneficial for heart conditions, regulate blood sugar levels and aid weight loss.However, there is a small percentage of side effects for some people so it’s always best to test it before adding to your diet.
It also challenges conventional bread making norms and changes one’s perception about how food can also include locally available ingredients but in different avatars.This adventure bread is loaded with goodness in the form of sunflower, pumpkin ,flax and chia seeds along with almonds, rolled oats,psyllium husks, sea salt, olive oil, maple syrup and water.The process of resting , baking and cooling does take up half the day but the result is more than worth your wait.
Follow the instructions precisely and you will be rewarded with a firm toasty loaf loaded with fibre. A thin slice had plain or toasted with a bit of a salty cheese like feta (the kids also love cream cheese) and honey is a great breakfast to kick start the day with.
Leftover slices can be toasted up until they are really crisp and broken down to serve as chunks of granola. They are so crunchy and terribly addictive. The wholesome ingredients make it quite filling, so a little bit makes enough of an energy booster to get through the morning.Experimenting with the psyllium seed husks (minuscule doses) is something that I look forward to and shall definitely keep you posted on the outcome.