Focaccia… (Almost)

Focacia3Focaccia Bread….Almost

I’ve been playing with Focaccia bread recipes and have gone down many rabbit holes to come to this conclusion – I’m not going to heat the olive oil that is synonymous to Focaccia Bread.

Although there is a ton of info on the net saying that it is ok to heat olive oil, I’m leery about doing that. Most focaccia recipes bake at 400-425F – which eliminates many of the benefits of a good olive oil. Having said that, olive oil is the safest of ‘vegetable’ oils to use when it is fresh, cold pressed, extra virgin. But it’s very difficult to determine the quality of the oil, never mind that other lower grade oils are often added. Plus it’s more likely to contribute to weight gain. Bring on the butter (or coconut oil or tallow or lard…)!!

The fat is easy to switch out in Focaccia so I’m using butter and coconut oil. These are saturated fats and are very stable – they don’t break down even when heated to high temperatures (again the quality and source matters). Plus saturated fats are used by our muscles for the purpose of providing energy so are less likely to cause weight gain!J

Of course we all know by now that using refined vegetable oils are out of the question so I’m not even going to mention them.

Many of my clients stay away from bread after completing our weight loss/detox protocol. Often it is possible to ‘have your bread and eat it too’ on occasion if ingredients are chosen wisely.

A note on flour – there are a couple of options that are better than regular flour. Choose organic so that there is less concern of chemicals. Unless you are willing to soak and/or sprout the grain or sour your dough (which would be VERY awesome!) white, unbleached flour is an okay way to go. The bran has been removed which is where the phytates (anti-nutrient) are contained. The enzyme inhibitors haven’t been neutralized but healthy gut flora can greatly assist digestion – great reason to eat your probiotic foods!

This recipe is adapted from the Thermomix ‘The Basic Cook Book’ and is on the recipe chip (note that this is a half portion). Man, the Thermomix makes bread making a snap – and it turns out every time!

Focaccia Bread page 222

30 G parmesan or any dry cheese (optional) (Grana Padano works great too)

300 G unbleached organic flour

10 G extra virgin coconut oil

1 t fast acting yeast

1 t sugar

½ t salt

190 G warmed water (purified of course)

Topping:

1-2 T each fresh parsley, sage, rosemary (dried herbs can also be used)

30-40 G melted butter

Course unrefined sea salt

Olives, tomatoes, more cheese (all optional)

 

Follow the instructions on the chip with these variations:

  1. If using fresh herbs chop them first while the bowl is clean and dry. Drop them from your fist onto the spinning blades speed 8 (they can be added while the dough is mixing or on top). Set aside.
  2. Weigh the cheese into mixing bowl (if using) and grate 10 sec/speed 10.
  3. Add the flour, yeast, sugar, salt, coconut oil and water and knead 3 min (as the chip says).
  4. Drop directly onto a pan lined with parchment paper and shape into the size of circle or square you desire. Cover with the Easy Mat or cling wrap and proof in a warm place for ½ hour (takes less time when warm water and quick yeast are used).Focacia1
  5. Push holes into the dough with oiled fingers or use a Docker to poke holes (I don’t have a Docker so I used chop sticks). The goal is to create holes for the butter — do not to punch down the dough.Focacia2
  6. Preheat oven to 375F.

Topping:

  1. Weigh in the butter and melt 2 min/50C/speed 1. (this is instead of the chopping onions stage on the chip instructions)
  2. Drizzle the melted butter over top letting it seep into the holes.
  3. Sprinkle with course sea salt. Add olives and cherry tomatoes cut in half or garnish with anything you like. Works great as a pizza!
  4. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool before cutting.

Cuppa’ Coffee

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Coffee is good for you. Coffee is not good for you.

So which is it?? That depends on you and the quality of the coffee and water you choose to drink! As with every food, listen to what your body is telling you and educate yourself on what REAL food is. There are many variables and this interview with Chris is worth 25 minutes to get some perspective:

http://chriskresser.com/rhr-is-drinking-coffee-good-for-you/

I love my morning cup of coffee. I don’t do it because I need the boost – it’s a ritual – Me timeJ. Always start with the highest quality ingredients possible because you deserve the best!

The basics of making coffee:

  1. The coffee:
  • Choose whole bean – grinding at the time of usage offers greater assurance of freshness. Ground coffee can be rancid while still on the store self (rancidity = inflammation).
  • Choose organic – coffee crops are heavily sprayed with pesticides (pesticides destroy good gut flora and put extra strain on your detox systems).
  • Fair trade – consider the fact that you vote with your dollar. Is it important to you that workers are treated fairly?

 

  1. The water:
  • Pure, clean water.
    • Spring water is great. Bottled spring water is good too (as long as you know the source and are sure it’s not just bottled tap water).
    • O. (reverse osmosis) is ok if you re-mineralize it (1/4 t of unrefined sea salt per gallon).
    • Filtered is good too if the system removes the bad stuff.

 

  1. Temperature:
  • Start with room temperature or cool water.
  • Heat to 90C. Consume within 20 minutes for optimal flavour.

Notes:

  • Flavoured coffees are usually lower grade beans.
  • Refrain from using sweeteners and flavourings as they often contain hidden chemicals that can be downright dangerous. Some research suggests that even dairy can interfere with the therapeutic benefits of coffee.
  • Coffee freshness is effected by oxygen, light, temperature and humidity. Once the original package is opened, store in an airtight, solid colored container in an area that has a stable temperature (not the fridge or freezer).
  • The experts suggest using 1:16-18 ratio coffee to water. 10-15 G coffee and 250-350 G filtered water per serving is in the ball park. It’s a matter of taste and personal preference so play with it the proportions.
  • If using distilled water or R.O. (reverse osmosis) be sure to re-mineralize with something like unrefined sea salt– minerals are essential for proper extraction.
  • Never reheat or microwave! Hopefully you own a Thermomix to reheat in.

 

A note on tea:

I also brew loose tea in my Thermomix. Having the ability to control the temperature is a great benefit.

It’s important to know where the tea you are consuming comes from even if it’s organically grown. The tea plant naturally takes up heavy metals and toxins like lead, arsenic and fluoride. The quality of water counts here too. Fluorinated, chlorinated and chloramine treated water (i.e. tap water) adds to the list of contaminates that the body has to deal with.

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AMAZING TM COFFEE

For 2 servings:

  1. Weigh in 30-40 G whole, organic coffee beans.
  2. Grind 20 sec/speed 8-9.
  3. Brush down and add 700-800 G pure water.
  4. Brew for 7-8min/90C/speed 2.
  5. Pour through a reusable coffee filter directly into mugs or a coffee press.

For 3 servings:

  1. Weigh in 60 G whole, organic coffee beans.
  2. Grind 20-30 sec/speed 8.
  3. Brush down and add 750-1000 G pure water.
  4. Brew 6-9 minutes/90C/speed 2. (Time is relative to the temperature and amount of water)
  5. Pour into a 1 litre coffee press and serve.

For 6 servings:

  1. Weigh in 90 G whole organic coffee beans.
  2. Grind 20 sec/speed 8.
  3. Brush down and add 1500-1800 G pure water.
  4. Mix 5 sec/speed 3.
  5. Brew 8-12 min/90C/speed 2.

For lattes and power coffees:

  1. Place filtered coffee back into the TM bowl and add milk, butter and/or coconut oil.
  2. Bring back up to 70-80C (depending on how hot you like it)
  3. Froth for 20 sec/speed 8.
  4. Serve in your favorite mug and enjoy!SONY DSC