In Defence of Bread – Guest Post by The Ashram Cook

This flat bread recipe is the second guest post contribution from Riccardo Orlando, aka The Ashram Cook. You can see his recipes on his instagram @theashramcook In this post, he uses vegetables to add colour and nutrients to flat breads and shares how we can enjoy and benefit from a much derided ingredient.

Fibre is basically the cell wall of plants, even if we chew like crazy it will get through our system largely intact.  In addition, fibre reduces sugar absorption and most importantly feeds our gut bacteria. This is the reason why we want to eat more whole foods.  They are proven to increase bacterial diversity, decrease systemic inflammation, and slow the rate that sugar is absorbed.

the ashram cook yoga food

Bread has a bad reputation in the “healthy-living” community. However, we need to investigate more closely the ingredients and preparation processes. Bread on the shelves in western EU and US is largely made out of white flour, stripped away from the nutrients: fibre, vitamins and minerals. Wholegrain is also commonly available but more often than not “enriched” with sugar and salt to increase palatability and shelf life.

flat bread recipe ingredients
flat bread recipe the ashram cook

The health benefits of the bread have to do with the grain selection and/or the fermentation process. The recipe below is for a quick flatbread with a twist. These veggie roti are made of wholegrain flour and veggies, moist, easy to digest, packed with nutrients and budget friendly.

flat bread recipe for yoga

Flat Bread Recipe Ingredients

  • 50% wholemeal flour 
  • 50% veggies (spinach, carrot, sweet potatoes, cucumber, beetroot, etc.)
  • Water
  • Spices: cumin, fennel, cinnamon, etc. 
  • Seeds: flax, pumpkin, sesame, etc.

This flatbread recipe is easier to digest and balanced for the three constitutions in Ayurveda Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. As well, like in asana practice it is good to explore, and adapt the recipe to the day: play with seasonal veggies, mix different grains and spices. For instance:

  • If we feel restless, the weather is very dry, windy or cold, wheat flour with some oily seeds, and root vegetables, are perfect to pacify Vata dosha
  • We feel lethargic and sluggish we can mix in chickpea flour, and use leafy green veggies, to pacify Kapha and Pitta
  • The weather is very hot and pitta aggravated mixing millet, buckwheat or spelt

Method:

  1. Lightly steam the veggies and purée in a blender adding some water. It Is possible to some shredded/grated veggies in the mix for extra texture. Using the purée will make the roti easier to work and more like to come up round-shaped and puffy (recommended).
  • Mix the flour and the purée, knead thoroughly until the dough is stiff and doesn’t stick to the hands. You may need to adjust water and flour depending on the veggie, the room temperature and humidity. Cover the dough and set aside for 15-30min.
  • Now take golf size portions of dough, and roll it into a ball. Roll a ball in flour and flatten a little with your palms and start rolling from the center toward the border, turn the roti and keep the surface dry dusting flour – keep rolling… After a few rotis they magically come up disc-shaped! Practice!
  • Get a hot pan ready [cast iron or clay ideal]. Start with about 30 seconds per side. When the colour start changing, apply some pressure on the roti [AKA tapping] with a cloth this make two sides of the roti to separate and get filled with hot air eventually cook for a total of 2-4 minutes. 
  • Store them in tea towel or airtight container. 
flat bread recipe cooking

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