Thursday, 28 May 2015


healthy recipes for familiesThere is a serious problem with bread. Seriously. I have just a fresh experience on bread to share with you.

This is not a new experience - I go through this on every holiday really. But it is still a problem.

We are back from our short getaway at the seaside. I really appreciate these short holidays - sometimes even more than the long ones :-). These little breaks give us a quality time together as a family - without dropping out from our weekly routine.
This is my little one, discovering the beach in South Wales - and just minutes before falling into a rock-pool and getting soaked :-)

healthy eating

It has been a lovely holiday just enjoying the weather (we were lucky this time), the seaside and the fun. What put a little stain on our weekend is our experience about the quality of food again.

Why we just cannot have a meal without facing the fact that commercial food makes us sick?

Is the gluten-free diet the only solution?

Bread is one of the main problem. Our everyday bread makes us bloated, constipated and difficult to digest. Plus it tastes awful. Really.

I am not surprised that so many people turned to gluten-free diet recently. It seems to relieve the problem, however, I would warn everybody to exclude gluten from their diet without diagnosed as gluten-intolerant.

I know that my opinion on the gluten-free diet is not very popular, as a mass of people think that a gluten-free diet is the solution to every kind of digestive system problem or a way to weight loss.
But it is not.
Gluten-free diet is for people with coeliac disease.

Healthy family meals - recipes

I already wrote about the gluten-free myth earlier, check out it here:

You may scroll down now and leave me a comment that I am wrong, and how beneficial  a gluten-free diet is. I am open and intrigued,  so please do leave a comment and share your views and experiences with me.

However, I know certainly that it is not the gluten the problem for me (and my family members), as our home-made bread contain white and wholemeal flour and it does not cause any of the symptoms above. I am convinced that the problem is the additives and the poor quality ingredients in the commercial bread.

What is in bread?

There is something worrying going on with bread and generally with all bakery products.
I can experience this all the time when we leave or home-made bread behind  and consume shop-bought bread for a couple of days.

If you don't believe me, just try to avoid shop-bought bread and bakery product for a week, and you will see and feel the difference.
Remember only four ingredients are needed to make good bread: flour, yeast (sourdough starter), salt and water.

Even so what else we get in our bread?

  • Dough Conditioners 
  • Preservatives 
  • GMOs - like soy lecithin, soybean oil, corn oil, corn starch or soy flour. 
  • Added sugar 
  • Artificial flavors and coloring 
It is so hard to find good quality bread without the above-listed additives - even in bakeries. And when you are on holiday obviously you do not want to spend your time hunting for edible bread.

To be honest, we try to limit our bread consumption to the minimum on these days. But you know how it is in hotels, their breakfast menu is based on cereals and bakery products...

Good bread - balanced meals - and our bread-story

I know, that making bread at home regularly can be a frightful idea. We started it a couple of years ago, and it become a fortnightly routine for us. We usually bake two huge loaves and one of them goes to the freezer sliced. This way we always have fresh bread. Our bread does not go wrong within 2 days, it keep really well in a linen sack for 7-10 days. Yes, without any kind of preservatives!
This indicates that we do not eat a lot of bread, but it is part of our diet.

Eating too much bread is also a problem in our culture, but this will lead to another post, I will pay another post for this topic in the future.

I also have to tell you, that our wholemeal sourdough bread with seeds is more filling than the average supermarket block bread, so usually one slice is enough and keep us full for longer.
It is our own version for a sour-dough bread, what we developed to our taste in the last 5 years, and we love it. We sometimes add oats or seeds - like sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, linseed or malted grains. So it is not boring and it makes a crunchy and tasty toast.

Where to start bread making?

If you want to start making bread, start with a simple sourdough recipe and experience with different types of flours and seeds.
Sourdough bread is easy to make and will give you a sure success, I recommend start with this. I also found that this is the best recipe what can be fitted to our busy life.

In the beginning I made the bread always on weekdays: I mixed all the ingredients before work (about 10 min) then I just left it covered on the radiator for the day. When I got home from work, I kneaded the dough for a couple of minutes, then put it into a bread and let it for a half an hour before baking it.

What about invest into a bread maker?

I used bread making machine too in the past and I think this a great way to bake your own bread conveniently. Especially if you use the timer on the machine. I loved waking up for the smell of the fresh bread in the morning...

The only reason we do not use the machine now is that somehow oven baked bread tastes better for us - but this is only our personal taste.

Healthy eating - forget bread on the go

I already faced the fact last year how hard is to find quality food traveling on the motorway in Europe. And the picture is very similar within the UK too.

You can read my experiences from our last year holiday here:

Anyway, it looks to me that I can do only one thing to avoid the problem:
Take some home-made food with us.

I have some ideas how and what to pack for shorter or longer journeys and I am getting better every year :-)

Here are some ideas for snacking:


If you have other ideas, please share with us in a comment!

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