Nothin’ Like the Smell of Freshly Baked Bread!


I love bread (who doesn’t?!) and I insist on the absolute best if I’m going to buy it premade. I’m talking whole grain, organic, all natural, no preservatives, and loaded with extras like seeds and nuts. When it comes to bread, high quality will cost you; my favorite pre-made bread is $7.00 a loaf. Between me, Travis, and Nolan, that bread could easily disappear in less than five days.

I’m a big proponent of DIY and prefer, when I have the time, to go the extra mile and make food items from scratch that I could easily buy in the store. Travis and I have made our own plant milk, pasta dough, extracts, beer, wine…and the list goes on! I had been making quick breads for years, but knew when the price of my favorite pre-made yeast bread went up again that I had to learn how to make it myself.

Making yeast bread, I found, it actually quite simple, but time-consuming. Thankfully, most of the time is spent waiting for the dough to rise, so I take the opportunity to do a short workout, clean the house, or do some more cooking during this time period. The best part? I can make my own bread, meeting all of the above criteria and loaded with extras, for about ONE THIRD of the price of my favorite $7.00 loaf!

Is yeast bread vegan? Yes, it is. It’s true that the yeast is “alive” when you go to make the bread, but it is a simple organism, incapable of pain, emotions, or thought, just like plants. At one point, the bananas on your counter and kale in your fridge were living, growing organisms as well. It is impossible to avoid eating something that was once living and any moral dilemma you may face with yeast certainly barely compares to that that you might experience with cows, pigs, birds, and fish. 🙂

Let’s talk a little bit about some of the ingredients I’m using today, pictured below.


SPELT FLOUR: Although I am a fan of whole wheat flour, spelt flour is even richer in vitamins and minerals, and more flavorful.

PINK HIMALAYAN SEA SALT: HSS is naturally high in iodine, among over eighty other vitamins and minerals, including iron. It contains less sodium per serving than iodized white table salt. I don’t use a lot of salt in my cooking in general, but I’ve made this bread with and without and it just doesn’t taste the same without.

YEAST: I use rapid rise yeast. It does the same job as active dry, but faster.

GROUND FLAXSEED: Flaxseed is a super food high in Omega-3 fatty acids, lignans, and fiber, and may even reduce the risk of major diseases like cancer and diabetes. NOTE: You must eat flaxseed ground in order to reap its nutritional benefits.

AVOCADO OIL: Avocado oil is high in vitamin E and potassium and contains more protein than any other fruit. It can lower blood pressure and increase absorption of carotenoids from other fruits and vegetables.

Like my other fresh formulas, I’m using what I have available on hand. You can substitute any flour or oil you have in your pantry. Enjoy!


Makes 1 standard size loaf

  • 3-4 cups of flour, plus more for dusting your workspace –> I’m using 2 ½ cups spelt and filling in as necessary with whole wheat.
  • ¼ cup ground flaxseed
  • ½ tsp salt –> I’m using pink Himalayan sea salt.
  • 1 packet rapid rise yeast
  • 1 tbsp oil –> I’m using avocado.
  • 1 ¾ cups very warm water (hot, but touchable)
  • Up to ½ cup specialty ingredients (optional) –> I’m using equal parts chia seeds, hemp seeds, and raw sunflower seeds.

Attach a dough hook to your stand mixer (you can make the bread entirely by hand, but it will be a little workout!).

DSC_1780 Thoroughly clean and dry your countertop and sprinkle with flour.

DSC_1784 Have any specialty ingredients of choice nearby to eventually knead into your bread dough. Lightly oil a large bowl and a loaf pan.

Combine 3 cups of flour, salt, and yeast in the mixer on low. Add any additional spices or sweeteners, if using. Add the water and oil to the dry ingredients and scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl before starting the mixer. Start on low speed and increase the speed as the dry ingredients become incorporated into the wet.

Add all of the flaxseed and then, additional flour gradually until your dough forms a minimally sticky ball on high speed. I can tell that the dough is ready for kneading if it is still somewhat sticky to the touch, but does not stick to the mixing bowl itself when whipping around on a high speed.

DSC_1792 Flour your hands, remove the dough, and place the dough onto your floured countertop.

Knead the dough, adding small amounts of flour as necessary, until it makes a smooth ball. If you are adding ingredients like dried fruit or seeds, stretch the dough open 3 times throughout the kneading process to sprinkle in ingredients before folding over the dough and kneading again.

DSC_1793 Knead for 5-7 minutes total and then place the ball into your oiled bowl. Cover with a clean towel and let it rise in a warm place for 45 minutes.

DSC_1794 DSC_1795 After 45 minutes, punch down the dough, reform into a loaf shape, and transfer it into your oiled loaf pan.

DSC_1798 Cover the dough and preheat your oven to 400 degrees. In the time that it takes the oven to preheat, your dough will rise again and then be ready for baking. Bake for 35 minutes. The bread should come out of the loaf pan fairly easily and onto a wire rack to cool.


Baked Veggie Fries

DSC_1730One of the dishes served at Nolan’s second birthday party was baked veggie fries, which were easily the crowd favorite of the evening. Today, I’m going to share with you how I make these delicious, un-fried fries.

The key to a baked fry that can stand up to shuffling on the pan, toddler squeezing, and condiment dipping is using hearty root vegetables. When we think of fries, our minds usually turn to good ‘ole russet potatoes. Nothing wrong with those guys, but fries can really be made out of nearly any root vegetable, be it parsnips, turnips, potatoes, carrots, radishes, etc.

Today’s snack (or side dish) formula features three of my favorite root vegetables, pictured left to right below: garnet yam, sweet potato, and carrot. Yes, that yellow/white-ish fry in the middle is in fact a sweet potato, which you may not have known is often actually this color, rather than orange. (For a more detailed explanation on the difference between sweet potatoes and yams, check out my post on veggie curry.)

DSC_1724These un-fried fries are sure to please adults, but are the ideal healthy snack for toddlers. Extremely low in oil and salt free (unless you can resist a little sprinkle of pink Himalayan sea salt), they are a snack that I never refuse little Nolan. They are so yummy, I doubt you’ll need a dip, but if you do, try to stay away from processed ketchup, as it is often composed of highly fructose corn syrup and other unnatural additives. 🙂  Enjoy!


Serves 4-6 (as a side dish)

  • 2-2 ¼ lbs root vegetables –> I’m using just over two pounds of garnet yams, sweet potatoes, and carrots.
  • 1 tbsp oil (+ 1 tsp for greasing your baking sheet) –> I’m using extra virgin olive oil (I’m a big fan of coconut oil, but love the flavor of olive in this case).
  • Spices and/or fresh herbs to taste –> I’m using 1 tsp each of paprika and garlic powder (no salt).

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Thoroughly wash and peel your root vegetables. (You can leave the peels on, but I like to save them for homemade veggie stock.) Cut into ¼ inch thick fries. In a large bowl, use tongs to toss the fries with your spices and oil.

DSC_1725 Grease a baking sheet and spread the fries out in a single layer. Bake for 20 minutes, turning halfway through. Turn the oven off and broil on high for an additional 2-3 minutes for a bit of crispiness. Store in the fridge for up to five days, reheating in the toaster oven if necessary.