Like many eaters today, Nerissa Oden had gotten used to feeling bad, and her doctors couldn’t figure out what was wrong with her.
At a friend’s suggestion, Oden, who lives in Wimberley and runs foodpowers.com, started looking carefully at what she was eating and started removing various ingredients to see if she had any undiagnosed food allergies.
Sure enough, she was tested for food sensitivities, found out she needed to avoid seemingly unconnected foods like broccoli, salmon, sesame, black pepper, dairy and yeast, changed her diet and immediately started feeling better. It’s a road that more and more people find themselves on, and although there are countless gluten-free and yeast-free products on the market, Oden set out to make an even healthier bread substitute.
She developed a flour-free technique of baking “bread” that involves pureeing fruits and vegetables and mixing them with dry ingredients that, when combined, can create a similar texture to bread, muffins, biscuits and pizza crust.
Last fall, Oden published “Bread-Free Bread: Amazingly Healthy Gluten-Free, Grain-Free Breads, Muffins, Cookies & More” ($18.95, Countryman Press), which offers a clear tutorial on how to make this unique process even beyond the recipes that she provides.
From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Oden will be at Faraday’s Kitchen Store, 12918 Shops Parkway in Bee Cave, to sign copies of her book, share samples of the dishes and answer questions from readers.
Lemon Rosemary Squash Bread
A delicious summer favorite light in color and flavor. Sunflower seeds give this treat a slightly nutty flavor. Perfect for sandwiches and as a complement to soups. Simple tuna salad sandwiches will be converted to fine dining. Serve as toast, sandwiches, bite-size snacks, or as the prebaked bottom for your exquisite homemade pizzas.
— Nerissa Oden
1/2 cup raw, shell-free sunflower seeds
2 1/4 cups golden flaxseed meal
1 Tbsp. fresh or dried whole rosemary leaves
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. sea salt
4 cups chopped fresh yellow summer squash (about 1 pound)
Zest from 1 lemon, plus 2 Tbsp. chopped and seeded lemon flesh
1/2 cup liquid egg whites
Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Cover a 12 inch-by-17 inch baking sheet with Reynolds’ Pan Lining Paper, foil side down.
Grind sunflower seeds into a fine meal with a small coffee grinder or food processor. In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients.
Blend wet ingredients thoroughly in blender. Transfer the wet mixture to the bowl of dry ingredients. Mix well and quickly.
Scrape the batter onto the prepared baking sheet. Push the mixture to the edges, then level with a spatula. Bake for about 60 minutes or until dry to the touch. Invert bread onto a cooling rack. Remove the pan and paper. Let cool.
After cooling, cut into desired pieces or use as a prebaked pizza crust. Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator. Makes one loaf of 12 inch-by-17-inch flatbread.
— From “Bread-Free Bread: Amazingly Healthy Gluten-Free, Grain-Free Breads, Muffins, Cookies & More” ($18.95, Countryman Press) by Nerissa Oden