Healthy Recipes Series
Our followers were delighted with our Onion Bread recipe; however, many requested a “basic bun.”
We understand. That is what most of us grew up having at home, and there is certainly some comfort in those types of foods. However, being a comfort food does not mean it is unhealthy. You will soon find out that our “Basic Buns” can be both comforting and healing.
The Onion Bread is great to accompany meals, or to put toppings on, but our Basic Buns will give you a taste of the old bun that you used to love, the same old bun that is probably not the best to have if you are preventing or healing cancer. Unfortunately, most breads (and buns) are made with nutrient-depleted flours, like wheat or rye, that often have been sitting for months (or even years) on a supermarket shelf before being consumed and have a very reduced content of beneficial bioactive components or antioxidants. Breads are also cooked, which increases nutrient and enzyme loss.
Furthermore, most flours used for bread making contain gluten (which is pro-inflammatory for many people – read more on our post on Gluten), and a high glycemic and insulinemic index, which means your cancer cells, which have more insulin receptors than your normal cells, will derive energy from that bread way before it “feeds” your healthy cells.
Now the good news. It is still possible to enjoy bread without the negative side effects of most store-bought breads, and actually with diverse health benefits. It all comes down to the ingredients and the preparation methods you use. To make our Basic Buns you need six ingredients, the base being a very versatile vegetable, zucchini, and freshly ground almonds and flax seeds as “flours.” Then you need water and salt, and Coconut aminos (or Braggs aminos for reduced natural sugar content). Before we start making these buns, let’s take a look at the benefits of 3 main ingredients.
Zucchini, also known as courgette, is low in calories, and a good source of fiber and certain nutrients. It is the base for our Lasagna recipe, and due to its mild flavor and characteristic texture, a very good alternative to most pasta and “spaghetti” dishes, but also as base to many breads and cakes.
Nutritional Profile and Health benefits of Zucchini1,2
- Excellent source of the powerful antioxidant vitamin C (17.9 µg per 100g of fresh pods; 30% RDA), contributing to reduced free radical damage, to improve immunity and even to prevent and help treat infection and cancer.
- Some varieties are rich in antioxidants, especially the polyphenolic flavonoids carotenes, lutein, and zeaxanthin.
- Good source of Vitamin A and some vitamins of the B-complex, namely pyridoxine (B-6), riboflavin (B-2) and folate (B-9).
- Moderate source of potassium, an extremely important intracellular electrolyte, and other minerals, such as iron, phosphorus, and manganese.
It is never too much to highlight this nutrient dense nut, that boosts with vitamins and minerals, and is a very healthy source of fat.
Nutritional Profile and Health Benefits of Almonds3,4
- Display a very balanced nutrient profile, with essential vitamins and minerals, healthy fats, and protein.
- Good sources of mono-unsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) like oleic and palmitoleic acids that contribute to healthy blood lipid profiles, by increasing HDL (“good cholesterol”) and lowering LDL (“bad cholesterol”) levels.
- Great source of vitamin E (about 25 mg per 100 grams of almonds). Vitamin E is a powerful fat-soluble antioxidant. It protects from free-radical damage and contributes to cell-membrane restoration.
- Good source of B-complex vitamins such as thiamin (B-1), riboflavin (B-2), niacin (B-3), pantothenic acid (B-5), pyridoxine (B-6), and folate (B-9). B vitamins work in conjunction as cofactors for enzymes in cellular metabolism.
- Very good source of minerals such as manganese, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, and selenium.
- Naturally gluten-free, almond flour is a good alternative in bread recipes that often use wheat and rye flour, which both contain gluten.
One of the other “flour-like” ingredients of both our Onion Bread and Basic Buns, are the freshly ground flax seeds. Flax oxidizes very rapidly, therefore, in order to maintain most of its beneficial properties, such as fatty acid preservation and antioxidant content, we recommend always buying whole flax seeds and grinding them yourself, instead of store-bought ground flax (also called, flax meal or flour). The same is true for almonds and any other nut or seed: buy them whole, freshly grind them when needed.
Nutritional Profile and Health Benefits of Flax Seed5,6
- Rich in monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) such as oleic acid. Is also one of the best plant sources of omega-3 essential fatty acids, which are highly anti-inflammatory. One spoonful of flaxseed oil provides about 8 g of omega-3 fatty acids. Flaxseed oil consists of approximately 55% ALA (α -linolenic acid).
- Helps regulate lipid profiles, by contributing to increase HDL (“good cholesterol”) and decrease LDL (“bad cholesterol”) levels in the blood.
- Contain lignans, a class of phytoestrogens considered to have antioxidant and cancer-preventing properties.
- Excellent source of vitamin E, especially rich in gamma-tocopherol (around 20 grams per 100 grams of flaxseed; 133% RDA). Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant, required for maintaining the integrity of mucosa and skin by protecting it from harmful oxygen-free radicals.
- Vitamins from the B-complex, such thiamin (B-1), riboflavin (B-2), niacin (B-3), pantothenic acid (B-5), pyridoxine (B-6), and folate (B-9), are also present in good amounts.
- Good source of minerals such as manganese, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, and selenium.
- High caloric density (about 534 calories per 100 grams of seeds)
Now, our Buns do take a while until ready to eat. Since we are using the dehydrator to “bake” them at temperatures that best preserve nutrients and enzymes (105 °F), you will need to plan about two days ahead, to give enough time for the Buns to fully dehydrate and become crunchier. But the wait is worth it! Do not lose a minute more, and start making your Basic Buns at home.
Here is the full recipe for Basic Buns:
- Makes: 8 buns Prep time: 20 minutes • Total time: 2 days
- 1 medium zucchini, peeled
- 2 cups almonds
- 1/3 cup flax seed, ground
- 1/3 cup water
- 3 Tbsp coconut aminos
- Pinch of salt
In a food processor, process zucchini until very finely chopped. Add almonds and process until smooth. Add remaining ingredients and process for about one minute, until it starts to become fluffy.
Scoop 1/3 cup portions onto a Teflex sheet and shape into buns, about 1-inch thick.
Dehydrate at 105 °F for 40-48 hours, transferring to a mesh tray after the first few hours.
Serve with olive oil or coconut butter, or as a side for soups and chili.
Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to one week.
- United States Department of Agriculture. Agricultural Research Service. FoodData Central. Search Results. Squash, summer, zucchini, includes skin, raw. Published April 1, 2019. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/169291/nutrients, accessed Mar 08, 2023.
- Nutrition and You. Zucchini Nutrition Facts. https://www.nutrition-and-you.com/zucchini.html, accessed Mar 08, 2023.
- United States Department of Agriculture. Agricultural Research Service. FoodData Central. Search Results. Nuts, almonds. Published April 1, 2019. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/170567/nutrients, accessed Mar 09, 2023.
- Nutrition and You. Almonds Nutrition Facts. https://www.nutrition-and-you.com/almonds.html, accessed Mar 09, 2023.
- United States Department of Agriculture. Agricultural Research Service. FoodData Central. Search Results. Seeds, flaxseed. Published April 1, 2019. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/169414/nutrients, accessed Mar 09, 2023.
- Nutrition and You. Flax Seed Nutrition Facts. https://www.nutrition-and-you.com/flax-seed.html, accessed Mar 09, 2023.
Vanessa Pinto graduated with a degree in Biology and Masters in Ecology from Lisbon University. After graduating, she underwent a series of professional and personal growth experiences, including being an officer in the Portuguese Army, working in countries as diverse as Iceland and Costa Rica. Vanessa became certified as a Yoga and Meditation teacher in rural India.
Being a compassionate person by nature, Vanessa is able to bring her connectedness when working with others while enhancing the importance and practicality of a pragmatic evidence-based approach to facilitating lasting and permanent change. Vanessa is a certified health coach whose specialties are nutrition, exercise, and mind/ body connection. She works both in Portugal, Thailand and USA, where she develops her work closely with people diagnosed with cancer, mainly in the areas of nutrition, movement and health education.