Healthy Recipes Series
Featured in the book, is another delicious raw vegan recipe.
Crunchy or fluffy. Hard or soft. Thick or thin. It comes in many shapes, sizes, textures, and flavors. Loved in many countries and a staple in many diets worldwide…
What is it?
Bread is one of the food items our patients most commonly miss on a healthy raw vegan diet. It is also the recipe most of them ask for from our kitchen, or to try upon returning home. Over the years, we have developed many recipes of raw vegan bread, but for most, the favorite is Onion Bread.
Our Onion Bread is similar to a flatbread, ideal for sandwiches, or to top with hummus, guacamole, or any vegetable spread. It is also a great snack by itself or a nice addition to your dishes. To make it at home, you will need a food processor and a dehydrator. It is also necessary that you like onions. 😊
Onion bread is a healthy alternative to conventional bread since the main ingredients are onions and different nuts and seeds. We will highlight the nutritional value and health benefits of onions, sunflower seeds, almonds, and flax seeds.
Onions belong to the genus Allium of vegetables, which includes garlic, leeks, chives, and scallions, and enter our list of Cancer Fighting Foods. Onions are rich in nutrients, antioxidants, and powerful cancer-fighting phytochemicals.
Nutritional Profile and Health Benefits of Onions1,2,3,4
- Frequent consumption of onions has been associated with a reduced risk of many cancers.
- Contain powerful antioxidant flavonoids, such as quercetin and fisetin, with anti-carcinogenic, anti-inflammatory, and antidiabetic properties. These compounds can have applications in treating many chronic diseases.
- Flavonoids may inhibit cancer cell proliferation and angiogenesis and kill off cancer stem cells.
- Especially red and pink onions contain substantial amounts of quercetin and anthocyanins, both cancer-fighting flavonols.
- Quercetin, besides helping deter many cancers, also chelates excess iron from the body – high iron levels can promote cancer cell growth.
- Anthocyanins have strong antioxidant properties and are considered cancer protective.
- Fisetin is neuroprotective and protective against cancer.
- Onions also contain other flavonoids that promote the production of glutathione – the body’s master antioxidant.
- Another beneficial phytochemical present in onions is allicin. Allicin has many beneficial effects: anti-mutagenic, anti-diabetic, antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-fungal. It may contribute to reducing cholesterol, normalizing blood pressure, and preventing blood clots, which leads to a decreased risk of coronary artery disease, peripheral vascular diseases, and stroke.
- Good source of vitamin C with its protective antioxidant effect and some B-vitamins like pyridoxine (B-6) and folate (B-9).
- Rich in the trace mineral chromium, important for adequate insulin response.
- Good source of soluble dietary fiber.
The seed of the sunflower plant, Helianthus annuus, sunflower seeds are versatile and rich in phytochemicals, vitamins and minerals, and essential fatty acids.
Nutritional Profile and Health Benefits of Sunflower Seeds5,6,7
- Great energy source, mainly from healthy fats, excellent content of protein and essential amino acids, and rich in dietary fiber.
- Rich in fatty acids, especially the poly-unsaturated linoleic acid (50%) and the mono-unsaturated oleic acid. These fatty acids contribute to a healthy blood lipid profile and prevent cardiovascular disease.
- Contain beneficial phenolic compounds with antioxidant action, such as chlorogenic acid, quinic acid, and caffeic acids.
- Excellent source of the also powerful antioxidant vitamin E (35.17 g per 100 grams of kernels; 234% RDA).
- Super rich in B-vitamins, especially thiamin, B1 (123% RDA) and pyridoxine, B6 (103% RDA). Thiamine plays a vital role in nutrient metabolism by helping convert nutrients into energy. Pyridoxine is involved in amino acid metabolism, red blood cell production, and the creation of neurotransmitters.
- Also contains high amounts of other B-complex vitamins, namely folate (B9), niacin (B3), riboflavin (B2), and pantothenic acid (B5).
- Amazing source of several minerals, like potassium, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, selenium, and zinc. Many of these minerals play essential roles in diverse biological functions, and consuming sunflower seeds can be a great way of achieving daily needs and preventing deficiency.
The kernels of the almond tree, Prunus dulcis, almonds are rich in vitamins and minerals, antioxidants, protein, and omega-3 fatty acids.
Nutritional Profile and Health Benefits of Almonds8,9
- 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 co-factors 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.
Flax is a flowering plant, Linum usitatissimum, rich in many nutrients, omega-3 fatty acids, essential vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and dietary fiber.
Nutritional Profile and Health Benefits of Flax Seed10,11
- 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 flax seed; 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)
One thing is certain, this Onion Bread is delicious!!! Gather the ingredients and kitchen appliances, and give it a try.
Here is the full recipe for the Onion Bread!
- Makes: 1 tray Prep time: 20 minutes • Total time: 20-24 hours
- 1 cup yellow onion, diced
- 1 cup sunflower seeds
- 1 cup almonds
- ¼ cup ground flax seed
- ¼ cup tamari
- 1/4 cup water
In a food processor, combine ½ cup of onion with the remaining ingredients and process until smooth. Add remaining onions and gently pulse to combine, leaving visible chunks.
Pour the mixture onto a Teflex sheet. Spread to about ½-inch thick, score into squares using a butter knife, and dehydrate at 110 °F for 20-24 hours, flipping onto a mesh tray after the first few hours.
Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to one week.
- Li Q, Wang Y, Mai Y, Li H, Wang Z, Xu J, He X. Health Benefits of the Flavonoids from Onion: Constituents and Their Pronounced Antioxidant and Anti-neuroinflammatory Capacities. J Agric Food Chem. 2020 Jan 22;68(3):799-807. doi: 10.1021/acs.jafc.9b07418. Epub 2020 Jan 13. PMID: 31893634.
- Abotaleb M, Samuel SM, Varghese E, Varghese S, Kubatka P, Liskova A, Büsselberg D. Flavonoids in Cancer and Apoptosis. Cancers (Basel). 2018 Dec 28;11(1):28. doi: 10.3390/cancers11010028. PMID: 30597838; PMCID: PMC6357032.
- United States Department of Agriculture. Agricultural Research Service. FoodData Central. Search Results. Onions, raw. Published April 1, 2019. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/170000/nutrients, accessed Mar 05, 2023.
- Nutrition and You. Onion Nutrition Facts. https://www.nutrition-and-you.com/onion.html, accessed Mar 02, 2023.
- United States Department of Agriculture. Agricultural Research Service. FoodData Central. Search Results. Seeds, sunflower seed kernels, dried. Published April 1, 2019. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/170562/nutrients, accessed Mar 02, 2023.
- Nutrition and You. Sunflower Seeds Nutrition Facts. https://www.nutrition-and-you.com/sunflower-seeds.html, accessed Mar 03, 2023.
- B-Complex Vitamins: Benefits, Side Effects, and Dosage. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/vitamin-b-complex, accessed Mar 03, 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 04, 2023.
- Nutrition and You. Almonds Nutrition Facts. https://www.nutrition-and-you.com/almonds.html, accessed Mar 04, 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 04, 2023.
- Nutrition and You. Flax Seed Nutrition Facts. https://www.nutrition-and-you.com/flax-seed.html, accessed Mar 04, 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.