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9
Feb

Health Benefits of Rye Bread

health benefits of rye bread

Cholesterol reduction

The effect of rye on reduction of cholesterol was tested in various studies, which confirmed that including rye bread in your daily diet habits is an effective method of reducing the cholesterol levels.  The study concluded that high fiber diet significantly reduces the cholesterol levels compared to low fiber diet.

Weight loss benefits

Rye bread has four times more fiber and less calories than standard white bread and therefore incorporating rye bread in your eating regime is an easy and effective way to lose weight without making any drastic changes in your meals.  Rye bread also doesn’t cause the usual bloating and discomfort associated with white bread.

Prevention of cardiovascular diseases

A study in Finland confirmed that the plant sterols which are incorporated into rye bread reduce significantly the LDL cholesterol concentration as well as other factors for cardiovascular diseases within two weeks.

Cancer prevention

Another Finnish study tested the effect of rye bread on cancer prevention.  After 17 people were eating 4,5 slices of rye bread every day for 4 weeks, the study concluded that the rye reduced levels of bile acids thought to promote colon cancer on average by 26%.

Digestive Health

American study proved that incorporating foods high in fibre helps to avoid gallstones and this is because fiber speeds intestinal transit time and reduces the secretion of acids.

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8
Feb

What is Superfood?

apples - superfoodThe term superfood incorporates all food that has a high concentration of essential nutrients which are proven to have health benefits. The term has been often misused for marketing purposes, but now there are restriction applying to EU countries requiring them to comply with legal requirements if they want to label their products as ‘superfood’.

The nutritionists are still a bit apprehensive about the misuse of the term.  Especially after 2007 the label ‘superfood’ was used to boost sales of certain exotic fruits, while diet experts warned that the fact that certain foods are bursting with a group of nutrients does not mean that they are excessively good for us or that our bodies can store the whole amount of nutrients we supply.

Currently the most popular examples of superfood include blueberries, apples, baked beans, broccoli, salmon, olive oil and brazil nuts. Superfood contains considerably more healthy nutrients than normal food, helps to prevent diseases, increases immunity system and helps to maintain a healthy diet.  Incorporating superfood in your diet does not need to mean shopping for exotic fruit or stocking up pills which claim to have concentrated content of super nutrients. Just remember the old saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”.

Further resources: to find more about superfood try this book by David Wolfe

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8
Feb

Rye Bread Superfood

home made rye bread recipe

The association of rye bread with superfood has been established a long time ago thanks to its numerous health benefits. The extensive use of rye in baking industry is typical for Northern European countries, with Russia and Poland being the biggest producers of rye.  Rye bread has been praised not only for its super healthy nutrients, but also for amazing flavour.  This is achieved due to a different preparation method which – unlike in case of wheat – enables to protect rye’s vital nutrients, such as fiber, protein, calcium, iron, magnesium and antioxidants.

Rye bread contains four times more fiber than white bread and is low in fat, which makes it a perfect addition to your diet. Rye bread is the best breakfast option because of its high content of fiber which helps to combat hunger and stay fuller for longer.

Despite the alarmingly increasing rates of obesity and chronic diseases, it is disappointing to note that most people are not aware of how a small change in eating habits can have a significant impact on their health and wellbeing.  Including rye bread in your diet reduces the risk of diabetes and heart diseases, helps to maintain a healthy balanced diet and recent scientific studies have proven that it also plays a vital role in prevention of cancer.

These reasons alone should be enough to consider incorporating rye in your daily eating regime. The choice of rye breads in the UK is very narrow compared to the Nordic countries where you can choose from around 30 different varieties of rye bread.  However, this trend is slowly evolving and you could even have a go on trying to make a rye bread at home (as I did – see my progress in the recipe section)!

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25
Feb

Rye baguettes

These small rye baguettes are great for summer picnics or as a healthy lunch and all the ingredients you need are probably already in your cupboard! You can experiment with different types of seeds (for different flavours) This recipe  is for 8 small baguettes.

rye baguettes250ml lukewarm water

7g dry east, 1 teaspoon salt, seeds (sunflower or other)

300g strong white flour & 100g rye four

1 tablespoon vegetable oil, 2 tablespoons of golden syrup

 

 

lukewarm water with yeastPut the lukewarm water in a mixing bowl together with the yeast. Whisk to make sure that the yeast has dissolved in the water. After that, add both flours and mix until you have a soft dough. While you add flour, add all the remaining ingredients – salt, golden syrup and oil.

 

 

 

goughTransfer the dough on lightly floured surface and knead well. You should have a firm dough.

Return the dough back into the mixing bowl and sprinkle with flour. Cover with clean tea towel and leave to rest in warm place for 1 hour (or until the dough has doubled in size).

 

 

rye baguetteAfter the dough has risen, take it out of the mixing bowl and knead again on a slightly floured surface. Divide it in eight pieces and shape each into a baguette form. After that sprinkle some seeds on the surface and press the baguette against them, the seeds should stick to the dough.  Leave the baguettes rest in a warm place again, for about an hour, cover them with clean tea towel.

 

rye baguettesPreheat the oven to 240C, Gas 9. Using a sharp knife make 3 diagonal cuts on the surface of the baguettes. Bake in the preheated oven for 10 – 12 minutes.

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9
Feb

Rye Bread toast with egg spread

This is another one of Finnish favourite snacks – delicious toasted rye bread with home made egg spread.

Rye bread with egg spreadIngredients:

rye bread

butter

hard boiled eggs (approximately 2 for 1 slice of bread)

parsley (finely chopped, plus some for decorating)

salt, pepper

Preparation:

First prepare the egg spread – chop the hard boiled eggs into small pieces (or use a fork to mash them) and mix with some butter to create a spread. Season with salt and pepper and add finely chopped parsley. Toast the bread and add the spread, decorate with parsley.  For a healtier version just use cottage cheese instead of butter.

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9
Feb

Rye Bread mini Pizza

This recipe is perfect for a quick dinner and much more healthier than standard pizza. With all the ingrendiences already in your fridge, making delicious and well presented dinner couldn’t be easier!

Mini pizza rye bread bitesIngredients:

rye bread

few ham slices

basil, thyme, pepper

ketchup

fresh spinach leaves and spring onions (chopped)

fresh chilli (finely chopped)

cheese – cheddar and parmesan (finely chopped)

Preparation:

In a small cup mix some ketchup with basil, thyme & pepper, spread over the rye bread. Top with some ham, few slices of onions and grated cheeses. Place in a preheated oven (225C) and leave to bake for about 10mins.  Finish off with fresh spinach leaves, spring onions and fresh chilli. Drizzle with olive oil before serving. Enjoy!

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8
Feb

First home-made Rye Bread

I had my first go at making home-made rye bread and what’s better to use than the original Finnish recipe (found in the Nordic Bakery Cookbook). The recipe is pretty simple and if you follow the steps (and be patient), success is guaranteed!

Ingredients:

14 g easy-blend yeast (dry yeast)

900 ml – 1 l lukewarm water

800 g wholemeal rye flour

2  tablespoons sea salt

3 baking trays, lined with non stick baking paper

 

rye bread recipePut the yeast in a large mixing bowl with 200ml of lukewarm water and a couple of spoons of flour.

Make sure the water is not too hot because it would spoil the yeast.

Stir well, cover with a clean towel and put in a warm place for overnight.

 

 

 

 

rye bread recipeThe next day, mix in the remaining flour and salt. I have used 400g of wholemeal rye flour with 400g of wholegrain flour for extra flavour.

Mix in enough lukewarm water to form soft dough.

 

 

 

 

 

rye bread recipeKnead the dough on a floured surface for few minutes.

The dough will become sticky and soft.

 

 

 

 

 

 

rye bread recipePlace the dough back into the mixing bowl, sprinkle with some flour and leave to rise in a warm place for about an hour and a half.

The dough should double its size during this time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

rye bread recipeAfter the dough has risen, take it out and roll it on a floured surface, dividing it into three balls.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

rye bread recipeFlatten the three dough balls into a shape of disk and make a hole in the middle, to create a ring shape (you can use small glass to do this).

Put your rings on baking trays and cover with tea towel, leaving to rest in warm place for another hour.

 

 

 

 

rye bread recipe

Preheat the oven to 200oC (425oF) Gas 7.  Dust the bread with a bit of flour and bake for 30mins.

The result is delicious!!! Happy baking!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can also order Finnish Rye Bread online if you don’t want to get your hands dirty =) Suomikauppa.fi has various rye breads in their selection and they deliver globally.

 

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8
Feb

Delicious Rye Bread toast with salmon

This is fast and easy treat which can be served as part of your special weekend breakfast menu!

rye bread toast with salmonIngredients:

rye bread slice(s)

philadelphia soft cheese (or any other)

smoked salmon

fresh parsley

black pepper

1 spring onion

Preparation:

Toast the rye bread, spread some philadelpia cheese and add couple of smoked salmon slices on the top. Crush some black pepper on salmon and sprinkle chopped parsley and spring onions on top. Optionally drizzle of olive oil makes wonders as well. Enjoy!

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