Whole grain bread with sesame, flax and sunflower seeds

Homemade bread with sesame, flax and sunflower seeds | from IN WHIRL OF INSPIRATION

Do you also have these childhood memories, where your mum took you with her in that traditional bakery, in your neighborhood on Sunday morning, to buy freshly baked bread? And till you reached home, you had picked half the bread loaf? Well, you can relive those moments, by baking bread at home. It is super easy and your home will smell deliciously all day.

Did you, also, know that by using whole grain flour (or whole grain pasta, brown rice, etc.), you can improve your eating habits dramatically? Let me explain you why; non-wholegrain food (white flour, white pasta, white rice, etc.) when eaten sky rocket the circulation of glucose (sugar) in the blood, giving you a feeling of fulfillment for 1-2 hours, and energy depleting you afterwards. The feeling of exhaustion comes from the explosion in the production of insulin, that follows the one of glucose, in order to bring down the latter’s levels in the blood. Apart from the fatigue feeling, the insulin bursts can be inflammatory in long-term basis (which means, that they can create internal wounds). Whole grain food, however, increase gradually the glucose levels in blood, which keeps the insulin levels low, and release their energy slowly (keeping you content for longer than 2 hours). So now you know why whole grain food, is far more beneficial than the non-whole grain ones.

For this and many more useful tips on how to create healthier eating habits, take part in our free 14-day e-course, especially for our email subscribers. You can sign-up here (starting this Friday)!

Homemade bread with sesame, flax and sunflower seeds | from IN WHIRL OF INSPIRATION

Ingredients (for 1 loaf):

  • 1 kilo of whole grain flour (if not, go for white flour)
  • 1 tablespoon of yeast
  • 1 tea spoon of sugar
  • 2 tea spoons of salt
  • lukewarm water
  • 1/2 of a cup of flax, sesame and sunflower seeds
  • 4 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil

Procedure:

  1. In a large bowl, add all the flour. Add the salt, the seeds and the thyme (and any other spice you wish) and mix them well.
  2. On top of the "mountain" of flour, make a small hole and add the yeast, sugar and 1-2 tablespoons of lukewarm water (caution, if the water is too war, can kill the yeast.In that case the dough won't grow). Stir gently the yeast and the sugar and wait for the yeast to activate (when it starts creating bubbles in 2-3 minutes, it is ready).
  3. With your (clean) hand stir the yeast mixture to distribute it as evenly as possible inside the flour.
  4. Add the oil and the water (slowly) and begin to knead the dough. Don't add all the water at once, as the dough might get very watery, requiring more floor to be restored, which will destroy the analogies. When your dough become a ball and its walls don't stick on your hands, it is ready for the next step.
  5. Cover the bowl with a clean towel and place it next to a heater or choose the air option in the oven (at 40C-50C degrees) for 20 minutes. Wait until the dough gets double in size.
  6. Take the baking pan, and apply some oil in its walls. While you take the dough gently out of the bowl, knead it a little bit in the air by taking the ball ends and sticking them on its bottom. Afterwards place it in the baking pan. Cover the bread with the towel again, and let it "sit" for another 20 minutes in the condition you had it before (it will grow again).
  7. When ready, sprinkle its surface with a little water (do not push the dough, it will shrink), flour and extra seeds. Preheat the oven to 180C degrees in the up and down option and when heats up, put the bread inside. The baking rack should be below the oven's middle level. Bake for 40 minutes.
  8. When ready (do the trick with the toothpick: dip a toothpick/knife in the bread, and if dough doesn't stick on it the bread is baked) take it out and cover it with the towel until it cools down. Doesn't you home smell deliciously? Try not to eat half the loaf with fresh butter, it happens to me every time! :D Enjoy!
Homemade bread with sesame, flax and sunflower seeds | from IN WHIRL OF INSPIRATION

Credits | Texts & Photos: Despina Kortesidou

2 Comments

Déspina Kortesidou

Déspina Kortesidou was born with the April flowers sometime in the '90s in the sunny peninsula of Greece. She is a graduating master student of neuroscience & metabolism, and a born adventurer.

(3rd person statements sound so official, love it)

She founded In Whirl of Inspiration, back in 2011 when she was (just) a biology student, in the island of Crete. In Whirl of Inspiration started as a creative and writing outlet for when studying molecules, became too monotonous. Recently, she started writing a children book and a not-so-children's book about the civil war in Greece. She has a soft spot for cheese, elder people, and (her own) jokes, but can't tell any as she ruins them by laughing too early. She enjoys sharing advice for eating healthier, or inspiring people to cover themshelves with plants, color and confetti.

Feel free to email her at hello@inwhirlofinspiration.com, or find her on Instagram and Twitter. (breaking the 3rd person narration to thank you properly)

Thank you so much for reading!

Molletes: bruschettas alla Mexico with melted cheese, avocado, tomato and lots of coriander

Molletes: bruschettas alla Mexico with melted cheese, avocado, tomato and lots of coriander

Have you noticed that cultures with similar food habits and ingredients, and climate, tend to have similar dishes. It was huge revelation for me was, when I discovered the Mexican equivalent of bruschettas. They are called molletes, they contain melted cheese, mashed beans, tomato, avocado, coriander and ... ENOUGH! Read the recipe on your own, cause I am already drooling on my keyboard.

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Open baked mullet in the oven with a sauce of lemon, mustard & olive oil

Open baked mullet in the oven with a sauce of lemon, mustard & olive oil

Is there a better food than fresh fish? Which is one of the most delicious fruits of the sea? There isn't I would say.

I will leave you with these word and I will welcome on the stage the recipe for open baked mullets in the oven with a sauce of lemon, mustard and olive oil.

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Filled eggplants with tomato bulgur & white onion feta sauce in the oven

Filled eggplants with tomato bulgur & white onion feta sauce in the oven

One of the most favorite Greek dishes, are the filled eggplants with a mixture of rice and minced meat and on the top a thick layer of béchamel.  It’s delicious, no one can protest to that. However, today I am gonna show you a bit healthier version of that delicious dish, a vegetarian one.  However, I couldn’t resist and accompanied some of these filled delights with some grilled meat. Only some of them, just to show you all the possibilities. ;) 

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A salty and sour sauce for your boiled salads

A salty and sour sauce for your boiled salads | from IN WHIRL OF INSPIRATION

Cold, time for two. And by two I mean you and the heartwarming boiled salad you will prepare today. Or is it only me that I tend to eat so many boiled salads during the cold months; boiled zucchini/broccoli/greens you name it, I love them.  With that said I will show you an easy salty and sour sauce you can make to top your salad, which can also replace all the mayonnaisethat goes into potato salads nowadays and it's not the healthiest thing to consume in big quantities (unless it is a homemade one). This sauce will bring the flavor out of the boiled vegetables without oveloading them, trust me.

A salty and sour sauce for your boiled salads - cutting the scallions | from IN WHIRL OF INSPIRATION

You will need (for topping a salad):

  • ½ tsp Dijon mustard or homemade mustard
  • 2 scallions
  • 1 ½ juicy lemons
  • 2 tablespoons of virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium pickled cucumbers
  • capers
  • freshly ground pepper and a pinch of salt
  • dill

Procedure:

Chop finely the scallions, the capers and the pickled cucumbers and add them in a small jar together with the mustard, olive oil, the lemon juice, the grounded pepper and dill. Close the lid and shake well until the mixture becomes homogeneous. Try and add salt if needed and top your salad with it.

We added a bit of homemade pickled sea fennel on top, but if you don't have some, how about some pickled purslanes?
 

A salty and sour sauce for your boiled salads | from IN WHIRL OF INSPIRATION

And before I wish you bon appetit, what toppings do you use on your boiled vegetables? I am so curious to know, spill the beans in the comments below if you want. xoxo

Comment

Déspina Kortesidou

Déspina Kortesidou was born with the April flowers sometime in the '90s in the sunny peninsula of Greece. She is a graduating master student of neuroscience & metabolism, and a born adventurer.

(3rd person statements sound so official, love it)

She founded In Whirl of Inspiration, back in 2011 when she was (just) a biology student, in the island of Crete. In Whirl of Inspiration started as a creative and writing outlet for when studying molecules, became too monotonous. Recently, she started writing a children book and a not-so-children's book about the civil war in Greece. She has a soft spot for cheese, elder people, and (her own) jokes, but can't tell any as she ruins them by laughing too early. She enjoys sharing advice for eating healthier, or inspiring people to cover themshelves with plants, color and confetti.

Feel free to email her at hello@inwhirlofinspiration.com, or find her on Instagram and Twitter. (breaking the 3rd person narration to thank you properly)

Thank you so much for reading!

Make easily salted fish: sardines and anchovies for ouzo meze trays

Make easily salted fish: sardines and anchovies for ouzo meze trays | from IN WHIRL OF INSPIRATION

If you have Greek friends or you have been in a good amount of Greek dinners you may noticed that whenever ouzo or tsipouro (strong drinks, drank before main courses to enhance appetite) are served fish meze dishes (small dishes of appetizers) come along. You never probably took the time to think why, or you did and you concluded that Greece has sea all around her, so fish accessible almost everywhere (true too). Well the reason is that the saltiness of salted or non seafood blocks the taste of bitterness ( of the alcoholic drink) in the tongues's taste buds. Thus your brain receives stronger salty signals, which are much more pleasant than the bitter ones, right? Over time, ouzo and seafood are customarily served side by side on the table and make the forks to dance under the rhythm of ouzo-discussions.

So next time you have people over and ouzo appears on the table, make sure that you have some salted fish meze dishes to accompany it, eg like salted anchovies or sardines. You can make them yourshelf,  extremely easily and quickly (sardine takes 4 hours to be ready for corrosion!).

Make easily salted fish: sardines and anchovies for ouzo meze trays | from IN WHIRL OF INSPIRATION

For the anchovies:
Remove the back bone and the head, as I showed you here, and open the fish like ... a mat. In a colander with a plate beneath it (for fluid drainage) array the fish fillets in between layers of coarse salt until all fish are covered with salt and leave them like that for 2 hours. After that, rinse the salt off and place them in a bowl with white vinegar (of good quality) for 2 more hours. After that are basically done, so rinse them again in water, drain it well on paper towels and array the fish in a glass bowl cover them with olive oil and add also spices of your choice. In this condition you can keep the anchovies in the fridge almost indefinitely. Whenever you want to serve them, take some off the olive oil and just serve them in a plate. Easy peasy.

For the sardines:
As sardines are bigger, they need slightly more time in the salt. So with that said, decapitate and clean the bellies of the fish from all the guts without removing the spine. In a colander (for drainage) array the sardines between layers of coarse salt until they are all covered by salt. Leave them like that for 4-5 days and after this, the fish are basically ready to eat. In order to serve them, take them off the salt and let them rest in the water for half an hour, so that the excess salt goes off the fish. Serve them with olive oil, white vinegar, oregano and other herbs if you have a preference. (Two observation on this point: the sardines are becoming more salted when staying in salt, so if you keep them like that for a lot more extra days, make sure to increase the time in the water too. Also, the salt acts as a natural preservative so the fish don't need to stay in refrigerator while being covered with salt.)

You can accompany you fish meze dishes and your ouzo with Greek salad, olives, pickled purslanes, pilaf with wild greek greens, cuttlefish with spinach or anything else that talks to your heart.

Also here's an interesting video on how overfishing 4 large fish groups (salmon, cod, tuna and shrimp) destroys the ecosystems, pushing to extinction the endemic fish of every region. Prefer local fish that don't have to be transferred from the other side of Earth, they are delicious and full omega-3 fats (yes I know, my meze tray has smoked salmon too. You got me! :D)

Happy ouzo-situations and feel free to share any favorite appetizers with yours that go along with strong drinks. xo

2 Comments

Déspina Kortesidou

Déspina Kortesidou was born with the April flowers sometime in the '90s in the sunny peninsula of Greece. She is a graduating master student of neuroscience & metabolism, and a born adventurer.

(3rd person statements sound so official, love it)

She founded In Whirl of Inspiration, back in 2011 when she was (just) a biology student, in the island of Crete. In Whirl of Inspiration started as a creative and writing outlet for when studying molecules, became too monotonous. Recently, she started writing a children book and a not-so-children's book about the civil war in Greece. She has a soft spot for cheese, elder people, and (her own) jokes, but can't tell any as she ruins them by laughing too early. She enjoys sharing advice for eating healthier, or inspiring people to cover themshelves with plants, color and confetti.

Feel free to email her at hello@inwhirlofinspiration.com, or find her on Instagram and Twitter. (breaking the 3rd person narration to thank you properly)

Thank you so much for reading!