Monday, 23 November 2015


Have you ever tasted focaccia?
If yes, you already know how delicious it is, if not, you should definitely make it!
Focaccia is like a fluffy flat bread with olive oil and salt, and the traditional recipe calls for white flour, lots of olive oil, water, salt and yeast. In Genova, where I live and where they invented focaccia, everyone loves it. They usually eat it by itself, to make a sandwich instead of using bread or for breakfast when they dip it in milk or cappuccino -I know, it might sound a bit odd dipping something savory in cappuccino and if I told you that someone dips focaccia with onions in cappuccino, that would sound even worst!-.
Anyway, I said “they” because focaccia is usually made with flour containing gluten and it is pretty hard to make it gluten free. BUT, after a few tests in the kitchen, I finally found the perfect recipe to make a delicious gluten-free focaccia. It mets in your mouth and it is incredibly delicious. Trust me!

Using virgin olive oil in baking is not the best thing ever, but I could’t think about making focaccia with coconut oil instead! I decided that, when I bake my focaccia I will “forget” all the things I am learning in my Natural Nutrition course.

Why shouldn’t we use olive oil for cooking?

I report an extract of the great book “Fats that Heal, Fats that Kill” wrote by the researcher, psychologist and nutritionist Udo Erasmus:
“Unsaturated fatty acids* are anti-mutagenic (saturated fatty acids** do not have this protective capacity). This means that they can protect the genetic material in our cells from damage (mutations) caused by toxic chemicals or destructive rays. More than 80% of the fatty acids that virgin (unrefined) olive oils contain are protective, unheated, mainly monounsaturated and some essential unsaturated fatty acids.
When these protective unsaturated fatty acids are heated above 150°C (302°F), not only do they lose their protective effects, but they become mutation-causing themselves.”
(*) Unsaturated fatty acids: mainly oils from vegetable source.
(**) Saturated fatty acids: mainly from animal source (butter, animal fat) and coconut oil.

So, what should we use for cooking?
The best fats to use for cooking are coconut oil and ghee (clarified butter - homemade from organic butter is better).
You can use olive oil for cooking over the stove as long as you add a little water to keep the temperature under control.


Make a 21x31 cm focaccia

1 cup (150 gr) brown rice flour
1 cup (75 gr) arrowroot flour
1/2 cup (60 gr) chickpea flour
2 tbs cold pressed virgin olive oil
1 tsp dried yeast
1 tsp rice syrup
1 cup (240 ml) lukewarm unchlorinated water
2 tbs cold pressed virgin olive oil
3 tbs unchlorinated water
1 tsp rock sea salt

- Place the three flours and the dried yeast in a mixing bowl. Stir to combine.
Add the olive oil and stir again. Then add the water and the rice malt. Stir well with a fork until the mixture is smooth -it should be a bit thicker that the crepes mixture-.
- Line a high edges baking tray (21x31cm) with parchment paper and grease it with one tablespoon of olive oil heavenly spreading it with your hand.
- Add the mixture and spread it with a spatula.
- Cover the focaccia with a towel and let it rise in a warm place for at least two hours (4 hours is best).
- Preheat the oven to 390°F (200°C).
- With your fingertips breaks the focaccia surface in a few spots.
- Whisk the remaining 2 tbs of olive oil and the 3 tbs of water and splash them over the focaccia with your hands (without touching the surface!).
- Crush the rock salt with a mortar and pestle or with the base of a glass and sprinkle it over the focaccia surface. (If you like it salty add more salt because there is none in the mixture).
- Bake for 10 minutes, then decrease the temperature to 360°F (180°C) and bake for further 10 to 12 minutes or until the surface of the focaccia is golden.

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