Monday, May 10, 2010

Our Daily (Hemp) Bread

I'm pretty cheap, but I typically spend about $4 to $5 for a decent loaf of bread. It's gotta be mostly whole wheat or sprouted grain, high fructose corn syrup-free, and of course, vegan. Sometimes I buy Ezekial sprouted grain loaves. Other times, I opt for Rudi's Organics brand. Even the Whole Foods brand is quite delicious. But no matter how good the bread, I'd never shell out $9 for a loaf in real life.

However, I had a coupon for a free French Meadows Bakery product. I picked out a loaf of their Hemp Bread, which typically runs about $9 with tax at my Whole Foods. They keep it in the freezer section at the Memphis store.

The Hemp Bread, one of French Meadow's line of "performance breads," is made with a mix of organic whole wheat flour, hempseed flour, flax, poppy seeds, oat fiber, pumpkin seeds, millet, wheat berries, and all kinds of other healthy stuff. It contains 13 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber per slice!

I first tried the bread for breakfast Avocado Toast:

This slice is schmeared with avocado and seasoned liberally with sea salt, black pepper, and hot sauce. The hempseed flour lends the bread a sort of licorice-y taste, and though I hate licorice, I didn't mind the mild hint of it in my bread. It was a nice complement to the avocado. I especially loved the liberal sprinkling of seeds on the crust.

Next, I tried using hemp bread to make a Mighty Maple PB & Ricemallow Cream Sandwich:

Verdict: Not the best. Fluffer Nutter sandwiches are my absolute fave, but the hemp taste is a bit more savory. It's not the right vessel for a sweet treat like PB or Ricemallow Cream.

Finally, I spread some hemp bread with a little Mock Chicken Salad:

This was perfect! I picked up a tub of the mock chicken salad from my buddy Bastet, who sells her vegan foods at the Cooper-Young Farmer's Market on Saturdays. The TVP-based salad contained little bits of celery that went very well with the savory hemp bread.

Would I buy the hemp loaf again? Only if it was on sale. I'd certainly spend my usual $5 a loaf for it if it were priced that way, but $9 is way too much to pay for a loaf of bread. Just sayin'. It looks like you can actually order French Meadow breads for around $5.50 on their website, but then there's the whole shipping issue. They also sell a full line of healthy tortillas, bagels, and gluten-free desserts (but the desserts appear to be un-vegan).

18 comments:

sarahrahh said...

oh its so hard for me to find good, HEALTHY, fresh, reasonably priced bread!
I shop trader joes alot, and for a while now theyve had this great bread they call "whole wheat tuscan pane."
if you have a TJ's near you I highly recommend it. It only contains whole wheat flour, yeast, and salt. Thats it. And its wonderfully chewy and soft(most loaves, every once in a while its a little over baked.) Where we live, I think its around 3 bucks a loaf. So great.
Wow this ended up being a bit long. I just really like the bread :D

Lauren said...

I've always been curious about this bread, but didn't want to waste money on it in case I ended up hating it. Thanks for the review! Maybe one day I will pick it up and try it.

The Kuntrageous Vegan said...

That is my favorite bread; but I rarely buy it since my husband decided he loves it as well. $10/week on bread is a bad, bad idea.

Jessica said...

Ooh, the seeds go all the way around the crust, not just on top! That is performance.

Mihl said...

Wow, I can't imagine bread being that expensive! But you are right, good bread is worth the money. I like bread with lots of grains and seeds, too.

A-K said...

$9/loaf!?! That is crazy. I'm probably uber-spoiled because I live only a few blocks from the French Meadow and can get a discount at my coop. Their Women's Bread is pretty good (and would be a lot better with your fluffernutter sandwiches!). And if you ever find yourself at the Minneapolis airport or O'Hare in Chicago, they have branches of their restaurant where you can get a delicious vegan tempeh reuben, and vegan cookies to boot!

jessy said...

i hear ya on the bread & expense. i spend about $5.50 on my gluten-free loaves of bread right now, because i keep failing to create my own gluten-free sammie bread that rocks as hard as the stuff i can buy. to cut costs i make dan a loaf of whole wheat bread every week for his sammies. breads can get kinda up there, and catching a good loaf on sale rocks. the hemp bread looks great, i too like the seedy crust. sadface on the gluten-free goodies being full of animal products, but that's awesome the hemp bread is so delicious! i might have to treat dan to a loaf of this sometime if i can find it on sale. the licorice-y taste sounds intriguing. thanks, Bianca!

vanillavivante said...

this is my favorite bread!! thankfully, it's only $4.00 at the food co-op where I shop in brooklyn. love it for breakfast with avocado, salt, pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil :-)

The Ordinary Vegetarian said...

I'm got major bread envy going on here.

The Voracious Vegan said...

Bread topped with avocado and hot sauce is THE BEST!

I would spend lots of money on good quality bread, it is one of my favorite treasures. Unfortunately, the government protects the bread industry, which means all we get is CRAP. Over processed, sugar filled junk. Yes, lots of it is vegan but it is just a joke.

When we head across the causeway to Bahrain where they import lots of high quality British whole grain bread we stock up like mad even though it is really pricey. Bread is a big part of my meals so I like it to be good!

Jon Gilchrist said...

LOOOOOVE that bread

Leslie R. said...

I've seen that bread and was curious about it. Thanks for the info. I am pretty diehard on Ezekiel Sprouted Grain stuff.

Courtney said...

I live just a few blocks away from French Meadow bakery and Cafe :-) It is sooooooooooo good! I have never tried their hemp bread, but love the breads I have tried. Rest assured, they have TONS of vegan desserts (many gluten free too)...they are all amazing. $9 is really pricey! I don't blame you for not wanting to spend that much on a loaf of bread...sheesh!

Courtney

Vicki said...

French Meadow has some printable coupons on their website at http://www.frenchmeadow.com/coupons. That should help a bit!

vegeater said...

Yeah, $5 a loaf is all I can handle also. I'm too lazy to make my own. I usually buy frozen Ezekiel bread, so that means I can stock up whenever it's on sale. We just take out a however many pieces we are going to use and defrost them in the toaster

dreaminitvegan said...

That's the only problem with these types of breads because they are rather pricey. It's great when they are on sale. I've tried their hemp bagels and the spelt bread which is great! The hemp is definitely for savory fillings and spreads. The spelt kind of sourdough yumminess!

Nachos said...

Seedy bread really does it for me too!

Melisser; the Urban Housewife said...

I have a coupon too, but haven't been able to find the bread yet!