Lorraine Kearney Nutrition 

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Homemade Focaccia


Today we've got something a little different for you - homemade focaccia! This focaccia is so full of flavor and is super easy to make! You don't have to be a bread expert to make focaccia - it's one of the easiest breads to make because it requires very little effort. It's also totally customizable - you can add whatever ingredients you want!


I know this isn't like the other recipes we share, but I'm posting this recipe to show you that life is about balance. We only have one life to live as humans, why should it be spent restricting ourselves? Too much of anything is never good: balance is key!


Once we restrict ourselves from the foods we love, we create a negative relationship with food. A healthy, balanced lifestyle is all about enjoying what we eat! We never want you to have to take away from what you love - instead, we teach you to add and include nutritional ingredients in the foods you love. Take this focaccia for example. The toppings you can add are endless! We've added tomatoes, garlic and rosemary, all of which are full of nutrients. They also taste good! See what we did there?


Over on our Instagram, we've been discussing Hashimoto's disease for the last few weeks, and with that can come a black and white misconception - we simply can't eat gluten. Gluten can cause flare ups for those with Hashimoto's and similar autoimmune diseases. However, that doesn't mean it's all or nothing! Watching your gluten intake doesn't mean you have to remove it from your diet entirely! When you work with professional nutritionists (like us!), we can help discover if gluten is something you can incorporate into your diet.

Let's start with the recipe. We used Laura Reigel's Tomato, Garlic and Rosemary Focaccia recipe from Foodology Geek! Like I said, you can add whatever toppings you like here - caramelized onions, olives, pesto, zucchini, goats cheese, artichoke - the possibilities are endless! The focaccia dough is just a blank canvas - paint to your heart's desire.


Let's start with the tomatoes. Yes, they are a fruit with a savory flavor, we will not get into this discussion! We will discuss their nutritional value though! Tomatoes are full of fiber, vitamins A, C and K, potassium and phosphorus. All of these nutrients mean that tomatoes have a number of health benefits, such as supporting cardiovascular health, preserving eye health and easing menopausal symptoms. Perhaps the most important nutrient in tomatoes is Lycopene, which is an anti-oxidant proven to have anti-cancerous qualities. Tomatoes have a much higher concentration of lycopene than other fruits and vegetables. Also, the amount of lycopene increases when cooked, so topping the focaccia with it before it's cooked means you're getting the most health benefits out of the tomato!


The garlic here is also full of nutrients! Before we get into that though, just a tip about cooking the garlic on the focaccia: it got a little burnt in the oven when it was added right at the beginning, so I recommend adding it about 10/15 minutes after the focaccia goes into the oven so that you can make sure its golden brown but not burnt!


Now the nutrients: garlic is a great source of manganese which helps the healthy formation of bones. It also contains vitamin B6 which can help support healthy brain development and healthy nerves, as well as good immune function. Garlic also contains vitamin C, which is a great antioxidant and is important for protein metabolism. Garlic also contains calcium, selenium and phosphorus. Garlic is also fantastic for reducing the risk of the common cold, heart disease and gangrene. Studies have also shown that it can reduce the risk for a number of different cancers. It can also reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and maintain healthy cholesterol levels, especially when eaten raw. It also reduces inflammation and blood pressure!


Did you know that rosemary contains a huge array of health benefits? As well as being anti-inflammatory and a fantastic source of antioxidants, it can enhance memory and concentration, protect against diabetes, protect against neurological disorders, prevents brain ageing and protects against cancer. Rosemary has a number of nutrients, including calcium, iron, vitamin B6, copper, magnesium, potassium, fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, folate, calcium and iron! Damn that’s a mouthful... rosemary is a very hardworking herb!


If you recreate this recipe, be sure to post it on Instagram and tag us @lorrainekearneynutrition; we love to see you eating delicious, nutritious foods!

Homemade Focaccia

Preparation: 30 mins

Inactive: 2 hours (roughly)

Cooking: 25 mins

Total time: 3 hours

Makes 1 9x13 inch focaccia


Ingredients


Dough

  • 4 cups strong bread flour

  • 1 envelope dry yeast

  • 1/2 tsp honey

  • 1 cup tepid water (300ml)

Toppings

  • 1/2 bulb garlic, cloves separated & skins removed

  • 2-3 sprigs rosemary, leaves picked off

  • 5.5 oz cherry tomatoes

  • extra virgin olive oil

  • coarse sea salt

Directions:

  1. In a stand mixer with the dough hook attached, add all the dough ingredients. Make sure the water is tepid and not hot, otherwise it'll burn the yeast

  2. Mix the dough until it forms a tight shiny ball and the sides of the mixing bowl are clean

  3. Oil a large bowl and add your dough. Cover it with plastic wrap and proof in a warm area until doubled in size.

  4. Once doubled, oil your surface and dump the dough out onto it.

  5. Lightly oil a 9x13 baking pan. Gently roll the dough into a rectangle shape and place it into the pan. Press into the dough with all your fingertips so it creates small crates across the dough. Add your toppings now.

  6. Preheat your oven to 425F.

  7. Cover the dough again and let it rise for another 30-40 mins before baking

  8. Add a drizzle of olive oil before you bake. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Top with some coarse sea salt and an extra drizzle of olive oil. Enjoy!


Serving suggestions/tips:

  • Feel free to top it with caramelized onions, olives, pesto, zucchini, goats cheese, artichoke - whatever toppings your heart desires!

Remember, eating healthy doesn't have to look boring!

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