This looks awesome! Just wanted to say thank you. I’m a bomber cook, but when it comes to baking, I’m so grateful people like you are willing to play around in the kitchen and make all the mistakes for me. :) Also, I made your chocolate cream pie from your cookbook for a party and I swear, no one ever knows your desserts are GF and Primal-friendly. It’s gotten to where I always bring dessert so I know I can enjoy something, but then everyone ends up eating it too!
Protein is a staple of the caveman diet- specifically options that are grass-fed, wild caught or organic, as these options are often from animals raised in environments that encourage natural behavior. And because our ancestors didn't just live off chicken and beef, they hunted a wide variety of meat, the more variety you can add to your proteins, the better!

This came out better than I expected it to actually. I did not have coconut flour so I added an extra 1/4c of almond meal. It was a tad bland but other than that a nice bread. I think the coconut flour would add to its flavor and sweetness. I will try again and add a banana just to give it a little more flavor. the pan I used was a regular loaf pan and it was a bit thin but otherwise a nice bread. My daughter enjoyed with peanutbutter and banana mashed together and I had it with her egg salad. 

Hi Eva, That’s awesome that you are helping your son this way. I haven’t tried this with other tools, but you could probably use either the blender or the food processor. The key is to pulse in step 5, not just constantly blend, so that the whites don’t fully break down. Other than that, it should be pretty similar. As for the yolks, if you don’t want to make creme brulee, I usually just put a couple extras into an omelet (or breakfast casserole, or any other dish requiring cooked eggs) mixed with whole eggs.

Transfer bread dough to prepared loaf pan, using a wet spatula to even out the top. Cover with a kitchen towel and place in a warm draft-free space for 50-60 minutes until the dough has risen just past the top of the loaf pan. How long it takes depends on your altitude, temperature and humidity- so keep an eye out for it every 15 minutes or so. And keep in mind that if you use a larger loaf pan it won't rise past the top. 


While the diet as a whole hasn't been well studied, the benefits of cutting packaged foods from your diet could be huge. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, three quarters of the average American's sodium intake (which is almost double what it should be!) comes from commercially prepared foods. And, one Public Health Nutrition study found that people who cook at least five times a week are 47% more likely to be alive 10 years later compared to those who rely more on processed foods.
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The Paleo diet, also referred to as the caveman or Stone-Age diet, includes lean meats, fish, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. Proponents of the diet emphasize choosing low-glycemic fruits and vegetables. There is debate about several aspects of the Paleo diet: what foods actually existed at the time, the variation in diets depending on region (e.g., tropical vs. Arctic), how modern-day fruits and vegetables bear little resemblance to prehistoric wild versions, and disagreement among Paleo diet enthusiasts on what is included/excluded from the diet. Because of these differences, there is not one “true” Paleo diet.
As much as I love your recipes, what your calling paleo isn’t really paleo. For examplpe, apple cider vinegar, agave nectar, and salt aren’t paleo foods. There is a lot of hype out there about eating paleo. As a nutritionist, I find some of the claims about what paleo is disconcerting and confusing. I hope people are seeking help when they are following any “diet.”

This spring, Dr Cordain did an interview answering ten questions about the basics of The Paleo Diet®. To start your New Years out right, we wanted to share his answers with you. We hope you enjoy! - The Paleo Diet Team 1. The Paleo diet can be traced to a 1975 book by Walter Voegtlin, but, correct me if I’m wrong, you are responsible for bringing this diet to popularity in your 2002 book “The Paleo Diet.” Can you me about your...
I just found this recipe and I notice that the recipes are very similar: this one has the addition of a little coconut flour, half the salt and half the vinegar, but maintains the baking soda quantity. How does the the texture of this bread compare to your low carb corn bread? I’m very curious about what went into the decisions that differentiate the two breads.
Food in Antiquity: A Survey of the Diet of Early Peoples (Expanded Edition) by Don R. Brothwell and Patricia Brothwell is a survey of what is known archaeologically about food and drink in pre-modern times. The chapter on insects includes their food value. In beverages it covers what happens to a neglected jar of fruit juice. Under cannibalism it shows evidence of this being done in paleo times, thought most of the work focuses on the classical and near-eastern civilizations, but occasional mention is made of the mesoamerican cultures as well. There is taxonomic and anatomical information.
Deepika, It’s hard to tell exactly where the discrepancy occurred without being in the kitchen with you, but I can try to help. There is (surprisingly) quite a bit of variance between different brands, so if you used a different brand for almond flour, coconut flour, etc. that could have been a contributing factor. Also, was your ghee or coconut oil melted like the recipe says? Out of curiosity, how did the recipe turn out?

When following the Paleo diet, you will cut the trans fats and the omega-6 polyunsaturated fats in your diet and increase the healthful monounsaturated and omega-3 fats that were the mainstays of our ancestors. Recent large population studies, known as meta analyses, show that saturated fats have little or no adverse effects upon cardiovascular disease risk.
I too think it’s funny how many people basically ask permission to do substitutions, as if the recipe police will come down on them or something, or like you eluded to that maybe you can predict the exact outcome of every possible substitution. Victim of your own success!! : ) You are pretty good Elana so we won’t be surprised if you develop baking clairvoyance. Thank you for this recipe, after going Paleo this year I’ve really wanted to find some baking recipes I could feel good about eating. Excited to try this!!!
Hi Elana! I just found your website and I’m so glad that I did! I’ve been on a GF diet for about a month after having years of terrible GI problems. I can’t remember when I didn’t have GI issues, and have done a number of elimination diets to figure out the problem. I’ve visited a few gastroenterologists and they haven’t identified anything “wrong” with me. I still haven’t pinpointed it, but overall I feel happier knowing that I’ve omitted something that was such a big part of my life before. Your bread recipe was very much needed since I still have an affinity for bread-like (carb-y) foods. The bread is delicious and SO hearty. I was skeptical at first, but it turns out I’m hooked on the stuff! Unfortunately I didn’t have coconut flour, so I ended up using 2 T of GF flour, it still worked! I have a shipment coming soon and can’t wait to try it out with the CF! Thanks again, I look forward to reading more of your posts even though I’m not a paleo nut! ;)
WOW! This bread is amazing! I have Gestational Diabetes, and have been struggling with bread since it has been spiking my sugars. Normally I don’t each much of it, but I was just craving it today. So I made a loaf and it is delicious! I went through the comments because I only have a full size loaf pan, and did as someone else mentioned, increased the recipe by .5 (for the eggs did 8 eggs rather than 7), and it came out the perfect size and absolutely delicious. Looking forward to enjoying it the rest of the week. I used a glass full size loaf and cooked for 40 minutes at 350 degrees. I topped it with extra flax seeds because I too love the nutty flavor of flax.
As much as I love your recipes, what your calling paleo isn’t really paleo. For examplpe, apple cider vinegar, agave nectar, and salt aren’t paleo foods. There is a lot of hype out there about eating paleo. As a nutritionist, I find some of the claims about what paleo is disconcerting and confusing. I hope people are seeking help when they are following any “diet.”
Hello! I was wondering if you had ever doubled or tripled the recipe in order to use a standard size loaf pan? I wasn’t paying attention to the size and made a regular recipe in a standard loaf pan and the results were, well, flat. Then I realized my goof. Hoping to avoid the purchase of another pan, but will definitely buy a new one if it means I can make this bread!
I feel like I need to personally thank you for this recipe. I’ve had celiac disease for 7 years and have never been able to find (or make) a bread substitute that reminds me of the oh so glutenfull bread I used to enjoy, namely sandwich bread. I literally make these 1 if not 2 times a week! They make incredible sandwiches, open face “pizza crusts” and so much more. This bread is the real deal and I can’t thank you enough!!!
WOW! I’ve tried so many other paleo bread recipes but felt like they either tasted like almond cake or banana bread (which is great if i want a sweet!) This is Super easy, super quick and great! In the excitement i even forgot to convert to Australian measurements and it Still worked out great! Bacon and eggs can now have some bread with it and tastes great with any paleo friendly nut spread/butter! Thanks for sharing.
I just tried this for the first time tonight and followed the recipe exactly. I bought all of your recommended brands of ingredients, including the right sized pan. The texture is great (though the bread is still hot out of the oven!) and the taste is pretty good. Let’s face it, it’s not yeasted/gluten bread. But it’s definitely a very acceptable substitute. I really appreciate the nutritional content of this bread. Most of the commercial gluten-free products make me crazy with their nutritional emptiness. Looking forward to trying more of your recipes.
My results: A nice golden loaf which did require an additional 10 min of bake time! I was very careful as to “fold” in the wet ingredients to the dry. It was “pourable” into the pan. I did not chill the coconut cream ( as I bought “cream” not milk). Next loaf I will chill it first. My loaf did not rise as much as in the picture, but only slightly “shorter”. So a smaller pain ( 7.25x 3.5) might fix this.
The Paleo diet is the healthiest way you can eat because it is the ONLY nutritional approach that works with your genetics to help you stay lean, strong and energetic! Research in biology, biochemistry, Ophthalmology, Dermatology and many other disciplines indicate it is our modern diet, full of refined foods, trans fats and sugar, that is at the root of degenerative diseases such as obesity, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, depression and infertility. – Robb Wolf
This bread does have quite a few ingredients, but you’ll find that most are staple paleo and keto pantry ingredients. In the list below you’ll find details on several ingredients and possible subs. But if possible, please do try and make this recipe without any subs. As out of the 18 permutations we tried, this one really was terrific and the absolute best.
Paleo Bread™ was inspired by the Paleolithic diet due to it’s health and dietary benefits.  Those who follow the Paleo lifestyle cut out all grains and eat what our native hunters and gatherers ate many years ago.  It’s a food plan based on lean meats, seafood, nuts, fruits, and fresh vegetables.  We created two versions of Paleo Bread which meet any and all requirements in order to be kind to practically any diet.  Both breads are healthy, low calorie, gluten free and grain free.  The Almond variety and the Coconut variety are equally tasty and both offer their own unique benefits.

I know there is some conflict between whether sweet potatoes are Paleo or not but, since I am a personal training and exercise daily, I still eat them. In the Paleo Bread recipe I substituted 1/2 cup of the almond flour with 1/2 cup of sweet potato flour. I also baked them in 1.5 x 3 inch mini loaf pans for 20 mins instead of 30mins. They turned out really great. Adds a little bit extra nutritional value.
For the dry bits, I would use a flour sifter or a sieve depending on what you have in the kitchen. Adding in the wet would require a spoon. The food processor simply takes out the labor of mixing it by hand. I haven’t made this one yet (tomorrow I will) but I’ve made banana bread more times than I can remember and only once has it been done in a food processor.
Regardless of people pleasing, this nut and seed paleo bread quickly became a staple in our house and a new FAVORITE!  I made a few loaves batch and froze one loaf.  Just one loaf of this paleo bread made about a week worth of sandwiches plus breakfast toast. Heck ya!  If you follow me on snapchat, you will know this. I made the kiwi (aka my husband) all his sandwiches in one week so he wouldn’t forget to eat! Who does that?
When it comes to Paleo desserts, this one is top notch; your taste buds will go wild for this pie-turned-ice-cream that’s also dairy-free! You’ll use coconut cream and almond milk to make a velvety smooth consistency with a perfect crunch from the pecans. Nuts like pecans are said to help aid weight loss since they enhance satiety and boost your metabolism!
Chances are, if you're following the paleo diet, you're reallllly missing bread. We don't blame you! Bread is a huge part of our routines, from avocado toast at breakfast to tomato soup and grilled cheese for dinner. There's just too many good things to eat on bread! This recipe will help curb your carb-y cravings, and is sturdy enough to recreate all your favorite sandwiches and toasts. Curious? Continue reading for answers to our most frequently asked questions.
Advocates of the diet argue that the increase in diseases of affluence after the dawn of agriculture was caused by changes in diet, but others have countered that it may be that pre-agricultural hunter-gatherers did not suffer from the diseases of affluence because they did not live long enough to develop them.[30] Based on the data from hunter-gatherer populations still in existence, it is estimated that at age 15, life expectancy was an additional 39 years, for a total age of 54.[31] At age 45, it is estimated that average life expectancy was an additional 19 years, for a total age of 64 years.[32][33] That is to say, in such societies, most deaths occurred in childhood or young adulthood; thus, the population of elderly – and the prevalence of diseases of affluence – was much reduced. Excessive food energy intake relative to energy expended, rather than the consumption of specific foods, is more likely to underlie the diseases of affluence. "The health concerns of the industrial world, where calorie-packed foods are readily available, stem not from deviations from a specific diet but from an imbalance between the energy humans consume and the energy humans spend."[34]
Legumes are members of a large family of plants that have a seed or pod. This category includes all beans, peas, lentils, tofu and other soyfoods, and peanuts. Legumes are not allowed on paleo because of their high content of lectins and phytic acid. Similar to grains, this is a point of controversy in the scientific community. In fact, lots of research supports eating legumes as part of a healthy diet because they are low in fat and high in fiber, protein and iron.
Combining higher protein intake and fresh vegetables leads to another major benefit: blood sugar stabilization. Between 35 and 45 percent of the average Paleo diet is comprised of non-starchy fresh fruits and vegetables that won’t spike blood sugar levels, making it an optimal diet for diabetes prevention. This is because nearly all of these foods have low glycemic indices that are slowly digested and absorbed by the body.
Cordain explains that high intake of fruits and vegetables is one of best ways to reduce chances of cancer and heart disease. He notes that protein has twice the calorie burning effect of fat and carbs and is more satiating than both. He explains that starch, fats, sugars, and salts together cause us to keep eating. So if we limit our diet to fruits and vegetables and/or meat, we’ll stop eating when we’re full. And if you stop eating when you’re full, you’ll lose weight and won’t get fat. And as you lose weight, your cholesterol will improve (regardless of what you eat). This all makes sense and can’t really be disputed. If you want to lose weight, the Paleo diet will get you there and probably quickly. But Cordain’s hypothesis applied to long-term health falls short.

*Do NOT use an almond butter that you need to stir, as I did not have luck with it setting properly, and sticking to the coconut cream. I used Maranatha No-stir natural almond butter and highly recommend it! **You really only need about 2oz chocolate to cover the bars, but having some extra makes it SO much easier to get them covered evenly and quickly. The nutrition information reflects 2oz, but definitely use 3 to make it easier on yourself.
Anna, I haven’t tried making this bread without the vinegar, so I don’t know for sure how the recipe would fare without it. Vinegar here is used not only for the right flavor, but also to react with the leavening agent and create the proper rise for the bread. If you take out the vinegar, you’ll need to replace it with another acid. Can you tolerate lemon juice? If so, I’d try this recipe using 2 to 3 teaspoons of fresh lemon juice in place of the vinegar. Let me know how it goes if you give it a try!
Similarly, any foods that were not easily available to Paleolithic humans are off-limits in this diet, Holley explains. That means processed foods — many of which contain added butter, margarine, and sugar — should not be a part of the paleo diet. The same goes for dairy, which may not have been accessible to Paleolithic humans, and legumes, which many proponents of the diet believe are not easily digestible by the body.
The Vegetarian Myth: Food, Justice, and Sustainability by Lierre Keith is against industrial farming. She spent 20 years as a vegan, and now reveals the risks of a vegan diet, and explains why animals belong on ecologically sound farms. And as all the neolithic foods we avoid are produced on industrial farms, she is against the foods we avoid. Here's a well thought out review by Eric Wargo: Clubbing Vegetarians Over the Head With the Truth.
If you’ve ever considered (or tried) the Paleo diet, your first thought was probably, “ugh, another one with no bread?!” We feel you, it’s a tough moment when you hear your beloved carbs must go. ICYMI, the Paleo diet cuts out grains and legumes in favor of a protein- and veggie-rich diet. Sure, Wonder Bread wasn’t part of a caveman’s diet, but that doesn’t mean modern-day humans haven’t found a way around the rules.

Love this bread!! I subbed ground salba seeds (chia) for the flax meal and it turned out great. (1/4 cup of salba seeds made 1/2 cup of salba meal) Also subbed using date sugar and coconut crystals for the honey and that worked fine. I did this to reduce glycemic impact/carbs by half. (I thought about leaving it out, but was afraid it was in there to counter the vinegar taste)
It took a month or so, but I finally decided to start playing around with adding a few other paleo-friendly starches, like arrowroot and tapioca. That’s what it took for me to come up with what I consider to be the perfect loaf. I had been holding out on adding other starches because I wanted to keep my ingredient list minimal, but really, these additions make all the difference in the end result of this bread.
I’ve put together a roundup of 45 (that’s a lot!) recipes for Paleo-friendly / Paleo desserts. These will definitely come in handy for special occasions, birthdays, holidays, or for Wednesday night emergencies. I’m sorry Whole30 hasn’t completely changed my way of thinking yet… Let’s be real. I’m just being a realist and planning ahead, I know there will be days with chocolate in the forecast.
I used greek yogurt instead of sour cream and it worked well. Same as many of the other comments, I did not get as much rise as I was hoping for (after 90 minutes), but the bread is very tasty with a nice crumb. I cut into 16 slices. One thing I was wondering, your recipe for cinnamon buns has 2 packets of yeast, this has only one. Would adding more yeast help rise better?

Made this bread the other night and it is so wonderful!!.Love it slightly warmed with a pat of butter.My only problem is that it did not rise that much so can’t really use for a sandwich.My eggs were not fresh nor my refrigerated flaxseed meal..I used a glass loaf pan (buttered).I did cook at 350 degrees for the 30 min and it came out wonderful!!Thanks so much for the recipe.I love the recipes with honey and/or stevia, sucanat or rapadura.
There has been so much nutrition and dietary mis-information in the past 100 years, it’s very confusing to sort it all out. I’m thankful I found Paleo! And as paleo shoppers, we know to avoid the center of the market and stick to the outside loop which is where we find the lean proteins, the nuts, seeds, greens, vegetables and fruits. It not only saves us time when we shop, it keeps us healthy.
I made dressing/stuffing out of this bread! I cut the bread into slices, then cut the slices into cubes. I put them on a metal pan and into my toaster oven on low temperature and let them crisp up. It takes a good while, but they DO get crisp! Then I have my croutons for the dressing. The dressing I made was delicious. I think the next time I make the bread to use for croutons I’m going to add onion powder and sage to the mixture before baking so the croutons will be seasoned some before I begin making the dressing! Love this bread! It is the most like wheat flour bread that I have tried! Thanks Maya!
I just made it using all the the optional ingredients but I didn’t have a food processor so I whipped/mixed everything by hand. One thing I noticed is that the top of the bread cracked unevenly. Could I have over fluffed the egg whites? Maybe creating an artificial cut in the middle could solve that next time? It rose very well and nearly doubled in size, though the size is still a bit small for my liking. I will most likely use 1.5x the amount next time. It smells great and I’m about to chow down on this!
Thank you so much! This was delicious, didn’t crumble and fall apart like most g.f. breads. I brought it to my Bible Study group, one gal is on the Paleo diet and I am gluten free, two gals can eat anything. They all loved it. It is so easy to make, again, thank you so much for posting. I’ve already shared the recipe with two of the gals in the group.
Hi Meredith, every photo I share with my recipes are from the same recipe. I usually photograph the food right after I make them. This bread does not rise as much as regular bread during baking, but it does rise well. I use golden flax seeds. This recipe is meant to be made on a medium loaf pan of 8½ x 4½ inches. If you have a larger pan, you can double the recipe so that when baked the bread will rise to the top of your pan and will not be so thin.
Hi Eva, That’s awesome that you are helping your son this way. I haven’t tried this with other tools, but you could probably use either the blender or the food processor. The key is to pulse in step 5, not just constantly blend, so that the whites don’t fully break down. Other than that, it should be pretty similar. As for the yolks, if you don’t want to make creme brulee, I usually just put a couple extras into an omelet (or breakfast casserole, or any other dish requiring cooked eggs) mixed with whole eggs.
I made this last night and it turned out great! I used Bob’s Red Mill almond flour which I know you don’t usually recommend and subbed 1/8 cup chia seed for the flax because that’s what I had on hand and it worked well. We’ve had grilled cheese and peanut butter sandwiches so far. My son is autistic and a very picky eater, and sometimes we have a hard time getting him the protein he needs so this recipe helps a lot. Thanks, Elana!
Excellent recipe. I doubled the recipe so it’s standard bread slice size. I baked it for almost 60 mins (fan forced oven 325F) checking it about 50 mins in. It turned out amazing. Very filling. One sandwich fills me right up. Each slice is about 240 calories if the whole loaf is cut into 16 slices. Thank you for the recipe. I will bake it several times a week. I wrap the bread in cheese cloth and inside a ziploc bag and keep it in the fridge so it will last longer. I’m Australian and I have to eat it with Gluten Free Vegemite. OMG… delicious. I use a Coconut Spread, basically taste like butter and smear vegemite on it and OMG YUM!!! I’m in love and found something I can keep around when I’m hungry on the spot. Thank you! I have a beautiful picture of the loaf. Too bad I can’t find a place to post on here. If you have one made with coconut flour, let me know and if it sticks as well together like Almond flour. I think the Arrowroot does the trick to sticking it all together.
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I have all the seeds but sesame seeds. I just have a small jar of those for using on top of things. Which of the other seeds could I use instead? Or, maybe chia seeds in a smaller amount? I also have a 3 seed mix with chia, flax and hemp. It really looks great! I haven’t had a lot of success with other keto, low carb breads. Want to give this a try.

Ana, We like using a combination of almond flour and coconut flour for this bread to achieve the best flavor and texture. We haven’t tried this bread using only coconut flour, but it may work. Coconut flour absorbs liquid differently, so you’ll want to use about 1/4 the amount of coconut flour as almond flour (since the recipe calls for 2 cups almond flour, that would be 1/2 cup coconut flour in addition to the 3/4 cup coconut flour that the recipe already calls for). However, the flavor and texture of this bread will likely be different with that substitution. Please let us know how it goes if you give it a try!
LOREN CORDAIN, Ph.D., is one of the top global researchers in the area of evolutionary medicine. Generally acknowledged as the world's leading expert on the Paleolithic diet, he is a professor in the Health and Exercise Science Department at Colorado State University. Dr. Cordain and his research have been featured on Dateline NBC and in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and other media. He is the author of The Paleo Diet and The Paleo Diet Cookbook, among other books, and makes regular media and speaking appearances worldwide.
You don’t often equate coconuts as being savory, but there are a few things in play here that get this to work. The use of coconut flour replaces the typical wheat-based flour used in most store bought bread. The savory comes from a combination of flax meal, sea salt, and olive oil. Coconut flour provides the right texture and helps this taste like a bread, and is one of the more popular flours used in Paleo baking because it has more of a light and airy taste and feel to it. Since it is derived from coconuts no grains are harmed in the process.
I am so looking for breads that work……….this does not……I have your books………..but the question about the ammonia…….they are an in your face issue…………for me, not till I sliced the loaf……but my nose is very sensitive….and I taste the amonia without ingesting the product…………my Mum, who has no sense of smell left, loved it…….. time to keep trying…………I am borderline diabetic, mum is, and my lover is in denial……………..so looking for something that passes as ‘bread’…………..thanks for the help………….luckylin……….

WOW! This bread is amazing! I have Gestational Diabetes, and have been struggling with bread since it has been spiking my sugars. Normally I don’t each much of it, but I was just craving it today. So I made a loaf and it is delicious! I went through the comments because I only have a full size loaf pan, and did as someone else mentioned, increased the recipe by .5 (for the eggs did 8 eggs rather than 7), and it came out the perfect size and absolutely delicious. Looking forward to enjoying it the rest of the week. I used a glass full size loaf and cooked for 40 minutes at 350 degrees. I topped it with extra flax seeds because I too love the nutty flavor of flax.
Elizabeth, This recipe is a bit heavy on the eggs because they add structure here; without them, it would be difficult to get the same height without doing quite a bit of experimentation to find a suitable substitute. If you’re looking for a paleo-friendly bread-type of recipe, my Paleo Flatbread may be more useful. It’s more of a wrap or can be made thinner into a crepe, rather than a loaf of bread, but it is delicious. That recipe uses one egg, but I’ve successfully made it using a flax “egg” instead of a regular egg. Sorry I’m not able to be more help, but I hope you like the flatbread if you give it a try!

In general, the paleo diet involves eating nutrient-rich real foods, such as meat, fish, nuts, eggs, vegetables, and fruits. It’s best to choose grass-fed and pasture-raised meats, and organic produce whenever possible. The paleo lifestyle removes refined sugars, grains, legumes, dairy, and unhealthy fats and oils from your diet, as well as highly processed foods. (Read more about the paleo diet on HealthLine and EatingWell.)
Several examples of recent and relatively speedy human evolution underscore that our anatomy and genetics have not been set in stone since the stone age. Within a span of 7,000 years, for instance, people adapted to eating dairy by developing lactose tolerance. Usually, the gene encoding an enzyme named lactase—which breaks down lactose sugars in milk—shuts down after infancy; when dairy became prevalent, many people evolved a mutation that kept the gene turned on throughout life. Likewise, the genetic mutation responsible for blue eyes likely arose between 6,000 and 10,000 years ago. And in regions where malaria is common, natural selection has modified people's immune systems and red blood cells in ways that help them resist the mosquito-borne disease; some of these genetic mutations appeared within the last 10,000 or even 5,000 years. The organisms with which we share our bodies have evolved even faster, particularly the billions of bacteria living in our intestines. Our gut bacteria interact with our food in many ways, helping us break down tough plant fibers, but also competing for calories. We do not have direct evidence of which bacterial species thrived in Paleolithic intestines, but we can be sure that their microbial communities do not exactly match our own.
These researchers point out that there are plenty of reasons to suggest that the low-fat-is-good-health hypothesis has now effectively failed the test of time. In particular, that we are in the midst of an obesity epidemic that started around the early 1980’s, and that this was coincident with the rise of the low-fat dogma. (Type 2 diabetes, the most common form of the disease, also rose significantly through this period.)
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