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Loaf of fresh baked multigrain bread with grain ears

The Gift of Freshly Baked Bread

If you were ever fortunate enough to have someone bake fresh bread in your home, think back to the aroma and how it drifted across the kitchen. You would tear off a piece from the loaf with it’s crusty outside and warm, soft inside then taste the delicious ingredients on your tongue. Oh, the happiness it brought

If you didn’t experience this as a kid, or if those days are long since passed, It’s possible to discover (or rediscover) that healthy and joyous experience of freshly baked bread. You could learn how to make it yourself, or you could frequent establishments that bake theirs fresh daily.

The resistance

Bread, you say? Aren’t we supposed to avoid it? All the latest diet trends advise against it, right?

No! Healthy carbs are essential to your body and are the prefered source of energy. Properly baked bread made with fresh ingredients can certainly be a healthy choice.

The roots of bread go back to Ancient Egypt around 300 BC* and it is still one of the most widely consumed foods in the world.  When you think of it’s simplicity and versatility it’s easy to understand why. Whether it’s the base of a sandwich or the vehicle for sopping up soups and gravies, bread is a wonder. You simply have to choose the right kind of breads if you want to eat healthy.

Getting fresh

The right kind of breads are made fresh with real-food ingredients. Freshly baked natural bread doesn’t sit on the store shelf or in your pantry for weeks so they don’t likely contain all the additives, chemicals and other unnecessary ingredients as the store-bought variety.

A fresh loaf will be eaten quickly, and who doesn’t love the flavor and texture of warm, fresh bread? It’s a way of getting  back to the basics and partaking in something that our ancient ancestors consumed regularly.

Not so fresh

Unlike the original version developed thousands of years ago, modern day bread has developed a reputation as not being so healthy. Let’s look at why store-bought bread isn’t optimal.

Unrecognizable ingredients

Store-bought bread is convenient, but that convenience comes at a price. To make the product “shelf stable” and last a long time, the germ is removed from the wheat. The germ is the vitamin and mineral-rich part of the wheat kernel. When it’s taken out, the nutrition and flavor are also removed.**

What takes the place of all the good stuff? Things like cellulose fiber, emulsifiers (an additive used to stabilize food), chemical dough conditioners, and hard-to-pronounce ingredients are added. I don’t think the ancient Egyptians included any of those in their daily bread.

The experience

So come break healthy bread with us (we bake it fresh daily) or learn to bake your own fresh loaves for when you can’t visit us. You will be doing something good for your body and your soul. After all – bread is known as the “staff of life”.

Ever wonder where that phrase came from? Read here: http://languagehat.com/staff-of-life/

Doing Good

We like to serve our freshly baked bread each day but whatever is leftover doesn’t go to waste. The bread is donated to organizations that can provide it to people in need.

Come enjoy a sandwich on our freshly baked bread  or try the clean, all- natural cranberry- walnut bread to start your morning off right! If you’re in a hurry, order something to-go online! Visit www.atlantabread.com

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Depositphotos_51023611_m-2015

Winning Recipes For Your Next Tailgate

As the air turns crisp and people begin breaking out the game jerseys, fans everywhere are gearing up for the gridiron. Yes, it’s fall football season and that means it’s time for that fabulous tradition of the tailgate party. The shared experience of watching your team is fun enough for most folks, but for others, nothing makes your day better than to enjoy some tailgating before the game. Some good food and drinks, music, games, and camaraderie is a great way to kick things off.

It’s all about the food

But that brings up an issue, what foods can you bring that are not only easy to make and transport, but that will also make this tradition feel, well, a little less traditional? Sure – you can slap together some sandwiches or grab a box of basic chicken wings to go, but how about whipping up some tasty bites that have a little something different than the usual tailgating fare?

On game day you may be in a hurry and you may even be thinking about trying to keep it healthy, so here are a few simple ideas that could help make your tailgate a winner. A shared experience like gathering in a parking lot to celebrate your team calls for easy to eat dishes. Finger foods are definitely something that works well here, especially when your day probably also involves packing up chairs, coolers, tables, and other items for the party.

Easy recipe

One healthy recipe that is easy to make ahead and pack up to go is a fun twist on a favorite, but often messy, Mexican dish:

Taco Wonton Bites:

24 small wonton wrappers

2 Tbs dry taco-seasoning mix

cup taco sauce

1 package of veggie ground round (pre-cooked) *substitute ground beef or turkey for meat-lovers.

1 cup shredded cheddar or cheddar/pepper-jack cheese blend

Optional toppings: chopped tomato, sour cream, shredded lettuce, guacamole

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, combine the taco seasoning mix with taco sauce, stir in the crumbled veggie ground round and cheese and set aside. Coat wonton skins with vegetable cooking spray and press each into a mini muffin tin. Fill each wonton skin with a spoonful of the meat, sauce, and cheese mixture. Bake for 12 minutes.

Transport the wonton cups in the muffin tin – just cover with aluminum foil. Pack up the toppings in containers and let people serve what they want to add.

Grab and go

Want something that be be made ahead of time? How about a healthier, easier- to- eat version of a party favorite? These are mini pizza sandwiches

Mini pizza bites:

Tube of thin crust pizza dough

Tomato sauce

mozzarella cheese

Filings can vary but could include: mini pepperoni, olives, sausage, peppers, onions, mushrooms

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Roll out dough and cut into 8 small squares. Place a spoonful of sauce and cheese in the center of each dough square. Put a small amount of toppings on sauce and cheese. Take corners of each dough square and gently stretch to meet and wrap around the ingredients. Bake for about 10 minutes or until golden brown on the outside.

These are great when warm but can also be eaten cold and are easy to pack up, pick up, and eat!

Don’t forget the player on the sidelines

Need a side to make your tailgating spread complete? How about this potato salad with bacon!

The shared experience of tailgating fun can be a great way to spend your day. It’s possible to think outside the box and to make healthy food that everyone can enjoy. A little bit of time preparing and packing can mean an easy, fun time in the lot. But if you find yourself in a hurry go ahead and order some sandwiches online from www.atlantabread.com and you’ll still score!

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Delicious baked macaroni and cheese with scallion

Loving Southern Comfort Food

Sometimes I just love the idea of eating some good southern comfort food. The warm, gooey goodness of mac-n-cheese or the creaminess of grits is so appealing. Born from a blending of African and European influences, southern food is the best of cultures wrapped together to create local food with distinct style.

The  origins

Much of what’s considered traditional southern food is derived from African slave culture where many foods were fried and ingredients like okra and black-eyed peas were widely used. Apparently though, fried chicken was brought over by Scottish settlers and has been perfected by many a southern cook ever since.

You may not be able to say that southern comfort fare is healthy food because it’s often known for the presence of fat and salt to help give it that “I must keep eating this” flavor. But one thing is for certain, it’s local food that truly evokes a sense of the community and of cooking with love.

Imagine where we’d be on a cold day, or when we weren’t feeling well, if we couldn’t have a bowl of chicken and dumplings or some biscuits and gravy?

Many traditionally southern dishes made use of local food that grows here, like collard, mustard or turnip greens or kale. As a predominantly farming economy, pork and chickens was often the meat of choice rather than beef. In many communities the most plentiful local food was squirrel, opossum, or rabbit. But southern cooking has come a long way.

The evolution

Sophisticated restaurants and modern, adventurous home chefs alike enjoy blending the best of culture in the south with unexpected ingredients to create dishes that still harken back to simpler times. Athens chef and Food and Wine magazine’s winner of Best New Chef 2002 – Hugh Achison – has been known to mix kimchi in to collard greens or serve Gulf Coast shrimp with smoky paprika vinaigrette, apples, scallions, and toasted sesame seeds.

As with many styles of cuisine, it’s about sticking with the local foods, a sense of the community and the best of culture and then adding a personal twist. With more and more people striving to eat healthy food, eliminating some of the fat, salt, or excess sugars can turn a traditional southern delight into less of a guilty pleasure. Though you can’t really mess with the recipes for fried green tomatoes, or fried chicken, you could create a healthier version for more frequent enjoyment. Here’s a list of 101 best southern food recipes you can try putting your own spin on!

Healthy Southern style

Yearning for a taste of the south without the fat and salt? Try Atlanta Bread’s soon to be released  Southern Harvest Salad – it boasts the best of local food influences while keeping it fresh and healthy. You can soon  place your order online for quick and easy pickup at www.atlantabread.com