Blast. In my excitement to write about Snackfish I missed the chance to scoop one of the national papers. You see before I went haddock tasting on Monday lunchtime, I had a meeting with a nice man in a pub. He brought me sandwiches.
The nice man was Paul Shackleton – banker turned baker and creator of the VERY low-carb broccoli bread called Plan Bread being hailed as a miracle for sandwich lovers everywhere in today’s Daily Mail. I’d noticed them following me on twitter, got intrigued and asked for a tasting. I thought I had a few days before the news got out. Ah…….
The premise is this. The broccoli bread contains just 139 calories and 2.1g of carbohydrates per 100g. To put that in perspective, the loaf of brown bread in my cupboard right now contains 239 calories and 37.7g of carbs per 100g. That’s a big saving. Huge.
How they do it is a mystery. They like to use the phrase ‘trade secret’. I couldn’t even get out of him exactly what’s in it let alone how to mix up a batch at home. I tried. I know it’s got broccoli, I know it’s got egg whites. I know they also tried courgette and red cabbage before settling on our florety friend as their prime ingredient choice. The rest of the ingredients? I have no clue. Seriously, never play poker with this man. I tried asking outright – nope. I tried multiple choice in an attempt to get a reaction – complete poker face. Although I did get out of him that it doesn’t use whey protein, soy protein or anything with gluten in it as a binder. Tasting it also didn’t give me any further clues.
What does Broccoli Bread taste like?
The answer is actually pretty good. It’s quite dry – rather like a gluten-free loaf – but the sandwich fillings have been carefully created to counteract this issue, ie using a sundried tomato pesto instead of plain tomato with chicken and adding tzatziki to poached salmon rather than just having it with plain cucumber. Unlike a gluten-free loaf though it doesn’t crumble and break up as you eat it. Plus, despite its broccoli base, it doesn’t taste at all veggie-fied – although it is green.
The most surprising thing though was quite how filling it is – and how fast you get a satiating reaction. I ate half a chicken sandwich while talking to Paul, so, not exactly wolfing it down, but still by the time he left me 20 minutes later, I was too full to eat the second half. The whole sandwich was only 261 calories but half of it filled me up more effectively than my favourites at Pret which have up to twice the calories. I was really impressed.
The sad thing right now is that at the moment you can only try the bread if you work for a company in London that book Plan Bread to do the catering but here’s hoping someone snaps them up to make loaves for one of the health food stores soon. I’d definitely use it – although, you’d have to follow Paul’s lead and make the fillings mushy.