Review: Nature’s Pride’s Hearty Wheat Bread w/flax

Recently, through my association with FoodBuzz I was given the chance (and a free loaf) to test drive Nature’s Pride’s New Hearty Wheat Bread with Flax.  I guess I was chosen because of my post last summer about Sara Lee’s (Not-so) Heart Healthy Bread.  According to Nature’s Pride their new bread is, “baked with pure olive oil, this wholesome and healthy bread is a good source of fiber and offers 22 grams of whole grain per slice.  The addition of flax makes it a good source of Omega 3-ALA and, like all our breads, it is 100% natural and delicious.”

nature's pride hearty wheat with flaxNature’s Pride is a bread brand that I am comfortable with.  They, like Arnold’s and Nature’s Own, tend to make bread that is actually healthy as opposed to playing the shell game of other big brand’s like Sara Lee.  In short, I trust Nature’s Pride bread.

That’s why I looked forward to this opportunity.  For all the muckraking of bread right now it is important to point out that without the development of bread baking humans likely never emerge from the stone age.  Bread has been a solid cure to famine and starvation since man first learned to start a fire.  Of course moderation is also important.  Therefore, I am always in pursuit of bread that provides not only the hunger satisfying effects I like but also tastes good without killing me.  It’s a tougher quest than you might imagine.

Some notes on flax: Flax seed has been cultivated by mankind for both food and clothing since at least 30,000 BC (that is when dyed flax fibers found in a prehistoric cave in Dzudzuana, Republic of Georgia have been dated to).  Flax seed (or linseed as it is also known) was the dominate material in textile manufacturing prior to the cotton boom of early America.  Flax seed is to linen what cotton is to flannel.

As food, flax has proven to be a vital component in the fight against certain types of breast and prostate cancers as it contains elevated levels of dietary fiber, an abundance of micronutrients and omega-3 fatty acids.  Flax is also believed to help the pancreas better manage blood sugar levels making it a key addition to the diet of diabetics.  For more on flax you can check out this article at About.com.

I have learned to like whole wheat bread, an event most likely attributed to the natural evolution of a person’s palate over time.  I prefer wheat bread for subs and sandwiches of all kinds.  However, there are two sandwiches that simply do not lend themselves to the bitter bite of whole wheat – grilled cheese and PB&J.  Nature’s Pride appears to have solved that problem.

My first venture with their new Hearty Wheat Bread with Flax was to make a grilled cheese.  I used a three cheese combination of aged Swiss and Colby/Jack.  For the exterior of the sandwich I used a 50/50 blend of butter and mayonnaise (Don’t judge me!  It’s better for you than most margarine).  The result was, quite frankly, a perfect grilled cheese sandwich.  Great crunch and tenderness with no bitter finish.  Test #1 was a success.

Grilled Cheese on Nature's Pride Wheat

Test #2: For my PB&J I used an all natural peanut butter sweetened with real honey and one of those all-fruit spreads, grape of course (the official fruit of PB&J).  Again a winner.  No bitterness to diminish the whole PB&J experience.  The flax seeds offered a pleasing crunch not unlike using crunchy peanut butter.

PB&J on Nature's Pride Wheat with Flax

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Stuart is a celebrity chef, food activist and award-winning food writer. He penned the cookbooks Third Coast Cuisine: Recipes of the Gulf of Mexico, No Sides Needed: 34 Recipes To Simplify Life and Amigeauxs - Mexican/Creole Fusion Cuisine. He hosts two Internet cooking shows "Everyday Gourmet" and "Little Grill Big Flavor." His recipes have been featured in Current, Lagniappe, Southern Tailgater, The Kitchen Hotline and on the Cooking Channel.

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2015 1st Place Luck of the Irish Cook-off
2015 4th Place Downtown Cajun Cook-off
2015 2nd Place Fins' Wings & Chili Cook-off
2014 2015 4th Place LA Gumbo Cook-off
2012 Taste Award nominee for best chef (web)
2012 Finalist in the Safeway Next Chef Contest
2011 Taste Award Nominee for Little Grill Big Flavor
2011, 12 Member: Council of Media Tastemakers
2011 Judge: 29th Chef's of the Coast Cook-off
2011 Judge: Dauphin Island Wing Cook-off
2011 Cooking Channel Perfect 3 Recipe Finalist
2011 Judge: Dauphin Island Gumbo Cook-off
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2010 Judge: Bayou La Batre Gumbo Cook-off
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2010 Denay's Top 10 Best Food Blogs
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