Friday, 27 April 2012

Rosemary - Rosemary & Garlic Bread Rolls GF SCD

"As for Rosemarine, I lett it runne all over my garden walls, not onlie because my bees love it but because it is the herb sacred to remembrance, and, therefore to friendship; whence a sprig of it hath a dumb language that maketh it the chosen emblem of our funeral wakes and in our burial grounds." Sir Thomas More (1478-1535)
Rosemary or Rosemarinus officinalis is deemed to be a symbol of friendship and remembrance all over the world. The tradition of laying sprigs of rosemary over a coffin or tombstone dates back to ancient Egypt and was continued well into the Middle Ages. Sprigs of Rosemary have been found in the wrappings of Egyptian mummies and the Ancient Greeks used to burn branches of the herb on the altars of their Gods, considering it to be a sacred herb. Rosemarinus means "dew of the sea" and the herb grows wild in Mediterranean coastal areas. An evergreen shrub with strongly aromatic needle-like leaves, Rosemary is a member of the mint family and related to basil and thyme.

It has been suggested that the Virgin Mary, when fleeing from Herod's soldiers, spread her blue cloak over a white flowering Rosemary bush to dry and when she removed it, the flowers had turned blue in her honour, hence the name Rosemary. The herb has also associated with ancient folk lore when Rosemary was called "Elf Leaf" and sprigs were hung around the home to keep out thieves and witches and to prevent the fairies from stealing young children. It was burned during the Black Death in the 14th Century and carried and sniffed in 1665 to prevent catching the Great Plague of London. 

I've never had much success growing Rosemary. The pot on the left was grown from seed last year and out of twelve seeds planted, it was the only one to germinate. The pot on the right was bought from a garden centre in March and is beginning to grow rapidly. The plant in my garden is too woody to use in cooking and has therefore become an ornamental shrub.

Medicinal Uses

A recipe for a tonic from the flowers of rosemary can be found in one of the earliest herbals known to be printed in England, Banckes Herbal..
 “take the flowers thereof and boyle them in fayre water and drinke that water for it is for it is much worthe against all manner of evils in the body."
Containing the antioxidants carnosic acid and rosmarinic acid, rosemary's properties also include other bioactive compounds including camphorcaffeic acid, ursolic acid, betulinic acid, rosmaridiphenol, and rosmanol. Research has shown that some of these compounds may be useful in preventing or treating cancers and strokes. It is also high in salicylates. Rosemary is believed to assist is the treatment of :
  • circulation disorders
  • dandruff
  • depression
  • arthritis
  • migraines
  • mouth infections
  • healing wounds
  • bruises and scars
  • indigestion
Research has also discovered that certain phytochemicals in the herb prevent the degradation of acetylcholine, an important brain chemical needed for normal neurotransmission. A deficiency of this chemical is commonly seen in people with Alzheimer's Disease. Perhaps this is why the Ancient Greek scholars wore garlands of rosemary to help their memory. 

Nutritional Benefits

Rosemary is a good source of :

  • vitamin A
  • vitamin B2 
  • vitamin B5
  • vitamin B6
  • vitamin C
  • folic acid
  • magnesium
  • calcium
  • manganese
  • iron
  • potassium
  • copper

Cooking with Rosemary

Rosemary has a floral aroma similar to pines and a strong taste which can overwhelm other foods. It compliments similarly strong flavours such as garlic and is a classic partner of goat's cheese. It combines well with butternut squash, chestnuts, hazelnuts, mushrooms, olives, onions, peas and potatoes. It also goes extremely well in sweet dishes with ingredients including orange, chocolate, grapes, lemon and apricots.

Rosemary and Garlic Bread Rolls GF SCD

320g ground almonds
1½ tblsps honey
2 large eggs
2 tblsps extra virgin olive oil
1 to 2 tblsps chopped fresh rosemary
3 large cloves garlic crushed
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
a large pinch of salt
freshly ground black pepper

Set the oven to 180°C. Chop the rosemary very finely, don't worry if you include a bit of the stem if the rosemary is growing. However, if the stems are woody strip the leaves. If you want a milder flavour use one tablespoon, increase the herb according to taste but be cautious, don't add too much!

Measure the eggs, honey and extra virgin olive oil and crushed garlic into a food processor or bowl and whisk together until light and fluffy. Add the chopped rosemary.

Measure the ground almonds, bicarbonate of soda and salt into a bowl and add to the whisked liquids. Add a few twists of freshly ground black pepper.You don't have to use a processor. Mix together well.

Wet your hands with cold water and roll the mixture quickly into six or eight balls, then place on a baking sheet lined with baking parchment.

Place into the oven, cook at 180°C for five minutes then turn the heat down to 150°C and cook for a further twenty to twenty-five minutes. Cover with some foil towards the end of the cooking time if they appear to be getting too brown. The buns are ready if they sound hollow when tapped underneath.

Serve warm.

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  1. Vicky,

    These are beautiful! I can't WAIT to try these with soup night. You always inspire me with your SCD rolls. Sharing this one EVERYWHERE!


  2. The combination of garlic and rosemary are making my mouth water! Yum. I just picked up some almond flour today too. These are getting made this week! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Hello dear Vicky! I love that quote! Rosemary is an amazing herb. I enjoyed all of the wonderful information you shared! Your Rosemary and Garlic bread rolls look so delicious! My rolls usually end up quite flat. I love how plump and round yours are! I look forward to trying your fabulous recipe! Thank you so much for all of the SCD recipes you share! You are inspiring! Have a lovely weekend! Love, Paula xo

  4. I was late to develop an appreciation for rosemary, but have been using it more in the last couple years since I started growing it.

    Your rolls look lovely. I will be giving them a try. I know my family misses bread at dinner and I have been remiss in coming up with acceptable substitutes.

    Thank you for sharing your thorough herb posts with us. I really appreciate all of the work you put into them!

  5. The rolls looks so delicious, and I love the mental image of rosemary running over the garden walls! Great research.

  6. I'm a huge fan of rosemary! I use to have two very large plants but a heavy freeze last winter killed one of them. I love these rolls and definitely will be giving them a try. I bet the house smelled wonderful while these were baking.

  7. Wow! These are terrific. It's the first recipe of yours that we've tried and I was SO impressed. These rolls have the perfect balance of flavors and actually have some heft to them (necessary for my HungryMan partner). Thanks so much for posting this. I'll be checking back for what I'm sure will be great finds.

  8. Joann - Thank you..I love that quote, it conjures up pictures of English country gardens!

    Mjskit - Frost tends to kill mine too, the only one I have that has survived is sheltered under a tree which is not the best place for it to grow! Thank you for coming over!

    Nancy - I'm so pleased you enjoyed them! I love getting feedback!

  9. Hi There Vicky,

    Just a note to let you know I shared your awesome recipe on my monthly recipe round-up: Mother’s Day Edition. If you get a chance, come on over and check out the other inspiring recipes from sweet indulgence to homemade gifts.

    Be Well,

  10. I had no idea Rosemary was so good for you. I had heard about the 'rosemary for remembrance' but not much else. I was so interested to learn about the medicinal uses of this herb too.

    Your Rosemary Garlic bread rolls sound delicious, and they look lovely. I have a Rosemary bush in my herb garden so I will look forward to giving them a try.

  11. I LOVE this post. I've learned so much about rosemary. I think I'm most surprised with the nutritional value of it. Thanks so much for sharing with Hearth and Soul!

  12. April - Thank you! It's amazing how much information I gathered about Rosemary and how much I couldn't add into the post. My garden rosemary is too tough now to use chopped but I sometimes take a sprig and put it in the dish with roasted veggies!

    Elsa - Thank you! It's amazing how you can boost the nutritional value of a dish by adding fresh herbs! I have also learned so much from my research!

  13. These are just great! Can't wait to try them
    I have to pin-it

  14. These are beautiful! I've never cared for dry rosemary, but I might like it better fresh. I love your background story of the herb. It gives me more desire to fix your rolls. Thanks for sharing at Allergy-Free Wednesdays! We hope to see you back again next week.

    ~Michelle, AFW Hostess

  15. Oh these look and sound lovely ;)
    Yumm.... and with rosemary... oh the aroma.....

  16. I have made these twice for my daughter who follows the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. She LOVES them! Made a nice option for her lunch on a school field trip last week. Thank you for sharing this recipe on your blog.

  17. Winnie - Thank you so much for your comment, I hope you enjoy them..oh and thank you for pinning the post!

    Michelle - Thank you, I agree that sometimes dried Rosemary can really overpower a dish if you use too much, I think fresh rosemary can add a more subtle taste.

    Ella - Thank you!

    Susan - I'm so pleased your daughter likes them! Thank you for your comment!

  18. Hi Vicky

    Just eaten one of your rosemary & garlic rolls straight from the oven with butter. Just lovely. Well done what a great website for inspiration for us SCDers.


    1. Thank you for letting me know Lynne, so pleased you made them and enjoyed! They are at their best eaten warm!

      Have a lovely weekend!

  19. I was poking around your FB page and saw your link to this recipe. Umm... YUM, Vicky!! These look amazing! I am on a grain free/modified diet this week (due to more health problems). I just might have to make these. Thanks for sharing!
    Hugs to you!

    1. Haha! I also "poke" around on FB pages - since FB started to limit the feed I receive!

      I'm so sorry you're still not well, I hope your modified diet helps you to feel better.

      Hugs back to you too!

      Vicky x

  20. Thank you, I have just made these, can't wait to see how they turn out. So glad I came across your site, Have just started on scd, so good so far.


    1. I hope they turned out OK - They're not like bread as we know it, I'm afraid, but people seem to like them! Good luck with the diet :)

  21. I wonder if these would just taste like regular rolls without the spices? I am desperately searching for a roll recipe for my little guy that is grain free and refined sugar free ( I only use honey for sweetner). What do you think?

    1. I'm sorry that I've only noticed your comment. I don't think they will taste like regular rolls, nothing grain free tastes like regular rolls, I'm afraid. I haven't tried using cashew flour with this recipe but you may get a better result using that if you don't want to spice the rolls.

      I hope that helps.

  22. Hi just landed here and wish to help regarding the propagation of RM. It's very easy just pinch the top 2 cm and plant them in compost in early spring. They take easily. Here in Malta we use it as hedges in central strips. Good luck

    1. Thank you so much, I'm going to try this next year. The hedges must look wonderful.