Note: The following is an honest review. Neither Sweatpants & Coffee nor the author has been compensated for this post.
I have always loved bread. My grandmother made delicious beer bread, and my mother-in-law still makes the most amazing braided bread for family gatherings. Bread, for me, has always been about family. But there was a hitch.
Starting in my 40’s, bread and I began to have a love/hate relationship. I still loved bread, especially warm bread right out of the oven, but after eating it, I would feel bloated and uncomfortable. I would tell myself I’d just eaten too much, but the reality was that I had that same feeling with pasta and other gluten-based foods. No one in my family has any diagnosed gluten allergies or sensitivities, but more than one family member has given up bread because it “made them feel fat.” While I hated the idea of giving up bread, I did so for a while because it really did make me feel better to do so. I tried a few gluten free bread and pasta products and found them less than satisfying. Many were really no better than gnawing on a piece of cardboard.
One day while perusing the food porn pictures that proliferate Instagram, I came across a woman named Coco and her account @cocobakes.
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A year ago at this time I Beau took this creepy photo of us. We were both in transition. He left his job and joined me in the kitchen as I was getting ready to shut down the business. It was a challenging decision but one that we felt was best for our future. A year later Coco Bakes is shaping, baking and shipping out more bread than I can even imagine. Sometimes transitions can lead to beautiful things. We’ve transitioned through a few head bakers in 8 short months but each change has brought incredible consequences. Today we are stronger than ever with an incredible team working to bring you the best experience and new products and we’ve lowered our subscription cost permanently!
The bread photos made my mouth water and her story made me one of her most avid followers. She, too, has had a love/hate relationship with food over the years and openly talks about how you can make food choices that taste good, are healthy for you, and not have those choices be about deprivation. She encourages people to listen to their bodies; eat more of what makes you feel good, and avoid the stuff that doesn’t. Read labels and be mindful. But if you want chocolate, or bread, or a cookie, eat that and celebrate. I also loved that Coco is a female entrepreneur and her bread and other baked goods are a labor of love, three years in the making. She talks openly about balancing business with family, her frustrations and her triumphs. She never seems afraid to say she screwed up, or she’s hangry, or she feels like crying. Her honesty is refreshing and those bread pictures made me hungry to try bread again.
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CLOSED: @jessiemedina you got me with PJs and toast in bed. Quite possibly the best combo in human history. Toasted coco bakes + honey + cinnamon + salt. What’s your favorite way to eat Coco bakes? Tag someone who hasn’t tried it yet to enter to win a freeeeeeee loaf! Tag as many friends as you’d like! Tell me how you like your CB bread. Beau will choose his favorite combo on Thursday and we will send the loaf the following week! US only.
Coco Bakes is located in Santa Monica, CA. The bread is made in small batches at the beginning of the week before they cool and ship on the day they are created. Bread is posted for sale on Friday and Saturday mornings and sells out very quickly. I logged onto the website, www.cocobakesla.com, more than once only to find that the bread was already sold out! Not to be deterred, I marked my calendar and kept trying until I finally had success and claimed a loaf of my own to try. The bread is sourdough, gluten free, dairy free, and uses organic sprouted sorghum flour, organic tapioca flour, organic sprouted gluten free oat flour, Himalayan salt, and a dash of xanthan gum. And that’s it.
My bread came via US Mail and I could barely contain my excitement. The bread arrives in very snug plastic wrap inside of a parchment paper sleeve with a simple Coco Bakes label. It was really hard not to take a bite out of the bread right out of the wrapper, it looked so good! And the bread smells divine, but you need to sprinkle it with water and heat for 20 minutes in a 400 degree oven to crisp and refresh it. At this point, you can slice and store the individual slices between parchment paper in an airtight container in your freezer to make it last. Or, if you are my family, you scramble to eat the loaf while it is still warm and crunchy!
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After seeing all of the amazing recipes Coco’s followers had shared, I couldn’t decide on one way to try the bread, so we tried them all. Toasted with butter. Toasted with butter and then loaded with fresh avocado and fried eggs. Toasted, slathered in herb cheese, and layered with avocado, tomato, and melted Gruyere. And the “piece de resistance,” toasted and slathered in peanut butter, honey, and topped with bananas, sprinkled with brown sugar and cinnamon. Each creation tasted amazing. The bread remained firm and didn’t disintegrate like many other vegan bread options. It had a very satisfying texture that was earthy with a crunchy crust, and you could taste the sourdough, although it was not overwhelming. We cut the bread into thick slices that easily supported all of the toppings we wanted to try, and savory or sweet, Coco Bakes Bread did not disappoint. We all found the bread satisfying and I can happily report that my stomach did not feel bloated or uncomfortable.
Really my only disappointment is that I should have ordered more than one loaf. Now, I have to go back and try to compete for another loaf next week! Coco does have a bread subscription service, so that might be a better idea now that I’ve found a bread that makes my tummy feel good and reminds me again of the importance of breaking bread with my family.
When you try Coco Bakes bread for yourselves, don’t forget to tag @cocobakes with photos of your own creations and use the hashtag #bodybybread on Instagram.
“Good bread is the most fundamentally satisfying of all foods; good bread with fresh butter, the greatest of feasts.” James Beard