If you’re a lover of “crunch”, the Japanese-style breadcrumbs, known as panko, just can’t be beat.
Traditionally, these crumbs are ground into large, airy flakes that make for a delightfully light and crunchy coating on deep-fried foods. From golden-crisp toppings on fish, chicken and chops, to the more indulgent deep-fried shrimp, panko tastes great on just about anything.
Unfortunately, panko is bad news when it comes to your health.
That’s because carbohydrates cooked at high temperatures form a dangerous cancer-causing compound called acrylamide.
Widely known for its presence in French fries and potato chips, grain-based products cooked at high temperatures are also rife with this compound.
So just how bad is acrylamide?
In 2005, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) said that acrylamide “may be responsible for up to one third of all cancers cause by diet”.
Seems like a very good reason to avoid carbohydrates cooked at high temps – and another reason to avoid most commercially fried foods.
And what about making grain-free “breadcrumbs” with shredded coconut or nut flours?
While this might seems like a good idea in theory (and will guard against acrylamide exposure thanks to the low carb count), most Paleo breadcrumbs make for a soggy topping… rather than a crunchy coating.
Paleo Panko: The Crunch You Crave… without the Grain You Don’t
Using our Better Bread Mix you can easily whip up a batch of Paleo Panko that will provide a gorgeous golden crunch to all of your favorite foods.
In the picture above, I’ve simply dredged pork chops in beaten pastured eggs, then in a spiced Paleo Panko, before they were pan-fried in a cast-iron skillet with a little coconut oil.
But you don’t have to go to all that trouble with the skillet and oil to get great results. You can also do a super-simple “shake and bake” style Paleo Panko that is just as crispy (if not more).
Simply dredge your chops (or chicken breasts) in a beaten pastured egg, then into your signature-spiced Paleo Panko and place on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees F until the proper internal temperature is reached.
I like to add dried rosemary, smoked paprika, sea salt and pepper to my spice blend for pork. For delicious Italian-style crispy chicken cutlets, dried basil, oregano, parsley and thyme are perfect!
The next time you bake up a batch of our Better Bread, make an extra loaf just for Paleo Panko breadcrumbs. They store beautifully in the freezer for anytime that crunch craving strikes!
- 1 Better Bread Mix, prepared as directed
- Smoked Paprika Spice Mix: ½ Tbsp. dried rosemary + 2 tsp. garlic powder + 2 tsp. smoked paprika + ½ tsp. sea salt + ¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- Italian Spice Mix: 1 Tbsp. dried Italian herbs (oregano, basil, thyme, parsley) + 2 tsp. garlic powder + 2 tsp. smoked paprika + ½ tsp. sea salt + ¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- Let baked Better Bread cool completely.
- Tear up loaves into small pieces and add to a Magic Bullet, blender or food processor. Pulse to create crumbs.
- Toss crumbs with spice mix of choice and spread on a baking sheet to dry. You may also lightly toast or dry slightly in a dehydrator.
- Use anywhere panko or breadcrumbs are called for.
- Store in a zip-top bag in the freezer.