MEET Passand El Hammami

The beauty behind Sea Salt Bakery reveals the secrets of her gluten-free life.
in Meet by

One of the greatest life lessons we learned from our conversation with Passand El Hammami, is that you can have your bread and eat it too. But not the commercial, highly processed and overly sugary breads that we’re so used to. “I’m not a slave to sugary breads, cakes, and cereals,” says Passand, “Not even a freshly baked croissant stuffed with Nutella would move me. It’s a miracle.”

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So how does she do it? How does Passand have her bread and eat it too, let alone say no to a freshly baked croissant stuffed with Nutella? She bakes the bread herself. Passand, 29, is the founder of Sea Salt Bakery – a homegrown maker of gluten, lactose and sugar-free breads and snacks in Hurghada. Having been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease a few years back, Passand realized through the process of elimination that gluten was no longer for her. And since then, Passand has been “playing around in the kitchen and examining all sorts of flours from around the world […] finding gluten-free solutions for everyday foods”. From blueberry granola bars and banana bread (those are Passand’s favorites), to quinoa and almond breads too, Passand doesn’t want to take your non gluten-free goods away from you. She simply wants to give you more options raising food awareness and creating healthful and enjoyable breads and snacks for a certain type of lifestyle through Sea Salt Bakery.

“I could talk about all of the health benefits (of eating gluten-free), like improved cholesterol and digestion. But in all honesty, I feel amazing because I can resist all of that other stuff without an inch of struggle,” she says. “My work is an extension of my life. After being diagnosed with the autoimmune disease, my life had completely changed and I had to make sacrifices that seemed impossible at the time. It’s important to find the right substitute foods that suit your taste palate. And I promise you, you will find them. At the end of the day, food is one of the pleasures of life so I have to make sure it stays that way!”

And for the most part, Passand is doing it all on her own – the recipe making, baking, marketing and sales with some taste testing assistance from her husband. “The recipes took a while of trial and error to perfect. Getting the breads to rise is the greatest challenge. And coconut flower – it’s a super ingredient to bake with but it’s the most complex. The results are either too dry or too moist. I’ve found my ways though and that’s always a lot of fun! I also have a marketing background so the business side of things came naturally to me,” she tells us.
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So what’s up next for Sea Salt Bakery, having our cake and eating it too? “I’m curious to find out myself,” Passand confesses. “I’ll just keep baking and see where it takes me.” Until then, here is more from the gluten-free baker’s life:

Her pro tips for eating healthy…

Read the label on everything you buy at the supermarket.

Her food philosophy…

Don’t force yourself into change – especially with food. Take it one day at a time.

Her current fitness obsession…

I do Kayla Itsines BBG program – it’s effective, efficient, challenging and I love it.

Her favorite meal…

Pasta with pesto sauce. Quinoa pasta and brown rice pasta are my favorites.

Her go-to healthy meal in Cairo…

I don’t eat out much, but inSeason has delicious salads.

Her favorite song to play at the gym right now…

Tinie Tempah ft. Jess Glynne – Not Letting Go

Her health advice…

Chew, chew and chew. Your body likes foods that are in liquid form more because then it does less work of breaking down the food during digestion.

Her beauty secrets…

Wash your face before you go to bed. And coconut oil. Put it all over you, even on your hair.

Her guilty pleasure…

Dark chocolate.

Her greatest indulgence…

Red wine.

Her rule for life…

Kon Jameelan tara al Wojood Jameel.

Her greatest inspiration…

Kindness

Her perfect day, morning through night…

Clean bed sheets, pajamas, a good laugh and staying in that bed all day!

Her dream job (besides founding Sea Salt Bakery of course)…

Dancer.

About Sea Salt Bakery

Sea Salt Bakery, named after Passand’s love for the sea and little bits of sea salt she uses in her products, offers gluten-free, lactose-free and sugar-free breads and snacks. For more information on available products and where to buy, visit Sea Salt Bakery’s Facebook and Instagram pages.

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