Plus, I have been doing a lot of reading, other food-related blogs, that is. I found some great info that I feel I should share. This post talk about oils and how processing hurts them and how to choose the right oils. Coconut oil has always been a darling of mine and I am happy to know its not a health villain.
Now, about the date nut bread recipe. If you are just venturing into baking, a quick bread is a good place to start. The term quick bread is used for breads that rely on baking powder and/or baking soda for the leavening/rise rather than yeast. So, these breads can be baked right away as opposed to waiting for the yeast to work, which can take a few hours. Plus, they are super-easy to make. Typically, you mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl, the wet ingredients in another, and then, combine and pour into the loaf pan. Voila!
This week, I wanted a healthful and filling bread to eat as a snack for all of us, for you know, those mid-morning/mid-afternoon snack attacks. This bread was inspired by the date fig bread in the "Joy of Vegan baking", but I changed it up quite a bit to suit the ingredients that I had. Don't worry, you can even make it without the dates, though I do recommend you try it once with them. This bread gets a deep, rich, brown color from the dates and the baking soda, making it look really beautiful. Plus, the dates in the background provide a wonderful, subtle sweetness while the walnuts make it really hearty. Here's the recipe:
Date nut bread (yield: one 8x4" loaf)
3/4 cup whole-wheat flour
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup oil
1 and 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup fresh dates, chopped
3/4 cup boiling water + 1/4 cup room temp. water
2 tbsp flaxseed meal + 6 tbsp water
1/2 cup walnuts
1/2 cup cranberries/raisins
1/2 cup chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350 F and spray your loaf pan with non-stick spray. In a small saucepan, bring the 3/4 cup water to a boil, add the dates and turn the heat off. Set aside for 5 min. so that the dates soften up. In a food processor or a small bowl, combine the flaxseed meal and water, mix until creamy and set aside. In a large bowl, combine the flours, sugar, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Add the nuts, cranberries and chocolate chips, and mix well. Now, process the dates-water mixture into a smooth paste in the food processor/blender. If you don't have dates, you can substitute the date paste with 3/4 cup applesauce. In a medium bowl, combine the date paste, oil, flaxseed meal paste and the 1/4 cup water. Now, add this mixture to the flour mixture and mix until just combined. Pour into the greased loaf pan and bake for 50-60 min. until deep brown on top and a fork inserted in the middle comes out clean. Set pan on wire rack to cool for an hour before slicing the bread.