JoJo at Newlywed Adventures was kind enough to give me the Honest Scrap award. She says that I write beautifully. Therefore, she is my new best friend. Kidding. (If you read yesterday’s post, you know that I am madly in love with my best friends.) But I was still completely flattered. JoJo lives in NYC, she loves Twilight, she’s a nurse and she’s entertaining. Far more entertaining than Miley Cyrus. In fact, if you have a problem with Miley, you and JoJo might become best friends.
Moving on to Tuesday Food Day. For Emile’s birthday breakfast last week, I made a scrumptious spice bread. I love waking up in the morning to a sweet, almost-guilt-free, muffin-y treat. It’s the only way I can resist the raspberry coconut muffins at the coffee shop across the street. I can tell just by looking at them that they are packed with sugar, fat, and yumminess.
In case you are completely clueless when it comes to baking (no judgement here), muffins and quick-breads are pretty much the same thing. Just baked differently. I love muffins, but I don’t have a muffin pan. Therefore, I make quick-bread. Next best thing. Although it’s harder to control your portion sizes with quick breads. It’s too easy to munch on another sliver of bread when no one’s looking. It doesn’t count if you’re standing at the counter while you pick at it, right?
Luckily, I am becoming more skilled at creating high-fiber, low-sugar breads. Like my peanut butter chocolate chip banana bread. Read about it here
. I found the recipe for Vegan Date Spiced Bread
(or muffins) at veganbaking.net
. I had purchased a container of fresh Medjool Dates from Trader Joe’s and I didn’t know what to do with them. I googled “date-sweetened muffins” and the rest is history. Thank you, Google.
I was very happy with this bread. I am already thinking of making it again. Everyone in my family liked it, especially when spread with almond butter. Or just butter. There is no sugar added, yet it was perfectly sweet and the spices added another dimension of flavor. Although I used very little oil, the bread was moist and it certainly didn’t taste low-fat.
You may know by now that I love to modify recipes. I prefer to think it’s for the better, but probably not always. In this case, I refused to use the rest of my soy milk because I wanted it for a smoothie (the recipe calls for non-dairy milk), so I used organic cow’s milk, which I buy for Emile. And then I figured since it wasn’t going to be vegan anyways, I may as well throw in an organic egg that I had in the fridge. You know, before they go bad. I buy eggs occasionally for baking and it takes me forever to go through a dozen.
I do wish I could be vegan, but I don’t have that kind of consistent self-control. My self-control ebbs and flows. And then somehow the next thing I know I end up making perfectly good vegan recipes with animal fat. Damnit. If you’re a vegan and you’d like to see the original recipe, go here
I also used oat bran instead of all-purpose flour, replaced most of the canola oil with applesauce, used walnuts instead of pecans, and added cloves. It’s pretty much a miracle that the bread turned out as good as it did. Or perhaps I’ve got skills. That must be it.
Vegan Date Spiced Bread (adapted from veganbaking.net)
1 ½ cups whole wheat flour
½ cup + 2 Tablespoons oat bran
1 teaspoon non-aluminum baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 ¾ cups + 1 Tablespoon milk
2 teaspoons canola oil
1 ¼ cups pitted medjool dates (about 20), pitted and quartered
½ cup applesauce
1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
1 ½ teaspoons ginger
1 ½ teaspoons cloves
1 teaspoon salt
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
¾ cup chopped walnuts
¾ cup raisins
1) Preheat oven to 325F (163C).
2) In a large mixing bowl, whisk together whole wheat flour, oat bran, baking powder and baking soda.
3) In a food processor or blender, add the milk, applesauce, dates, canola oil, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, salt, vanilla extract and egg. Process until smooth. If you’re using a blender, you may have to process this in two separate batches.
4) Add the ingredients from the food processor or blender to the bowl containing the dry ingredients in step 2. Mix until just incorporated then stir in the walnuts and raisins.
5) To Make Muffins:
Line a muffin pan with cupcake liners. Pour the batter into the muffin pan making sure the dough is filled up to the top of the pan and domed. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Makes 6 to 8 muffins.
To Make Bread:
Pour the batter into a lightly oiled 8 x 4 inch loaf pan and bake for about 1 hour or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
image from veganbaking.net