Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Almond Date Breakfast Loaf

I have been meaning to post about this bread for a while. The problem was that I ate the first loaf before I could take a picture (because it was so good) and then I made a second batch before Christmas, stuck it in the freezer and just pulled it out again this week. The bread is surprisingly tasty despite how it might look in the picture. It has almond extract in it which adds a unique flavor combined with cinnamon and dates. This bread is also very low in fat and sugar so you do no have to feel bad having it for breakfast or a snack. I like it best with a smear of almond butter- yum! I found the recipe in Cooking Light and the original has streusel topping and used figs instead of dates. I made the first batch with out the topping and thought it was just fine with out it. I used dates because they were easier for me to find, have as similar flavor and texture to figs, and they also always remind me of my grandmother. When I was younger, my mom's parents would spend winters in Arizona and every other Christmas we would hop in the car and drive down to visit. We would have a great time exploring the sand dunes, bartering in Mexico, eating fresh grapefruit for breakfast, and drinking date shakes. I now only vaguely remember the place where we would have them, but I remember a forest of date trees that we walked through and a little shop that sold date shakes. Right now as it literally " feels like" -22 outside according to I really wish I was in warm Arizona drinking that shake! Enjoy!

Almond Date Breakfast Loaf
adapted from Cooking Light
Yield: 2 loaves

~8-12 dates, pitted and chopped
2 egg whites
1 egg
3/4 cup applesauce
1/2 cup plain, fat-free yogurt
1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
1/2 tsp almond extract
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup ground flaxseed
1 cups unbleached, all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/3 cup chopped almonds or walnuts, toasted (I used walnuts)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat 2 8 inch loaf pans with non-stick cooking spray.
2. Place egg whites and egg in a medium bowl and whisk together. Add applesauce, yogurt, oil, flaxseed, and almond extract. Stir well. Add sugar and stir to combine. Mix in dates.
3. Combine flours, nuts, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and baking soda together in a separate bowl. Add to applesauce mixture and stir to combine.
4. Divide batter between prepared pans. Bake for 55 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans for 15 minutes or a wire rack; remove from pans. Cool completely on a wire rack.

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