February 1, 2009

Almond Applesauce Bread

I was lucky enough to win a prize from this year's Menu For Hope and it arrived this past week. The prize I won came from Heidi Robb of Life in Recipes. It included an almond milk making kit, 2 beautiful hand-thrown mugs and an autographed menu from Michael Symon. I've been wanting to make my own nut milk for awhile, so I was excited to try my kit immediately. For my first batch of milk I followed Heidi's recipe. It was so much more flavorful than the boxed and a real treat. The way I liked it best was in my morning hot cereal. I kept the almond pulp as well and wanted to find a way to use it up. Through the convoluted pathways of my brain, an applesauce quick bread was born.

I've been trying to use up the remaining summer stores in our freezer. I had a couple of packages of homemade applesauce from my son Alex's enthusiastic apple picking this past fall. No one in our house will eat applesauce straight up except for me so I needed to repurpose it. In browsing the recent Daring Baker entries I visited a site with a parsnip cake sweetened with dates. Mix together those ideas in my head and out came an applesauce bread with almond milk pulp, sweetened with dates. Wonderfully the experiment was successful! Though the sweetness is much more subtle compared to the often cake-like banana breads it was just sweet enough for me. It also was moist and the almond pulp gave it a little chewiness. The bread was a big hit with my husband as well. I tried the recipe again with pre-ground almond meal and it works well but you do lose the fiber from the almond peels that are included in the milk pulp. I hope to keep making weekly batches of almond milk and more variations on this bread. Thanks Heidi!

Creamy Nut Milk recipe from Life in Recipes
I love Bob's Red Mill High Fiber Hot Cereal. It was fantastic made with homemade almond milk!
My next batch of almond milk will be date sweetened per a recent Raw Comfort Foods Class I attended.

Almond Applesauce Bread
This is subtly sweet and very flavorful. It was developed as a way to use up the pulp leftover from making almond milk but works just as well with other ground almonds or almond meal.
Makes 1 (8-inch x 4-inch) loaf

4 oz (~2/3 cup) pitted dates
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup Earth Balance margarine
2 eggs
1 cup almond meal (or wrung out pulp from making almond milk)

-Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
-Soak the dates in warm water for at least 10 minutes.
-Sift (or whisk) together the flours, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and allspice. Set aside.
-Place the applesauce and the dates (with the extra soaking water strained off) in the bowl of a food processor and process until the dates are chopped and evenly distributed. *You could also try doing this step in a blender and then mixing the rest of the recipe by hand but I used the food processor to make fewer dirty dishes.
-Add the margarine and process until combined. Add the eggs and again process until combined. Add the almond meal or almond milk pulp and pulse to combine.
-Add the flour mixture to the food processor in three stages, pulse 1-2 times after each addition. Then pulse until all the flour is combined with the wet ingredients.
-Coat a 8"x4" loaf pan with spray oil and spoon the batter evenly into the pan.
-Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the loaf comes out clean.
-Cool for 5 minutes and then remove the loaf from the pan and cool thoroughly on a rack before slicing.

These recipes were helpful/inspirational:
Applesauce Nut Bread from Baking Bites
Parsnip, Date & Banana Cake (vegan and gluten-free) from Creative Recipes for Wandering Minds

Isn't this mug fantastic!! See more beautiful pottery at Ellen Shankin Pottery.
(And yes, that's homemade almond milk in the mug.)Bonus Abbie shot


Guiltless Glutton said...

That mug IS fantastic. The bread sounds good, too!

Ricki said...

I love, love handmade pottery and that mug is a beauty! The almond bread also sounds yummy. Great photo!

Gera @ SweetsFoods said...

Hi Maggie!

Beautiful mug with a nice decoration!
The experiment-bread looks so fresh and delicious!! Ideal for my breakfast with this subtle sweetness :)


doggybloggy said...

LOOK....Its the half cat table decoration.....

How cool is fresh homemade nut milk? I cant wait to see what your twisted brain will make of all this.

My hat design is so simple I cant honestly part with it....but I can send you some hats...once you see them you will know.

Heidi Robb said...

Maggie, it truly is a wonder how much
more deliciousness the almond milk has when made from scratch.

The bread looks so deeply satisfying. tahnks for coming up eith the recipe as I will definitely try it.

The mug - sigh.


Heidi Robb said...

sorry for typos =)

Nina Timm said...

I have never tried to make a milk from nuts, but this sure is tempting me to do so soon..... Warm almond milk and a slice of that bread sounds like a mighty fine idea to me!

Dawn said...

making your own almond milk? why not! If I had the right equipment I would too.
I would LOVE a slice of this bread right now with my second cup of coffee.

VeggieGirl said...

Wonderful bread!! And I love the bonus Abbie shot :-D

Fearless Kitchen said...

What a great way to avoid waste. It looks delicious!

Alisa (Go Dairy Free and Frugal Foodie) said...

This could very well be a "perfect post," homemade almond milk, a quick bread recipe, and a cute picture of a cat! I am in heaven ... now I must pull out that "milk" maker!

Terry & Dennis Macri said...

The bread sounds wonderful, I have just recently introduced my Husband to dates and surprise, surprise, he loves them. Every morning he eats almonds and dates on his cereal. This bread would be a nice change for him. Thank you so much for posting it.

TavoLini said...

How neat!! I bet homemade nut milks would be fantastic!

Daily Spud said...

The almond and applesauce sound like a lovely combination...

cook4seasons said...

I always want to gobble up kitty... SO cute! And thanks for the tip on what to do with the almond pulp. I have a big bag of it in the freezer from making the milk - this bread sounds like just the ticket.

5 Star Foodie said...

This bread looks delicious with applesauce and almonds and the mug is fantastic. Love your site!

PG said...

mug looks beautiful!
And that's a wonderful thing that you can make almond milk at home now.

Maria said...

The bread looks delightful!

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

This bread sounds heavenly. I really prefer less sweet things, in general. And anything that uses both applesauce and almonds would be a hit with me.

Sara said...

The bread sounds great. I love apples and applesauce.

Abbie looks pretty cute in the bonus photo.

Shayne said...

the mug is spot on, I love it

Jude said...

Such a smart way to use up the leftovers from making almond milk. I bet it really makes the loaf really nutritious.

JoanBailey said...

Oh my goodness! This sounds fantastic.

sue said...