Friday, January 20, 2017

Healthy(er) Apple Bread


The term “dessert bread” is a misnomer.  They contain no yeast and are more cake-like in texture, yet are too dense and not sweet enough to be considered actual cake.  The closest comparison is a muffin, and while they are a treat they certainly are not a dessert.  But like many desserts, they are usually full of fat and sugar.

While I do love my desserts, I have to be careful about how much and often I indulge because there are only so many hours in a day and I can’t spend them all on the elliptical.  To keep both my sweet tooth and waistline happy, I try to create healthier versions of some of my favorites.

This apple bread is one of my favorite recipes, healthy or not.  It’s low in fat and sugar but as delicious as the calorie heavy type.  Rather than using butter or oil, I’ve used unsweetened applesauce to bind the batter and keep the bread moist.  The natural sugar in the applesauce also helps sweeten the bread along with the chunks of apple so my recipe calls for much less sugar than most.  An even healthier result can be achieved by using a lower glycemic sugar like honey or maple syrup (the added liquid of the sweetener will not affect the final result).

Healthy(er) Apple Bread

Ingredients


  • 2 C flour
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 2 t baking powder
  • 2 t cinnamon
  • 1/2 C sugar
  • 1 C applesauce, unsweetened
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 2 medium-sized sweet apples, diced
  • 1 t apple cider vinegar

Equipment


  • large bowl
  • small bowl (x2)
  • spatula
  • measuring cups
  • measuring spoons
  • vegetable peeler
  • knife
  • stand or hand mixer
  • bread pans (x2)
  • parchment paper
  • 1” cookie scoop (optional)
  • baking racks


Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Grease two bread pans and line them with parchment paper.  Peel and core the apples, then dice into 1/4” - 1/2” pieces.  Put the apple pieces into a bowl and add the apple cider vinegar.  Toss to coat all the apples and set aside.


In a bowl combine the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon.  Set aside and combine the sugar, applesauce, eggs and vanilla.  Mix until creamy and even in color, approximately 2-3 minutes.  Add the dry mixture and incorporate into the wet ingredients.


When the batter is fully mixed, add the diced apples and fold them in gently.


Divide the batter evenly into the two prepared bread pans and spread out evenly to the corners.  Tap each pan on the counter to release any large air bubbles in the mix.  Bake 45-50 minutes until the top is golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.  Leave to cool in pans on a baking rack.  These can be cut while still warm but will hold together better by cooling to room temperature.


This healthier apple bread is delicious by itself, lightly toasted with butter or served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt.  It does need to be refrigerated because the moisture from the apples can be a perfect breeding ground for mold.