Wednesday, August 8, 2007

The Bread Recipe

As I mentioned in the last post, J is a horrible eater. He's really picky, and has only about 10 foods that he'll eat on a regular basis. He gets really angry when you put new food on his tray and then often refuses to eat anything until you give him one of his three favorite foods - cereal bars, the Gerber animal cookies, or some of this bread. This is becoming a bit of an issue (he didn't gain any weight between his 12 and 15 month appointments) and I have been really grateful that he will actually eat these breads, because it's been a great way to get him to eat more fruits and vegetables.

My mother used to make chocolate zucchini bread for my brother when we were little and tell him it was just chocolate bread, because he refused all vegetables, and so the idea for this came from that. My mom also is a great baker, but tends to make things really healthy by taking out most of the sugar, replacing flour with whole wheat flour, and using applesauce instead of all the oil. So I followed her example and started with one of the quick bread recipes from my wonderful "Better Homes and Garden Cookbook", but modified it significantly (and doubled it) to make it more healthy. I also used a recipe from Cooks.com and from the Mississippi Favorite Sweet Potato Recipe pamphlet for ideas.

Here's the basic recipe I've been using, with comments for what I've been doing to modify it:

3 c. flour (I replace this with about 3/4 cup white, 1 cup whole wheat, and about 1 1/2 cups wheat germ; J likes the breads really moist and dense, and so cutting back on the flour and replacing some with wheat germ makes it like this; you can always add more flour or wheat germ later if it looks too wet)

2 c. sugar (I use only 1/2 cup - you don't miss it at all!)

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

3 beaten eggs

1 c. oil (sometimes I use all the oil, but I have also tried doing 1/2 c. oil and 1/2 c. applesauce - it needs some fat in the bread, so it doesn't work to replace it completely)

2-3 c. of the fruit or vegetable (*more on this below)

Flavorings - depending on which fruit or vegetable I use (*see below)

Sift dry ingredients together (including dry flavorings) in one bowl. In another bowl, combine wet ingredients(including any wet flavorings). Add the fruit or vegetable to the wet ingredients and stir to combine. Slowly add the flour to the wet ingredients, stirring as you go until it is all blended. Pour batter into greased large loaf pans, filling about 3/4 full (makes appx. 2 pans). Bake at 350 degrees for appx. 1 hour (sometimes it has taken longer than this - check by inserting a knife through the middle; if the outside is getting too dark, and the inside still is too wet, cover the top with foil to keep from browning and continue to bake, checking every 10 mins).

We eat one loaf right away (I store in the fridge) and I wrap the other in foil and a ziploc then freeze. It can be defrosted in the fridge.

*Fruit and vegetables - with all the fruits and vegetables, I usually prepare about twice as much as I need, then after preparation, I freeze half in a ziploc for use at a later time - that way I don't have to prep twice. Right now I have bananas, strawberries, sweet potato, carrot, and zucchini all in the freezer waiting to be made into bread! I also never know how much of the fruit/vegetable to use to get 2-3 cups, so this way I can just do a whole bunch, measure out what I need, then measure and freeze the rest of it.

Banana - use ripe bananas and mash them up; I usually use 2-3 cups; doesn't really need anything else for flavor

Sweet potato - Scrub clean with a brush, pat dry and prick with a fork, microwave for 16 -18 minutes (4-6 potatoes) on high (100%). Cut in half and scoop out insides. Mash them up. For flavorings, add 2 tsp vanilla, 2 tsp cinnamon, 2 tsp nutmeg, and 2 tsp allspice (can also use pumpkin pie spice)

Strawberries - can use fresh or frozen. If fresh, clean, de-stem, then puree in blender or food processor (I used our hand blender). If frozen, defrost, then puree. For flavor, use about 1-2 tsp cinnamon

Zucchini - wash, finely shred with skins on (you could peel them if you don't want the skin; I used our food processor to shred); for flavorings, I used 2 tsp cinnamon and 1/2 tsp nutmeg (could also use pumpkin pie spice)

Carrot and pineapple - wash, peel, and finely shred the carrots (again, used the food processor for this); use a whole can of crushed pineapple, with some of the juice (I pureed more with the hand blender so that it was even less chunky; I had to add a little more flour/wheat germ to compensate for the added liquid). For flavorings, I used 2 tsp cinnamon and 2 tsp vanilla.

I'm going to try pumpkin bread this fall, and I think the next bread we do will be apple (using finely shredded peeled apples). I tried blueberry banana bread, but J didn't like the blueberries and picked them out. I may try it again down the road - for that I just used frozen defrosted blueberries, sprinkled with cornstarch to keep them from sinking in the bread, and added it to the banana mixture. I may also try an apple bran bread next - I'll let you know how that turns out!

If you try making the breads, let me know. I apologize that the recipe is so "unofficial" - I really have just been putting in whatever seems right and hopes it turns out ok! Good luck!

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1 Comments:

  • Thank you so much for posting this! I have a chocolate zucchini bread recipe that I really like, but there's too much sugar. I never thought about cutting back that much, but maybe I'll try. I have no problem whatsoever getting Jenna to eat fruit, but she hates veggies. So I am definitely going to try this with zucchini and sweet potato. Have you ever tried using baby food to make anything like this? I've always wondered about that, but I've been afraid to try.

    By Blogger Karen, at August 8, 2007 at 1:52 PM  

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