Summer is winding down, the days are getting cooler, and I’m heading back into the kitchen to bake. Quick breads are one of my weaknesses, so I go for great-tasting recipes that include as much nutritional goodness as possible. I’ve goofed by cutting back too much on one ingredient or another, or by making too many changes to the recipe at once. I think this healthier Walnut Raisin Bread gets it just right!
Applesauce stands in for some of the oil, but not all of it, and adds flavor, too. Raisins provide fiber, and natural sweetness that helps to cut down on added sugar. Walnuts serve up heart-healthy unsaturated fat. To increase the whole grain content, I used some whole wheat flour instead of all-purpose flour and added oats.
Making muffins from the batter instead of baking two loaves of bread is a better way for to control quick bread portions. Muffins keep me from going overboard because I limit myself (nearly always!) to one.
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much I do!
Walnut Raisin Bread
Makes 2 loaves (24 slices or 24 muffins)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup one-minute oats, uncooked
¾ cup light brown sugar, packed
1 cup California raisins
1 cup chopped walnuts
2 ½ cups unsweetened applesauce
2/3 cup canola oil
4 large eggs
½ cup 1% low-fat milk
Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Lightly grease and flour two loaf pans.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the flours, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, baking soda, oatmeal, brown sugar, raisins, and walnuts. Stir until well combined.
Place the applesauce, canola oil, eggs, and milk in the bowl of an electric mixer. Blend on high speed until combined, about 1 minute.
Add the applesauce mixture to the flour mixture. Stir until the dry ingredients are moistened.
Fill the loaf pans with the batter, dividing it evenly between the 2 pans. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from pans and allow to cool on a wire rack before slicing.
Per slice or muffin:
11 grams fat (1 gram saturated fat)
227 milligrams sodium
30 grams carbohydrate
2 grams fiber
4 grams protein