Health Nut Bread


This was a lucky experiment from last week that I wanted to pass on. It was complete improvisation and I didn’t measure anything except the baking soda and salt (don’t wanna mess those up). It was late afternoon, a few hours after I had eaten lunch, and I was starting to get hungry. Lately I had been craving
pan de queso, a sweet bread from a local bakery which is made with sweet cheese and pounds of sugar and butter (or perhaps even lard). They are rich and delicious, and the moment the idea popped into my head I started for my shoes. But then as I was looping the last bow, the thought of ingesting something that decadent slowed me down. I know that delicious things can be made with healthy ingredients. I sat there for a minute weighing the pleasure I might get from the act of eating the delectable confection versus the disagreeably heavy feeling I would have afterward.

I kicked off my shoes and went to our pantry box. I pulled out anything I thought looked good: dates, shredded coconut, walnuts, wheat bran, flour, honey from Ipala. I was lucky there were two bananas going bad sitting on top of the fridge, and actually you can see in the picture that when I held them by the stems the peeled themselves. I had recently made a batch of yogurt that was draining in the fridge, so I decided I would use a little of the whey to pack in the nutrients. This was going to be power food, not only to quench my craving but fill me with good stuff too.

I beat an egg, mashed in the bananas, added a drizzle of vanilla, a larger drizzle of honey, a slosh of the whey along with a few tablespoons of the yogurt, and mixed it all well. Then I threw in two large handfuls of walnuts, crushing them before adding them to the batter, along with a large handful of minced-to-a-paste dates. I had forgotten the flour, so at that point I added just a little, and realized it didn’t need much to reach a consistency I liked. Perhaps it was three quarters of a cup, perhaps less. I added some wheat bran for extra fiber, along with oats because I love the texture in cakes. Then the necessary salt, baking soda, and some cinnamon and ginger for flavor.


Finally I considered the coconut. I thought it would require a substantial amount in order to actually feel its presence, so I decided to incorporate it as a topping. I put the mixture in a loaf pan but reserved about 1/4 – 1/2 of a cup. I mixed a half cup of coconut and a fourth of a cup brown sugar to the remaining batter before spreading it on top. Baked it at 350 for an hour. Amazing. All the natural ingredients are so rich with flavor and natural sweetness, that it doesn’t require very much sugar or honey. And by concentrating the little sugar that is there to the top makes a stronger affect than if an entire cup of sugar were mixed to the batch. It was just the right level of sweetness, a crumbly topping, moist through out with the occasional light crisp of a toasted walnut. This not only fulfilled my craving, but gave me enegry and held me over until dinner time. This is food that makes you feel good in all ways possible.

The below recipe is slightly modified, I used milk instead of whey because I assume most people won’t just have that around. And to be honest you can leave out the yogurt if you want too. I made this once and forgot the milk and the yogurt and it was perfectly delicious.

Health Nut Bread Recipe:

1 egg well beatten
2 tablespoons honey
3 ripe bananas
12 dates, minced into a paste
2/3 cup walnuts (or any nut you like)
1/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons yogurt
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup bran flour
1/2 to 3/4 cup oats (depending on how thick you like the batter)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 cup batter reserved
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup shredded coconut

Directions: Mix all the ingredients together, first the wet, then the dry. Pour in greased loaf pan, reserving 1/4 cup of the batter. Mix the remaining batter with the sugar and coconut. Spread on top. Bake for 50 – 60 minutes at 350. You may want to put foil over the top for the last 15 – 20 minutes to prevent the top from burning.


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