{Healthier} Orange Cranberry Bread

This recipe comes to you as a refreshing way to bake with the delicious tastes of winter, but without over doing it on fat, calories, and sugar.  The reduced sugar, tart cranberries, and swap of bananas for oil makes this bread all the more satisfying.    

I just love the cranberry orange combination.  I find myself mixing the two juices for breakfast for a tart jolt in the mornings.

This zester is rubbish, just for the record!  I recently bought it to replace my beloved trusty zester of many years.  I miss my old Microplane one so badly – it disappeared along with a shoebox full of other kitchen essentials after we moved.  I swear that there is an evil moving troll who steals things during moves.

This is the old one.  

Two things I also love about this recipe – banana swapped for cooking oil and fat-free Greek yogurt for moist texture.

Fold the fresh cranberries in gently.  If you are using frozen berries, make sure they are thawed first.  Dried cranberries could be used in a pinch, but often then are sweetened and will not be quite the same as fresh cranberries.  

Hazelnuts are another one of my favorite flavors.  I’ll be honest, it was Nutella that first got me hooked on hazelnuts.  Get them from the bulk aisle to save money, and start with just a few at a time if you haven’t used them before – they are pricey!  I buy fresh ones, none roasted, that is.

Allow the bread to cool completely before slicing.  If you are impatient, you will just end up with hack job slices of bread, no big deal.  This can also easily be made into muffins, read the recipe for that.

Healthier Orange Cranberry Bread – adapted from Conscious Cuisine, Neff, 2002.

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease 12 standard muffin cups or 1 loaf pan.

2. In a mixing bowl combine: 1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour, 1 cup all-purpose flour, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, pinch of salt, 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, and 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg.

3. In a separate bowl combine just till moistened: 1 egg, 1 cup plain yogurt, 1/2 cup orange juice, grated zest of 1 orange (about 1 tablespoon), 1 cup coconut sugar, 2 tablespoons pureed banana, and 1/4 teaspoon vanilla. Fold in 1 cup of fresh cranberries and 1/4 cup chopped hazelnuts.

4. Pour batter into loaf pan.  Or, if making muffins, pour 1/3 cup batter into each prepared muffin cup.  Sprinkle top of batter with chopped hazelnuts, if desired.  Bake for 50 – 60 minutes for loaf or 30 to 35  minutes for muffins, or until knife inserted near the center comes out clean.  If the loaf of bread darkens too quickly, cover loosely with aluminum foil during the last 20 minutes of baking.

5.  Allow to cool in pan for 5 minutes.  Remove from pan and allow to cool completely before slicing bread.  

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