April 15, 2013
When this time of year rolls around and I see all the farmers markets opening, I get antsy to make bread, whether sweet or savory, that incorporate fresh vegetables. Not only are they packed with flavor, but they’re also one more way to get vitamins while satisfying a creative urge and, of course, a sweet tooth.
For example, if you add shredded fresh zucchini to a standard “sweet” bread recipe along with apples, carrots and cranberries, you will end up with a very moist, flavorful, nourishing and quite satisfying loaf.
The most popular vegetables for bread baking are zucchini and carrots. But lately I have been fantasizing about incorporating darker veggies such as kale and spinach. These vegetables are extremely high in vitamins and alkalinity, and are inherently full of water and guarantee a moist bread.
Kale has been cultivated for over 2,000 years and in much of Europe, was the most widely eaten green vegetable until the Middle Ages, when cabbages became more popular. Throughout history, kale has been particularly important in colder regions due to its resistance to frost. Kale is low in saturated fat, and very low in cholesterol. It is also a good source of dietary fiber, protein, thiamin, riboflavin, folate, iron, magnesium and phosphorus, and a very good source of Vitamins A, C, K, B6, as well as calcium, potassium, copper and manganese.
To bake with kale, I suggest blanching it to soften it up a little bit, drying it, then chopping it up. Now if you are not a fan of regular white flour you may use any kind of flour, including a gluten free flour. (When using gluten free flour, however, remember to use about half a cup less the recipe calls for since gluten free flours are more dense.)
For this version, I am going to stick with the basics and use white flour. My fruit of choice is another high antioxidant gift of mother nature, blueberries; I think the combination of kale and blueberry is quite a good one for the body. I’m also adding nuts, because I like the crunch.
Here’s one recipe to try. Feel free to stop by the cottage and let me know how yours goes.
Happy Experimenting. Remember, even if it doesn’t look good, it will taste great!! And your body will thank you!
Kale Blueberry Bread Recipe
Makes 1 9″x5″ loaf
1 pint fresh blueberries
1 cup blanched, dried,chopped kale
1 cup almond milk
1 cup canola oil
1/2 C brown sugar
1/2 Tbsp wheat germ
1 cup shelled pistachios
3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour (or whole wheat flour or combination of both)
1 T. baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp allspice
1 tsp ginger, fresh or ground
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and put rack in the center.
Grease and flour 9″x5″ loaf pan.
Combine first 7 ingredients in a bowl, set aside.
In a separate bowl, sift flour, baking powder, salt, and spices together.
Add to the wet mixture and stir until just barely combined. Don’t stir too much or it will get dense.
Pour mixture into pan. if you have more batter, use it in a muffin pan or sheet pan.
Bake until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, about 45 minutes.
Cool before removing from pan.
Let me know how yours comes out, and remember, even if it doesn’t look good, it will taste great!
C U next time!