Tasty Gifts:Cranberry Walnut Bread

What’s not to love about a gift you can eat?

I have been making this cranberry walnut bread for a couple of years now. It slowly transformed to a healthier and vegan version over the years.  It’s not too sweet, which is how I like it. The best part is that you can dazzle it up and give it as a gift.  It won’t take up space in someone’s house, or their table (it goes very fast), and it’s something everyone  can enjoy together during the holidays.

1 cup white flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½  tsp cinnamon
⅛ tsp ground cloves
1 ½ cup cranberries
1/2 cup sucanat or sugar
½ cup + 1 tsp maple syrup
½ cup almond milk
1 cup soy milk
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ cup walnuts
2 Tbsp cornstarch
1 Tbsp flaxseed
zest of 1 orange
½ cup coconut oil (melted)

Preheat oven to 350° and coat a loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray.

Prep: melt the coconut oil and set aside. Add apple cider vinegar to the soy milk and let it sit in the fridge for 15 minutes.

Cranberries: mix cranberries with 1/4 cup of sucanat or sugar and 1 tsp of maple syrup. Let them sit while working on the rest.

Dry ingredients: whisk together the two flours, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and cornstarch.

Wet ingredients: Mix the remaining 1/4 cup sucanat (or sugar), maple syrup, coconut oil, zest, and vanilla. Stir the flaxseed into the almond milk and add to the mixture.

Combine: Combine the wet ingredients and the dry ingredients, but don’t over-mix.

Add the walnuts and the cranberries and give it a couple of stirs.

Pour the batter into a ready loaf pan and bake for 50 minutes. After 50 minutes, check if it’s ready with a cake poker or a toothpick. If the poker does not come out clean, cook until ready.  Usually not more than 10 additional minutes.

Take out of the pan and let it sit on a cooling rack until completely cool. To make it more festive, in a food processor, crush about a ¼ cup cranberries with a couple of tablespoons of sucanat. Then sprinkle the cran-sugar mixture on top of the bread.

You can also make mini loafs and package them up as gifts.

Oh and here is a quick snapshot of my daily meals.

What I Ate On Friday 

I woke up this morning in one of those blah moods. I was exhausted and didn’t feel like leaving my cozy bed. I decided that I needed an infusion of fruits and veggies for breakfast. I had to stop by the Co-op anyway, so I picked up a spinach, beet, and apple smoothie. I don’t know how, but the smoothie totally got me out of my funk.

My lunch was a cup of black bean soup and a mixed green salad with carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, red cabagge and marinated mushrooms. Sorry, no photo of this one.

Friday night is usually a no cooking night, so Eric and I like to go out for dinner. A new restaurant opened across the street, we only ate there once and wanted a do-over. We started with a mushroom soup. Then, I had an Israeli couscous “salad”, with baby chickpeas, quinoa, sauteed mushroomsroasted peppers, and wild arugala. It was brothy, almost like a soup, and perfect for a chilly night. Eric had a steak sandwich with a sweet potato wedge fries.

I wanted to go on a long walk to see all the holiday lights around here, but I was definitely not dressed for it. Two blocks and I was freezing. I should have worn my new owl hat!

Have a good night.

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    My name is Maria and I live in California. I love teaching high-energy Pilates classes, going on long runs, and making connections with all of you! Hope you find a few useful articles, fitness tips, and recipes while you're here.

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