Wednesday, October 31, 2012

139/365: Oil Free Baking: Autumn Bread

Today I made:

Autumn Bread...
(AKA pumpkin banana cheat bread)

I call this a "cheat" because it's not exactly from scratch, but the creative substitutions and add-ins make it from the heart and perfect for Fall. It easily makes my "I'd Rather Be Painting" recipe book. It's short on time, low on mess and has a healthy tweak that I love!

I wish I could provide the exact ingredients for the bread mix. I buy the 17.5 oz Pumpkin Bread & Muffin Mix from Trader Joe's. I'm not exactly a baker, but I imagine one could figure out the basics. Maybe flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, "dried pumpkin flakes"...the box isn't too helpful.

Anyway, my favorite parts are the tweaks. Along with the two eggs and cup of water the box recipe calls for, I add one over-ripe banana and 1/4 cup of chopped walnuts. The magic ingredient that makes it even more awesome is to use 1/2 cup of applesauce (unsweetened) instead of vegetable oil. You won't actually taste the applesauce. The bread will just be slightly sweeter and softer. Not sure how it works, but I feel better eating it and it's just as delicious. Bake in a loaf pan or muffin tins at 350 for 55-60 minutes. Careful, over-baking will dry out low fat recipes. (Sneak in an hour of studio time while it bakes! :)

Apparently you can substitute applesauce for oil in most oil-based baked goods. Do a 1:1 swap. It works best in breads, muffins or cakes. It will also work in cookies that call for butter if you don't mind them soft and cakey.

Pumpkin spice, apple, banana, walnutty goodness! Enjoy with a glass of milk or your favorite hot beverage.

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