• Leigh

Healthy Coco-Date Bran Bread

Okay, is there such a thing? Well, yes, sort of. This bread, which really is a bread, not a cake, but you could pretend..., is reasonably nutritious, as breads go. The bread incorporates a cup of chopped dates. The dates provide natural sweetening power as well as fiber, and eating dates may improve brain function. Wheat bran adds lots of additional fiber. And for a boost in antioxidants, the bread includes cocoa powder, cocoa nibbs, and dark chocolate mini-chips. How does the "healthy" bread taste? It's incredibly moist and delicious. The bread does not taste "healthy." The dates add a wonderful caramel-like nuance to the bread as well as sweetness and moisture. The cocoa nibbs provide a nice, subtle crunch as well as additional chocolate flavor. And the mini chips? They're just little nibbles of goodness throughout the bread. The bread is great for breakfast, with tea or coffee for a snack, or go ahead and eat it for dessert. It really is good!



Cocoa-Date Bran Bread -- Makes 1 Loaf


1 cup of chopped dates

1 cup of water

1 teaspoon of baking soda

1/2 cup of canola oil

2 large eggs

1/3 cup of sugar

1/4 cup of cocoa powder

1 cup of wheat bran

1 1/4 cup of all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon of baking powder

1/4 teaspoon of salt

1/2 teaspoon of espresso powder

1/4 cup of cocoa nibbs

1/4 cup of mini-chocolate chips

1-2 tablespoons of turbinado (raw) sugar


In a large, microwave-safe bowl, combine the dates and the water. Microwave the mixture until boiling, about 3 minutes. Stir in the baking soda. Let the mixture cool to room temperature, stirring it periodically to help break up the dates. Stir in the oil, the eggs, the sugar, the wheat bran, and the cocoa powder and let the mixture sit for at least an hour (I leave the mixture on the counter for 6-8 hours with no problems). Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and coat a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray. Stir the all-purpose flour, baking powder, salt, and espresso powder into the date mixture. Then fold in the cocoa nibs and mini-chocolate chips until combined. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, sprinkle the top of the loaf with the turbinado sugar, and bake the bread for about an hour. Let the bread cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes before removing it to cool completely.



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