Nothing enhances a leisurely break with hot tea or coffee like our delicious Apple Walnut Bread. This quick bread comes together easily and is perfect for busy holiday cooks. The shredded apples and walnuts make it sweet and flavorful.
Quick breads became popular in the US in the mid-1800s after the development of baking soda and baking powder. Now cooks around the world use these leavening agents to lighten baked goods. They react with liquid ingredients, creating bubbles of gas in batter. The bubbles expand during baking, causing baked goods to rise.
We made several tweaks to traditional apple bread recipes to amp up the health benefits. Low-fat yogurt and shredded apples keep the bread moist, add vitamins and minerals, and reduce the need for oil. To increase the heart-healthy fiber, we used a blend of whole-wheat and all-purpose flours. We added walnuts for a little crunch along with some protein, fiber and omega-3 fatty acids.
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More and more research shows omega-3 fats play a key role in brain development and function, as well as helping to prevent health issues like strokes and cancer. The omega-3 fatty acid found in walnuts and other plant foods is different from the kind found in fish, though both are important. The omega-3 in walnuts is called alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) – and walnuts have more ALA in them than any other tree nut. ALA is sometimes known as the parent of omega-3 fatty acids because all types can be made from or originate from ALA.
This recipe makes two loaves, so you can serve one and freeze the other. Consider making a loaf for your family and giving the other one to a friend or holiday party hostess.
Bethany Thayer is a registered dietitian nutritionist with Henry Ford Health. For more recipes and health information, visit henryford.com/blog. For questions about today’s recipe, email HenryFordLiveWell@hfhs.org.
Apple Walnut Bread
Makes: 24 servings (12 slices per loaf) / prep time: 25 minutes / Total time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Baking spray with flour
3 cups shredded apple (about 3 large apples)
1 (5.3-ounce) container low-fat plain Greek yogurt (about 2/3 cup)
1/3 cup canola oil
1 3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups white whole-wheat flour
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons reserved liquid from grated apples
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray two 8-by-4-inch loaf pans with baking spray; set aside.
Grate apples, enough to yield 3 cups. Squeeze grated apples well, using a muslin or fine net cloth, reserving the liquid. In a large mixing bowl, beat ¼ cup of the reserved apple juice, yogurt, oil, sugar, eggs, and vanilla with an electric mixer on medium speed. In a separate bowl, combine whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir flour mixture into sugar mixture until just moistened, being careful not to overmix. Gently fold in shredded apple and walnuts.
Divide the mixture evenly between the 2 prepared loaf pans. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. To prepare glaze: Combine powdered sugar and 1 1/2 tablespoons reserved apple juice; stir until smooth. Poke shallow holes in the top of the bread with a toothpick and spread glaze over top of bread while warm. Cool bread in pans on wire rack for 20 minutes. Remove bread from pans and cool completely on a wire rack.
From Henry Ford LiveWell.
170 calories (29% from fat), 5.5 grams fat (0.5 grams sat. fat), 30 grams carb3 grams protein85 mg sodium18 mg cholesterol67 mg calcium2 grams fiber. Food exchanges: 2 starch, 2 fat.