My coworker Kristin is a ray of sunshine. Even though she spends her days ,like me, as a warden at the mental institution, she has a great sense of humor about the whole thing. Yesterday, Kristin gifted me with two recipes for blueberry bread as well as a recipe for Indian Batata Nu Shaak and a collection of carefully labeled Indian spices. It was like a culinary Christmas. One of the blueberry bread recipes comes from her friend Jess Thomson, who has her own very wonderful health food blog. You can check it out at jessthomson.wordpress.com/. However, you have to promise to come back to this blog, because hers is much better and I wouldn’t blame you for wanting to spend the whole day browsing over there.

Anyway, Jess’s recipe for Almost Unforgettable Blueberry Breakfast Bread incorporates some really great healthy ideas, like a hearty walnut topping, whole wheat flour, and yogurt instead of some of the oil. I took some steps to veganize it, omitted the flaxseed because I didn’t have any, and further reduced the fat content by using applesauce instead. I’ve had great success cooking with applesauce lately, as it makes my cakes and breads deliciously moist and has about 1/10th the calories of margarine or oil. If weight isn’t an issue for you, I reccomend using the original recipe, just using soy yogurt and ener-g egg replacer. If you, like me, need to watch what you eat in time for swimsuit season, I hope that my recipe will do the trick.

Let me be straight with you, gentle readers. My real motivation behind this recipe is to come up with something very delicious and very vegan for February 28th, when I am attending my very first vegan potluck, with a great group of Vegan Foodies I found on meetup.com. It’s going to be my first event on the Los Angeles vegan “scene”. Sure, I’ve been to Golden Mean and shopped the Whole Foods salad bar, but on the 28th I’m going to become a real part of it. Needless to say, I’m suffering from a bit of “performance anxiety”, and really want to come up with a brunch recipe that is simple, delicious, travels well, and is super-healthy. I ordered business cards, and I am hoping 1: that they will arrive on time and 2: that I won’t give anyone food poisoning because they will be able to trace me back here.



Vegan Blueberry Bread with Walnut Topping
adopted from Jess Thomson
Topping

  • 1 TBSP. light brown sugar
  • 1/8 c. walnuts
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 TBSP. earth balance or other vegan margarine

Bread

  • 1 c. whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 c. agave nectar
  • 1/2 c. applesauce
  • 1 TBSP. vegetable oil
  • ener-g egg replacer for 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 6 oz. vegan soy yogurt (check the label on this one)
  • 1 c. fresh blueberries

1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees and lightly spray the sides and bottom of a loaf pan.
2. In a food processor, pulse walnuts, brown sugar, cinnamon, and earth balance until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs, set aside.
3. In a mixing bowl, mix whole wheat pastry flour, baking powder, and salt until well incorporated.
4. In a separate bowl, beat together applesauce, vegetable oil, and agave until smooth and light in color.
5. Pre-mix egg replacer and add it and the vanilla to your applesauce mixture, whisk for 1 minute.
6. Add yogurt and beat until smooth.
7. Add all but 1/4 c. of the flour to the applesauce mixture, and blend. There should be no streaks of white flour. You can use a kitchen mixer for this if you want.
8. Add blueberries to remaining flour and toss to coat. Gently fold them into your batter by hand.
9. Pour into your greased pan and smooth out with the back of a spoon. Sprinkle topping over the batter. Bake at 60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean from the center of the bread.
10. Cool in the pan for 30 minutes, then remove it from the pan and allow it to cool completely on a wire rack.

8 servings at 207 a slice

The Verdict: I totally screwed up what was a good non-vegan recipe. After baking it for an hour, a toothpick came out perfectly clean, but after cooling the bread, it was still mushy on the inside. I tried putting it back in the oven for 15 minutes, but it didn’t help much. Maybe adding the agave was a bad idea, maybe I needed more flour. Anyway, the bread still tastes AMAZING, which is why I’m willing to post the recipe up here for you guys. I’m going to just cut it into slices and toast each one before serving, so no harm no foul.