The Good Guys in My Cranberry Apricot Bread

My friend Sharon asked for my recipe I mentioned in the piece Biking To Breakfast.  I am sharing this delicious recipe here for everyone.  Before I do, I want to explain why this recipe is particularly healthful.

One of my nutritional goals for myself and my family is to make sure we eat mindfully.  I try to prepare as much as I can in my kitchen, and to buy whole grains, lots of fruits and vegetables, and organic dairy products.  We don’t eat a lot of meat, but when we do, I buy grain-fed beef and buffalo, organic, free-range chicken, and local seafood.  A great deal of energy goes into feeding my family, as I want them to obtain as many nutrients as possible from whole foods. Most of the breads, cakes, and muffins I bake begin with a sourdough starter, because of the good bacteria produced there.

Our bodies need good bacteria for many reasons; one particularly important reason is that good bacteria help our bodies to properly absorb the nutrients in the foods we eat.  Good bacteria aid in digestion, and eating foods with good bacteria in them make the digestion process easier for our bodies.  In an age where people are constantly worried about catching viruses and being exposed to germs, anti-bacterial soap has become commonplace in use.  Anti-bacterial products kill all kinds of bacteria, both the bad and the good.  How do we replace the good bacteria?  One way is by eating fermented foods like kefir, yogurt, and sourdough.   It’s easy to find  more information about good bacteria and how to get it in your diet.

Not everyone likes or can fit into their daily food intake all of the sources of good bacteria.   This recipe for Friendship Cake is an easy, ready to grab-and-go breakfast or snack choice.  I keep the starter going , and every ten days,  I make muffins, breads and cakes.  Extras are wrapped and stored in the freezer, and are a nice, quick treat to pull out for unexpected guests.  (If you live in my area and would like a starter from me, leave a comment on this post and I will email you to make arrangements.)

Friendship Cake Recipe

Part One: Starter

According to tradition, a friend must give you one cup of starter.  If you cannot get one cup of starter from a friend, use this recipe to make your own starter:

1¾ C. flour

1 Tbsp. Sugar

1 Tbsp. Salt

1 pkg. Yeast 2½ C warm water

Mix these ingredients together and then cover in a bowl with saran wrap.  Do not refrigerate.  This starter must be used within 3-5 days.

Part Two:  Preparing the Starter

Day One:  Day one is when you receive one cup of starter from a friend.  Transfer to large bowl, use plastic or glass container, do not refrigerate.  Stir with wooden spoon.

Days Two, Three, Four:  Stir.  It will be bubbly.  Keep covered.  Some bakers say the mixture smells like beer.

Day Five:  Add 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar, 1 cup milk.  Stir.

Days Six, Seven, Eight, Nine:  Stir.

Day Ten:  Add 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar, 1 cup milk.  Remove three cups of this base and give to three friends along with recipe.

Part Three:  Friendship Cake

To the remaining batter, add:

2  cups flour        1 tsp. Vanilla

2/3 cup oil         3 eggs or ¾ cup egg beaters

½ tsp. Salt      1 cup sugar

2 tsp. Baking powder

1 ½ tsp. Baking soda

You may add any combination of the following:

2 tsp. Cinnamon         1 cup pumpkin               ½ cup ground flax seed

1 cup applesauce           1 cup cranberries            ½ cup wheat germ

2 cups mashed banana    1 cup raisins  or other dried fruit

2 cups grated zucchini    1 cup chopped nuts

1 ½  cup dark chocolate chips

½ cup shredded coconut               16 oz. crushed pineapple

For the cranberry apricot bread, to the basic batter add 1 cup each chopped dried apricots, fresh or frozen cranberries, and chopped walnuts.

Grease and flour two loaf pans or one bundt pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 40-60 minutes.  (The bundt takes about 45 minutes.)  Note: If using glass pans, decrease oven temp to 325 for 40-60 minutes. For  24 muffins in regular size tins, bake 22 minutes or so at 375 degrees F.

I use whole wheat pastry flour throughout this recipe, and olive oil in part three.  I always add 1 Tbsp. of turmeric to each batch.  It’s natural anti-inflammatory properties are good for athletes, people with arthritis, and people with heart disease.

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3 Comments on “The Good Guys in My Cranberry Apricot Bread”

  1. Sharon Says:

    Thanks Elizabeth! I can’t wait to try this!

  2. […] have veganized my sourdough starter for Friendship Bread.  I use almond or soy milk instead of cow’s milk, silken tofu (1/4 cup = 1 egg) in place of […]

  3. […] c sourdough starter (optional)* (See note at bottom of […]

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