I'm sorry, I can't help it—I love autumn. It is, by far, my favorite season. The gentle turning of the season, from summer to fall, is what I love about New England. You actually get four seasons, and with it, four distinct culinary seasons.
This Carrot Apple Nut Bread is a great kick-off to the autumn season. It has freshly grated carrots, which are still being harvested, and crisp apples, which are just now ready for picking. Add meaty walnuts and a bit of nutmeg and cinnamon and you truly have a delicious breakfast or dessert bread that will get you in the autumn spirit.
A food processor makes grating carrots so much easier, but you can certainly use a hand grater. I found some beautiful purple, yellow and orange carrots from the farmers market this week. I didn't even bother peeling them, just a light washing and into the Cuisinart. I find it best to lay the grated carrots out on some paper towels and squeeze some of their liquid out, otherwise the bread may not bake all the way through—like, ever. Yes, failed experiment number one. Lessons learned; dry the carrots out.
The batter is simple. Mix your dry ingredients and set aside. Mash your banana in your stand up mixer, then add the rest of the wet ingredients until blended and slowly pour in your dry ingredients, mixing until just blended. The batter will actually be a little airy. Remove the paddle attachment and hand mix in the carrots, apple and the chopped walnuts. Yeah, it's that easy.
Grease your bread pan with coconut oil, bake for an hour at 350 degrees and let it cool completely. Now enjoy yourself a bite of pre-autumn.
As always, if you aren't gluten-free just use regular all purpose flour and if you aren't vegan, use dairy sour cream...of course it will be higher in fat and calories and not as heart healthy or compassionate. I promise you, you will never now the difference if you use vegan sour cream! And your heart will thank me.
Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
1 c. all purpose gluten-free flour blend
1/2 c. almond meal
1/2 c. ground oats (always use certified gluten-free brands)
1/4 c. organic sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 medium banana, peeled
1 tbsp. coconut oil
1/4 c. vegan sour cream
1/2 c. unsweetened almond milk
1/4 tsp. almond extract
1 c. grated carrots, patted dry
1/2 a peeled, seeded and diced apple
1/3 c. diced raw walnuts
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly oil a bread pan with coconut oil.
Grate the carrots (2-3) and pat/wrap with paper towels to dry. Set aside.
In a bowl, mix together the dry ingredients.
Note on making ground oats: Very easy to do in your Vitamix or a food processor; process until a powdery mixture, approx. 30-45 seconds. Does not have to be perfect!
In your stand up mixer with a paddle attachment, mash your banana and then add the rest of the wet ingredients. Slowly pour in the dry ingredient mixture just until combined. Remove from your stand and spoon mix in the carrots, diced apple and walnuts.
Pour the batter into your greased bread pan and bake for approximately 1 hour, or until toothpick comes out clean.
Completely cool before eating.
Nutritional Estimations for 1 piece: Calories 219. Total Fat 11 g. Cholesterol 0 mg. Sodium 341 mg. Potassium 95 mg. Total Carbs 24 g. Fiber 3 g. Sugars 9 g. Protein 6 g. Vitamin A 54%. Vitamin C 5%. Calcium 7%. Iron 4%.