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Apple, Walnut & Date Loaf

I love a good doughnut as anyone who knows me will attest to, and will boldly confess to being that person at parties, hovering around the food, eating far more chips/pies/cakes than is possibly good for me. However, it is rare to find me cooking this type of fare in my own kitchen.  These days my cooking can best be described as seasonal, whole food cooking.  We grow as many vegetables and herbs as our little garden can muster, and I use unrefined, nutrient-dense ingredients so that I know I'm fuelling my family with the best food I can.  This apple loaf is a good example of something I might make as an afternoon tea treat.  Made with oats (ground up in the food processor) instead of flour it has a nutty density to it and paired with the walnuts keeps you fuller for longer.  Be sure to try the loaf fried in butter and served with yoghurt and a berry compote (heat a few handfuls of frozen berries in a pot) for a decadent weekend breakfast.  Happy long weekend everyone! x   

APPLE, WALNUT & DATE LOAF
Makes 1 loaf

2 medium apples (roughly 2 cups), cored, diced
1 cup dates, roughly chopped
¼ cup apple syrup (substitute with maple syrup)
1 cinnamon stick
60g butter
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 ½ cups oats
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
2 eggs, lightly beaten

Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius, and grease and line a loaf tin.  Put the apples, dates, apple syrup, cinnamon stick, and butter into a saucepan along with 250ml water.  Bring to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.  Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.  Once cool, stir in the vanilla and eggs.  Put the oats into a food processor (mine has recently died to I used our coffee grinder, which works really well too!), and process to a fine flour.  Sift into a large bowl along with the allspice, baking powder, and soda.  Lastly stir in the walnuts and the apple mixture until combined.  Do not over-mix. 

Pour into the loaf tin and bake for 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the loaf comes out clean.  Serve cut into thick slices and spread generously with butter!

Emma BoydComment