Monday, March 10, 2014

Cranberry Ricotta Bread

I love baking. 4ft loves baking. So when we bake together we usually do quick breads. There are a lot of things to measure, which 4ft loves, and mix, which I love. And quick breads are one of my favorite things to bake because they're so versatile. You can eat them at breakfast, have them for a snack, and they work for dessert too. It's a three-in-one-delicious food. How could it get any better than that? It can't and your brain will explode if you try to come up with something. So stop trying.

Quick breads are also very good for experimenting because as long as you have a couple of key ingredients -- flours of some sort and lifters -- they're very forgiving and the results are usually splendiferous. Which would be the case with this bread. It's seriously delicious and my new favorite and 4ft's too.

This bread was the brainchild of trying not to waste food. I had some ricotta cheese in the fridge that was going to go bad if it didn't get used and I didn't have enough for like a lasagna or something. So I tossed the 3/4 cup I had left into my basic quick bread recipe and then threw in some cranberries too -- because hey, they're delicious and why not. 4ft was a little apprehensive putting cheese into a bread meant to be sweet but I explained that cheesecake was made with cream cheese and that was pretty good so why not give it a shot. So he agreed. We did. And the rest is taste bud history. It's absolutely splendiferous.

Cranberry Ricotta Bread

3/4 cup part skim ricotta cheese
1 5.3 oz container Greek yogurt (I used vanilla coconut)
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup clover honey
1 TBS lemon juice
1 TBS vanilla
2 TBS sugar-free vanilla syrup
1 large egg
1/2 cup dried cranberries (or favorite dried fruit)
1 1/2 cup whole oats (not instant)
2 scoops unflavored protein powder
2 TBS almond flour
1 TBS baking powder
1 TBS baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt

1.) Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
2.) In a food processor or blender, combine oats, protein powder, almond flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Process until flour consistency. Set aside.
3.) In a large bowl, combine ricotta, yogurt, applesauce, honey, lemon juice, vanilla, syrup, and eggs. With a wire whisk beat until fully incorporated.
4.) With a spatula, fold cranberries into ricotta mixture. Let sit for five minutes.
5.) Pour flour mixture into ricotta mixture and fold in gently with a spatula until just combined.
6.) Divide batter equally between 4 mini-loaves or 12 muffins and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until middle passes the toothpick test. (You can make one big loaf but the bake time will be longer).
7.) Cool in pan for 10 minutes and remove to cooling racks. 

Nutritional Info per Serving (makes 12 servings)
Calories: 156
Protein: 10
Fat: 4
Carbs: 23
Sugar: 13

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