With the holidays in full swing, kitchens are abuzz, with both professional and amateur chefs preparing both sweet and savory treats to share with friends and families. This is the time for lasagnas, hams, turkeys, cookies, pies, gingerbread houses and…fruitcakes. Ah, the fruitcake – the gift that keeps on giving, year after year.
You mean that thing that has those green thingies in it?
We aren’t quite sure if it was last year’s fruitcake we just re-gifted to granny, but since most of us (with all due apologies to the fruitcake connoisseurs and lovers out there) tend to ask the perennial question – “what are those little green things, anyway?” – and tend to use that uber-sweet fruitcake more as a doorstop than as a dessert, we are always searching for holiday desserts that might just take their place. And we think we found one that might just fit the bill.
Gingerbread isn’t just for houses or little men anymore!
As you know, we are always looking for recipes that don’t sacrifice taste while using healthy ingredients.
Recently we came upon a recipe for a bread using traditional holiday flavors that is sure to please even the most loyal fruitcake lover, so it will certainly delight everyone! And, as we always say, be sure to keep your teeth brushed and your tongues clean with your daily use of the TUNG Brush and Gel so you can savor every subtle flavor in this yummy dessert bread.
Without further ado, we bring you…
- 1 3/4 cups mashed banana
- 1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup milk of choice OR oil
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup, agave, or honey
- 1/4 cup molasses – blackstrap or regular*
- 1 1/2 tbsp vinegar
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 2 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
- 3/4 tsp each: baking powder and salt
- 2 cups spelt**, white, or gluten free flour
- optional pinch stevia or 3 tbsp sugar (for more of a dessert bread)
- optional 1/2 cup raisins or crushed walnuts
*blackstrap has more of a gingerbread taste, and is also packed with tons of nutrients, including copper, manganese, magnesium, potassium, calcium and iron.
**This is a new one for us, so we figured you may not have heard of this type of flour either! Spelt flour comes from an ancient strain of wheat – it’s high in protein and has a nutty, complex flavor that’s sweeter and lighter than whole wheat. Substitute it for whole wheat flour in any recipe – its gluten is not as strong, so you might want to combine with all-purpose or bread flour if you’re baking to give your breads enough structure. All depends on your taste and gluten tolerance.
- Grease a 9×5 loaf pan very well, going up the sides (you can also line the pan with parchment paper).
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Whisk the first 6 ingredients together in a bowl, then set aside.
- In a large bowl, stir remaining ingredients together very well.
- Pour wet ingredients over dry ingredients, stir just until evenly mixed, and smooth into the loaf pan.
- Bake on the center rack for 33 minutes – do not open the oven even to peek.
- Turn off the heat and let sit in the closed oven for 10 additional minutes.
- Remove and let cool completely before going around the sides with a knife and inverting onto a plate or cutting from the pan.
- Serve with a bit of butter, or even a dollop of whipped cream.
You can store leftover slices in the fridge for 2-3 days or freeze for up to a month, so don’t count on re-gifting it to granny next year. You wouldn’t want to anyway! It’s way too yummy!
By the way, surprise! This is also a vegan recipe 😊 Who knew vegan could be so delicious? And no unknown green thingies, LOL. Happy Baking!