Have you caught spring fever? Do the sights of sprouts poking out of the ground excite you? Are you coveting your gardeners’ seed catalog? Does it just make you happy to shed some layers and show some skin? All of the above trigger my spring fever, and so does this months Recipe Redux theme, Green with Envy, Fresh Herbs. With the abundance of fresh green herbs in local markets, it’s the perfect season for bringing these flavors into your kitchen. Our challenge was to use any fresh green herb in a nontraditional way.
Although I am no stranger to fresh herbs, and I use them in a myriad of ways (from meats to marinades), I am rather traditional. So today, my herbs and I are heading to where we’ve never been before. I will attempt to prepare a homemade bakery item with a fresh green herb. Hmmm,… not only is this my first time,… but I can’t recall eating many bakery goods prepared with fresh green herbs. Can you?
Unsure of what to bake feeling completely lost, I though it best to brainstorm about all of the delicious baked goods that scream SPRING: strawberry shortcake, key lime pie, lemon bars. It was then that it hit me, apricot bread is to spring as pumpkin bread is to fall. Apricots are both sweet and tangy and I have enjoyed some extraordinary dishes (both sweet and savory) made with them. Many of them also included basil so I know these flavor profiles should pair well. That my friends, is how my apricot bread with fresh basil evolved.
As you can see from my photos, the bread came out of the oven looking delicious. But as the saying goes, the proof of the pudding in the tasting. In other words, we aren’t sure it’s good unless we taste it. My daughter took a bite a proclaimed, “Mom, I’m soooo proud of you.” (A little dramatic, but I’ll take it!) This bread is moist, light, not too sweet, and let’s face it, this is not your mother’s apricot bread! If you are ready to blow off the winter blues and serve your family and friends something that tastes like spring, give it a try!
Don’t forget to check out all of the other links at the bottom of this post for more delicious springtime recipes using fresh green herbs in nontraditional ways!
Nutrition Profile (1 slice): 144 calories, 25 grams carbohydrate, 1 grams sugar, 5 grams protein, 3 grams fat, 1 gram saturated fat, 31 mg cholesterol, 195 mg sodium
What are your experiences baking with fresh herbs? How are you blowing off the winter blues and welcoming in spring?
Apricot Bread with Fresh Basil
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Ingredients (8 slices)
- 3/4 cup dried apricots
- 1/2 cup skim milk
- 3 T low fat Greek yogurt
- 1 Tablespoon butter
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/4 cup flour, sifted
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 3 Tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Chop apricots and heat in milk on low heat. DO NOT BOIL! Add butter. Set aside to cool. Once cool add low fat Greek yogurt and mix to combine. In a separate bowl, beat egg and add sugar, salt and baking soda. Add apricots and milk mixture. Stir and add to flour and baking powder. Add chopped fresh basil and mix to combine. Pour into a 8-1/2″ x 4-1/2″ loaf pan sprayed with cooking spray. Bake at 350 degrees F for 45 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Let cool in pan on a wire rack 10 to 15 minutes.