Chocolate Tea Bread with Benefits

This chocolate tea bread is just one example of the delicious baked goods that can be created by using a dried plum purée instead of butter to  reduce fat and calories, add moisture, enhance flavor and boost the nutritional profile.

Chocolate Tea Bread with Benefits

Disclosure: I received free samples of California Dried Plums mentioned in this post. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by the California Dried Plum Board and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.

I think I’m obsessed with this bread. That’s what my friend said after April showers forced us to surrender outdoor activites for an afternoon of old fashioned baking resulting in  this mid-day pick-me-up.Chocolate Tea Bread with Benefits My only regret is I don’t have a picture of the surprised look on Ashely’s face when  I told her about the hero ingredient – California dried plums, aka prunes. That’s right, often thought of as a convenient snack, dried plums  are good for your health!  Emerging research shows they  support bone health, and possible heart health, immunity and healthy aging. Because the May kicks off National Osteoporosis Month,  I ‘m showcasing this dried fruit’s bone health benefits along with its culinary versatility. Studies have revealed that eating 100 grams of dried plums daily  for one year (2 servings or about 8-10 prunes) was associated with an increase in bone mineral density (BMD)  in postmenopausal women, due in part to suppressing the rate of bone turnover. The most recent study  found consuming a single serving of dried plums every day (4-5 prunes) may be just as effective in preventing bone loss in older, osteopenic postmenopausal women.

In my recipe, (adapted from Williams Somona’s Dark Chocolate Tea Bread) a prune purée replaces the butter, reducing the amount of fat and calories while boosting the flavor and nutritional value. Because dried plums are naturally sweet, they also allowed me to reduce the amount of added sugar.  Win! Win!  With Mother’s Day is approaching, bake this   delicious and healthified loaf of chocolate tea bread and turn your  afternoon cuppa into a tea party with Mom! Happy Mother’s Day!

You won’t want to miss the links at the bottom of this post for more ways to reduce, replace and reward your culinary endeavors with the goodness of California dried plums everyday.

Chocolate Tea Bread with BenefitsChocolate Tea Bread with Benefits (adapted from Williams Sonoma’s Dark Chocolate Tea Bread)

serves 12

by Diane Boyd,MBA, RD, LDN

Ingredients

  • 1 cup California Dried Plums, divided
  • water
  • 6 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups sifted cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup unsweetend cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 30 cm breadmould and set aside.

2. . Make a dried plum puree by adding 1/3 cup of the dried plums to a small saucepan. Add enough water to cover the dried fruit. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer 10 minutes or until plums are tender.

3. Remove dried fruit (reserving cooking liquid) and add to a food processor along with 1 1/2 Tablespoons of reserved cooking liquid. Process until smooth. This should make 1/4 cup dried plum purée.

4. In a mixing bowl,cream 1/4 cup dried plum purée with sugar.  Add egg and beat well.

5. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt, cocoa and cinnamon. Add to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk, beating after each addition.

6. Chop remaining 2/3 cup dried plums and stir them into the batter along with nuts.

7. Scrape the batter into prepared pan and bake for 45 to 60 minutes , or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  (If necessary, cover loosely with aluminum foil during the last 10 minutes to prevent overbrowning.)

8. Immediately turn the loaf out of the pan and allow to cool on a wire rack. Cut into thick slices. (Delicious toasted or chilled and served with unsalted butter or light cream cheese.)

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