Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Simple & Savvy Tuesday: Choco-Juicy Bread

So, baking is something that I just love.  I didn't learn from a great desire for it, nor while I was growing up.  I just picked up some ingredients that I knew could produce lovely fragrances and tastes, and got to work.  Many a mouthful was spit out, almost choked on and, eventually, swallowed.

When I lived in Savannah, GA I baked delicious cakes, cupcakes, and other confectionery delights with my *Bake It A Great Day* "bakery".  {To those who helped along the way:  Thank you for putting up with the incessant talk of the possibilities of flavors and menu items!}  I also held baking classes in my home for children and adults.  I wasn't too interested in a healthy way of baking, though, and it showed up on me in the sum of 40 extra pounds.

Fast forward to today, when eating right and working out are a HUGE part of my life.  My weight has fluctuated due to skin cancer removals and psoriasis flares but, more often than not, I continue to lose (which is winning!!!).  I don't bake or eat like I used to, and it has taken some getting used to.

A major player in this change: mindset.  I stay completely positive and tell myself that our children enjoy the healthy foods more than they lead on {in my dreams!} and my husband humors me in my attempts to convert them.  Haha!

Really!  How's a girl keep the food tasty and not full of junk?  During the "conversion", I learned to experiment again!  Why, by experimenting, I could learn what tastes good and what doesn't.  I could come up with fantastically delicious dishes for family and friends!  And, to top it off, the children would be the best taste-testers, of course!

Well, all this desire for baking overflowed and I created a meshing of two things: good-for-you veggies AND chocolate.  Bake it up in an almond flour mix and voilà!  You've got bread.  It sounds crazy, I know, but you'll be glad that you tried it!

Where do you start?  Well, compile your list of ingredients:
 Here it is in writing:
Please pay attention to the 'Keep in mind' note.  It's very important.  My process goes something like this: juice my kale, spinach, cucumber...whatever veggies I'm using...first.  Clean out the juicer and put pulp leftovers in a ziploc bag. Store in fridge for up to three days or freeze.  Continue juicing.  *And, if you know me, you know how many times I wrote and RE-wrote this!  I just finally said enough was enough...*

When you get to Step 2, this is what your egg should look like:

Note: I'm pretty cool, but not cool enough to make my egg foamy using a fork.  I used this:
It's some kind of nifty battery-operated whipping thingy.  I like it.

At this point, just make sure you're following the hand-written instructions pictured above.  Be reminded:  "t" = teaspoon; "T" = tablespoon.  If you're adventurous, make this recipe up as you go along (that's what I did in the beginning)!  For instance, in the pictures below, you'll see that I used sliced almonds instead of pecans.  I didn't mix them in, either.  After spooning the batter into my loaf pan, I spread them on top and 'cut' them in with my spatula.  Carrots are in my veggie mix, as well as yellow squash.  {They were not the wisest of choices to include, but tasted okay, nonetheless.}

Another tip:  make sure that you've rid as much liquid as possible from your leftover veggies.  Any extra moisture and you could be setting yourself up for a much longer bake time, not to mention ruined baking experience.

My granulated sweetener of choice, from #11 in the hand-written picture, is a stevia/cane blend.  It really does taste and mix great into recipes!

Once you hit Step 3, it should start to look similar to this: 

Don't forget to line your loaf pan with parchment paper.  Much easier clean up and great looking bottom of your baked good!

Now, ovens vary.  I totally understand this.  I'm currently baking in an electric oven, but love the control that a gas oven gives me.  Time may vary slightly, but I did my first check at 37 minutes and ended up baking for an additional 8 minutes.  So, bake it for 40-45 minutes, or until your toothpick comes out clean.

Hope you've enjoyed this!  If you made any changes, make sure to comment with them!  I'd love to give it a try!

To your health and desire for more.  Just keep it all in moderation.

Make it a great day!

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