Sunday, April 3, 2016

Lemon blueberry bread

This lemon blueberry bread is absolutely perfect in every way. It has a slight lemony undertone and is full of sweet, juicy blueberries. There is no butter or oil and can be made even more decadent with an optional streusel topping. I made 2 loaves in 2 days!

Raising a child is a challenge. I try to think about all the things I've learned in my lifetime and want to make sure my daughter turns out to be a good person. One of the most important life lessons that I've tried to teach her is to be a good neighbor and friend.

I recently found out that one of our neighbors had some health issues. I knew that I had to do something to help them but wasn't quite sure what to do. After some brainstorming, I decided to give them some food. I knew that the family would have quite a lot on their minds and would be busy with doctors' visits. Food might be a last priority while they dealt with the health challenges.

I spoke with my husband, and we both agreed to make them a batch of lasagna. I also made some double chocolate Greek yogurt muffins. I bought a loaf of garlic bread to go with the lasagna, threw in some chocolate chip meringue cookies and a gift card to a local restaurant in case they wanted take-out. I wanted to make one more thing for snacking so I decided on a quick bread. Thus, this lemon blueberry bread was born.

Addie and my husband both got jealous when they saw the bread come out of the oven. Would they get to eat some? Maybe just a little slice? Were there leftovers? Unfortunately, the answer was No, but I got the hint and made a loaf for ourselves the next day. This bread got such positive reviews from all of us that I think it's one of my favorite breads to date. When I told Addie that she would eat this for breakfast before school, her response was and enthusiastic, "YES!"

I continue to hope that my neighbor's health quickly improves and that the gift of food helped them not worry about what to eat that day. I hope that Addie starts to understand the joy of helping others.

Lemon blueberry bread
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup milk of choice
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract (can substitute with the zest and juice of 1-2 lemons) 
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (can substitute with whole wheat flour)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries (if frozen, do not thaw)
Directions
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Generously grease a standard 9"x5" loaf pan and set aside.

In a measuring cup, mix together the egg, milk, applesauce and lemon extract (or zest and juice if using). Set aside.

In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt until well blended. Pour the egg mixture into the large bowl and gently mix together until a few streaks remain. Fold in the blueberries until everything just comes together - do not over mix.

Bake in your preheated oven for 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow the bread to cool slightly before serving.

Store the bread in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator. It will keep for several days. Bread can also be frozen and thawed.

Yield: One 9"x5" loaf; about 8-12 servings

Source: Slightly adapted from Taste of Home

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