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 The Perfect Holiday Table
 Date Nut Bread!
 Christmas Tree Guide
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  InStone Low Carb Pudding



 
    Make it Low Carb by Joan Hedman

Recently, I was trading low carb tips via e-mail with a friend when she asked about substituting dates in my banana bread recipe, to make a "sort of date bread."

I was immediately intrigued. Dates are problematic for low-carbers, of course, since they're nearly 100% sugar; a single good-sized date can net 8 grams of carbs or more. The typical date bread recipe, calling for one cup of chopped dates, contains well over 100 grams of carbs from the dates alone!

While mulling over these alarming figures, I wondered if it would even be possible to make a low carb date nut bread. I remember the one that my mom used to make, very dense and sweet, studded with walnuts. It was so rich she baked it in mini-loaves, since a full-sized slice would be overwhelming. I wanted something that tasted like that, with that same dense texture, but with many, many fewer carbs.

I love this type of challenge, and went to work straight away. I think you'll like the results. I'll admit, it's not just like my mom used to make, but it's very, very close in taste and texture, and it's a lot better for you. A couple of slices make a great, quick breakfast, especially if you slather it with cream cheese the way I do!

Date Nut Bread
Serves 12.

Dry Ingredients

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Prepare a standard 9x5 inch loaf pan by spraying with a non-stick cooking spray.

Combine the zucchini, syrup, vanilla extract, dates, and butter in a large microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high power for 3 minutes. (Alternately, combine the ingredients in a sauce pan over medium heat; bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.) Stir, then allow to cool briefly.

When the mixture is cool enough to work with safely, transfer it to the work bowl of your food processor. Process about 30 seconds until the mixture is smooth. You will still see flecks of dates and green zucchini, but you shouldn't have large pieces of either. With the machine running, add the eggs one at a time, and process about 10 seconds to combine them. Transfer the mixture back to your mixing bowl.

In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients (except the walnuts). Sift them into the wet ingredients, working as much of the almond meal through the sifter as you can. Stir just to combine the wet and dry ingredients; don't overmix. Stir in the chopped walnuts, and immediately pour the batter into your prepared pan.

Bake at 350°F for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and place on a rack to cool; let cool about 5 minutes before turning out from the pan. Allow the loaf to cool for at least another hour before cutting it, or it may be very crumbly. Serve with cream cheese, butter, or enjoy it on its own. Be sure to wrap tightly in foil or plastic wrap, and refrigerate any leftovers.

Approximate nutrition information per serving:
215 calories, 17 g fat; 10 g carbs; 2 g fiber; 9 g protein.

Note: if you'd like a more intense date flavor and can afford the extra grams of carbs, stir in an additional 2-3 chopped dates when you add the walnuts. If the dates are very dry, soften them in some boiling water for a few minutes, and drain them before you add them to the batter. This will add about 2.5 grams of carbs to each slice.

Additional notes on last month's recipe, Cranberry Cheesecake Tart: you can make this recipe in either a tart pan or a pie plate; I recommend using an 8- or 9-inch pie plate. The original recipe called for a shortbread-type crust, almost cookie-like, but I used my favorite pecan-based crust with the addition of some cinnamon. If you have a favorite cheesecake crust, go ahead and use it. Or you could even try making individual "tarts" in ramekins, skipping the crust altogether.

As many people wrote asking for nutritional information, here it is, for one-eighth of the total jam and cheesecake recipe (you'll have to make additions for your crust if you use one): 236 calories, 19 g fat, 8 g carbs, 3 g fiber, and 5 g protein. These numbers are even more "approximate" than usual, since when the cranberry jam is strained, the skins and seeds are left behind. I decided against trying to account for that; there's simply no way of guessing how many carbs and how much fiber remain in the strainer. So the actual carb and fiber counts may be a bit lower, but probably not by much.

My best wishes to everyone for a healthy and delicious holiday season!

                                                

Copyright © December 2006  Joan Hedman and Low Carb Luxury




       

 

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