Almond Poppy Seed Quick Bread

Quick breads are the best. You can throw all the ingredients together in one or two bowls, pour everything into a pan and leave it in the oven for an hour.  There is no annoying whipping of egg whites, chopping of fruit, boiling of sugar or spooning batter into little cups. So easy! And this recipe makes TWO loaves. So more for sharing. Nom.

Almond Poppy Seed Bread 2

I was really excited about this recipe because the only way I’ve ever eaten poppy seeds is in lemon poppy seed muffins. After this recipe, almond is my new favorite flavor.  Everyone who has tried it has had the same reaction: “OMG. Yum. Can I have another slice?”  I made this bread yesterday and one of the loaves is already gone… so if you are in a pinch and really want to impress your family with treat for Easter, make this!

Almond Poppy Seed Bread 4

Almond Poppy Seed Bread
Makes two 9×5″ loaves

Bread:
3 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 cups sugar
1/3 cup poppy seeds
1 1/3 cup canola oil
3 room temperature eggs
1 1/2 cups milk (I used almond milk, your favorite should be fine)
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract

Glaze:
1/4 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 cups confectioners’ sugar

Preheat the oven to 350F. Spray two 9×5-inch loaf pans with cooking spray. In a large mixing bowl, whisk  flour, salt, baking powder, sugar, and poppy seeds. Set aside.

In another large mixing bowl, whisk the oil, eggs, milk, and extracts until combined.

Using a wooden spoon, make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Pour the wet mixture into the well and use the spoon or a rubber spatula to combine the ingredients. Divide the batter evenly among the prepared pans. Bake for 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a loaf comes out clean. (Here, if your edges appear to be browning too quickly, top with aluminum foil midway through baking)

When the breads are finished in the oven, make the glaze: In a large bowl, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar and both juices until smooth and runny. Add the liquid slowly so the glaze doesn’t become too runny.

Run a butter knife along the edges of each pan, then invert the pans and remove the still-warm loaves. Place the loaves, right side up, onto serving plates and drizzle each one with the glaze. Cool completely before slicing.

Recipe adapted from AllRecipes

Almond Poppy Seed Bread 1

Sweet Potato Quinoa Muffins with Almond Streusel- and a blog debut

Hooray for the birth of my blog! Cheers to the first of many recipes to come.

These muffins are the result of one of my recent health-kicks.  Every few months I’ll decide that I need to get down to business, be healthier, and finally cut out all of the empty carbs and junk food from my life… I’ll vow to follow a vegan diet a few days out of the week, eliminate “white” foods, and hide my cupcake cookbook from myself.  But then I come to my senses and realize how much happier I am when I have my treats :).

Anyway, I stumbled across these little gems and had to try them.  You can call them healthy, but they have enough flavor to make you think otherwise.  The sweet potato makes these babies denser than your usual muffin, and the quinoa gives it a nutty flavor and a different texture.  My favorite part is the almond streusel, which adds the perfect amount of sweetness.  I had two of these muffins with a tall glass of iced coffee and it made the perfect spring breakfast.

Sweet Potato and Quinoa Muffins with Almond Streusel

Muffins
1 medium sweet potato (should yield approx. 1 C)
1 T Earth Balance
1 T brown sugar
1 ¼ c whole wheat flour
¾ c light brown sugar, packed
½ t ground cinnamon
½ t ground nutmeg
1 t baking powder
½ t salt
¾ c cooked quinoa
2 eggs
4 T Earth Balance, melted
½ c almond milk
2 t vanilla extract

Almond Streusel
1/3 c chopped or slivered almonds
1/4 c granulated sugar
2 T whole wheat flour
1/4 t ground cinnamon
1/4 t ground nutmeg
2 T Earth Balance, melted

Peel and cube sweet potato.  Bring a pot of water to a boil, and add peeled, cut sweet potatos.  Boil until soft, or about 10-12 minutes.  When finished, drain the cooked sweet potato and mash on a plate with a fork.  Add Earth Balance and brown sugar.  Set aside, and preheat the oven to 400°.

Prepare the streusel by combining all the ingredients in a bowl and mixing together until crumbly.  Set aside.

In a separate medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg, and stir until well combined.  In a larger bowl, beat together the sweet potato puree, eggs, vanilla, melted Earth Balance and almond milk until smooth.  Gradually add the flour mixture to the potato mixture in small batches, stirring until smooth between batches.  Finally, fold in the cooked quinoa until completely combined.

Spoon the batter into a muffin tin that’s either been greased or lined with paper muffin liners.  Top each muffin with a small amount of streusel then bake for 25 minutes, or until the streusel is golden and the center of the muffin is no longer moist when tested with a toothpick.  Remove from heat and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes before removing from the pan.

Adapted from Poor Girl Eats Well

Pictures by Emily- check out her portfolio!