Blueberry Hazelnut Oat Bread

After a winter of comforting, completely calorie-laden dishes, I’m ready to switch gears and focus on some healthier recipes.  I came across this quick bread at Buns In My Oven (one of my top 3 favorite food blogs).  The photos of this blueberry bread were so attractive that I decided then and there that I would make the bread this weekend.  Karly at Buns In My Oven has adapted the recipe by using applesauce to replace some of the oil and using white whole wheat flour instead of regular all-purpose flour.

I tweaked this recipe only a little bit.  Since I am kindof embittered against “white whole wheat” flour (no good reason, I just am), I decided to use a blend of unbleached organic white flour and regular whole wheat flour.  The only other addition to my version is 1/2 cup of chopped hazelnuts, simply because they caught my eye at the grocery store and I was feeling particularly spontaneous at the time.

This bread made my house smell fabulous as it baked…and baked…and baked!  I am not entirely sure what width 8-inch loaf pan was used in the original recipe, but at 4 inches wide mine was definitely too small.  I came to this conclusion after crossing the 55-minute baking mark and STILL finding raw batter on my toothpick tester.  My too-narrow pan was too full of batter, and took a full 75 minutes to cook completely!  I was losing faith in the recipe during the extra cooking time, but I hung in there.  Thankfully, I was not disappointed.  Though my bread rose quite high out of the loaf pan and took so godawful long to cook, the end result is still absolutely delicious.  The hazelnuts?  Home run.  They add their distinctive flavor to the bread, which complements the blueberries perfectly.  I am envisioning another batch with pecans, or walnuts as the original recipe suggested.  The texture of the bread is dense and substantial enough–without being leaden or brick-like–to make a satisfying snack, especially when paired with a glass of milk.  I am glad I went with my decision to use frozen wild blueberries.  I think they are a little bit sweeter and more “blueberry” tasting than the larger regular frozen blueberries.

While this bread is certainly not low-calorie or low-fat, I think it can fit into a healthy, balanced diet (moderation, people!) with its 5 grams of fiber, 7 grams of protein, healthy fats, and a lot of vitamins and minerals (see nutrition facts below for more details).  I am envisioning it as part of my late afternoon on-campus lunches, with 1/2 cup fat free greek yogurt and a piece of fruit, or a handful of raw veggies.  When I make this recipe again, I might try to see if I can get rid of the canola oil completely.

This recipe is a keeper for me.  Next time, though, I will definitely use two 8×4-inch loaf pans instead of one, just to cut down on the cooking time.  If you try this recipe—and I completely think you should—I suggest you do the same, to avoid the baking-related panic (“omg, is it going to EVER finish cooking?!”) I just endured.  Or, try the original recipe with the white whole wheat flour…perhaps my flour blend increased the batter volume somehow and thus resulted in really too much batter for one 8×4-inch loaf pan.  A 9-inch pan might have worked better, but I still think two would be the best option.

A side note:  seriously, this bread is so tasty and satisfying that I have stopped typing this post twice to run to the kitchen and cut myself another sliver.  

Blueberry Hazelnut Oat Bread
Adapted from Buns In My Oven who adapted from Betty Crocker
Makes about 10 slices

2/3 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup applesauce
1/4 cup canola oil
2 large eggs
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup rolled oats
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup frozen wild blueberries, tossed in 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts

Heat oven to 350 degrees and grease the bottom of an 8 or 9 inch loaf pan (see note about loaf pans above!).

In a large mixing bowl, stir together sugar, milk, applesauce, oil, and eggs. Mix well. Stir in flours, oats, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt, and mix until combined. Fold in the floured blueberries and the nuts.

Pour in the loaf pan(s) and bake until a tester comes out clean (1 8×4-in pan, 75 minutes or 2 8-in pans, 45-55 minutes). Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then remove from the pan and cool on a wire rack.

Nutrition Facts
10 Servings
Amount Per Serving
Calories     302.1
Total Fat     11.1 g
Saturated Fat         1.3 g
Polyunsaturated Fat     2.8 g
Monounsaturated Fat     6.7 g
Cholesterol     43.4 mg
Sodium         232.5 mg
Potassium     276.1 mg
Total Carbohydrate     55.7 g
Dietary Fiber     4.7 g
Sugars         22.8 g
Protein          7.1 g
Vitamin A     2.2 %
Vitamin B-12     3.0 %
Vitamin B-6     6.5 %
Vitamin C     1.5 %
Vitamin D     3.7 %
Vitamin E     12.7 %
Calcium     14.8 %
Copper         15.8 %
Folate         14.0 %
Iron         16.0 %
Magnesium     16.3 %
Manganese     90.1 %
Niacin         10.3 %
Phosphorus         22.9 %
Riboflavin     13.1 %
Selenium     25.7 %
Thiamin     23.2 %
Zinc         9.5%


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