In Season: Healthy Apple Bread

entire-disk-154After our annual apple-picking expedition, I’m always left with more apples than I know how to use (we get a little overzealous in those orchards!).  Of course the first thing we did was make an apple pie, and I’m sure I’ll use a lot for a great big batch of apple sauce.  But when I was flipping through the most recent Penzey’s Spice catalog, I knew what recipe I’d be trying next:  apple bread.


However, then I read the recipe more carefully—holy cow!  One full cup of oil and two full cups of granulated sugar?  Yikes!  That was not something I’d be comfortable serving my kids for breakfast since it was more like cake than bread.  As I often do, I swapped out the oil for applesauce and cut the sugar in half.  The result was delicious, not too sweet, but not too bland.  The cinnamon really gives enough flavor to the bread so that you can skip the extra fat and sugar.  Just don’t think about that one full stick of butter that goes into the crumb topping (gasp!).  I made it with the topping, but will skip it the next time to make this bread even healthier!

Healthy Apple Bread

(adapted from Penzey’s Spices)

Makes 2  loaves


4 cups diced apples (peeled and cut into a 1/2” dice)

4 eggs

1 cup unsweetened applesauce

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

2 teaspoons baking soda

2 teaspoons salt

2 teaspoons cinnamon

2 cups flour

1 cup sugar


¾ cup flour

¼ cup sugar

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 stick butter, at room temperature, cut into pieces

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease 2 standard sized bread pans and set aside.

Using an electric mixer, beat eggs until lightened.  Add applesauce and beat to combine.

Add vanilla, baking soda, salt and cinnamon and beat to combine.

Add sugar, then flour, one cup at a time and incorporate before adding the next cup.

Add apples and mix by hand to incorporate.  Divide the mixture between the prepared pans.

To make the topping, whisk together dry ingredients, then add butter.  Use a fork (or your fingers) to work together until mixture is moistened.  Divide topping between two loaves.

Bake for an hour, or until toothpick comes out clean.  (I used a convection oven and it took only 45 minutes).


Click here for more information about Tracy’s Connecticut cooking classes, or to read her The Secret Ingredient Blog.



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