March is National Nutrition Month, when the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics reminds everyone to return to the basics of healthy eating. It is also the time of year when the Academy celebrates expertise of registered dietitian nutritionists as the food and nutrition experts.
This bread is attributed to Kwanzaa, the African-American harvest celebration, enjoyed in Philadelphia where I live and also by people throughout the world. The sweet potatoes, carrots and orange juice contribute not only to the rich orange color, but also to the sweet, robust flavor and an enviable nutrition profile.
Vegetable cooking spray
1 ⅓ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup wheat germ
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 cup oats (not instant)
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 ¾ cup cooked, mashed sweet potato
3 eggs, lightly beaten
⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
⅓ cup orange juice
1 carrot, grated
1 cup raisins, packed
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray two 9x5x3-inch loaf pans with cooking spray.
- Combine the flour, wheat germ, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, oats and brown sugar in a large bowl; set aside.
- In a medium bowl, mix the remaining ingredients, then add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients and stir just until combined.
- Spoon the batter evenly into the pans. Bake 45 to 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
- Cool before cutting into 24 slices.
Substitution: Instead of cooked sweet potato, you can use one 15-ounce can yams, drained and mashed; 1 pound fresh yams, peeled, boiled and mashed or one 15-ounce can pure pumpkin.
Variation: Add some crunch by stirring in ½ to 1 cup walnut pieces before baking.
Variation: Spoon the batter into 24 muffin cups coated with cooking spray. Bake 30-35 minutes, or until the toothpick inserted in the middle of a muffin comes out clean.
Serving size: 1 slice
Calories: 180; Total Fat: 5g; Saturated Fat: 1g; Cholesterol: 25mg; Sodium: 120mg; Total Carbohydrate: 32g; Dietary Fiber: 2g; Protein: 4g.