Fruit and Nut Bread: Gluten and Grain Free
A thick slice of toasted Fruit and Nut Bread spread lavishly with butter and with a steaming mug of tea makes for a very pleasant start to the weekend. We particularly love this in the cold months. After fried eggs and bacon, it’s a great “breakfast dessert”. Or, we might have a slice for a mid-afternoon snack with an espresso. I pack my loaf with dates, figs, currants and walnuts, along with ground almonds. This combination is fabulous, but you can experiment with anything that you have on hand: sultanas, dried apple and apricots, brazil or macadamia nuts, they’re all good. Bake it in advance, slice it, wrap it and freeze it. Then just take out the required slices and toast until hot and golden.
Paleo Fruit and Nut Bread: Bake, Slice, Freeze and Toast
You’ll want to start making this Fruit and Nut Bread the day before baking – but don’t let that dissuade you. On the contrary, dividing the work into micro steps means that the whole process becomes effortless.
The day before you want to bake, soak the dried fruit. Remove the stones from the dates and the little hard stem from the figs. Cut them into small pieces, place them in a bowl and cover with just enough hot water to cover. Let them sit overnight.
I’m a fan of mise en place, which means having all the ingredients ready to go. So, at this point, you might also like to weigh the other ingredients and roughly chop the nuts.
The following day, the dried fruit will be plumped up and moist, ready for stirring into the batter. If you don’t have a food processor, you can mix the batter by hand, but I find a processor is quick and easy.
Once baked, don’t even bother about trying to resist a slice while it’s still warm from the oven. So good! But remember that this loaf is quite calorific and high in carbohydrates.
Follow this Golden Rule for a low carb life: When the loaf has cooled completely, slice it, wrap it in kitchen paper and freeze anything that you’re not going to consume within a day. That way, you’ll need to think twice about reaching for a slice. It won’t be in front of your face and you’ll have to make an effort in order to eat it. It also means that your Fruit and Nut Bread will last much longer.
It’s well worth the effort, I can assure you!
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Fruit and Nut Bread, Gluten and Grain Free
- 2 cups mixed dried fruit eg dates, figs, currants
- 1 ½ cups walnuts or mixed nuts of your choice
- 100 grams almonds ground to a flour
- 100 grams cassava/manioca flour
- 50 grams linseeds (flax seeds) ground to a flour
- 2 teaspoons Paleo Baking Powder 2 parts cream of tartar, 1 part bicarb (baking) soda, 1 part tapioca starch
- 100 grams butter
- The day before baking, cut the dried fruit into small pieces. Cover with just enough water to cover. Leave overnight.
- On the day of baking, preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Grease and line a 21cm x 10cm loaf pan with greaseproof paper.
- Chop the nuts into small pieces. Set aside.
- Place the ground almonds, cassava flour, ground linseeds and baking powder into a bowl. Mix lightly.
- Put the butter into the food processor and whiz to cream it. Add the eggs in lots with the dry ingredients, mixing well after each addition to form a smooth batter.
- Remove the blade from the processor. Add the fruit and nuts to the batter and mix thoroughly using a wooden spoon. Transfer the batter into the prepared loaf tin. Smooth the top with a spatula.
- Bake for 45 minutes. Leave in the tin to cool for half an hour before turning out.
- Cut into thick slices, wrap the loaf in greaseproof paper and store in the freezer.