One of the best parts of the festive season? If you’re not working, you can take advantage of the time on your hands and spend it in the kitchen, baking delicious things. The Christmas holidays are the perfect time to re-discover old, beloved recipes that have been handed down from generation to generation, and to learn new recipes and start new traditions. High on our list of recipes to rediscover this festive season is the ultimate teatime classic: date and walnut bread. Sure, this might sound like something that you’d expect to be served in a funeral parlour, but date and walnut bread is far from bland, boring and dry. Instead, it’s light, fluffy and bursting with flavour.
Date nut bread is a British thing, but that doesn’t mean it’s boring
Date and nut loaf is a traditional bread baked and enjoyed in Britain. It’s made with (you guessed it!) dates and (traditionally) walnuts. Originally from Scotland, you’ll find that it’s a popular modern teatime staple that’s enjoyed all over the world and across the Commonwealth, particularly in places like Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa.
Let’s talk about date nut bread recipes
Date bread was first officially recorded as a recipe in 1939, making Christmas and Thanksgiving holidays a little more festive ever since.
Ingredients to make date nut bread
- 1 cup chopped and pitted dates
- 1 cup boiling water
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 + 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp of baking soda
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 cup chopped walnuts (you can substitute with any nuts)
- 3 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
Instructions for making date nut bread
- Preheat oven to 180 °C and grease your loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray.
- Combine dates, butter, and boiling water – leave to cool.
- Sift flour and baking soda together, add sugar, egg, and nuts to the date mixture, then the vanilla, and then the flour mixture.
- Add lemon juice last and stir until combined
- Pour into your prepared loaf pan and bake for approximately 50-60 minutes in the preheated oven (or until lightly browned and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted). Cool on a cooling rack.
What are some of the health benefits of eating dates?
- They contain protein, vitamins, and minerals and they’re higher than most other fruit and veg in polyphenols, which are antioxidant compounds that have an anti-inflammatory effect. can protect the body from inflammation.
- A great substitute for sugar, dates can satisfy a sweet tooth while providing essential nutrients, such as vitamin B-6 and iron.
- Dates are high in fibre. One quarter of a cup can provide 12% of your daily fibre requirement, which helps with digestive health.
- Dates are high in potassium, which is necessary to maintain heart health and building muscles and proteins in the body.
- An easy way to replace refined sugars for natural, dates can be used to replace the sugar, chocolate chips, or candies in baking recipes.
What are some of the health benefits of eating walnuts?
- Walnuts contain the highest levels of alpha-linolenic acid, which is a plant-based omega-3 essential fatty acid, which makes it one of the best plant food sources of omega-3s.
- They’re a nutritional powerhouse and a single serving can provide up to 4 grams of protein and 2 grams of fibre, they’re also a good source of magnesium and phosphorus that can benefit muscle function and bone mass, respectively.
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