We have busy afternoons after school most days. Filled with activities for very boisterous, active kids! The parents at these activities are forever digging into their bags for goodies to fend off the cries of “I’m huuuuuungryyyyyy”. A while ago, a friend had date loaf for her kids to keep them going at Jujitsu (Hi Kylie!).
It inspired me to have a go at my own. I’d grown up with my Mum’s version, but these days I’m after less oil, sugar and refined ingredients …. and look for any excuse to hide bonus goodies. So these ones were created. Hope you enjoy them – they’re are like a cross between traditional date loaf and a carrot cake!
- 10 medjool dates
- 1 tsp bicarb soda
- 1tsp instant coffee (optional)
- 1 cup boiling water
- 2 medium carrots
- 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce*
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
- 1 1/4 cup wholemeal spelt/ rye flour
- 1/2 cup rolled oats/quinoa/desiccated coconut
- 1 rounded tsp GF baking powder
- Pinch pink salt flakes
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts OR 1/4 cup each roasted sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds.
* To make my apple sauce I just core my apples and cut them into quarters (don’t peel – keep the benefit of the skin’s nutrients!) and steam them until soft with a little bit of water and a pinch of cinnamon and then blend or process until you reach the consistency you like. (Speed 2, Steam Temp for about 10-12 minutes, then turn off temperature and increase speed gradually up to 6). I make it in bulk and store it in reusable squeezy pouches in the freezer.
Remove and discard the seeds from the dates, then place them in a bowl, sprinkle over the coffee (if using) and bicarb soda and then pour over the boiling water. Set aside.
Use your processor to blitz the oats into a flour (Speed 6, 8 seconds) then set aside
Grate or process the carrot until fine (drop onto blades spinning on speed 5, then up to speed 6 for 8 seconds).
Add the apple sauce, vanilla and all of the date mixture to the processor and process until smooth and well combined (start on speed 4 then gradually work up to speed 6 for 15 seconds).
In a separate bowl, whisk together the oat flour, flour, baking powder, salt and seeds/nuts. If you haven’t used the coffee, an added teaspoon of cinnamon here.
Pour the wet mix into the dry mix and fold together until combined.
Spoon into a lined loaf tin or muffin holes. Place into a pre heated moderate oven, until well risen and golden. Takes about 25 minutes for the muffins or 50 minutes for the loaf.
Allow to cool. Makes about 14 muffins.
If you want a sweeter more desserty kind of treat, you can top them with an icing made from whipped cream cheese (dairy or soy), sweetened with maple syrup and a pinch of cinnamon. A scattering of extra nuts or seeds on top is yummy too.
I haven’t made a coeliac friendly version of this one yet. I’d try 1 cup of a GF flour mix, and maybe have another tablespoon of flour to add in if it looks too thin. Let me know if you try!