Healthy Carrot-Apple Nut Bread-A Daring Bakers Challenge

by Suzanne on February 27, 2012

in Breads

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The Daring Bakers’ February 2012 host was – Lis! Lisa stepped in last minute and challenged us to create a quick bread we could call our own. She supplied us with a base recipe and shared some recipes she loves from various websites and encouraged us to build upon them and create new flavor profiles. I love quick breads or cakes baked into loaf pans is more like it ;). I decided to try something healthier with this carrot apple nut bread recipe. Some of you may stop reading by now since the word healthy is brought up and others may lean in closer to get the secret to eating a quick bread without sacrificing taste. Flax meal is the secret to baking this bread healthier. Yes, the tiny little flax seed gets ground up and added instead of oil, wait a don’t need to go and get a grinder because flax meal is found at your local grocery store. I happen to buy Bob’s Red Mill Flax Meal and on the bag is a recipe originally for muffins but I changed it up of course and decided to make mini loaves. I added orange zest since I’m on a kick with that lately and I changed a few others things too and I’m happy to report that this lovely quick bread which happens to be healthier for you is really tasty. It reminds me of carrot cake without the cream cheese frosting, oops did I say cream cheese frosting? Well, just forget I said that because today we are talking healthy and remember these little loaves are better for you and give you good nutrients too.

No oil or butter in quick bread it’s got to be a typo, nope it’s really how it’s supposed to be made. You see flax can substitute fat in baking recipes (cool huh). Flax is a healthy alternative to the traditional use of oils, butter, shortening and eggs too. Flax has fat in the seed but it is a healthy omega-3 fat that our body’s need. We all need some fat but many people eat too much, or some people may be on a restricted diet and can’t have the cholesterol that butter adds, so flax comes to the rescue. I am not an expert on flax but I do know it’s good for us and I try to incorporate it as much as I can in my cooking, baking and smoothies. I do know the flax meal is digested better than the seeds and I prefer the golden flax meal over the dark flax because it has a more mild nutty taste. If you want to know more about the health benefits of flax and want to learn how to incorporate it into your diet then visit

Healthy Carrot-Apple Nut Bread-A Daring Bakers Challenge

Recipe adapted from: Bob’s Red Mill Carrot Bran Muffins
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (163 g)
1/2 cup golden ground flax meal (55 g)
1/2 cup oats (I used quick, 50 g)
1 cup packed brown sugar (229 g)
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
5 small carrots grated
2 large Granny Smith apples grated
1 orange zested
2 eggs beaten
1 cup buttermilk (228 g)
1/2 cup chopped unsalted nuts (I used pecans)
Step 1: Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Measure all the dry ingredients including the brown sugar and whisk together in a large bowl.
Step 2: Grate the apples and carrots in a food processor or box grater and zest orange. Add these ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir well.
Step 3: Beat the eggs and measure the buttermilk and add to the dry ingredients and stir well.
Step 4: Spray mini loaf pans with cooking spray and then divide batter equally into 4 mini loaf pans. Bake for 40-45 minutes or when tested with a cake tester it comes out clean. Cool in pans for 10 minutes. Then turn over onto cooling rack and let cool if you can.

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1 Kim February 27, 2012 at 8:56 pm

That looks awesome! So dense and yummy. Nice job on the challenge!

2 Suzanne February 28, 2012 at 10:44 am

Thanks Kim, your bread was great too.

3 Nami | Just One Cookbook February 27, 2012 at 11:09 pm

Wow… what a beautiful bread! I like how you styled the bread for the photo shoot too. I’m really amazed at no butter/oil in this bread! From the pictures, it look nice and moist too. 🙂

4 Suzanne February 28, 2012 at 10:44 am

Nami, the bread did turn out very moist and tasty. Thanks for stopping bye!

5 Nancy/SpicieFoodie February 28, 2012 at 6:01 am

Suzanne it turned out beautiful! I love carrot and apple breads but never combined the two. So healthy and so much flavor. Sounds delicious.

6 Suzanne February 28, 2012 at 10:43 am

Yes, it is a surprising combo that works well together, thanks for stopping in 🙂

7 Sandra's Easy Cooking February 28, 2012 at 7:58 am

Wow, what a great looking bread! Carrots and apples..that combo always sound so yummy! I love your photos!

8 Erin @ Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts February 28, 2012 at 8:24 am

I love quick breads. This looks delicious with all the carrot and apple and nuts in there!

9 Suzanne February 28, 2012 at 10:42 am

thanks Erin.

10 Jenni February 28, 2012 at 7:45 pm

Wow, lovely job! There are so many amazing ingredients in this bread! I really wish I could try a slice (or two!), I bet it is fantastic! 🙂

11 Kiri W. February 28, 2012 at 8:42 pm

I have to say, I love this challenge! Your bread looks so dense and moist, I’d love a slice! Wonderful that it is healthy, too.

12 Reem | Simply Reem February 29, 2012 at 2:37 am

Really good recipe…
I love this bread even more now as there is not butter and oil and still it look incredibly moist…
Yumm, do have some slices leftover, if yes SEND ME…. LOL

13 Lisa February 29, 2012 at 1:14 pm

I love when a beautiful. moist, rich looking baked good contains healthy ingredients such as flax. However, knowing me, I would cover it in some drippy, gooey, sweet cream cheese glaze, eliminating all the healthy benefits. I just can’t help myself sometimes. Beautifully done, and gorgeous photos as always. BTW..Part 7 will be a goodie..I hope 🙂 I had to whittle down Part 6 because it would have swallowed up my blog. LOL

14 Amy Tong February 29, 2012 at 2:52 pm

Wow, I love your creation. Your bread looks perfect and delicious. I especially love the healthy ingredients you used.

15 Kristi Rimkus February 29, 2012 at 9:20 pm

I love all the healthy ingredients in your bread, and Bob’s Red Mill. I have family members that eat gluten free and he has a lot of alternative for them, so I keep the products on hand.

16 Marsha @ The Harried Cook March 2, 2012 at 2:46 am

Hi Suzanne 🙂 Thank you for stopping by my blog and entering my giveaway! 🙂 Wow… You have such an awesome blog here! I love it and you can bet I will be back for more! This quick bread looks delicious… love the combination you’ve used! Creative, delicious & healthy 🙂 Thanks for sharing! Subscribing to your site now 🙂

17 Paula (Salad in a Jar) March 2, 2012 at 7:20 am

This cake looks like a soft granola bar–in other words, dense with nutritious ingredients. Gorgeous pics too.

18 Roxana GreenGirl { A little bit of everything} March 3, 2012 at 8:01 am

i love using flax seeds as an egg substitute, lately even tried chia seed egg.
Delicious and healthy are definitely two words that would make me grab a second slice from this amazing bread

19 Patty March 3, 2012 at 9:32 am

Beautiful bread and photos, love the green! I use flax meal in breads, muffins, cookies etc. such a wonderful ingredient to have in your pantry;-) Outstanding job on your healthy bread, I would love a slice for my breakfast right now!

20 Jean (Lemons and Anchovies) March 3, 2012 at 10:18 am

Most quick breads are usually too oily for me so this version gets my attention. The bread didn’t seem to suffer from your healthier adjustments–in fact, it looks great! Love the carrot-apple combo. will have to search out flax meal. This is beautiful!

21 Suzanne March 5, 2012 at 5:55 pm

I know it didn’t turn out half bad for a healthy quick bread, gotta love it when things turn out. Thanks for stopping by.

22 Liz March 3, 2012 at 6:27 pm

Just beautiful bread! Your photos are lovely…as is this bread full of yumminess! Like a healthy carrot cake…I know I couldn’t resist having a slice or two 🙂

23 easyfoodsmith March 4, 2012 at 8:18 am

The bread is beautiful and I love all the goodness of apple carrot and nuts in it.

24 Suzanne March 5, 2012 at 5:54 pm

thank you, hope you get to try it out.

25 nipponnin March 5, 2012 at 12:14 am

I bet my husband loves this too because he loves carrot cake. This is like carrot cake with extra power!
He made me your rocket rolls other day. They are sooo good!

26 Suzanne March 5, 2012 at 5:53 pm

Awe I love these kind of comment, I’m so glad your husband made the rolls for you and they turned out good. Thanks for letting me know 🙂

27 Sammie March 6, 2012 at 5:52 am

wow! I’m very impressed with this recipe! Mainly because it doesn’t use any butter or oil! I’ve only used applesauce but too bad it expires quite quickly. I haven’t tried flax as a substitute and was sceptical when I read about it on the internet but I guess you proved me wrong!! Thank you!

28 Suzanne March 6, 2012 at 8:58 am

Thanks Sammie, you should give it try you’ll be surprised 🙂

29 Amy @ A Little Nosh March 6, 2012 at 9:03 am

I have flax meal I bought a while ago and had no idea what to do with it. Thanks so much!

30 The Café Sucré Farine March 8, 2012 at 7:00 am

I will be trying this one for sure – it looks amazing! Love that it’s so healthy, looks like it would be the perfect snack with a cup of coffee or tea!

31 Jen Laceda @ Tartine and Apron Strings March 22, 2012 at 8:38 am

this is chock-full of healthy stuff that i love!

32 Sophie March 26, 2012 at 5:21 am

What a truly appetizing & healthy breakfast bread!
I love it so much that I allready have made it 2 times! 🙂 But I used unrefined coconut blossom sugar instead of the brown sugar because it is more healthy & I love the taste much better. It is lower in the Gi index.
This would also be grate using zucchini’s in Summertime instead of the carrots!

33 Suzanne March 26, 2012 at 7:58 am

Love these kind of comments, thanks for letting me know. Good to know about the other sugar being healthier. Have a great week.

34 Sarah April 17, 2012 at 4:39 pm

This looks great! Any idea on how many loaves this recipe would make using a regular bread loaf pan? Or how to adjust measurements in this recipe so it would make a regular loaf? I don’t have any mini loaf pans but I really want to try this recipe! Thanks.

35 Suzanne April 18, 2012 at 1:01 pm

Sarah, I think you will probably just need one large loaf pan, you will have to play with the time since the batter is very moist it will probably take about an hour to bake. I just used the cheap foil mini pans that you find at your grocery store if you want to use those.

36 Mayuri Patel March 9, 2014 at 7:18 am

I baked this lovely bread for the weekend and it has already disappeared. Loved the flavour of flax seed powder. I made a few changes to the recipe by adding yogurt instead of buttermilk and chopped the apples. Thank you so much for sharing such a lovely , healthy recipe.

37 Jen September 25, 2014 at 9:53 pm

Has anyone tried making it gluten-free? My mom has gluten intolerance and is always looking for good baking recipes. Thanks!

38 Suzanne September 25, 2014 at 10:03 pm

Jen, I haven’t tried it gluten free but I don’t see why not, if you use gluten free flour it should work. If you try it that way let me know how it worked out.

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