Sweet Bread Delivers Sweet Nutrition

Fill your kitchen with the smell of warm bread laced with the enchanting aroma of cinnamon. This week’s recipe features a mouth-watering sweet bread, which is perfect for Sunday brunch or served as a tasty alternative to traditional dessert.

Plump, sweet raisins provide a chewy, natural hint of sweetness to the bread. Historically, raisins were one of the choice sweeteners – in addition to honey – used throughout medieval times. The product of dehydrating grapes, raisins also provide fiber and deliver a hearty dose of antioxidants.

Walnuts offer a welcome crunch and a nutty taste. Archaeologists have been successful in dating petrified walnut shells back to the Neolithic period – more than 80 centuries ago. They are regarded as one of the oldest tree-foods.

Despite their ancient origins, walnuts receive a lot of present day acclaim. Rich in phytochemicals, heart-healthy polyunsaturated fat, vitamins and minerals, walnuts offer a host of health benefits. While most home cooks will buy pre-packaged walnuts, consider shelling your own; it’s a fun activity to do with kids.

Rounding out our flavor profile is cinnamon. Native to Sri Lanka, its pleasing aroma is the perfect complement to this super bread. And as you dig in remember: cinnamon was once so highly prized that it was used as currency.

When combined with whole-wheat flour and fiber-rich bran, the harmonious blend of flavors and textures make for a healthful and delicious sweet treat.

Raisin, Cinnamon, Walnut Bread - Makes 12 servings.

3/4 cup whole-wheat flour

3/4 cup pastry flour

1/4 cup sugar

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. salt

1 1/2 cup unprocessed wheat bran

1/4 cup canola oil

1 1/2 cup seedless raisins

1 1/2 cup hot water

2 egg whites

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1/4 cup chopped walnuts

Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Stir together whole-wheat flour, pastry flour, sugar, baking soda and baking powder, cinnamon and salt.

Using a separate bowl, combine wheat bran, canola oil, raisins and hot water. Add egg whites and vanilla. Beat well.

Add nuts and dry ingredients. Stir until all ingredients are moist. Spray bread pan (9 X 5 X 3) with cooking spray and spread batter in pan.

Bake 45-55 minutes. Let cool before slicing.

Per serving: 200 calories, 7 g total fat (<1 g saturated fat), 36 g carbohydrates, 5 g protein, 5 g dietary fiber, 360 mg sodium.

The Author:

The American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) is the cancer charity that fosters research on the relationship of nutrition, physical activity and weight management to cancer risk, interprets the scientific literature and educates the public about the results. It has contributed more than $86 million for innovative research conducted at universities, hospitals and research centers across the country. AICR has published two landmark reports that interpret the accumulated research in the field and is committed to a process of continuous review. AICR also provides a wide range of educational programs to help millions of Americans learn to make dietary changes for lower cancer risk. Its award-winning New American Plate program is presented in brochures, seminars and on its Web site, www.aicr.org. AICR is a member of the World Cancer Research Fund International.

Article Posted: April 7, 2008

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