I’ve recently discovered that I kind of hate going to the gym in the mornings. I know a lot of people like to go before work, to get their workouts out of the way, but I just can’t bring myself to do it. I much prefer to jump into work right after breakfast, starting easy with emails and social media, and ramping up to the harder work – the writing and recipe development – when I’m feeling more awake and refreshed.
Going to the gym in the afternoon, around 4 or 4:30 p.m., before the after-work rush, is my jam lately. Even though I usually do an hour or so of work afterwards, it gets me in the “work day is nearly over” mindset. I’ve found that it is much easier to cut myself off from work in the evenings on the days that I make it to the gym in the afternoons.
I usually try to have a small snack pre-gym excursion, and I’ve totally fallen into an almonds/fruit/air-popped popcorn rut lately. I love those snacks, but they are starting to get a bit repetitive. I decided last week that I needed something seasonal to jolt me out of my pattern.
Armed with a three-pound bag of cranberries from a weeklong session of pound-cake-recipe-development-turned-wrong, I headed down to the basement to peruse my shelves of preserves. I realized that I have a ton of applesauce that needs to be used ASAP, and that it has been far too long since I’ve made a quick bread. Cranberry bread it was!
I’m loving this bread as a healthy pre-gym snack. It has whole wheat flour and a bunch of fresh cranberries, and all the fat is replaced by applesauce and skim milk. If you’re vegan, it can just as easily be made with almond, soy or another milk alternative. Boom, done.
I'm loving this bread as a healthy snack. It has whole wheat flour and a bunch of fresh cranberries, and all the fat is replaced by applesauce and skim milk. If you're vegan, it can just as easily be made with almond, soy or another milk alternative. Boom, done.
- 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 1/2 teaspoons orange extract
- 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1 cup skim milk
- 1 cup cranberries
- 1 tablespoon orange zest (from about 1/2 an orange)
- Preheat oven to 350F. Grease 4 mini loaf pans, or one standard loaf pan.
- Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, salt and spices together in a large mixing bowl. Create a well in the middle of the dry ingredients, and stir in the orange extract, applesauce and milk.
- Fold in the cranberries and orange zest.
- Divide the batter evenly between the prepared mini loaf pans, or pour it into the regular loaf pan.
- Bake for 30-40 minutes at 350F for mini loaves, 45-50 minutes for a regular loaf, or until a knife inserted into the middle of the loaf comes out clean.
- Allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before sliding a knife around the rim and flipping the bread out of the pan and onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Make Ahead and Storage
Psst: This post was sponsored by the Grain Foods Foundation and Grains for Your Brain. Grains for Your Brain is committed to bringing science-based information about incorporating grains into a healthy diet and lifestyle to consumers. The site features articles by and Q&A’s with health and nutrition experts, as well as healthy grain-based recipes. I was compensated for my participation, but all opinions are my own.