cranberry bread

Nothing is more festive than cranberries, yet we often don’t use these tart little fruits for anything except sauce. (We’re going to assume that you eschew canned cranberries entirely. If not, we don’t want to know about it). When you finish making your own sauce from scratch, you often have a lot of berries left over. What to do?

After Thanksgiving ended, we found ourselves in such a predicament. Fortunately, we discovered this recipe, and it saved the day. The addition of applesauce adds sweetness, moisture and density. You’ll love it!

INGREDIENTS
2 ½ cups gluten-free flour (Bob’s Red Mill has several varieties. We used white rice flour for this recipe).
1 cup turbinado sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 ½ teaspoons xanthum gum
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon sea salt (not the commercial, iodized kind)
1 ½ cup applesauce (organic, please!)
½ cup melted coconut oil
½ cup coconut milk
1 cup fresh cranberries

OPTIONAL ADD-IN INGREDIENTS
½ cup chopped walnuts and/or pecans
¼ cup poppy seeds

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix dry ingredients together in large bowl. When combined, add in the wet ingredients and stir thoroughly by hand or with a mixer. We used a large spoon and it worked fine. Stir in cranberries. The applesauce will bind the mixture together and give it a creamy yet solid texture. It should neither be stiff nor runny.

Grease one large or two small bread pans with coconut oil. Pour batter into pan (s) until about ¾ full. Because of the density of the applesauce, the bread will not rise much, so you needn’t worry about overflow. Bake for 45 minutes-1 hour. You can employ the time-tested fork or toothpick method in the center of the bread to see whether its done. Your kitchen will smell so wonderful, you might not ever want the baking to end. Be careful not to burn this bread!

Serve as is (scrumptious!) or with Earth Balance, organic preserves, vegan cream cheese (we love Kite Hill the most), etc. Be creative! Serves 8-10 hungry people. This bread won’t last! If you make two mini-loaves, you can always wrap one of them in festive paper, tie a ribbon around it, and give it as a gift to someone you love. Enjoy the bounty of the season, and happy holidays, whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanzaa, Yule, Solstice, or something else.

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