By Candice Garret, The Yogic Kitchen
Ahhh…the holidays. I love this season. I love all of the autumn finds at the grocery store: yams and heirloom tomatoes, brussels sprouts still on the stalk. I love breaking out the holiday decorations and the idea of wet, rainy days spent inside with loved ones and a homecooked meal.
I especially love a well-thought gift, and the delight on our children’s faces Christmas morning when all of the colorful packages are finally placed under the tree. But I’ll admit, I don’t love the excess.
As the breadth of our extended family has grown over the years, it’s become more and more difficult to consider buying gifts for each and every loved one. Plus, add to that the idea of the amount of money, waste, mayhem and general thoughtless-ness that goes into the average Christmas present, and you have a tradition that my husband and I don’t much care for.
Even with three kids of our own and a tribe of nephews and neices, we do our best to buy just one good gift for each child and to put some thought behind each one.
A few years back I started a tradition of giving handmade gifts to the adults and this has become my own favorite holiday ritual. What originated probably out of poverty at the time, has become our most-loved contribution. Each year I package up loaves of cranberry bread, rosemary bread, homemade jams and pickles and handknit scarves and send them off to our loved ones. There’s something so sweet about a loaf of homemade bread, wrapped up and adorned with a gift label.
This bread is our family favorite, my husband gets so excited when it’s time to bake, all the anticipation of something familiar and special and rare.
It’s a perfect bread for breakfast, with coffee or tea: tangy, not-to-sweet and with a little ginger kick. Yogurt replaces the traditional butter and adds a great soft texture.
- 1/4 cup canola oil, plus more for pan
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1 cup unbleached flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for pan
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 3/4 cup vanilla low-fat yogurt
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup whole fresh cranberries
- 1 small apple, diced
- 1/4 cup crystallized ginger, coarsely chopped
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly oil and flour a loaf pan. Process oats in a food processor until ground.Place in a large bowl; stir in flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and pie spice.
- In a separate bowl, stir together yogurt, oil, and eggs; whisk until combined. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the liquid ingredients; stir until just combined. Fold in cranberries and ginger.
- Spoon mixture into the pan and smooth top with a rubber spatula. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of the loaf comes out just clean, about 50 minutes. Check the loaf after 30 minutes and tent with aluminum foil if browning too quickly. Cool 10 minutes in the pan, and then run a metal spatula around edges and invert loaf onto a rack. Turn right side up to cool completely before slicing.
Candice Garret is a yoga teacher, writer and mom living in the redwoods near Santa Cruz, Ca. Visit her food blog The Yogic Kitchen for her vegetarian recipes. To learn more about her involvement in the yoga scene, visit her website www.candicegarrettyoga.com
From November 15 through December 14, Intentblog is launching its first-ever 30 Days of Healthy Indulgences, where every day for 30 days we are inviting bloggers from all over the health and wellness space to contribute their favorite healthy indulgent recipe in time for the holiday season. Please keep checking back for more recipes!