Recipe: Healthy Strawberry Bread with Vanilla Mascarpone

With strawberry season beginning to wrap up, I’m frantically trying to fill my fridge, freezer, and pantry with as many forms of preserved strawberries as possible – not to mention my belly!  I add sliced fresh strawberries to my yogurt and granola in the mornings, eat them straight for snack throughout the day, and top with vanilla ice cream for dessert.

I have my old standbys for dealing with large amounts of strawberries, but it’s always fun to branch out and try something totally new, like this recipe for Healthy Strawberry Bread.  Similar to banana bread in texture and moisture content, it has a noticeably fresher flavour because of the berries.

I served it with a scoop of ice cream, but the recipe calls for Vanilla Mascarpone, which sounds quite divine.

A perfect early summer dessert

Healthy Strawberry Bread

5 tbsp + 1 tsp unsalted butter, softened

1 pint strawberries, rinsed, hulled, quartered and mashed with a fork

1-1/2 cups spelt flour (I substituted 1 cup whole wheat, ½ cup almond flour)

¼ cup wheat germ

1 tsp baking soda

½ tsp ground cinnamon

¼ tsp baking powder

¼ tsp salt

1 cup sugar

2 large eggs

1/3 cup milk

Topping:

1 cup mascarpone cheese, at room temperature

1 vanilla bean, scraped or 2 tsp vanilla extract

¼ cup icing sugar

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.  Butter an 8×4-inch loaf pan.  In a small saucepan, bring strawberries to a boil over medium heat.  Cook, stirring, for 1 minute.  Set aside.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together flour, wheat germ, baking soda, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt; set aside.  With an electric mixer, cream butter, sugar and eggs in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy.  With mixer running, add flour mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour.  Fold in reserved strawberries.
  3. Scrape batter into prepared pan, smoothing top.  Bake until a wooden toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean, about 1 hour (tent with foil after 45 minutes if top is getting too dark).  Cool in pan 10 minutes.  Run a knife around edges; invert onto a rack.  Reinvert; cool completely.
  4. Combine mascarpone, vanilla seeds and icing sugar in a small mixing bowl and stir well to combine.  Slice loaf and serve with a dollop of mascarpone mixture.

Serves 8 to 10.

[From “Good Food For All: Seasonal Recipes from a Community Garden”]

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