"Reclaiming Homemade in a Small Space"

Monday, December 5, 2011

Cranberry Orange Bread: A healthier version!

This is probably my favorite Christmastime treat, you can tell by looking at the well worn recipe.  My mom made it every year multiple times because it never stayed around long.  I absolutely love the tart/sweet combination in this quick bread.  It is wonderful slightly warm and slathered in melty butter with a steaming hot cup of coffee. (The original recipe called for nuts, but my family doesn't like nuts in it.  You certainly can add them if you want.)  I know it's a popular bread to make, easy and delicious.  I recently saw a fellow blogger, Spryte's Place , spotlight cranberry orange bread as well.

This time, I thought I would try to experiment a little.  Matt told me recently how many women forego fiber when they are dieting.  I found I was skimping on my fiber intake so I decided to up the fiber in this bread with some flax seed.  I also subbed out half the white flour for whole wheat and cut the sugar in half.  With the fresh orange juice and cranberries, I think I have a winner.

Cranberry Orange Bread:
Printable Version
1 c. fresh cranberries, chopped (about half a bag or 6 oz.)
1 T. orange peel, zested
1 c. all purpose flour
1 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 c. milled flax seed
1/2 c. sugar
1 1/2 t. baking powder
1 t. salt
1/2 t. baking soda
2 T. shortening
3/4 c. orange juice, freshly squeezed is best
1/2 c. kefir or buttermilk
1 egg, beaten
1/2 c. nuts, chopped (opt.)

First, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Then, pick over your cranberries.  Even in a brand-new bag you might find cranberries that look like this.   Rotten and smushy cranberries will not make yummy bread.
After you have rinsed and sorted the cranberries, run them through a food processor.  I did 4 or 5  three second pulses to achieve this consistency.  You don't want a paste of cranberries, just a rough chop.
I like to the zest the orange right over the cranberries.  This time, I used 3 Clementines.  I also juiced them at this time.  Though the Clementines were juicy, they were small.  I still needed a little more juice, so I supplemented with some orange juice.  I set this aside.  Next, I combined all the dry ingredients in my mixer bowl.
Then I added the shortening.
I cut this in just by turning my mixer on low for about a minute or so.  Next, I added the beaten egg, orange juice and kefir or buttermilk.  The kefir/ buttermilk wasn't in the original recipe, but I found the batter was a bit dry after I added the flax seed and subbed in whole wheat flour.  Don't crack the egg directly into the flour mixture or you will spend more time mixing the batter and making it tough.  That is why beating the egg first is important.
Gently fold in the cranberries and optional nuts with a large spatula.  Do not over mix.
Scoop the batter into a prepared loaf pan and smooth out with the spatula.

Bake in the preheated oven for 60 minutes or until a cake tester or wooden toothpick comes out clean when poked in the center.

Cool on a rack for 15 minutes.  Carefully, remove loaf from the pan and cool completely.  Wrap and store overnight.  Now, I don't blame you if you can't wait until the next day to eat it.  My mom would torture us and make us wait.  It really is better the next day, BUT that is why I routinely double this recipe and make two loaves!  One for today and one for tomorrow!    (There are 16 servings:  126 cal. for each with 4.7 g of fat, 17.6 carbs,  5.5 g of fiber and 5.3 g protein)


  1. Yum - I will absolutely be making this! And I adore the photo of the beat up, dribbled-on receipt card. :)

  2. Oh, I remember how good this recipe is....gonna make it soon.

  3. Yes, Mom, it IS my favorite!!! I had some for breakfast. MMMMmmmmm...

    Tacy, it is sooo good. I bet your family could devour one loaf in one day! Yeah, and the recipe card is just as bad on the back! LOL!

  4. Umm, I'm not sure how to break this to you Jenny, but we could eat 1.5 loaves in a single meal. :)