Healthy Apple Bread

healthy_Apple_bread

Healthy Apple Bread

Naturally sweetened, moist, perfectly spiced healthy apple bread is a fabulous breakfast, afternoon snack or dessert option when apples are fresh and in season!  

September is apple season!  Celebrate by baking up some delicious and healthy apple bread.

I was gifted a box of fresh organic Macintosh apples from my next-door neighbor.  Since my husband is 6’4, he went over and helped pick the apples as did the kids and we have so many apples – get ready to be bombarded with apple recipes. 

Apple desserts are my absolute favorite – give me a warm apple crisp instead of chocolate anything any day and I’ll be your loyal servant.  First up is this apple bread recipe.  I’ve been making this for years and it’s one of the kid’s favorite quick bread recipes. 

They love it warm, straight out of the oven with an extra cinnamon sugar topping that makes the top crunchy.   It’s perfect for breakfast and I feel good about feeding it to the kids on their way out the door because it has fiber and apples!

The topping softens after a day because I store it in a food storage bag, but it’s still delicious.  If you are watching your sugar intake, just leave the cinnamon sugar topping off as the recipe is sweet enough. 

This recipe has pecans, but if you don’t like nuts in your apple bread, you can leave it out.  We love the extra crunch. 

The apple bread is sweetened naturally with applesauce and coconut sugar, which is slightly better than granulated white sugar.  It is less processed and has a lower glycemic index, so it doesn’t spike your blood sugar.  You can find coconut sugar under the O Organics brand at Safeway in the baking aisle. At the end of the day, sugar is sugar, so it still is not a low-calorie food, coconut sugar is just more natural. 

What apples to Use for Apple Bread

You can use any apples you like, but tart apples happen to work best in baked recipes.  I typically granny smith apples, but I have also made this recipe with Macintosh, and  Honeycrisp apples.  

Do not use red delicious apples, as those are really sweet and brown quickly and turn mushy when baked. 

Ingredients in Healthy Apple Bread

  • 1/2 cup raw pecans
  • 2 cups tart apples, cored, peeled and diced
  • 1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon  kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil or coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 tablespoons milk (any kind, I used almond)
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar (or granulated white sugar)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For topping the bread with a cinnamon sugar topping

  • 1 tablespoon sparkling or sanding sugar or turbinado sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

 

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How to Make Healthy Apple Bread

Preheat the oven to 350° F.   Spray an 8×4-inch loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray and set aside. 

Toast the pecans by placing them in a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat for about 6-8 minutes.  Shake the pan or stir a few times so that the pecans do not burn.   Remove from the heat once the pecans are toasted and roughly chop on a cutting board with a large knife. 

In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves, and salt. 

In a separate bowl, whisk together the applesauce, milk, coconut sugar, eggs, and vanilla extract. 

Pour the wet mixture over the dry mixture and stir to mix.  Add the chopped apples and pecans and stir just until incorporated. 

Pour into the prepared baking pan.  If using the cinnamon topping, stir together the coarse sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over the bread in the pan. 

Bake for 25 minutes with foil tented over the pan so the sugar doesn’t burn.  Remove the foil and bake for an additional 20 minutes, until a toothpick or knife comes out clean. 

Place on a wire rack to cool in the loaf pan, then remove from the pan to cool completely.  Enjoy warm or at room temp.

 

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Serve this with a homemade apple butter, or regular salted butter. 

healthy_Apple_bread

Healthy Apple Bread

5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 10 slices
Calories:
Author: Eva Fry

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup raw pecans
  • 2 cups tart apples cored, peeled and diced
  • 1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil or coconut oil melted
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 tablespoons milk any kind, I used almond
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar or granulated white sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For topping the bread with a cinnamon sugar topping, optional

  • 1 tablespoon sparkling or sanding sugar or turbinado sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350° F.   Spray an 8x4-inch loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.
  • Toast the pecans by placing them in a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat for about 6-8 minutes.  Shake the pan or stir a few times so that the pecans do not burn.   Remove from the heat once the pecans are toasted and roughly chop on a cutting board with a large knife.
  • In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves, and salt.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the applesauce, milk, coconut sugar, eggs, and vanilla extract.
  • Pour the wet mixture over the dry mixture and stir to mix.  Add the chopped apples and pecans and stir just until incorporated.
  • Pour into the prepared baking pan.  If using the cinnamon topping, stir together the coarse sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over the bread in the pan.
  • Bake for 25 minutes with foil tented over the pan so the sugar doesn't burn.  Remove the foil and bake for an additional 20 minutes, until a toothpick or knife comes out clean.
  • Place on a wire rack to cool in the loaf pan, then remove from the pan to cool completely.  Enjoy warm or at room temp.

Additional Apple Recipes

Easy Apple Berry Crisp

Maple Pecan Baked Oatmeal With Apples and Blueberries

Cranberry Apple Stuffed Pork Loin

Cranberry Apple Sage Vegan Stuffing

Pumpkin & Apple Soup

Baked Apple Cider Donuts

 

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