Health(ier) Blueberry Lemon Tea Bread

I love rainy days! Something about the steady drizzle of rain on my back window makes me want to cuddle up with a hot cup of tea, a fresh-baked goody and a favorite book. March is National Nutrition Month and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has been celebrating by a sharing healthy eating tips, including a great article on healthy baking alternatives where they discuss ways to cut down on the saturated fat and sugar in your favorite baking recipes. The cold rainy weather and my hankering for baking up something sweet felt like the perfect opportunity to put some these tips to the test!

I grabbed my trusty copy of Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything and got to work on the standard Pound Cake recipe inside. Inspired to use some of the beautiful Meyer Lemons sitting on my counter to make a bread worthy of tea time, here is what I came up with:

IMG_0365

I took the plain pound cake recipe and cut the sugar by 25% based on the Academy’s baking recommendations and replaced half the fat (in this case: butter) with non-fat Greek yogurt. I used this as my base, and then added lemon and blueberry goodness.

I started by creaming butter and sugar together, and then beating in yogurt, egg yolks, vanilla, and that lovely lemon juice and zest. I mixed in the dry ingredients (which I had previously sifted together) until JUST incorporated, then gently folded in whipped egg whites and blueberries. Once I had poured the batter into my prepared loaf pan, I popped it into the oven and began cleaning up the huge mess I had made (did I mention that I am not a clean baker?) while the heavenly smell of baking blueberries and Meyer lemons slowly filled my house.

When the bread was a golden on top and had begun to pull away from the edges of the pan, I took it out of the oven and let it rest in its pan for 5 minutes. I then removed it to my cooling rack, with a piece of wax paper slid underneath it to catch any drippings, and drizzled a glaze of powdered sugar and lemon juice over the still warm bread. The end was lemony fresh loaf packed with blueberries and just the right amount of sweet. It’s texture was closer to a quick bread than a cake and it was the perfect complement to my afternoon tea.

Blueberry Lemon Tea Bread
Servings: 18 half inch slices         Prep time: 20 min         Cook time: 1-1.5 hr
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 stick (1/4 lb) unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup plain, non-fat yogurt
  • 5 eggs, separated
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 325°  and coat a 9 inch loaf pan with a misting of cooking spray.
  2. Sift or whisk together flour, baking powder, nutmeg and salt in a large bowl. Set aside
  3. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in yogurt, then egg yolks one at a time. Mix in the zest of one lemon, about a tablespoon of lemon juice (I squeezed in half my lemon, and saved the other half for the glaze) and vanilla.
  4. Incorporate the dry ingredients into the wet until just mixed into a thick batter (it’s important not to over-mix here!)
  5. In a clean bowl, beat egg whites until glossy soft peaks form, then gently fold them and the blueberries into your batter until combined.
  6. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into the top of the bread comes out clean, about 70 minutes.
  7. Let the loaf rest in the pan for about 5 minutes, then remove loaf to a cooling rack.
  8. While loaf is still warm, whisk together powdered sugar and 1 tbsp of lemon juice (or the juice from the saved second half of your lemon) into a glaze and drizzle over the top of your bread. Allow loaf to cool completely before slicing (or it will crumble) and enjoy!
Nutritional Information: 107 kcals, 6 g fat, 4 g sat. fat, 29 mg cholesterol, 40 mg sodium, 12 g total carbohydrate, 11 g sugar, 0 g fiber, 3 g protein

The changes I made to the recipe brought the calories of this bad boy down about 50 kcals from about 150 kcals per slice to 100 kcals, including cutting the fat content in half. It certainly made me feel a bit less guilty when I popped a second slice in my mouth as I sipped on a steamy cup of of tea this afternoon!

Next time, I think I will try incorporating whole grain flour to give the bread a little fiber and an extra nutritional punch. What are your favorite healthy baking substitutions? Leave me a comment bellow!

4 thoughts on “Health(ier) Blueberry Lemon Tea Bread

  1. Mmmm, love that you cut the fat in half by using Greek yogurt! It’s so cool seeing how a few small changes can cut the calories, but keep the flavor!

    Like

    • I made this recipe Amber and it was delicious! I used raspberries cause I used up my blueberries! But the texture and taste was mmmm good thanks for the recipe! 😘

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s