This week our 38 Power Foods Group begins its exploration of fruit with apricots. (Every week a small group of bloggers is working its through Power Foods: 150 Delicious Recipes with the 38 Healthiest Ingredients, by Martha Stewart and the editors of Whole Living Magazine.)
If you are an apricot fan, be sure to check out what these other participating bloggers have cooked up:
- Alyce - More Time at the Table
- Ansh - Spice Roots
- Jeanette - Jeanette’s Healthy Living
- Mireya - My Healthy Eating Habits
- Sarah - Everything in the Kitchen Sink
- Chaya - My Sweet & Savory
- Alanna — Kitchen Parade AVeggie Venture
- Minnie - The Lady 8 Home
What Makes Apricots Power Foods?
Delicious and naturally low in calories, apricots are good sources of vitamins A, C and potassium, as well as a variety of anti-oxidants (lutein, zeaxanthin and beta cryptoxanthins). Dried apricots are a healthy alternative when the season for fresh ones (May through August here in the US) has past. Ounce for ounce, they have more fiber than fresh.
Weight Watchers Skinny Apricot Poppy Seed Bread
Since the season for fresh apricots has past, I decided to go with a recipe using dried apricots, so imagine how excited I was to find this recipe for Apricot-Poppy Seed Quick Bread in the newest cookbook to hit our Weight Watchers Centers here in Arizona: Weight Watchers I LOVE LEFTOVERS.
(I’m a huge fan of muffins and quick breads. They’re probably one of the easiest things to bake. And baking them yourself at home gives you control of what’s in them, a big advantage if you are following the Weight Watchers PointsPlus program.)
This recipe for apricot-poppy seed quick bread is low in fat and sugar and brimming with diced dried apricots. It calls for poppy seeds, but all I had was King Arthur Flour’s Artisan Bread Topping, a mixture of flax, poppy, sesame, and caraway seeds, which I used instead. It also calls for white wheat flour, low-fat buttermilk, and just 1/2 cup brown sugar to keep the calories in check while boosting nutrition. Each slice has 5 Weight Watchers PointsPlus.
I thought the bread was tasty, but a little dry, and I’m partly to blame. The instructions said to bake the bread for about 55 minutes. I used the time to take Francie for a walk and didn’t check it sooner, so it baked a few minutes more than it should have. I also think the recipe may have a little too much flour it it so then next time I make it, I’ll decrease the flour to about 2 cups and begin checking it for doneness after 45 minutes in the oven.
This quick bread is not very sweet, which is fine with me. I’ve been enjoying it as part of my breakfast the past couple of mornings and think it would be delicious as an afternoon snack with a cup of tea. Since a full loaf of bread, even if it’s lighter and healthier, is too much for our little family to have hanging around, I shared some of it with my mom. Just heard back from Mom and here’s what she had to say, “It’s delicious and definitely a keeper! Noticed the fresh lemon flavor (maybe zest or juice) It was GREAT!!”
- 2-1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
- 2 tablespoons poppy seeds (I used King Arthur Flour's Artisan bread topping, a blend of flax and seeds, instead)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1-1/2 cups low-fat buttermilk
- ½ cup packed brown sugar
- ⅓ cup butter melted and cooled (I used MELT spread instead)
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons apricot brandy or dry sherry
- 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
- 1-1/2 cups diced dried apricots
- Position an oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 F degrees. Spray a 9x5-inch loaf pan with nonstick spray and then dust it with flour (I used Baker's joy spray with flour already in it.)
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, poppy seeds, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- In another bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, brown sugar, butter, eggs, brandy and lemon zest.
- Pour the buttermilk mixture into the flour mixture and stir until well blended. Stir in the apricots until they are distributed throughout the batter.
- Scrape the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 45 - 55 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and let the bread cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove the bread from the pan and let it cool completely on the rack.
Links to More Great Weight Watchers Friendly Apricot Recipes:
- Low Fat Banana Bread with Dates and Apricots
- Baked Oatmeal with Dried Apricots
- Apricot Dessert Quesadillas (Weight Watchers)
- Apricot Oat Breakfast Bars (Weight Watchers)
- Zucchini Apricot Muffins (New York Times Recipes for Health)
- Mini Whole Wheat Apricot Muffins (Cooking Light)