Picnic recipes: yoghurt bread

I had to make bread for a picnic last weekend. Mistakenly I thought I had a packet of  my handy country loaf bread mix in the cupboard. By the time I realised that I didn’t have a bread mix, it was too late to go and buy one so I had to come up with a bread recipe using whatever I already had. I was a bit nervous about it working out (I’m not a very confident baker) but somehow it did. It’s a lovely moist, dense bread with lots of crunchy seeds – a perfect picnic loaf.

Makes 1 loaf

500 g nutty wheat, or other wholewheat bread flour
500 g plain fat free yoghurt
1 free-range egg
3 T canola oil
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
Two handfuls of seeds (I used sunflower,  linseeds and pumkin seeds)
3 T seeds (for sprinkling over the bread)

Combine all the ingredients together and mix well. If the mixture seems a little too dry, add a bit more yoghurt. It shouldn’t be runny though – it should have the consistency of really thick porridge. Pour the mixture into a greased loaf tin and spinkle over a mixture of seeds. Bake in a 200 C oven for about one hour and a half until you are able to stick a knife into the middle of the bread and it comes out clean.

Super healthy banana and cinnamon muffins

I had some seriously ripe bananas that were about to expire in my fruit bowl this week, and I hate throwing away food so I had to do something with them. I didn’t have a whole lot of ingredients at home, so I just made up a recipe from what I had and it turned out really well. These healthy banana and cinnamon muffins have no sugar and are low in fat so they’re completely guilt-free. I’ve been eating them as a pre-exercise snack – they’re great if you need something to tide you over if you go for an early morning run.

Super healthy banana and cinnamon muffins

Makes about 14 muffins

  • 3 seriously over-ripe bananas, mashed
  • 175 plain low-fat or fat-free yoghurt
  • 4 tablespoons canola oil
  • 4 tablespoons honey
  • A handful of raisins or sultanas (or a mix)
  • A generous pinch of cinnamon
  • A handful of pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and linseeds
  • 2 free-range eggs
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup bran

Mix together all the wet ingredients. Add all the dry ingredients one by one, stirring well. Once combined, pour into the mixture into greased muffin pans, filling each pan 3/4 full. Bake in a 180 C oven for about 25 to 30 minutes, or until the muffins start turning golden.

Healthy carrot cake loaf

I got this recipe from 101cookbooks.com. I love carrot cake but find it’s often oily and too sweet. I love this healthy cake, because you don’t have to feel guilty about eating lots of it. I’ve adapted the 101cookbooks recipe a bit, leaving out the cream cheese icing and adding my own “icing” which is more of a yoghurt dressing. The cake is really nice with the “icing” and chopped strawberries, but it’s also good without.

Carrot Cake Loaf

  • 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • 100g finely chopped walnuts
  • 4 ounces unsalted butter, heated until just melted
  • 1/2 cup dried dates, seeded and finely chopped into a paste
  • 3 ripe bananas (1 1/4 cups), mashed well
  • sultanas
  • 1 1/2 cups grated carrots (about 3 medium)
  • 1/2 cup plain low fat yoghurt
  • 2 eggs, lightly whisked
  • 3 tablespoons seed mixture (I used an omega mix with sesame seeds, linseeds, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds)
  • fat free/ low fat smooth cottage cheese
  • fat free/ low fat yoghurt
  • 2 tablespoons agave or honey
  • fresh chopped strawberries (optional)

Preheat oven to 180C.

Butter a 9x5x3 / 8-cup non-stick loaf pan (or 8×8 cake pan). (If using non stick, line the pan with baking paper).

Sift together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Stir in the walnuts and set aside.

Stir the dates into the melted butter, breaking up the dates a bit.

In a separate bowl combine the bananas and carrots. Stir in the date-butter mixture, breaking up any date clumps as you go. Add the sultanas.

Whisk in the yoghurt and the eggs. Add the flour mixture and stir until everything just comes together.

Spoon into the prepared pan. Bake for about 50 – 60 minutes or until a toothpick tests clean in the center of the cake – it’ll be less if you are using a standard cake pan. Remove from oven and let cool.

Mix together the yoghurt, cottage cheese, cinnamon and agave or honey. Add more sweetener to suit your taste. Stir in the chopped strawberries, if using them. When the cake has completely cooled take it out of the tin and cut into slices. Top with the “icing”.

Only put the “icing” on top of slices of cake that you plan to serve immediately. As it’s not real icing, it will make the cake soggy if left on too long.

Slice of Carrot Cake