One of my fondest childhood memories is of walking to my grandmother’s house during the winter. The road between our houses was framed by impressive old oak trees, their massive branches forming a canopy over the gravel path. The only sounds were unseen birds singing in nearby bushes. Wind whistled through the treetops seeming to say: “You’re almost there, just a little bit more.”
Seeing Nana’s old wooden house in the distance, I always ran the last several yards. A hug and a kiss awaited me the minute I walked through my grandmother’s doorway–that, and a peanut butter sandwich. Taking the snack and a book, I spent the afternoon seated in a spot of sunshine by a window, enshrouded in bliss. Peanut butter and comfort. They seemed like the perfect match when I was a child.
During that time of my life, I didn’t care about the nutritional value of peanut butter. The only thing that mattered, was the bread be toasted just right – my grandmother was a master in that department.
Reality hit during my late 30’s. I had traces of laugh lines (I don’t remember anything that funny), and lectures from my doctor about stress, fatty foods, and cholesterol. One of the many things I gleaned from those talks was that in moderation, peanut butter was good for me. According to my physician, besides being a protein, peanut butter was a monounsaturated fat, and could help keep my bad cholesterol levels at bay.
That information was heaven for me, but consistently finding recipes using peanut butter and not laden with sugar was a bit daunting.
Just recently, I was inspired by Paula Deen’s recipe for Peanut Butter Bread on Food Network’s website. I made a few changes to suit my taste – well, okay … I changed it completely.
This recipe, like Paula Deen’s, doesn’t use a lot of sugar. I substituted applesauce for margarine (that I usually use) to lower the fat grams and to add a touch more sweetness to the recipe.
Not overloaded with sweetness, this quick bread has a subtle peanut flavor reminiscent of peanut butter sandwiches eaten at Nana’s house, so long ago.
Peanut Butter Bread
Prep time: 10 minutes Baking time: 60-65 minutes
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 Tablespoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 cup peanut butter
- 1 cups milk
- 1/2 cup apple sauce
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 egg
* Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
* In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients.
* Add peanut butter, honey, milk, and stir until everything is well mixed.
* Pour into a 8x4x3 inch loaf pan.
* Bake for approximately 60 minutes, or until a tester (when inserted into the middle of the bread), comes out clean.