We moved offices last week at work and a couple of folks asked me when I would bring in sweets to inaugurate my new office. I didn’t really plan on any such thing but do I really need an excuse to bake?
I had a fresh pineapple at home, Vipul was working over the weekend, Varun was asleep – so it was meant to be. A quick search led to many recipes on Pineapple cake but I wanted a bread or a loaf recipe. Some tweaks led me to recipes that needed coconut milk, bananas or sour cream – none of which I had on my hand. I only had pineapple, eggs, whole wheat flour and bit of desiccated coconut.
I was about to give up when I found one recipe which had these ingredients and then I followed it. The bread came out to be lightly pineapple-y and crumbly but tasty nonetheless.
I let it cool overnight before bringing it to work. It was a perfect start to a Monday morning meeting. Totally unexpected, low in sugar and with a crumbly texture. Low efforts and high returns! Make sure you have enough napkins on hand to avoid crumbs all over your office floor!
Excuse the poor mobile camera photos – I didn’t realize that the loaf would be gone before I could take any decent pictures.
Crumbly Whole Wheat Pineapple Bread Recipe
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup desiccated coconut
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup butter, softened at room temperature
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup pineapple chunks ( drained if canned)
- 1 1/2 tablespoon brown sugar
1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 F. Butter a loaf pan and set aside.
2. Sift and mix all the dry ingredients from whole wheat flour through cinnamon and set aside.
3. Beat the eggs with butter till pale yellow. Then add sugar and beat till smooth. Mix in the vanilla.
4. Fold in the egg mixture with the flour mix. Add pineapples and mix well.
5. Pour the mix into loaf pan. Sprinkle the brown sugar on top.
6. Bake for 45 – 55 minutes till a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Cool completely before slicing. Serve with coffee or tea as the perfect afternoon snack!
Seriously – this is the time of the year when I start thinking of weight loss, better eating habits and how next year I will try to get back in shape. I guess the Diwali goodies, followed by Thanksgiving dinner, special anniversary dinner and the home-baked goodness bought in by colleagues since Halloween finally take their effect and I no longer fit in my jeans.
This past weekend alone we snacked on dabeli, vada pav, gajar ka halwa and then jalebis, parathe and chocolates. Exercise is the only option but takes a long time for its effects to be visible. In the meantime, at snack time, I crave for something crunchy and fried.
Popcorn used to be my staple in US, but in India I was looking for some interesting alternatives.
Enter – Roasted Makhanas, peanuts and puffed rice.
I had these on Kurnool trip. Ranjana had got these roasted puffed rice and makhanas for the kids and we all nibbled on them.
Makhanas and Puffed rice (or murmura) are popular snacks in India. Roasted and seasoned they are eaten on the go. Luckily, they are widely available across US in Indian grocery stores in largish bags. Dry roasting them in oil or ghee and seasoning them make them crunchier – perfect for that mid afternoon craving.
While they are mostly carb based with about 10% protein (per the package that I bought in India), I added roasted peanuts to the mix to increase the protein. Leave them if you are allergic.
They are perfect for toddlers as they are bite sized, easy to make , portable and store for weeks in air tight container. Play with seasoning of your choice to keep it interesting. Dig in whenever hunger strikes. They have a satisfying crunch which increases their snack-factor. Hurrah for guilt free healthy snacking!
Roasted Makahanas, Puffed Rice and Peanuts Recipe
- Makhanas – 3-4 cups
- Puffed Rice – 3-4 cups
- Peanuts – 3-4 cups
- Oil or Glee – 2 tbsp
- Cumin seeds – 1 tbsp
- Red Chili powder – 2 tsp
- Turmeric powder- 1 tsp
- Fresh ground pepper – 2 tsp
- Hing ( Asafoetida) – 1 /2 tsp
- Curry leaves – 1 – 2 sprigs
1. Half or quarter makhanas if they are big for even roasting.
2. Heat half of oil or ghee in wide shallow pan. Once heated add cumin seeds. Add half of chili and turmeric powder. Add pepper powder. Roast them in oil and then add salt. Finally add makhana seeds. Mix well. Keep stirring the seeds in the pan till they are crisp for about 3-5 minutes.
Take care they don’t char. Remove from the pan and let cool.
3. Add remaining oil and then add hing powder and curry leaves. Once crisp, add remaining chili, turmeric powder and salt , and then add puffed rice. Roast well till the seasonings mix with the puffed rice.
Remove from the pan and cool.
4. Lastly, dry roast peanuts with their skin on in the same pan for 5- 7 minutes till they are roasted through and crisp.
Remove from the pan and cool. You may remove the skin if you don’t like it. Usually kids don’t.
5. Store separately in airtight containers.