I had an opportunity to bake this afternoon and I seized it! I have been dreaming up recipes in my head as I sit and nurse Serafina although there is little time to make those dreams reality at the moment, let alone get anything else accomplished around here. Most meals are made by Craig these days or consist of oatmeal with fruit or peanut butter sandwiches and a banana, anything quick and filling.
Today I wanted to take whatever time I could find to bake and blog. I needed to feel as though I accomplished something so I made my way into the kitchen to measure, whisk and stir until I created an edible masterpiece. I love quick breads and I love nuts especially now that I am breastfeeding so often. Rather than whipping up another Walnut Banana Bread (which I am obsessed with these days) I decided to try an Apple Pecan Bread.
Maple Apple Pecan Bread
This is another one of my famous quick breads made with whole wheat flour in place of white flour and maple syrup in place of sugar. It is a moist loaf sprinkled with crunchy pecans and chopped apple pieces. The cinnamon compliments the bread perfectly. A great pick me up with a nice hot cup of coffee for breakfast or anytime.
- 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 cup pecan pieces
- 3/4 cup apple butter (I use Eden’s Organic, my fave)
- 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
- 3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk (or other non-dairy milk)
- 1/4 cup sunflower oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 medium apple, peeled and diced
Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large mixing bowl combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon and nutmeg. Add 1/2 cup of the pecan pieces and mix until combined. In a separate smaller mixing bowl, whisk together the apple butter, maple syrup, almond milk, sunflower oil and vanilla. Add the diced apple to the wet ingredients and then pour the wet ingredients into the larger bowl with the dry and mix until just combined. Pour the batter into a 9 x 5 loaf pan and top with remaining 1/2 cup pecan pieces. Bake for 45-50 minutes. Loaf is ready when a skewer inserted comes out clean. Allow loaf to cool completely before removing from the pan and ENJOY!
Life has been so busy still. I guess it will never slow down and I will just have to embrace the chaos. Autumn is also homeschooling this year for grade two, one of those decisions I was so stressed over, wondering what was the ‘right’ thing to do. There are pros and cons to both public school and homeschooling and I know that I am one busy momma, but in my heart I know that this is the right thing for her and for our family. I went back and forth about it so many times before the school year began and decided that I want my children home with me in the early years. I had my doubts that I could handle having her home and teach her while I am so busy with Serafina but things are going so well. She is one smart cookie and I am so proud of her!
We are taking more of a relaxed approach to our schooling as I always have believed that life is the best teacher and children are constantly learning. Her schoolwork focuses mostly on reading, writing and mathematics. I found so many free printable resources online that are really enjoyable. She is done her work within 2 hours and the rest of the day she has the freedom to be a kid. This is something that I felt strongly about in my decision to keep her home. I feel that the school system really robs children of their imagination, creativity and freedom. You are only a child once and I want my children to be able to enjoy their childhood while it lasts. I don’t want them to have to carry the burdens and worries that so many children seem to have these days. I don’t want them to have to face the pressures of fitting in and feeling as though they need to compete with themselves or others to be ‘good’ and get good grades. And I don’t want to have their lives controlled by a school bell, waking up unrested, rushing through their breakfast, lunch and snacks and using the bathroom only when allowed to. A schooled life is a tough life.
So that is where things are at these days.
Serafina is also SMILING now. It made my life the other day when she looked up at me and she smiled a real smile with her whole face. Nothing else mattered at all at that moment and I melted!
The girls are also starting dance class this week. Autumn is taking jazz and tap dance and Kesara is taking ballet and tap dance. This should be a lot of fun! They are always dancing around here and playing ballet class. You know that I will post pictures.
Have a great day!