A unique, sweet, and zesty quick bread that couldn’t be easier! Blood orange, with its “raspberry-like” citrus notes makes the perfect addition to this wintery gluten-free & vegan quick bread!
November’s Theme – Creative Quick Breads: The holiday baking season is upon us. And this month we’re going way beyond grandma’s banana bread. From sweet to savory and whole-grain to gluten-free, show us your new quick bread creation fresh from the oven. And if you have a tip for wrapping and giving your lovely loaf, please share that too! (Recipe ReDux)
I hope you like to bake, or at least, my recipes are making you want to at least try to like it! I’ve always said on this blog, from the very beginning, that I was not a baker, but a cook. I scoffed at baking and the lack of creativity and freewill it allowed. But that is just silly and I apologize to mocking the art of baking. Baking is much more a black and white science, but it is one that I am growing to love o so much. You might have realized this after the influx of baked goods showing up here on Strength and Sunshine, and I hope you’re prepared for a lot more! This is the season of baking and I feel it’s my duty to uphold that (even though I want to post recipes of than baked goods).
As it comes to be, you may imagine, being a gluten-free vegan baker takes a bit more gusto and determination than just a typical baker. But again, I feel it’s my duty and the mission of this blog to bring the best and tastiest recipes to the table and show you that gluten-free, vegan, allergen-friendly cooking and baking is not an impossible task to undertake. It’s rather fun, enlightening, and really great for stimulating the mind (and waking up those taste buds!). Even if you think you are by no means a “baker”, I want you to think again. It really isn’t all that hard. If you don’t feel confident enough (yet) to wing it on your own, following a tested recipe is a fine way to build that confidence and show you that baking isn’t so scary.
Baking has become my solus therapeutic activity as of late. If I’m feeling antsy, drained, and just plain blah, I usually have a list of recipes to test out that I look to and then get in the kitchen to do just that. Over the last few months, many of those recipe ideas have been of the baking variety. I’ve come to the kitchen with those blah feelings to conquer tasks I’ve always wanted to. From bagels to sourdough, focaccia to gnocchi (okay, that’s not baking), the confidence that these creations have given me, not only with my craft of cooking and baking, but with myself, is something I’m truly thankful for. It may sounds silly, but for this Thanksgiving, I think I would say this craft of baking is what I’m thankful for most in my life right now.
Realizing that baking could be just as creative and whimsical as cooking, is something I hold tight and treasure. Not only has it brought confidence and care-free therapy, but it has been wonderful to be able to share. The thoughts, emotions, passions, love, and creativity that I pour in are expressed through the recipe and then able to be shared and passed over to others besides just myself. I’m not very good at talking about my feelings or what’s on my mind. From my worries, anxieties, triumphs, even happiness, I’m not very good at explaining through spoken word. Sometimes writing is a way to get it all about, but lately that has been hard. That’s why pouring it all into my craft has been the only way for me to let things out.
And those things that get released are always beautiful. Just like the beauty of release in yoga, that is expressed through the movement of the body, the beauty in baking and cooking is expressed through the final product that’s produced. But if you want to take it further, you can see that the components, the ingredients, that go in to the recipe are simply a reflection of the feelings. You may choose dark and stormy ingredients and flavors or you may use something light and airy. The final product is the full expression and culmination of all those thoughts and feelings inside of you. No matter what comes out, however, it is beautiful and unique. It is a part of you, my dear friend, it is everything you can’t necessarily express in words, but rather show with your hands.
For me, on the day that this bread was baked, I was feeling bright and happy. It was a sunny lovely Sunday afternoon, and the urge to bake something whimsical struck hard. I had no one to share my feel good feelings with, so I poured them all into baking a blood orange quick bread. Blood sounds a bit morbid, but when you stop and look at the beauty of a blood orange, you see that is not the case. The rind can range from orange to maroon and red molted. When sliced, the beautiful deep red/maroon color captivates the eye. The color only comes from the low temperatures it encounters at night (the ideal winter fruit). Yes the taste is not the same as a typical orange. Its much more sweet, yet raspberry like, making it perfect for baking.
Blood Orange Quick Bread
- 1 Cup Sorghum Flour
- ½ Cup Quinoa Flakes
- ½ Cup Gluten-Free Oat Flour
- 1 Tsp Baking Powder
- ½ Cup Unsweetened Applesauce
- Juice & Membranes of 1 Large Blood Orange
- ½ Tsp Cinnamon
- ½ Tsp Ground Ginger
- ½ Tsp Pure Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Extract
- ½ Cup Ethrytol
- ½ Cup Unsweetened Non-Dairy Milk (I used Flax)
- 1 Tsp Psyllium Husk
- 2 Large Blood Orange Slices (for topping)
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the sorghum, quinoa flakes, out flour, and baking powder. Whisk together.
- Add the applesauce and blood orange juice next. For the orange, simply cut in half, squeeze in the juice and then take your fingers and scrap out the membranes into the bowl.
- Add in the rest of the ingredients and whisk everything completely together to form the bread batter.
- In a well greased (with coconut oil) 8x4 bread pan, pour in the batter and smooth it out evenly. Add two large blood orange slices to the top of the batter.
- Bake the bread for about 40 minutes. Remove and let cool completely.
- Serve warm, cold, or slice and freeze (easy to reheat in the microwave!)
A simple afternoon bread baking can be all the soul needs to feel alive again. It can help you work out and express feelings and wound up emotions, maybe you didn’t even know you had. It can be an expression of awareness of the feelings you are having. No matter, it will always be a fantastic gift to yourself and those whom you share it with. Baking and cooking may seem like a craft of solitude, but it extends beyond that once you share the creation that comes out of it. For me, it is one way I know I can express myself and for that, I am thankful.
So tell me:
+ How are you comfortable expressing emotions?
+ Who here is a fan of blood oranges? Me!
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