Summer Rhubarb Bread

Summer. 

It deserves its own sentence. It’s sweet, delicious & exudes happiness. If this bread was in the dictionary, it would be listed under summer! Rhubarb is in its prime in Minnesota right now and I grabbed some at my local farmers market last weekend with this recipe in mind. 

Rhubarb transports me back to summers of my childhood when time stood still and the days were full of climbing trees, dirt biking and playing kick the can until the moon was out. My grandma had rhubarb and let us eat it raw – then cooked up delicious recipes that let this fantastic fruit boast its beauty. It’s almost as if rhubarb is a time machine for me, so you can imagine my delight when this recipe came out darn near perfect the first time. 

As many of you are aware, I’m always attempting to provide my family with the purest ingredients. This means trying to cut out refined sugar where I can. There is a place in my kitchen for sugar, but this made me think twice when using it, knowing I could utilize another ingredient (albeit still sugar!) that’s more natural.

In the place of the sugar, I substituted the same amount of 100% organic pure maple syrup. I used grade A medium amber as the darker you go, the more intense the maple flavor it delivers. I also love that this brand can be found at Target and boasts a non-GMO label.  Pure maple syrups boast a number of antioxidants as well and has about 1/6th less the amount of sugars – but again, this is still a source of sugar, and everything in moderation. 

Bake this with summer in mind, and enjoy any time of day. You won’t miss the refined sugars and it will make you reminiscent of your youth if you grew up anything like I did. 

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) room temperature organic butter from grass fed cows
  • 1 cup Grade A organic maple syrup (I used Simply Balance brand)
  • 2 organic cage free eggs
  • 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp organic whole milk
  • 1 cup organic, all natural (no sugar added) applesauce
  • 2 cups unbleached AP flour (I used King Arthur)
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 bunch (approximately 4-5 long stalks) of fresh ripe rhubarb

Method:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 325. Butter and flour a loaf pan and set aside. 
  2. Clean rhubarb and divide in half. Dice half the stalks and halve and leave the remainder of the stalks to be the size of 6″ long to top the loaf.
  3. In a Kitchen-Aid mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and maple syrup for 2 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, then the milk, vanilla extract and applesauce. 
  4. Slowly mix in the flour, cinnamon and baking powder, then gently fold in the diced rhubarb. Pour into the greased pan, then top the bread with the length-wise rhubarb and gently press down the rhubarb into the top of the bread.
  5. Bake for 55-70 minutes, depending on the oven until a tester comes out clean from the center. Let cool and serve, or store for up to 4 days in an airtight container.

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