I recently received the 100 Days of Real Food cookbook to review, I’m sure you’ve all come across Lisa and her blog at some point or another. If you’re interested in eating real food and avoiding processed food, her blog, and book, are an amazing resource. When I first started flipping through the book I got so excited, I wanted to get into the kitchen and make practically every recipe. And, I’m well on my way to doing just that. I find myself adding new recipes to my menu plan from this book all the time. So many of the recipes are so simple and they have all been absolutely delicious. So far we have tried, Whole-Wheat Banana Pancakes, Grilled Caprese Paninis, Fish Cakes with Dipping Sauce, Veggie Corn Chowder, and, of course, this Cinnamon-Raisin Quick Bread.
One of the many reasons why I love this book is because every recipe is made with REAL food. No processed sugar, no white flour, only real, good-for-you ingredients. But, that doesn’t mean there aren’t any treats in it too. My personal food philosophy is very similar to Lisa’s. I try to make the bulk of our food out of real ingredients that I could (potentially) grow or make myself, although I do believe in everything in moderation as well. A sugar-laden chocolate chip cookie enjoyed as a special treat, or a food-colour-ridden cake for a birthday are things we don’t feel guilty about eating, because we don’t eat them every day. They are just that, treats. But, you also know how much I love to healthify things to make them more suitable for everyday consumption, and that is where 100 Days of Real Food comes in so handy. I have dozens of sticky notes bookmarking lunch box snacks, healthy dinners, and better-for-you desserts. As we continually transition to eating more real food and less processed food, you can bet this book will become ragged with use.
If you are new to eating real food the first section of the book is an extremely informative guide. It has:
- an in-depth look at what real food is. With explanations of what makes something healthy or unhealthy. What to look for in packaged foods, and a breakdown of the terminology that is used on those packages - for better understanding of what they really mean.
- a shopping guide that lists what to store in your pantry and fridge (including which brands she uses), as well as what real food substitutes you should use to replace common processed ingredients.
- a guide on how to start making the changes to a real food diet - starting with just two small changes and working up from there, one mini pledge at a time.
- tips on getting your family on board with the change.
- and, food budget tips and meal plans, including shopping lists.
Really, Lisa has done all of the work and put it into a tidy package to take out the guess work, and hours of research, for others. I highly recommend this book and am excited to delve into it again this weekend when I do my menu planning for the upcoming week.
Now, about this quick bread. My whole family loved having this bread for breakfast. When we ran out they were immediately requesting more. James enjoyed his with a pat of butter while me and the kids had it with slices of cheese (so good!). Rounded out with a fresh fruit, it was a deliciously sweet and healthy start to the day.
The best way I can describe this bread is light – lightly spiced, lightly sweet, with a hearty, yet light, crumb. I love that it is partially sweetened with applesauce, which I will be making in abundance in a few short weeks. It was so quick to throw together and would be great for packing into lunches. I know this will become a regular at our home, and a few loaves will inevitably find their way into our freezer.
- 1⁄2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted, plus more for greasing the pan
- 11⁄2 cups whole-wheat flour
- 11⁄2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1⁄4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1⁄3 cup pure maple syrup
- 3⁄4 cup raisins
- Preheat the oven to 325°F. Grease a loaf pan with butter and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
- Using a fork, mix in the eggs, applesauce, melted butter, and syrup until well combined, taking care not to overmix. Gently fold in the raisins.
- Spoon the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Bake until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean, 45 to 55 minutes.
Recipe courtesy of 100 Days of Real Food.