A thick slice of Fruit and Nut Bread is sustaining, nutritious and delicious. This recipe gives you a generous sized loaf that slices well and freezes beautifully. It’s great toasted for breakfast, and brilliant to take with you as a packed power snack when you’re out and about. There’s no sweetener added – it’s a bread, not a fruit cake – and the batter uses a mix of Cassava Flour and ground almonds. There’s two cups of dried fruit and one and a half of chopped nuts, so it really packs a punch. A slice or two will keep you going for hours.
A Day On My Own
No time for stories? Scroll down for the recipe.
It’s Carnival time in Venice, and I’m so distracted by it. Since arriving here in 2002 I’ve been so busy working that I haven’t had the energy to indulge, but this year is different. Having closed my yoga studio last November due to the inflammation + taxation issues, I’m allowing myself time to play. A Day On My Own is part of my Health and Happiness strategy, and I’m commiting to it at least one day a month. On that day I don’t stay at home where I’ll inevitably get sucked into doing chores. I go somewhere and do whatever I want. No cooking, no compromising around other people, no planning things around meal times. Just following my heart and nose. It seems they keep leading me to Venice.
Carnival in Venice
Carnevale runs for about a month. A couple of girlfriends and I are going down on Sunday for one of the big stage events in the Piazza, but as that doesn’t constitute as A Day On My Own I sniffed around da sola last Friday. Oh, fun! Being a weekday there weren’t many costumes, but there were enough to set off all the vivid collisions between fact and fantasy, history and modernity, that make Venice a city like no other. I bought a mask and a cloak, put them on, and voilà, my day was transformed. It’s curious, to walk and stop and pause, incognito – and yet at the same time so audaciously attracting attention to oneself. The costume – out of place at any other time – is like a dazzling spotlight, flaring out into the cold, damp backdrop of the midwinter port. It felt good, to be contributing colour and a touch of mystery to Venice on that day.
Sunday will be wild. There’ll be thousands of people. I’ve bought materials: lace, fake pearls and jewels, tulle, and everything purple. My costume will come together over the next few days. We’ll leave home early. We’ll spend hours on our feet. The bars and restaurants will be overflowing, as will the few public loos. I’ll take provisions, and I’ll make a costume-appropriate bag to carry them in. There’ll be no room for lunchboxes and cutlery, so calories need to be condensed. A few slices Fruit and Nut Bread will be perfect, and a couple of Homemade Baci for a treat. A thermos full of hot tea, if I can fit it. But not much more. Best to travel light.
Paleo Fruit and Nut Bread – Baking Tips
This Fruit and Nut Bread is moist and delightful. It’s wonderful toasted and slathered with butter or ghee. It’s so packed with fruit and nuts that you do need to be careful when handling it. It holds together, but take care.
- Chop the fruit and nuts into small pieces. That way they won’t cause chunks to break off when you’re slicing.
- Use a good serrated bread knife.
- Because it’s a moist cake, you might want to separate each slice with a piece of parchment paper before freezing to prevent them from sticking together. Or, just slide a sharp knife between the slices, and it’ll pop away easily.
- I used a quarter cup each of sultanas, dried mulberries, figs and barberries. Barberries have a sour lemon flavour, which adds a tang to the bread.
- For the nuts I used brasil nuts, macadamia and almonds, as well as the ground almonds in the batter. This mix works well, but just use whatever dried fruit and nuts you have in your pantry.
- Line the bottom of your loaf tin with parchment paper. To release the cake, run a spatula around the edge before tipping out.
- Towards the end of baking time, you’ll see liquid bubbling up around the edge of the bread. Don’t worry about it. It’ll all seep back in when you take it out of the oven.
Let me know how you go. I’d love to know what combinations of fruit and nuts you come up with, and how you tweak it to make it your own. And if it finds it’s way into your Provisions Pack, please share your adventures! Tag me on Instagram @paleomantic – it’s so great to see your creations.
On the Side
More great foods for when you’re out and about.
Homemade Baci – Because sometimes you need a sweet pick-me-up.
Banana Bread – Another fruity bread which freezes well and is gorgeous when warmed up and toasty.
Paleo Bread with Casssava Flour and Linseeds – Great for when you know you’ll be sitting down somewhere. Perfect with prosciutto, egg and mayo or smoked salmon. Also great toasted, with honey.
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Best Wishes, Good Health and Great Lovin’.
- 2 cups mixed dried fruit
- 1½ cups mixed nuts
- 100 grams / 3.75 oz ground almonds
- 1 cup cassava flour
- ¼ cup linseeds, ground to make ½ cup
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 100 grams / 3.75 oz butter or hard coconut oil, at room temperature
- 4 eggs
- Preheat the oven to 180°C /350° F. Grease and line the bottom of a 21cm x 10 cm loaf pan with parchment paper.
- Cut the dried fruit into small pieces. Set aside.
- Chop the nuts into small pieces, or pulse in a food processor. Set aside.
- In another bowl, add the ground almonds, cassava flour, ground linseeds and baking powder. Mix lightly.
- Place the butter or oil into a bowl and work it into a cream using a wooden spoon. Again, you can use the processor. Add the eggs in lots with the dry ingredients, mixing well after each addition to form a smooth batter.
- Add the fruit and nuts to the batter. Mix through thoroughly, then spoon the batter into the prepared loaf tin. Smooth the top with a spatula.
- Bake for 45 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
- Leave the cake in the tin to cool for half an hour. Run a spatula around the side of the tin to release it.
- When completely cooled, cut into thick slices. Enjoy!
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