The human race no longer has to contend with the threat of death by tusked mammoths, sabre tooth tigers or starvation. We do, however, have to contend with sugar and its ubiquity in all kinds of foodstuffs. While our bodies need glucose as an energy source, the prevalence of sugar in sweet and savoury foods far outstrips the levels we require. Healthy eating can therefore be a challenge when there are so many treats to tempt us in cafés, restaurants and supermarket aisles. The easiest way to meet your healthy eating goals is to prepare food yourself. With the internet and limitless recipes at our fingertips, this has never been easier. We want to share this fail-safe recipe for tea bread with you. It’s free from refined sugar (the sugar in the recipe comes from the dried fruit), vegan-friendly and involves tea. A winning combination in our books. It also happens to be damn easy to make and incredibly hard to screw up.
Healthy eating Tea Bread recipe (we adapted the recipe from the Power of Cake blog)
Makes one 900g loaf tin of 23 x 13 x 7 cm (9 x 5½ x 3″). Keeps one greedy person going for about one week.
2 1/2 tbsp (13g) good quality loose leaf tea of your choice (our Linden Chai works really well in this recipe)
500 ml freshly boiled water
3 cups (450 g) mixed dried fruit (currants, raisins, sultanas, dried apricots, you name it)
2 tsp cardamom
1 tbsp flax seed mixed with 5 tbsp water (aka a flax “egg”)
6 tsp (25g) virgin coconut oil, melted
1 ¾ (230 g) cups plain flour
¼ cup (30 g) rye flour (feel free to play around with the ratios of flours or substitute a different flour altogether)
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
A few grinds of salt
Replace the wheat flour and rye flour quantities above for:
200 g brown rice flour
60 g rye flour
Add the dried fruit to a large mixing bowl. In a large jug, add the tea and pour the water over it. Let steep for 10 minutes. Strain the tea and pour over the fruit along with the cardamom. Cover with a tea towel and leave to stand overnight or for approximately seven hours.
Preheat your oven to 180oC.
Mix the ground flaxseed with water and leave to stand for ten minutes until it’s gloopy. Melt the coconut oil (I pop it in a pyrex jug and stick it in the warming oven until it has liquefied) and pour into the fruit mixture, along with the flax gloop.
Sift the flour into the fruit mixture and fold in. At this point you might need to add additional tea if the batter is looking too sticky. Transfer using a spatula (to ensure no trace of batter is wasted) to a well greased loaf tin and bake for one hour at 180oC (I prefer a conventional oven setting as opposed to a fan oven to lock in moistness) until nicely browned (see image) and a sharp knife comes out clean when inserted.
Leave to cool before cutting into generous slices and buttering with coconut oil or butter. Wrap up in a tea towel. Will keep for about a week.
Herbal tea isn’t just good for drinking. It can be used in all sorts of healthy eating recipes, both sweet and savoury, to add flavour and nutritional value. Browse our selections of teas to get inspired.