Hard to believe I’ve been out of college for a decade. Seems like just yesterday I was pouring over Biochemistry text in between bottles of budget-friendly Boone’s wine. Fast forward to today, I’m pouring over Benjamin Moore paint colors while debating how to handle the small family of ground hogs cavorting under our backyard shed.
I went to college in Virginia at James Madison University. The campus felt like utopia the minute I set foot on the green grasses of the Quad, captivated by the gregarious tour guide with perma-smile and chivalrous behavior. I spent four incredible years there, studying dietetics while wondering where my passion for food and health would take me once graduation somberly set the wheels in motion.
This moist and delicate Apricot Blueberry Bread honors my educational prowess. Once the apricots and blueberries are baked into a pillow of whole grain flour, oats and honey, the colors of my alma-mater shine. Gold and purple flecks transport me back to those long, cross-eyed nights with flash cards and study buddies, crowded apartment parties and beer-coated floors of fraternity basements (Go Dukes!). And while this doesn’t sound remotely appealing to me now, every time I cut a slice of this bread it’s hard not to reminisce. And then I lick my fingers to make sure I get each and every crumb. Extra Credit.
Stauffer’s Fruit Farm, a regular at the Skippack Farmers’ Market provided the blueberries and about half of the apricots in this recipe; the other half are from a recent Landisdale Farm CSA share. Like the Blueberry Plum Crumble I made a few weeks ago, this produce combination is a nutritional bombshell. Apricots contain lycopene, the cancer-fighting phytonutrient that tomatoes are lauded for. They also contain a good amount of vitamin C and beta carotene (which turns into vitamin A once digested) to make apricots a great source for disease-fighting antioxidants. The power of blueberries are likely a bit more well-known, as they are often referred to as a “super food” due to their rich antioxidant and nutrient supply.
Having a slice of this bread as a mid-afternoon snack satisfies my sweet tooth and takes me back in time. I may even have to break out the college photo albums. But at least this time travel doesn’t involve having to re-create the moment my parents fell in love; one look at the rubber ducky and bubble motif in the guest bathroom and I’m painfully aware I’m back in the future.
(If you’re not a familiar with the movie, Back to the Future, click here for more information on the DeLorean reference in the title of this post and the last statement in the previous paragraph. And then do yourself a favor and see the movie.)
Apricot Blueberry Bread
Adapted from Allrecipes.com’s Marbled Cinnamon Sugar Quick Bread
- 2 cups chopped fresh apricots, pitted
- 1 cup blueberries
- 1/3 cup turbinado sugar
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup quick oats
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- ½ tbsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 egg, beaten
- ½ cup honey
- ½ cup turbinado sugar
- 1 cup milk (I used 2%)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Prepare a 9x5x3 loaf pan.
- Coat fruit with 1/3 cup sugar and cinnamon in a medium bowl.
- Combine flour, baking powder, salt and 1/2 cup sugar in a large bowl.
- Combine egg, milk and honey in a small bowl and add to flour mixture.
- Stir by hand until moistened. Add fruit mixture and stir until just combined.
- Pour batter into loaf pan.
- Bake 45-50 minutes until knife or toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes. For easier slicing, you may want to store overnight in the refrigerator before serving.