I’m actually surprised how nice this tastes considering it has no eggs, no dairy and no added sugar! Not bad for a vegan, baby friendly recipe. All the sweetness comes from the dried fruit and orange juice and there’s not much else to this recipe.
The loaf keeps well in an airtight tin and also freezes well too. I’ve frozen it cut into slices, so I can pull one out when Roman is getting peckish.
The recipe is adapted from one in the River Cottage Baby & Toddler Cookbook. I refer to this book often and it’s great when I feel like I’m in a child feeding rut. This recipe could easily be changed up too. Chopped fresh fruit such as apples or pears could be substituted for some of the fruit. The juice can also be changed to suit. I also think that it would be nice with some nuts, so replacing some of the sultanas with an equal volume of nuts or seeds would be delicious.
Sugar Free, Egg Free, Dairy Free Fruit Loaf
100g (3.5oz) dried apricots
100g (3.5oz) pitted dried dates
125g (4.5oz) plain flour
100g (3.5oz) wholemeal (whole wheat) flour (or you can use more plain flour)
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp mixed spice
375g (13oz) sultanas (or mixed dried fruit to suit)
50g (2oz) ground almonds
Preheat the oven to 170°C. (340°F). Line a large loaf tin (about 1L/1qt) with baking paper.
Roughly chop the apricots and dates into a small saucepan. Wash and dry the outside of one of the oranges, and grate the zest into the saucepan.
Squeeze the juice from both oranges into a measuring jug. Top up with water to a total of 350ml (12.5floz). Add this to the saucepan with the fruit, bring to the boil, remove from heat, then set aside.
Combine the flours, baking powder and mixed spice in a mixing bowl. Stir to combine evenly. Add the sultanas and ground almonds and stir to cover all the sultanas with a coating of flour.
Add the contents of the saucepan to the mixing bowl and mix well. Pour into the tin and smooth out the top.
Bake for 45 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean from the middle. This loaf does not rise much. Leave in the tin for 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool.
I’d probably leave the butter off when serving this to babies and toddlers…the butter was for me! 😉