Simple Squared: Simply Polenta Bread with Simple Blueberry Jam

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Whether paired with an elegant brunch or a satisfying dinner, anything pairs perfectly with this duo of recipes. The unison of bread and jam are delicious served alongside a refreshing salad and baked eggs, such as the Spanish summer tomato salad and goat gouda petit egg gratin for brunch or dinner. Neither condiment nor loaf will last long in your kitchen.

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The bread recipe yields a soft, crumbly cornbread loaf. The whole grain polenta and bright herbs are hearty, yet delicate and with nuanced flavor.

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The sweet, luxurious and fruity jam is a lovely juxtaposition to the savory, robust bread. Make both recipes and eat them together – or make one to enjoy on its own.

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CLICK HERE TO PRINT RECIPE

Whole Grain Polenta-Thyme Bread

A delicious treat for breakfast or alongside a hot soup or stew at dinner

Dry Ingredients:

½ cup old-fashioned rolled oats, processed in food processor until a fine powder

1 cup instant polenta from Italy

1 cup white wheat flour or whole wheat pastry flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon thyme

Wet ingredients:

2 large eggs, room temperature

1 ⅓ cup unsweetened, plain “milk” of choice (I used almond milk)*

2 tablespoons + ⅔ teaspoon white vinegar of your choice

2 tablespoons garlic infused extra virgin garlic oil (widely available; or, make your own)

2 tablespoons 0% Greek Yogurt

Preparation:

1.)  Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Then, combine Vinegar and milk in a measuring cup and stir well (for 1 1/2 cups total liquid). Do not worry about separation of milk solids when the vinegar is added to the “milk.” Allow to sit for 10 minutes; this makes “homemade buttermilk.”  Spray a standard, 9×5 inch loaf pan with cooking spray.

2.) Mix dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl with a whisk.   Mix wet ingredients in a small bowl. Combine wet and dry ingredients just until incorporated. Do not over mix.

3.) Bake for 40 minutes, or until toothpick or knife inserted in the middle of the loaf comes out clean. Do not over bake. Serve with blueberry basil jam recipe (below) and enjoy!

*You may substitute 1 1/2 cups of buttermilk for the vinegar and almond milk, if desired. Some members of our family are “lactose-challenged.”

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CLICK HERE TO PRINT RECIPE

Basil Blueberry Jam (no sugar added)

Refreshing, fruit-filled and fast to make

Ingredients:

1, 16 ounce bag frozen blueberries,* or substitute fresh if in season

¼ cup apple sauce or 1 small apple, cored and chopped

¼ cup orange juice, fresh if available; otherwise, use what you have

the zest of 1 orange (if using freshly squeezed juice)

¼ tsp. fennel

a pinch of salt, approximately ⅛ teaspoon

3 packets of stevia (such as Truvia brand) or 1 tablespoon sweetener of choice (sugar, maple syrup, honey, agave nectar, etc.)

1 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh basil or 1 teaspoon dried basil

Preparation:

1.) It doesn’t get much easier than this. Combine all ingredients in a small sauce pan.  Cover tightly and bring to a simmer over low heat. Once a simmer is reached, allow to simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, or until thick and bubbly. If the mixture seems too thick, add one to two tablespoons of water.

2.) Allow to cool for five minutes; then, transfer the mixture to a food processor or mini-chopper and process until smooth. Allow to cool and spoon into a medium-sized jam can. Serve with the  whole grain thyme-polenta bread. The jam will keep in a refrigerator for at least two weeks. Enjoy!

*Whole Paycheck or Trader J’s are places to find affordable, delicious frozen fruit year-round

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©Shanna Koenigsdorf Ward, shannaward.com (2013), unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without expressed and written permission from this blog’s author, Shanna Koenigsdorf Ward, and/or owner is strictly and completely prohibited.

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