Healthy Cooking – Bread Pudding Topped with Blueberries
I didn’t really intend to make a treat last night – but sometimes it just happens, masha’Allah. In our house we don’t eat white bread anymore – unless dh buys some of that pita bread from the Arab Market. I personally don’t like it – it tastes like cardboard, but that’s just my preference. I am biased – though – because I have eaten the most delicious bread in my life while visiting Yemen. It was made by the beautiful hands of my sister-in-law and she makes the most delicious bread. After eating her bread, I told her I couldn’t go on eating bread anymore because it just wouldn’t be the same 🙂 (Yes, I can be funny sometimes, masha’Allah – but even with my broken Arabic it brought a smile to her face.)
Anyway – I usually try to make fresh bread whenever I can. It tastes better and you actually know what is going into your bread. Nowadays you find wheat bread that makes you wonder where the wheat is in it (you know what I mean?) It wouldn’t be surprising if they use all white flour and then add a tablespoon of wheat and get to call it wheat bread. Anyway – we had some bread left over that we had bought from the local bakery. Unfortunately, it had already gone hard. I usually keep my bread in the microwave (don’t have a bread box) to keep it fresh but the kids take it out and forget to put it back. So, what was I going to do?
I remembered my husband saying at some point in our marriage that he loved bread pudding. I wondered if I could do something about that. So, I decided to make a healthier version of bread pudding. Here’s the original recipe taken from “Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book” which I have had in my house since before being married, masha’Allah:
4 beaten eggs (I use egg beaters / egg whites)
2 cups milk (I use skim milk)
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla
3 cups (4 slices) bread cubed
1/3 cup raisins or other snipped, dried fruit
In a mixing bowl, beat together eggs, milk, sugar, cinnamon and vanilla. Cut up bread slices into cubes. Place bread cubes in a 8 x 1/2 inch round baking dish. Sprinkle raisins or dried fruit over the bread. Pour egg mixture over all. Mix well to ensure that all the bread is coated. Bake in a 325 degree oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool slightly.
I am assuming that the original recipe wanted you to use white bread – I used whole wheat bread. Instead of using eggs, I used egg substitute (egg whites). I have a bigger family – so I doubled the recipe (I baked mine in a 13 inch x 9 inch pan) and even then my husband said the outer edges weren’t pudding consistency (he loved the inside, though). I might have to triple the recipe for how much I made – but I made enough for a nice treat at night and dh left for work this morning with some for breakfast and the girls ate their fill for breakfast as well. Nothing but blueberry smiles over here this morning, masha’Allah.
Anyway, when I doubled the recipe, I only put 1/3 a cup of sugar for the whole amount (so you don’t really need the entire 1/3 cup of sugar for the original recipe) and I am sure you could use honey instead but sometimes I worry about playing with a recipe too much and having it come out horrible. Perhaps next time I will do that and see how it turns out. Now – why do I say you don’t need that much? Because I am going to be pouring a blueberry sauce over the top – which adds to the sweetness. If I didn’t do that, I would have to see how the pudding turned out with less sugar. By the way – did I mention that I don’t like bread pudding?!?
I did not add any raisins or dried fruit – because instead I used blueberry sauce. For the blueberry sauce, I just took some frozen blueberries – about how much I felt was necessary to cover the pudding. I added it to a pan and added just a bit of water and some honey. Essentially, I just tasted the blueberry water to see if it was sweet enough – but I did not add a lot of honey – just enough. I heated it until it made a nice sauce. Once the pudding was finished, I placed each serving in individual bowls and poured some blueberry sauce over it. Needless to say, everyone demanded that I keep this recipe. And – for the record – I actually ate some and liked it. Alhumdulilah.
I think the next time I make this recipe I might do the following: Add cut up apples that have been simmered in a pan with a bit of water, sugar and cinnamon. Then I would also sprinkle in it some walnuts and raisins. I don’t know – but the thought of that just makes me hungry!
Look – don’t tell anyone I told you this – but eating healthy can really taste great.
Let it be our little secret.
Sumayyah Umm SAA
I make my own bread too. I started doing that because I was concerned about salt levels in processed bread.