Holiday Figgy Bread

One of my favorite parts of Christmas is my mom's Date Nut Loaf. I can already see your face. Admittedly, it's not the kind of name that makes your mouth water. And the fact that it looks like fruitcake on top of that ensures that most holidays it's typically ALL FOR ME. Despite the name and the craggy out-dated look, it's absolutely delicious. To free this incredible bread it from its fruitcake image, I revamped the recipe to include figs, apricots, and pistachios. Plus, a little orange and anise to bring in some of that holiday spice. What was once dotted with suspiciously bright maraschino cherries is now enticingly mediterranean. In my opinion, not much was lost in translation. It's as addictively edible as it's always been.

1 tsp coconut oil

3 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

1 ½ c Brazil nuts

1 ½ c pistachios

1 c dried apricots

1 c dried figs, stems removed

Zest of one orange, grated

¼ c + 2 Tbsp honey

¾ c flour*

½ tsp baking powder

½ tsp salt

¼ tsp ground anise

A pinch of baking soda

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Grease a standard-sized bread pan with coconut oil and line with parchment paper. Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat eggs until slightly foamy, then add vanilla and honey. Stir in nuts, fruit, and zest until well coated.

In a small separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, anise, and baking soda. Run a dry whisk or fork through the bowl to ensure that the ingredients are mixed well. Add ⅓ of dry ingredients to wet mixture and stir until combined. Repeat until all of the dry ingredients are incorporated.

Pour the batter into the greased baking pan and bake for 1 hour and 45 minutes. Check the bread by pressing on the middle—there should be a little give, but it should not be mushy to the touch. Cool in pan for 10 minutes and then turn out onto a flat surface and remove paper while warm. Allow to cool completely for best slicing results.

*You can use standard all-purpose flour, but to keep this recipe in the whole food realm, I like to use a paleo flour blend. Just combine 3 parts almond flour, 2 parts tapioca flour, and 1 part coconut flour. Blend well and store in a jar for other recipe substitutions, if desired.