Sunday, May 20, 2007

Blueberry Tea Bread

A social gathering….. everyone is in a festive mood…….music flowing in the background…..ladies chit-chatting in one corner and guys having their fun …….. a bunch of kids running around and some crying at the top of their voice ……party is in full-swing………at some point I go to the staging area to fill my drink, crossing a group of guys, mainly a married men group, and suddenly I overhear one asking, “hey dude, has your cholesterol count come down……..what’s your triglycerides and LDL count now…Did you check your BMI category?? “ For a moment, I am like, “ Did I come to the wrong party?” The same guys who used to eloquent about the fluctuation in share values, hybrid cars, sports suddenly seem to be interested in discussing some serious health issues!! Yes, whether it’s a new fad or not, talking about “eating healthy”, “regular exercise”, ”low carb-less fat-No trans fat “ seems to be catching on a lot these days, atleast amongst our friend circles and it all boils down to one reason, the annual physical check-up as part of the insurance scheme provided by the employer!.

And my most embarrassing moment was when we went for Lipid Profile test and had to fill out the family health history; to my embarrassment, there was not a single column where I did not say ‘NO’ to all those questions to check out my family history on Diabetes, Breast cancer, ovary cancer, High blood pressure, TB and what not! For a second, I wondered, ”Does this mean I am susceptible to all these diseases …Am I a mobile disease bomb???” also wondered why they did not have a column for ‘Mental Illness”, atleast in that section I could have ticked ‘No’ !!! It was not fun any more when someone from my doctor’s office called up to say, “Sweetie….everything is normal except for your LDL which is a bad cholesterol and have crossed the border line a bit….you need to be a bit careful on your fat intake and also exercise regularly”. Hmmm…..does it mean that I should think twice about adding more alfredo sauce to my pasta or avoid taking my favourite beef fry or mutton curry ? I guess the answer is an ‘YES’ as long as I don’t want to end up at the age of 40, eating 1/2 cup of rice with a large bowl of green salad, 2 glasses of bitter guard juice and ½ cup of multi-colored tablets and at the same time resist my cravings for a slice of heavily loaded cheese, beef and pepperoni pizza when that tempting advertisement comes in between a television program !! Instead, I don’t mind moving to low fat milk or skim milk, so I can enjoy my favourite dessert once in a while….or considerably reduce the intake of red meat, so I can relish a rich chicken biriyani once in a month……or I can stop eating those hard-to resist Pazhampori (banana fritters) or any deep fried snacks regularly, so I need not sit with a long face when we go to our favourite restaurant.

These days more and more youngsters are diagnosed with high blood pressure before they reach 25 and cholesterol and diabetes, before they reach the golden 30’s. Our parents would like to blame it on our life style and food habits and work pressures. It’s true to an extent but it makes me wonder why our parents were not having all these diseases when they were our age! I feel it’s mainly because nobody used to go for a Lipid Test 25-35 years ago….my father seemed to be enjoying perfect health until he collapsed one day due to high blood pressure leading to a cerebral hemorrhage, at the age of 52; thats the day we realized that he was having high blood pressure. Times when we blame ourselves for not doing a regular check up !! Now most of our peers are having the same problem but this is our prime time in life and how can we say no to all those food cravings?? Answer is practice moderation and stay away from all that artery-clogging food. Now nobody knows where the moderation begins or ends !! But having an idea as to what goes inside is really good, unless and until one does not want to end up at the age of 40, eating 1/2 cup rice and ½ cup multi-colored tablets and still resist the cravings for a slice of heavily loaded cheese, beef and pepperoni pizza :)

Wondering if blueberry bread can trigger so much of evocative thoughts? :) Not exactly, but this recipe is something we can eat without feeling much guilty. When you are in a mood to eat some baked goodies but can’t think of adding all that butter and chocolates, this simple blueberry tea bread comes for rescue. “Tea-Breads are sweet quick breads (breads made without yeast), that are traditionally enjoyed with your favorite coffee or tea. Don't let the word "bread" fool you however. Tea-Breads are really cakes --- similar to pound cakes but moister, richer and fuller and they come in a variety of delicious flavors. They are just right for breakfast, a light snack, or for dessert!” I got this recipe sometime back from my friend, TM who is an excellent host and a total foodie. I have tried this recipe 3 times with certain basic variations, and each time it has come quite well.

Ingredients: -
  • 2 cups sifted all purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 cup fresh/frozen blueberries
  • 2tsp grated orange rinds
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • A pinch of powdered nutmeg (Optional)
Directions: -
  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line the loaf pan with parchment/wax paper and grease with butter and dust with flour and keep it ready.
  2. In a pan, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt and stir in the berries and orange rinds. In another large bowl, beat the eggs ,add milk and oil; Using a wooden spoon or spatula, stir in the dry ingredients in small batches, making sure that berries are not crushed and at the same time the dry ingredients should be well combined. Stir very gently until it's all moistened and combined well, if not, flour will appear as small dots in the bread. Finally add a pinch of nutmeg and mix well.
  3. Pour on to the greased pan and as per the original recipe, a greased 9 * 5 * 3 loaf pan takes about 1 hour for baking and my 8½ * 4 ½ * 2 ½ takes about 2 hours for baking. The baking time differs depending on the pan size and the oven and hence, towards the end, if a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean without any crumbles, then that means the tea bread is ready.
  4. Cool in pan for 10 minutes; remove to a wire rack to cool completely. Once it is completely cool, cover with a plastic wrap and serve the next day as it allows all the flavours to set in and it tastes really good the next day :)
Variations I tried:
  1. Replaced skim milk for whole milk and added 2 tbsp heavy cream and still comes out tasty and I do not find any marginal difference.
  2. Tried mixing sugar with the wet ingredients, instead of stirring with the dry ingredient, still I do not find any noticeable difference.
  3. Original recipe calls for only 1 tsp orange rinds but since we like the smell and flavour of orange more, I add an extra tsp.
  4. Since we both like the aroma of nutmeg in baked goodies, I add a pinch of nutmeg too, which is again not there in the original recipe.
Note: As per the original recipe, the tea bread can be served immediately after it cools. But from my personal experience, I found that the bread really gains its flavour and smell the next day only. Also, while slicing the bread, use serrated knife or bread knife and after cutting 2-3 slices, run some hot water through the knife and pat dry immediately and then slice, to avoid crumbling from the sides and make the perfect slice.

A simple tea bread with tiny velvety fruit and infused with the refreshing smell of orange rinds...A perfect snack for any brunch or teatime parties….also a great gift for all your Cholesterol & High Diabetes factory owner friends :)

No part of the content ( articles, photographs, recipes) of this blog may be reproduced without my written permission.Copyright © 2007-2010 All rights reserved.


  1. Shn,
    That's such a rich color..Lovely recipe dear..And yes, talking and eating healthy really seem to be in fashion these days..What will happen to junkies like me?:)

  2. i like your style "after 2-3 slices do xyz with the knife". i too can never stop with a slice. nice tea bread.

  3. A nice Tea bread, ofcourse no one can resist this. Viji

  4. Beautiful. We love berries and I am always looking for new ways of using them. This is just awesome!

  5. Shn... sorry to hear about your LDL level, I know how hard it is to get away from the beef fry and mutton curry, but guess moderation is the key... I'm also trying hard to eat a little healthier.

    That tea bread looks sinfully delicious, good thing it is healthy, there is no way moderation is gonna apply here. :D

    Love that cute little bow, are you just practicing for next time when you will actually package it and send to someone? I'll e-mail you my mailing address, ok? :D

  6. mishy, i hear you. it is very difficult to control the temptation but i successfully stopped beef and it is easy for me here because there are no malayalis with a beef olarthiyathu here :)).

    that blueberry bread is irresistable. my bluberry plant is picking up good.

  7. Delicious tea bread. Never seen blue berries but the presentation and look of the cake is gr8 :)

  8. 'Mobile disease bomb?' A very telling phrase, very shudder-worthy.
    I hope your dad is keeping good health again, Shn! And I like that ribbon and bow!

  9. wow the blueberry bread looks tempting .... Very truly said

    BTW wonderfull presentation...

  10. Just when I was wondering what happened to ur trademark i.e., Sunday posts I get to see this delicious loaf of blueberry bread… need I say anything abt the presentation? ;)
    My doc has told me to reduce 5 kgs soon:( not 1 or 2 kgs but 5!!!! thats horrendous:( may be I better stick to the diet before I too end up eating ½ bowl of rice and tablets;) difficult to stick to diet when we have so many yummy recipes on food blogs.

  11. oh!!! just looking at that cute little bow i thought u are mailing it across;)

  12. Oh!! A slice of cake now and then doesn't hurt anybody girl! Eat up!!;D
    Good looking bread,I love quick breads too,easy.

  13. SHN,

    wow, what a lovely coincidence....I was going to make this after I got this book called "Teabreads and Coffeecakes" from the library over the weekend. Seeing your perfect loaf, I think I will try your version instead!

  14. I have read berries like blueberries have phytochemicals and antioxidants .. really good for health and also helps to prevent serious diseases like cancer, diabetes, heart disease, stomach ulcers and even help lower cholesterol levels... :D
    For all the talk on eating healthy...:D

    Nice looking tea bread...

  15. Agree with everyone blaming the new life style- genetics plays a big role in many diseases, but I find that people get defensive when talking about genetics and disease. No one wants to take responsibility to making their son/daughter a diabetic or hypertensive and they shouldn't. We can't change our genes, so the only alternative is to eat healthy. Most disease are diagnosed these days due to better screening, not that they weren't present in the earlier generation.
    The bread looks delicious! I am going to try your zucchini dish, have assembled all the necessary ingredients.

  16. great looking tea bread, I like the blueberries in there... can I come over with a cuppa tea? :)

  17. both my mom and mom-in-law their cholestrol level rising high in recent years, not due to their bad eating or anything, it just happens... blame on aging??? Yes, it's a serious problem, but I can't help giggle when I see that "menu" for 40 yr-old :) :) Anyway, your blueberry tea bread is absolutely beautiful! I sure will make it!

  18. Waw , that looks so pretty! beautiful pics and lovely presentation as always! packed so beautifully.

  19. love the colour and a wonderful afternoon snack :)

  20. Hey, that looks really beautiful!!! gr8 recipe.. thanx so much :)

  21. Wow.........I am not to ask you just take one pieces form your tes bread..........thanks for sharing good recipe.

  22. Tang da Dang...I am going to post Beef fry with coconut,Mutton Chukka,Prawns fry,chicken varutharachatte,pinnee...
    Pedikkenda ethonnum illa evide ..My achayn also has the same problem..But daily he spend 1 hr for jogging and walking,Recently I started samething to reduce my extra 10kg(haha)..Ente check cheythittila .Nokkiyal ariyam 10 kg ethokke roopathil aane kidakkunne enne...
    Your Blueberry Tea Bread looks delicious..I am going to try this with dates.How is my idea? enikke vendanne parangathalle..ennitum enthina pack cheythu veche..

  23. Let me first go and read the post again and feast my eyes over that gorgeous pic also!!!!
    will come back and then comment! ;)

  24. so u are cutting short on the pazham poris, eh?:) eat in moderation and eat up ur veggies, gal.and u won't have to eat ur 1/2 cup rice with the tablets at 40!

  25. Thanks for this insightful, provocative and thoughtful post. It is very much appreciated. My motto has always been everything in moderation.

    Thanks hon.

  26. Love your teabread...blueberries are great for baking, aren't they...

  27. tea bread is wonderful! we are trying to lower the hubby's cholesteral level too! and his sugar intake as well. your photography is always so beautiful!

  28. oh my god! look at the tea mouth is watering...good work...


  29. wow ......excellent one .Never tried it at home .Will try it .By the way AFAM roud up is done .Feel free to stop by

  30. I love berries! When I'll cook your cake, it will be difficult to wait a day to sample it! Time is so long in these circumstances!!

  31. the presentation is great as ever.planning to try it soon, its soo tempting.....

  32. hi..thats a nice bread .u r right eating healthy has bcum a fad now ...come to think of it .;fad or not its anyway a good thing ..keep posting more of visit my blog too...

  33. Thanks for posting heart friendly dishes. I felt as if the presentation didnt have ur stamp. Bright colors that makes the food appear more like a painting worth exhibiting in Louvre. But that doeant mean it wasnt good. It is a great presentation, but I fell in love with ur choice of colors.

  34. Lust love the way this looks.So nicely baked and just perfect really agood one.Like the plate where you have served it too..

  35. Shn, this recipe looks delightful! I would've loved a slice of this bread with my coffee this morning... and if I had it around I'd brew a cup of tea and enjoy another piece right now. I especially like the orange zest!

    Ari (Baking and Books)

  36. great recipe....i just love it...thanks for sharing

  37. Those tea breads look great...shall try in my next baking session ;-) Hope your dad is doing well now. You are right because we get these checkups every year we are aware too early.

    I wasn't away camping..wish I could.Nothing fun

  38. hi mish,just wanted to know if we cud make this using some other fruit instead of blueberries?..

  39. also can i add u to my blogroll??

  40. hi
    thanks for sharing the wonderful blueberry recipe.

  41. O O this is looking Mouthwatering...I also make it in the same way...

  42. Swapna, junkies...heheh you are safe until you go for your physical check up :)) Thanks dear !

    Bee, Thanks so much :)

    Vcuisine, thanks...actually it tastes better with the second slice you gotta have two slices atleast :D

    Meeta, Hope you try this one...thanks :)

    Sig, I am still waiting for your address :D Infact, I did pack that loaf for our neighbour.It was difficult to get that bow in shape...How I managed is a top secret :)

    Reena, you have a blueberry plant? Ohhh...thats so nice...let me know when it is ripe, I will come for picking :)

    Archana,the ones strewn around the loaf in the picture, is blueberry. Thanks a lot :)

    Sra, yes dear, by god's grace, my father is in good health and we will always be grateful for that miracle! Thanks for asking!

    Roopa, Thank you so much:)

    Sia, hey cant believe that you are over weight ! yes, me too blame it on these blogs, unnecessary cravings at wrong timings and that too for the most unhealthy dishes :)) As I wrote for Sig, I did pack it for my neighbour :)I will consider you next time :P

    Asha, your fruit bread is next on my list....I love such quick tea cakes too :)

    Trupti,you can try mine for sure, but you try some from that book too, so we get more recipes :)

    Pravs, hehe...all are talking healthy....but for how long ?? :)))

    Gini,diseases and diagnoses were also part of the system in the earlier days but I dont remember any of my family members or relatives going for a regular med check up unless and until they have a fever or some other problem. Also how can one blame the genes ? :)Btw, how did the zucchini thoran turn out? liked it ? let me know.

    Mandira, sure.. sure....but I will make the tea for you:)

    Gattina, hmm...lets blame on aging...:) actually my father has copyrighted that joke for his menu for a 40 year old :))

    Sharmi, thank you dear :)

    A little light, thanks :) I will have it anytime :P

    Ramya, hope you try and do let me know :)

    Kajal, please help yourself :)

    Kitchenfairy, athey mutton chukka njan kazhichittilla...onnu post cheyyo ?:) paranjathu paara aayalle :)) ariyilla how it will turn out, try cheythu nokku...enne kuttam parayaruthu :D

    Coffee, hey...I am waiting for your comment :)

    Kanchana, Thanks :)

    Mallugirl, heheh....ennalum pazham pori resist cheyyan pattarilla....went to a friend's house last weekend, and though I was embarrassed , that did not pull me back from eating the last piece :P

    Cynthia, I guess I need to learn from you on moderation...I cant resist:(

    Sunita, yes I love those little berries in baked goodies better :)

    Cinderelly, thank you so much :)

    Rashmi, thanks dear....why don't you give it a try....very simple, isn't it ?

    Deepa, you did a good job with the round up ...congrats :)

    $ha, hahaha...thats well said....:)) Welcome to Mishmash!

    Nanditha, pls do keep me in the loop...hope your li'l ones like this tea-cake :)

    Deena, Thank you !

    Mocha, What are you trying to say...:)

    Soumya, thank you dear :)

    Ari, me zest is so refreshing and it just fills the room with a nice aroma...quite tempting too :)

    Dilip, Thank you sir, Hope you try!

    Sandeepa, next 'baking session'? hope we get to read some eye -opening tips ..just kidding :) Yes dear, luckily my father did recover from all that and he has been enjoying good health thanks to God Almighty!

    Deena, I am not sure of the substituting part as I have not tried it can do that but I wonder how moist it will be....the juice from the berry makes the bread more tasty....give it a try and see....and let me know how it turned out too :) Ofcourse you can blogroll's a pleasure :)

    Prajusha, thank you and Welcome to Mishmash!

    Sukanya, thanks....and let me welcome you to Mishmash! :)

    Thank you all..

  43. Ente Shne. Ethu vare Mocha ara ennu manasillayille. What I was trying to tell u is that I missed your trademark of choosing bright colors to present a dish in this particular blog. I have always felt that these pictures made ur blog something unique. The blueberry tea cake inte padam & presentation esthapettu pakshe it was missing ur stamp(colorful & unconventional choice of acessories). If i couldnt still get my point across , let me know.

  44. I can't believe you actually had trouble as a beginner... your food seems so appetizing... and the pictures are awesome. I wish... I wish.

  45. Hi, The Bread looks really lovely. Can I use frozen mixed berries instead of just blue berries. Thanks.

  46. Thanks for the recipe makes a great bread. I modified it a bit put in 1cup of whole wheat flour and 1 cup of AP instead and through in a 1/4 tsp of vanilla. Makes a great muffin bread this way.

  47. I mishmash,I am here in ur blog for the first time , Simply enjoying the arena of dishes.I love bluberry so got stuck with this wonderful tea bread.Hard to resist.

  48. I am ardent fan of ur creativity and u save my face especially when it comes to naadan food!!! so today i made the blueberry tea bread.. but as always the middles portion isn't baked perfect.. simply put the toothpick comes out clean everywhere else, except the middle portion..have u ever faced this? this has always been an issue with my baking.. may be u can advice something to your disciple??

  49. Hi Mishmash, I donno if there is any other way to post my questions.I wish if you knew why the middle portion of the cake isnt baked, when all the other portions are well you have any tips?

  50. DMJ, try continue baking until u get the centre portion cooked well as oven temp varies from oven to oven, so even if the actual recipe calls for only 1 hour, some ovens take 30-40 mts extra, though it sounds a bit unbelievable. Also keep your pan in the center of the oven where max heat is avlble.

  51. mish,what if i use normal sugat instead of granulated ? will it make any difference ?As i am eager to make this one,i cant wait no more.
    I think you are into fasting of different kinds if i can believe my memory reading you.That itself is great for health !!
    Though i belong to the food lovers circle,I maintain fitness to the maximum.What i do is
    a)fasting one day everyweek.(only water i depend..Tons)
    b)just balance what i,if i have meat one day,the next few days consume lots of veggies and daal.
    C)yoga is my routine
    d)I am hundred percent passionate on workouts,just like i am on food
    Mish,My career nature may not allow me to work out every day.Sometimes for months.Still I will be on the same weight as before.53 kg is the maximum i have.But i enjoy everything.
    btw,I stopped taking sugar in tea when i turned 30.Only calorie free sugar..I think if we reduce on that,half is done.Then you wont be regretting for having some pieces of such wonderful bread !! ha ha
    Mish,do take care and enjoy your food so that we can experience much more in this beautiful world..(thaan paathi,only that.Rest is with God.I am happy to know that your daddy is fine.The most valuable gift Lord bestow upon us!!)

  52. Ann, you can use regular sugar....oh...btw, I am not all that a health freak....i do portion controlling...but not into fasting was just a veg diet for some other reason :)


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