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by Sarah Steimer

If you don’t plan to eat all the loaves within a few days, be sure to keep them in the freezer. I like to wrap the loaves first in plastic wrap then in aluminum foil before freezing.

  •  3 cups all-purpose flour OR 2 2/3 cups whole-wheat flour (I went with wheat flour)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 pinch ground cloves
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup melted unsalted butter
  • 1 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 cup finely diced apples (peeled)
  • 1 cup pomegranate arils (video below)

Combine flour, baking powder, sugars, cinnamon and cloves.

The pomegranate seeds add an unexpected crunch to these very moist loaves.

Mix the melted butter with the applesauce, eggs and milk. Add the wet mixture to the dry, along with the apples and pomegranate. Mix all ingredients until just combined.

Pour mixture into two greased 9-by-5-inch bread tins or four mini loaf tins (mine are minis).

Bake at 350 degrees for about 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaves comes out clean.

The loaves can be stored in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for 3-5 days, or in the freezer for about a month.

Makes two 9-by-5-inch loaves or four mini loaves.

Recipe adapted from: Kirbie’s Cravings

And – check this out – Caitlin made a lovely how-to video for prepping pomegranates:

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by Sarah Steimer

If I have a choice, I choose loose tea. Allowing your tea to be free releases more of its benefits.

For the bread:

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/2 cup prepared chai tea*
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups flour

Cream together sugar and butter.  Beat in eggs, tea, milk and vanilla on low speed until well combined.  Slowly add the baking powder, salt and flour.  Stir until just moistened.  Pour into one prepared loaf pan or three prepared mini loaf pans.

Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the middle comes out clean. Cool on a rack before glazing.

For the glaze:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • – 5 teaspoons prepared chai tea

Combine sugar and vanilla. Stir in the tea until you reach a desired consistency (I went with thick but runny). Pour over loaf.

Makes one regular loaf or three mini loaves.

Recipe adapted from: The Jey of Cooking

Photo: Sarah Steimer

*I used chai tea from Tupelo Honey Teas, based in Pittsburgh. Danielle hand-blends wonderful teas, many of which are organic. I highly recommend stopping to see her at the Pittsburgh Public Market. Otherwise, you can order her tea online — I have now that I’ve moved! Gotta stay loyal.

Chai tea facts

-Good for: Digestion and nausea. Black pepper in chai stimulates the stomach to produce hydrochloric acid required for breaking down food, fennel inhibits bacteria that cause gas and cloves refresh the mouth and throat. Black tea (the base for chai) and cinnamon contain antioxidants and ginger is a nausea remedy that soothes the stomach, according to the Royal Society of Chemistry.

-Origins: Chai is actually the Hindi word for tea and is more accurately called “masala chai” or spiced tea. There are numerous types of chai tea and no set recipe, although it is most commonly steeped in boiling water with steamed milk added. Chai is a very commonly found beverage in India and is traditionally served after meals.

-Taste: It varies, but chai usually has a black tea base with spices that include cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, peppercorn and cloves. Because of the spices, the smell and taste of the tea has an autumn or winter comparison-flavor comparison.

Sources: Livestrong and Tea Genius

**Throughout May, “Strange Brew” will feature tea-based recipes — all of which can be found here.

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