Monday, October 22, 2007

Lollappleooza Postgame: Chai-Spiced Apple Oatmeal Bread and the Quest for Cardamom

Ladies and gentlemen, please unbuckle your safety harnesses and exit to the right: we have officially, finally come to the end of our apple-y journey. Thank god, too, because I am appled OUT. It took about two weeks, but The Boyfriend and I chomped, spread, and spooned our way through (almost) each and every one of those 69 delicious suckers. Here’s how:
I made the final recipe, Chai-Spiced Apple Oatmeal Bread, this weekend after being tempted by a sweet little blog called Everybody Likes Sandwiches. The loaf came out pretty well. Crumbly and delectably-scented, it’ll make a spiffy breakfast bread for the office. ELS has a bit more, and the CHG nutritional/price breakdown is attached below, but I wanted to take the rest of this entry to discuss something far more pressing: cardamom.

I live in Brooklyn, in an area where grocery stores and bodegas (small, largely Hispanic-owned delis) dot the landscape like dandelions. 20 of them are within walking distance of my apartment. Two stock cardamom. One of them, for $10.49 per bottle. The other, for $0.50.

And this, friends and neighbors, is why everyone should shop in ethnic markets.

Ideally, obtaining the warm-flavored spice shouldn’t have been that much of a pain in the tuchus. It’s pretty prominent in Indian, Mid-Eastern, and Asian cooking, and my neighborhood is one of the most diverse on Earth. One would think the streets would be lined with it. Nope. It took a special trip to the Turkish grocers to procure a baggie of the damned stuff.

On the upside, besides the 2000% savings, that store has a new #1 fan – and not the stalky, weird kind, either. The good kind. The kind that will use the Turkish folks' spices exclusively from now on. On the downside, it's kind of a haul. And I get lost very, very easily. (Very easily.) But, no matter. A $10 savings is totally worth it.

Anyway - yeah, eat the bread. But more than that, support your local ethnic market. Everybody wins. (But mostly you.)

Chai-Spiced Apple Oatmeal Bread
12 slices
Adapted from Everybody Likes Sandwiches.

1 cup oats (Quaker Old-fashioned good, but not instant)
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/3 cup canola oil
1/3 cup skim milk
1/3 cup honey
1 egg
4 small Cortland or 2 Jonamac apples, diced (or any tart apple)

1) Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a standard-sized loaf pan. Cooking spray works, too.

2) In a medium mixing bowl, combine oats, flour, baking soda, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg.

3) In a large bowl, mix milk, honey, oil, and egg. Pour dry ingredients into the wet ones, and stir until everything is just combined. Gently stir in the diced apples.

4) Pour batter into prepped loaf pan. Bake for about 45 or 50 minutes. Top should be pleasantly brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of the bread should come out clean. Cool on a wire rack.

Approximate Calories, Fat, and Price Per Serving
189 calories, 7.6 g fat, $0.28

1 cup oats (not instant): 607 calories, 10.8 g fat, $0.27
1 cup flour: 455 calories, 1.2 g fat, $0.06
1 teaspoon baking soda: negligible fat and calories, $0.02
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom: negligible fat and calories, $0.08
1 teaspoon cinnamon: negligible fat and calories, $0.08
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves: negligible fat and calories, $0.02
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg: negligible fat and calories, $0.02
1/3 cup canola oil: 636 calories, 74.2 g fat, $0.20
1/3 cup skim milk: 30 calories, 0.2 g fat, $0.10
1/3 cup honey: 343 calories, 0 g fat, $1.11
1 egg: 74 calories, 5 g fat, $0.26
4 small Cortland or 2 Jonamac apples: 123 calories, 0.3 g fat, $1.16
TOTAL: 2268 calories, 91.7 g fat, $3.38
PER SERVING: (TOTAL/12): 189 calories, 7.6 g fat, $0.28

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kickpleat said...

i can't believe your cardamom search, but glad you were able to find it at a great price. ethnic markets are the best! glad you liked the recipe too :)

Kris said...

Thanks, Kickpleat! So happy you checked in!

Anonymous said...

A cup of dry oatmeal has about 300 calories.

Nicole said...

I've been wanting to make this recipe since I saw it long long ago but have had a helluva time finding reasonably priced cardamom. I used 1 larrrrge apple, and subbed applesauce for the oil- baked in muffin form for about 15 min on 350. Deeeeelicious and only 115 calories per muffin.