Saturday, January 28, 2012

Hold the Butter, Please! Healthier Lemon Blueberry Bread

I'm sure you've all heard about Paula Deen's announcement that she has Type 2 diabetes. She been getting a lot of flack for it. If you read my blog, you know how healthy I like to eat. I do like to healthy most of the time. The opperative word there being most. There are those times, like a special occasion or the one day of the week that I want to indulge, where I want to eat "bad." Life is about balancing the good and the bad. You can't be good all the time. What fun is that? I want to enjoy life and eat delicious food. This is where Paula Deen comes in. She is the queen of butter and indulgent food. There is a place for her in the food world, just as there is a place for chocolate cake in my world.

However, what I don't agree with is her promoting a diabetes drug. Americans need to improve their eating habits, not take more drugs. Do I think Paula Deen should update her show and cook healthier foods? Maybe. Like I said above, people can eat unhealthy foods once in a while. Most people are smart enough (at least I hope they are) to know that you can't eat typical Paula recipes all the time. But it would be nice if she could give some of her recipes healthy makeovers and set a good example for people. She has a great opportunity here to show people that healthy food can be delicious too.

While pondering Paula's delima last week, I came to realize that I've had the same package of butter in the fridge since before the new year. I've only used 2 Tbsp. of butter in the past few weeks. Go me! Since the new year I have made a great effort to cook even healthier. I have a weakness for baking, and most baking involves butter. However, most of the baking I've been doing lately has required oil. Either olive oil or canola oil. Both of these oils are a whole lot better for you than butter. In fact, these oils are beneficial to your health, containing omega-3's. I feel so virtuous that I haven't had much butter the past few weeks. We'll see how long that lasts! I'll just bask in my virtuousness for the time being.....

There is a lot of debate out there whether canola oil is good for you or not. In fact, there has been  a lot of badmouthing about it. I had a customer come into the store and tell me all of these horrible things about canola oil. So I did some research, being the skeptic that I am, and found out that it was either false or widely exagerated. The myths of canola oil have almost become urban legend. Here is an article on Snopes that explains these false claims. The part highlighed in blue is the false and exagerated claims, the truth can be found below. The Mayo Clinic also supports eating canola oil. I do highly recommend using organic canola oil because it is non-GMO.

The store had fresh blueberries on sale the past week and I couldn't resist picking up a package. I also had a couple of lemons leftover from another recipe, so I thought it would be a good time to try a recipe for Lemon Blueberry Bread. I had to give it a healthy makeover though. I replaced the butter with canola oil and reduced the sugar and salt. It came out just as moist and delicious and I doubt that my hubby's coworkers (who got to eat the majority of the bread) could tell the difference. You could also replace half the flour with whole wheat flour to made this loaf even healthier.

Healthier Lemon Blueberry Bread
(This is not a low-FODMAP recipe)
adapted from

1/3 cup canola oil
2/3 cup white sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons grated lemon zest
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease an 8x4 inch loaf pan.               
  2. In a mixing bowl, beat together canola oil, sugar, lemon juice and eggs. Combine flour, baking powder and salt; stir into egg mixture alternately with milk. Fold in lemon zest and blueberries. Pour batter into prepared pan.               
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 60 to 70 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of the loaf comes out clean. Cool bread in pan for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, combine 1 Tbsp. lemon juice and 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar in a small bowl. Remove bread from pan and drizzle with glaze. Cool on a wire rack.              


  1. Is it possible to use blackberries instead?

    1. Of course! Go right ahead. Sounds delicious!

  2. I made this today using fresh blueberries. It is VERY good. Nice and moist and lemony. I added a splash of vanilla for a little more flavor and to cut the lemon just a little. I also sprinkled the top with coarse sugar crystals before baking, and then glazed it after it was baked as the directions said. I liked the little sweet crust the sugar gave it. Great recipe---will definitely make again! Thanks!

  3. can you use whole wheat flour or will that ruin the flavor?

    1. You can replace some of the flour with whole wheat, but I would recommend replacing no more than half to retain the flavor and texture.