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Oatmeal Honey Date Loaf

Current and former members of Virtual Potluck are coming together today to celebrate the publication of a book by our founder, Donna Currie of Cookistry. We are collectively hosting a giveaway worth almost $1,900! See below for details about how to enter.

Make Ahead Bread by Donna Currie
Donna’s book, Make Ahead Bread: 100 Recipes for Melt-in-Your-Mouth Fresh Bread Every Day rekindled my love of baking. Once upon a time BD (before diabetes), I kept sourdough starter in the refrigerator and baked a fresh loaf of bread once a week. Sadly, bread is one of those foods I eat much less of these days. Trying recipes from Make Ahead Bread reminded me how much fun it is to play with yeast.

I made the Crisp Sesame Breadsticks which brought back memories of the packaged snack I once ate by the boxful, except Donna’s version is much better. I also baked the Nutella Swirls for visiting relatives Thanksgiving morning for breakfast. They were a hit! The CompostMaster, who loves dates and is so bread-deprived these days, adored the Oatmeal Honey Date Loaf (recipe below) especially when we topped it with homemade Pumpkin Apple Butter.

Each recipe in Make Ahead Bread is divided into two sections – prep day tasks and baking day tasks. Essentially, you mix up the ingredients one day, let the dough rise, punch it down and shape it, then place it in the refrigerator. Whenever you’re ready to finish the recipe, you take the dough out of the refrigerator and bake it. What could be easier?

I’d recommend this book even if Donna wasn’t my friend. It would make a fabulous holiday gift for the baker in your life.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of Make Ahead Bread from Taunton Press and free products from WÜSTHOF, SilverStone and Microplane plus others to give away (complete list below). All opinions are my own.
Oatmeal Honey Date Loaf

Oatmeal Honey Date Loaf

Reprinted with permission from Make Ahead Bread by Donna Currie

While this makes a great breakfast bread, it’s also perfect for sandwiches. The sweet dates accent the savory flavor without overwhelming it.

You can use either quick-cooking oats or old-fashioned rolled oats for this loaf. The quick-cooking oats will dissolve more into the bread while the old-fashioned oats will be visible and add little bits of a pleasant chew.

A little bit of rye flour adds to the savory flavor of the bread. If you don’t have white rye flour, you can use a light rye.


1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup (2-1/2 ounces) white rye flour
2-1/2 cups (11-1/4 ounces) bread flour, plus more as needed
2 tablespoons honey
1-1/4 cups room temperature water
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
2-1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/2 cup chopped dates
nonstick baking spray


  1. Combine all of the ingredients and knead by hand (mix first in a large bowl, then turn out and knead) or in a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, until the dough is elastic. It will be lumpy, of course, but the dough itself should be stretchy.
  2. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise until it has doubled in size, about 1 hour in a warm room.
  3. Meanwhile, spray a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan with baking spray.
  4. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and pat it into a rough 8-inch square. Fold the top half to about the middle of the dough and press the edge down to secure it. Fold the top over again, this time to within about an inch or so of the bottom. Press the edge to seal. Now pull the bottom of the dough up to meet the dough roll you’ve created and seal the seam. Pinch the ends closed and place the dough, seam side down, in the prepared loaf pan.
  5. Cover the pan with plastic wrap or place the whole pan in a large plastic bag and tie the open end shut. Refrigerate overnight or up to 24 hours before baking. The dough should be fully risen after about 6 hours, but a long rest is good for it.


  1. Take the pan out of the refrigerator and heat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Remove the plastic and bake the bread until it is richly browned and the internal temperature reaches 195°F on an instant-read thermometer, about 55 minutes. Remove the bread from the pan and cool completely on a rack before slicing.

Makes 16 servings
Per serving: 138 calories, 2g fat (0g sat), 0mg cholesterol, 72mg sodium, 26g carb, 2g fiber, 6g sugar, 4g protein

A couple of notes:

  • I used 3/4 cup rolled oats and 1/4 cup quick oats because I didn’t have a full cup of rolled oats.
  • I substituted white whole wheat flour for the white rye because I’m not a huge fan of rye.

Today, current and former members of Virtual Potluck are featuring recipes from Make Ahead Bread: 100 Recipes for Melt-in-Your-Mouth Fresh Bread Every Day by Donna Currie and we are hosting a huge giveaway.

Check out some of the other tasty recipes and reviews:


Grand Prize Second prize
Third prize Fourth prize

Please wait a few seconds for the Rafflecopter widget to load, then you’ll be able to enter the giveaway. The contest will run through Sunday, December 21, 2014. The winners will be chosen at random. You must be at least 18 years of age with a U.S. mailing address to win. No purchase is necessary; void where prohibited. The winners will be notified by email and must respond within 24 hours or other winners may be selected.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Donna’s Book, Make Ahead Bread, is available for sale on Amazon. If you’d like an autographed copy, you can order one from Barbed Wire Books.

You can find Donna on her blog, Cookistry, or on Facebook and Twitter.

For the giveaway, we’d like to thank our sponsors who generously offered some fantastic prizes:

In addition to supplying items for the giveaway, a special thanks to Taunton Press, SilverStone, Microplane and WÜSTHOF for supplying products for all the bloggers to work with.

Do you want to know more about the sponsors? You can find them on their websites and social media, here:

Taunton on Twitter and Facebook.
Magimix on Twitter and Facebook.
WÜSTHOF on Twitter and Facebook.
SilverStone would like you to follow Pots and Pans on Twitter and Facebook.
Duralex on Twitter and Facebook.
GIR on Twitter and Facebook.
Harold Import Company on Twitter and Facebook.
Microplane on Twitter and Facebook.
King Arthur Flour on Twitter and Facebook.
Walker’s Shortbread on Facebook.

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Sweet Potato, Brussels Sprouts and Apple Hash

Sweet Potato, Brussels Sprouts and Apple Hash

Need a great fall breakfast that is grain-free? How about a hash with earthy sweet potatoes and brussels sprouts, sweet apples and tart cranberries?

I started with Running to the Kitchen’s Brussels Sprouts, Pumpkin & Apple Hash recipe and made a few changes based on ingredients I had on hand:

  • I substituted turkey bacon for the bacon.
  • I swapped 2 cups of chopped sweet potatoes for the pumpkin or butternut squash.
  • I combined one sweet and one tart apple.
  • I cut back the amount of dried cranberries to 1/4 cup.
  • I used regular seasoned rice vinegar instead of the balsamic blend.
  • I added a poached egg to the top of each serving.

As comforting as this hash was for breakfast, it would also make a tasty Thanksgiving side dish.

Make it vegan or vegetarian: Omit the bacon/turkey bacon.

Makes 4 servings
Per serving (DF version): 348 calories, 14g fat (3g sat), 219mg cholesterol, 244mg sodium, 47g carb, 10g fiber, 23g sugar, 13g protein

Nutritional Analysis: If you’d like to reduce the carbs in this dish, cut back on the amount of sweet potatoes, apples and/or cranberries. You could also use unsweetened dried cranberries, but they will be very tart!

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Spicy Black and White Bean Brownies

Spicy Black and White Bean Brownies

The CompostMaster and I attended Burning Man in 2005. If you aren’t familiar with the festival, it takes place in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert. You camp for a week and you can’t purchase anything while you’re there. We bunked in with the Department of Tethered Aviation (e.g. kitefliers) and our job was to feed their 40 members.

One night, we decided to serve adult s’mores. Our friends Snapper and Rolando came to visit while I was making the chocolate sauce, basically a combination of cheap chocolate bars and red wine. Rolando, whose real life job is to design floats for Mardi Gras in New Orleans, suggested I add some black pepper. “Pepper and chocolate, really?” I asked. He said it was the best way to make cheap chocolate taste more decadent. Boy, was he right! The sauce improved by an order of magnitude after I added the pepper.

I don’t cook with chocolate very often these days, but when Bob’s Red Mill sent me some of their heirloom Orca beans and asked me to create a recipe, the first thing that came to mind was bean brownies. Then I remembered Rolando’s trick and I decided to throw in some chipotle chili powder. Well, I added a little too much in the first batch (1 teaspoon) – those babies were really spicy – so I cut the amount in half and it was perfect.

If you don’t think you like black beans, but want to incorporate more beans into your diet, give these dappled black and white Orca beans a try. They seem less earthy and less “beany” to me. I cooked a pound of the beans in a slow cooker and then had them available for stews and salads all week. They were especially good in my Black Bean Chicken Chili (I left out the bulgur) and Black Bean and Brown Rice Casserole.


Orca beans
I’m giving away a bag of Orca beans and a $30 gift card for Bob’s Red Mill products. To enter, leave a comment and tell me your favorite thing to do with black beans. The contest will run through Wednesday, November 19, 2014. The winner will be chosen at random. You must be at least 18 years of age with a U.S. mailing address to win. No purchase is necessary; void where prohibited. The winner will be notified by email and must respond within 24 hours or another winner may be selected. (Please make sure email from info@diabeticfoodie.com doesn’t end up in your spam folder.)

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post written by Diabetic Foodie on behalf of Bob’s Red Mill. All opinions are my own.

Spicy Black and White Bean Brownies

non-stick cooking spray
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips, divided
3/4 cup cooked Bob’s Red Mill Orca (calypso) beans or black beans
1/2 cup olive oil
2 eggs
1/4 cup unsweetened dark chocolate cocoa powder
2/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 8- x 8-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.

Place half of the chocolate chips in a small bowl and microwave for 30 seconds, stir. Repeat, if necessary, until chips are melted.

Using a food processor, blend the beans and oil together. Add the eggs, cocoa powder, sugar, vanilla and melted chocolate chips. Blend until the mixture is smooth.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, chili powder, cinnamon, baking powder and salt. Pour chocolate mixture from food processor into bowl and stir with a wooden spoon until well combined. Stir in remaining chocolate chips.

Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until brownies start to pull away from the sides of the pan and are still shiny in the middle. Cool in pan, then cut into 16 squares.

Makes 16 servings
Per serving: 129 calories, 10g fat (3g sat), 26mg cholesterol, 180mg sodium, 9g carb, 2g fiber, 3g sugar, 3g protein

Today, members of Virtual Potluck are featuring recipes using Orca beans from Bob’s Red Mill. We’ll EACH be giving away a bag of beans PLUS a $30 gift card for Bob’s Red Mill products.

Check out some of the other tasty recipes:

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