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Prune and oat soda bread {with Nature's Finest)

23 May 2018

Over the past couple of months, I've been lucky enough to be working with Nature's Finest, developing a series of quick, easy and healthy recipes celebrating fruit at its very best.

I've written here many times about the practise of using ingredients at the right time - why would you buy rock hard peaches in January, or tasteless, giant blackberries in May? This is an attitude which Nature's Finest share in abundance; the fruit that goes into their pots in picked and packed at the peak of its ripeness, and is simply stored in its natural juices (no added sugar or nasties here).

Nature's Finest pots are perfect for snacking on the go, sharing at home, or using in your cooking and baking. Working with the team to develop recipes that are healthy, approachable and quick to make has been such a fun process. Here's a sneak peek - a deliciously easy soda bread, packed with sweet, sticky prunes and oats to keep hungry tummies full.

Soda bread makes the perfect grab and go breakfast, as it doesn't require the rising time of yeasted breads and can be thrown together in the evening in preparation for the next day.

You can find the full selection of recipes - using mango, peach, grapefruit, mandarin and tropical fruits - on the Nature's Finest page here. Recipes and food styling by me, for Nature's Finest.

100g plain flour
125 wholemeal flour
40g oats
1/2 tsp fine salt
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
25g butter
150g buttermilk or plain yoghurt
1 tbsp maple syrup
125g Nature's Finest prunes, drained dried and roughly chopped

Heat the oven to 190°C / 170°C fan. Line a baking tray with parchment, and sprinkle with a little flour. 

Place the plain flour, wholemeal flour, 30g of the oats, salt and bicarbonate of soda in a large bowl. Whisk to mix. 

Add the butter. Using your fingertips, rub the butter into the flour mixture. The butter should be well distributed, and the mixture look like breadcrumbs. 

Add the buttermilk and maple syrup, then mix to combine as quickly as you can. Once you have a soft dough, add the prunes and quickly mix through. 

Shape the bread into a round loaf, and place on the lined tray. Dip the handle of a wooden spoon in flour, then press firmly into the surface of the bread both ways, to form a cross. Sprinkle with the remaining 10g oats. 

Bake in the oven for 25-35 minutes. The bread is done when the surface is firm, and the loaf can be easily peeled away from the paper. Cool on a rack, then serve as soon as you can.
This post was written in affiliation with Nature's Finest, but all views are - as always - entirely my own.

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