Rooibos, Fig and Prune Tea-Brack
A true classic with a bone-health supportive twist!
My wonderful mother-in-law Margaret is known for her delicious baking particularly the annual Christmas Pudding and her fabulous Tea-Brack, guaranteed to delight any afternoon tea gathering. Lots of dried fruits and peel soaked in strong black tea mixed into a batter with flour and egg, really is such a simple way to bake a satisfying loaf full of fibre and flavour.
For my wonderful clients who also present with low-bone density or osteoporosis, I'm always thinking of easy recipes to offer that are rich in minerals to help support their bones. Dried fruits are not only rich source of fibre to help feed our gut bacteria and support our immune system, they are also a good source of minerals such as calcium, magnesium and boron. Particularly figs and prunes. 100g of dried figs (considered almost a portion) provides 13% of calcium and 6% of magnesium required daily. Prunes are also a wonderful source of Boron another important mineral for the normal healthy functioning of the skeletal system. Dried fruits further provide a great source of vitamin C, known to support the production of collagen. Collagen forms the matrix of the bone- a bit like scaffolding, to hold the mineral deposits securely for strength and also with slight flexibility.
This recipe is adapted from Margaret's well loved Tea-Brack, made with rooibos tea, a delicious un-caffeinated tea rich in antioxidants. It has a subtle sweet flavour and works really well with figs, prunes and warming cinnamon to make a delicious wholesome loaf, perfect as a buttered slice with breakfast or simply to enjoy with a pot of afternoon tea.
*This recipe requires a little time planning just to leave the dried fruit soak in the strong tea overnight or for at least 8hours.
110g of dried figs
110g of prunes
110g of raisins
300ml of strong Rooibos tea
275g of wholewheat flour
3 level tsp of baking powder
2 heaped tsp of cinnamon
pinch of salt
Pre-heat the oven to 160C. Line a 1lb loaf tine with parchment paper or a ready made parchment case.
First make up a pot of Rooibos tea- I use 2-3 teabags for 300ml, steeped for at least 30mins. Weigh out the dried fruit and combine with the cinnamon. Pour over the strong tea and leave to soak overnight. If you need to save time you can always soak the fruit in hot tea for an hour or so.
When the fruit is soaked, give it a good mix. Crack in the egg and combine thoroughly. In a separate bowl mix the flour with the baking powder, then add to the fruit-tea/egg mixture and stir till it forms a batter. Have your lined loaf tin ready to pour in the batter. Bake in the oven for about 60 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. If you find the top becoming a little dark, simply cover it with some tin foil or parchment paper.
Leave to cool a little in the tin before turning out and cool completely before slicing.
My favourite way these days is an early morning slice in the greenhouse with my coffee. Enjoy!