I think everyone has things in life that will forever remind them of their grandparents. Maybe it’s a smell, a song or a picture. For me, the taste of walnuts will always flood me with memories of my Grandma Lee.
Without fail my grandmother always had a big bowl of walnuts in her living room. They were in the shells and you had to crack them with her nut crackers to eat them. I remember spending hours sitting on her big comfy couches cracking away to get to the nuts. It began my love affair with walnuts.
My grandmother was a very special lady. She is the matriarch, the ultimate independent woman and spurred a line of “don’t-mess-with-me” females. She is to thank for all the sassiness flowing through my veins.
The women in my family all contain bits and pieces of her that are expressed in different ways. She was such a powerful force that she already has two great-grandchildren named after her. Not a day goes by that I am not reminded of her, either through some characteristic of hers that I’ve inherited or the walnut cracker and bowl that sits out on my coffee table.
The other day I was brainstorming recipe ideas when my eye caught the nut cracker (which btw still has leftover shells in it from when she was alive…I’m sentimental!) and I knew immediately I needed a recipe using walnuts. Then I remembered how she always had cranberry juice in her home and it was the only juice I would ever drink!
I guess lately I’ve been feeling particularly nostalgic for the time I had with my grandmother. I have a lot of things on my plate right now that I know she would handle with ease if she were in my position. In many ways I am trying to channel some of her strength and wit to manage the craziness that is my life at the moment.
This recipe may be lighter on the gluten and dairy than she would have liked but I think my grandma would be proud of it nonetheless. This loaf’s for you Grandma Lee!Print
Gluten-Free Cranberry Walnut Loaf
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 50 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour
- Yield: 12 slices 1x
- 2 cups gluten-free all-purpose flour (I used the blend from my Healthy Breakfast eCookbook)*
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup almond milk
- 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
- 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- 1 cup fresh cranberries
- optional: 1/4 cup of coconut palm sugar or brown sugar to offset tartness of cranberries, if desired**
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Grease an 8 x 4 inch loaf pan with coconut oil or nonstick spray of choice.
- In a bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
- In a separate bowl combine almond milk, coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla extract and eggs. Add in coconut palm sugar if using.
- Add wet mix to dry and stir to combine.
- Stir in walnuts and cranberries. Reserve a few walnuts for sprinkling on top.
- Bake for 50 minutes or until top is browned and springs back when lightly poked.
- Let cool in pan for 20 minutes.
- Using a butter knife, cut around the edges of the pan to loosen the loaf.
- Turn over and remove loaf from pan to cool completely on a wire rack.
- Will keep for up to 3 days, sealed.
*Can substitute whole wheat flour.
**I like the tartness of fresh cranberries but if you want to offset the flavour slightly feel free to add in an additional 1/4 cup of coconut palm sugar or brown sugar.
What reminds you of your grandparents? Did they have a big influence in or on your life?
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PatriciaJanuary 17, 2015 at 8:51 am
Question! when it says 1/4cup coconut oil, melted….does that mean you measure out 1/4 cup and THEN melt? I always get confused when it says something like that.
[email protected]October 29, 2014 at 9:09 pm
At long last, we come to the delicious, wonderful, aromatic, and apparently nostalgic loaf of Cranberry Walnut Bread. Score! Your grandma sounds awesome, although maybe you should do something with those leftovers walnut shells because hygiene. Plus, how am I supposed to use grandma’s nut cracker with her nuts still in it. Awkward.
All my grandmothers passed a while back, although I have very fond memories, and I even have my grandmother’s potato masher and cheese grater. I use them all the time. It’s no wonder I love spuds and cheese. 🙂
Davida KugelmassOctober 29, 2014 at 9:47 pm
I’m taking you to all-you-can-eat poutine! Get ready…
athletic avocadoOctober 29, 2014 at 7:08 am
this looks delicious! im a huge fan of cranberries so this is perfect!
Jen @ Chase the Red GrapeOctober 28, 2014 at 7:02 am
Orange juice always reminds me of my grandad – when I slept over at their house, I used to sneak into my grandads bedroom and pinch the glass of OJ beside his bed. He would then wake up a short time later and chase me around the house yelling ‘who stole my orange juice!’ And then giving me big hugs and tickles when he found me! 🙂
Thanks for asking the question, I haven’t thought about this in quite some time and it has brought a huge smile to my face today!
Gabby @ the veggie nookOctober 27, 2014 at 4:38 pm
I’ve been wanting to remake more family recipes lately, and this is great inspiration! Your grandma sounds like a very special lady with excellent taste in food 🙂
Davida KugelmassOctober 28, 2014 at 11:21 pm
Aw thank you, hun! She was a force to be reckoned with 😉
Alison @ Daily Moves and GroovesOctober 27, 2014 at 2:37 pm
Such a wonderful homage to Grandma Lee!! She sounds like one heck of a woman, just like you 🙂
Congee and dim sum and some church songs remind me of my grandparents. That’s probably easy to understand… 😉
GiselleR @ Diary of an ExSlothOctober 27, 2014 at 1:39 pm
I remember my grandmother every time I drink a cup of coffee (so every morning at least). She’s a huge coffee drinker but she’s also really forgetful, so she’s forever leaving half drunk cups of coffee all around the house. I remember sneaking a couple sips of coffee from one of those forgotten cups at like 10 or 11 and HATING it. Oh, how times have changes LOL
Davida KugelmassOctober 28, 2014 at 11:23 pm
This was an AMAZING story! I love your grandma. She sounds like a hoot!
[email protected]October 27, 2014 at 12:34 pm
I think I might email this recipe to my mother as a *hint, hint, nudge, nudge!* Haha. Ocean Spray is based on Cape Cod and we have a cranberry bog down the street from our house so needless to say, cranberries are big for us!
Davida KugelmassOctober 28, 2014 at 11:24 pm
Ummmmm that’s amazing! How did I not know this? Next time I’m in cape cod I need to go there! Cranberry obsessed 🙂
CassieOctober 27, 2014 at 12:19 pm
My grandparents are honestly probably the biggest influence on my life. Like I literally would be no where without them. I owe them absolutely everything and love them so freaking much. Plus they are insanely cool. Like when I told my grandmother I was going off my BC a couple years ago because I thought I was gaining weight from it (no I was gaining weight because I NEEDED to gain weight lol) and she said, “please be careful, I’m not ready to be a grandmother yet.” I had to remind her she was a grandmother… she just replied “I forget I’m not your mother sometimes!”. THE CUTEST.
Sarah PIeOctober 27, 2014 at 9:03 am
What a sweet way to remember your grandmother, I’m sure she would be proud of all you have accomplished, even if you feel things are hectic.
Side note, I’m totally jealous that you have fresh cranberries already! I’ve been prowling the stores here but they aren’t out yet.
DaniOctober 27, 2014 at 1:04 am
I LOVE your idea of using fresh cranberries! I was originally thinking of making a very similar quickbread this weekend, but was only considering using the dried cranberries I had on hand. I think I might wait until it’s time to purchase fresh ones and try out a very similar recipe! Thanks for the inspiration.