Every time I make bread pudding, I chastise myself for not making it more often! Maybe it’s because I don’t always have extra bread around, or perhaps it’s because I’m never quite sure if bread pudding is supposed to be for breakfast or dessert. The last time I made this fall-flavored Apple Cardamom Bread Pudding, I realized something: I don’t have to have a plan for it! It’s delicious hot out of the oven for breakfast, and the leftovers can be served for dessert later in the day.
This hearty dish is perfect for cold fall and winter days. When the days start to get shorter and the air crisps up a bit, I find myself craving sweet, rich food. That doesn’t always work out too well for my waistline, though. Luckily, with recipes like this Apple Cardamom Bread Pudding, I can have my cake and eat it, too! You see, most bread pudding recipes are loaded up with excess sugars. It takes a lot of sugar to sweeten something as savory as whole-wheat bread. But, we found a brilliant workaround. Want to know how we did it?
The Power of Apples, Cinnamon, and Cardamom
You might be surprised to learn that cinnamon and cardamom aren’t exactly sweet on their own. They sort-of trick our taste buds into thinking they’re a sweet spice. That’s because baking recipes almost always pair them with sugar. If you were to taste a pinch of them on their own, you’d find that they’re super pungent, slightly spicy, and a touch earthy.
But, when you combine them with something sweet, these spices really bloom. They actually help fill out our palates, allowing us to really taste any sweetness in the dish. Using these spices is part-one of our super-secret hack to make this Apple Cardamom Bread Pudding recipe more healthy. Part two: applesauce!
Instead of using a ton of processed sugar, we swapped in applesauce instead. It gives the bread pudding extra body while allowing the naturally sweet apples to shine. If you have an Instant Pot, this is the perfect opportunity to try out our homemade applesauce recipe! Then, we toss in a handful of peeled chunks of apples to really amp up that naturally fruity flavor.
Let’s Chat Bread
Bread pudding might not be popular at your house because you may not eat a lot of bread. We don’t at my house, either! I actually had to start stocking my freezer with a few loaves of bread so I could make this warming, fall-friendly dish for weekend brunch. You can certainly swap-in your favorite gluten-free bread if you’re not a grain eater. But, for those of you who can eat gluten, we have a favorite whole-wheat bread that we’d love for you to try.
If you’ve never had Dave’s Killer Bread Organic 21 Whole Grains and Seeds, you’re in for a treat! This delicious bread is full of heart-healthy whole grains and seeds. In addition to being fully vegan, it’s also certified USDA Organic and verified by the Non-GMO project. The ingredients list is packed full of foods you can actually read (no funky chemicals on this list!). And, as if that wasn’t enough, each slice has 5 grams of fiber, 5 grams of protein, 250 milligrams of omega-3 fatty acids, and 22 grams of whole grains.
And there you have it: A healthy version of Apple Cardamom Bread Pudding that tastes great and satisfies your sweet tooth without wreaking havoc on your waistline. Talk about the perfect way to celebrate the arrival of autumn and winter!
Yield: 6 Servings | Serving Size: About 1 cup | Calories: 256 | Total FatL 16 g | Saturated Fat: 12 g | Trans Fat: 0 g | Carbohydrates: 23 g | Fiber: 3 g | Sugar: 7 g | Protein: 8 g | Cholesterol: 93 mg | Sodium: 190 mg | SmartPoints (Freestyle): 9
- 6 slices whole-wheat bread (we like Dave's Killer Bread)
- 1 1/2 cups reduced-fat coconut milk (or, milk of your choice)
- 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 cup peeled, cored, and chopped apples
- Preheat the oven to 325° F. Grease an 8x8 baking dish with nonstick spray and set aside.
- Cut your bread into 1-inch cubes and place them in the prepared baking dish.
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the coconut milk, eggs, applesauce, cardamom, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Beat the mixture with a whisk until everything is well combined.
- Fold the apples into the mixture before pouring the contents over the bread cubes. Press the cubes down into the mixture to make sure each one soaks up the liquid.
- Bake for 45 minutes, until the pudding is set and no longer jiggles when you shake the pan. You can also insert a knife into the middle of the pudding to make sure it comes out clean.
- Allow the pan to cool on a baking rack for at least 15 minutes before slicing.
- This pudding can be served hot or cold. Store it in the refrigerator (covered) for up to two days.
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