DEAR JEANNE: Every spring when rhubarb is in season, I make this rhubarb bread. I would like to reduce the fat and use only whole grains. Can you do that? Thank you. – Harriett R., Cleveland

11⁄2 cups brown sugar
2⁄3 cup oil
2 eggs
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon baking soda
21⁄2 cups flour
11⁄2 to 2 cups rhubarb, chopped
3⁄4 cup chopped nuts
1⁄2 cup brown sugar
1⁄4 cup butter
2 tablespoons flour
1⁄3 cup nuts

Beat together the brown sugar, oil and eggs. Add the salt, vanilla and cinnamon. Add the buttermilk and baking soda. Then add the flour, rhubarb and nuts. Sprinkle with the topping. Bake at 350 in two loaf pans for 1 hour.
Makes 24 servings.

DEAR HARRIETT: This recipe turned out really well. It will be hard for your family to tell the difference, and it is so much healthier. If you omit the nuts, you will save 2 more grams of fat and almost 20 calories per serving.


11⁄2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
11⁄4 cups oatmeal, ground in a blender
1 teaspoon baking soda
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 egg
1 egg white
1 cup low-fat buttermilk
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups finely chopped rhubarb
1⁄4 cup chopped nuts, toasted
2 teaspoons butter
1⁄4 cup chopped nuts, toasted
1 tablespoon whole-wheat flour
1⁄3 cup brown sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 350. Spray two loaf pans with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.

2. Sift together the flour, oatmeal, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a bowl. Set aside.

3. In another bowl, beat the egg and egg white, buttermilk, oil, brown sugar and vanilla. Stir in the dry ingredients, all at once, just until moistened. Stir in rhubarb and nuts. Spoon batter into the prepared pans.

4. To make topping, mix together the butter, nuts, flour and brown sugar. Spread evenly over the top of both loaves. Bake for about 50 minutes. Bread is done when a sharp knife inserted into the center comes out clean.

Makes 24 servings. Each serving contains approximately: Original recipe: 219 calories; 12 g fat; 23 mg cholesterol; 183 mg sodium; 25 g carbohydrates; 3 g protein; 1 g fiber. Revised recipe: 116 calories; 4 g fat; 10 mg cholesterol; 120 mg sodium; 18 g carbohydrates; 3 g protein; 2 g fiber.

Jeanne Jones is the author of 33 cookbooks, most recently “Cooking From the Cupboard” (Rodale Press). For more information, you can go to Send your recipe for revision to: Cook It Light, P.O. Box 1212, La Jolla, CA 92038. Please include a stamped (61 cents), self-addressed envelope.

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