When it's time to pick lemons in Arizona, it's time to make lemon blueberry bread. There's nothing like fresh lemon juice and lemon zest for lemon blueberry bread. And, there is nothing like the taste of fresh lemons right off the tree.
In Arizona, lemons ripen in the trees and need to be picked in January. However, this year, our warmer than usual winter presented an early harvest. In other words, I have hundreds of beautiful lemons.
We share our lemons with our neighbor boys and family, and I juice and zest as many as I can to use when lemons are $1.00 apiece at the grocery store.
Since lemon brings out the berries' flavor, I decided to add some beautiful organic blueberries I found at the market. Blueberry lemon bread, without a doubt, resembles desert rather than bread.
Like my Orange Cranberry Bread recipe, I made this blueberry lemon bread recipe oil-free and without refined sugar.
Let's make some luscious blueberry lemon bread.
How to juice and zest lemons
To juice the lemons for the freshest lemon juice, I used my Cuisinart Juicer. Although I only needed ½ cup of lemon juice for the blueberry lemon bread, I juiced additional lemons and zest to freeze to use later.
Tips for juicing in-season fruits to use in the off-season
Even though the juicer quickly juices the lemons, it helps strain the already juiced lemons. Once strained, the juice is free of any additional pulp or seeds that may slip through the juicer.
As you know, lemons, limes, and other citrus are expensive, especially in the off-season. Whether you have a lemon tree in your back year, in-season fruit is cheaper and fresher than off-season fruit.
Instead of wasting money, consider these ways of using in-season fruit and preserving it for later use.
- Juice lemons, oranges, and limes freeze in ice cube trays (2-3 Tablespoons each ice cube reservoir); then transfer into a zip lock bag for easy access to use drinks, sauces, or other recipes calling for citrus.
- Freeze lemon, orange, and lime slices or wedges for up to 3 months to add to summer drinks
- Freshly squeezed citrus juice lasts up to two weeks in the refrigerator.
- Make fresh lemonade
- Zest multiple lemons or other citrus and keep in the refrigerator in a mason jar for up to 2 weeks. Zest can also be frozen in a mason jar or freezer-safe container and scooped out as needed.
Ingredients in blueberry lemon bread
- All-purpose flour (or flour of choice): for a gluten-free option, choose chickpea flour, or almond flour for a gluten-free option. Or, choose whole wheat or buckwheat flour.
- Baking Powder: a mixture of sodium bicarbonate and cream of tartar, used instead of yeast in baking.
- Baking Soda: helps baked goods brown better. And that's because browning occurs better in alkaline batters - add some baking soda to a batter with baking powder, and it'll get to work neutralizing acids, turning them alkaline and encouraging browning
- Salt: enhances the flavor of the other ingredients. Its presence perks up the depth and complexity of other flavors as the ingredients meld. Salt also provides a balance to the sweetness of cake batters—but a salty flavor should not be discernible.
- Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice: The lemon juice works to super-activate the baking soda or baking powder and creates a little extra loftiness in your baking, and provides the lemon flavoring in the lemon blueberry bread.
- Unsweetened Apple Sauce: used as an egg replacer, unsweetened applesauce is the binder for the bread mixture.
- Lemon Zest: often called a lemon peel, is the small shavings from the brightly colored and intensely flavored outer skin of citrus fruit. Use it to add a tangy zip to the recipe.
- Oat Milk: Or any unsweetened, unflavored plant-based milk. I like oat milk because of its creamy texture.
- Blueberries: Fresh or frozen. If choosing frozen berries, do not thaw them before adding them to the bread recipe.
- Vanilla Extract: it enhances all the other flavors in the recipe, giving it more dimension and flavor.
- Maple Syrup (or coconut sugar): As a substitute for sugar, maple syrup provides an earthy sweetness to a recipe.
- Substitute Chickpea Flour, rice flour, almond flour, or buckwheat flour for all-purpose flour.
- Date syrup or agave is a great substitution for maple syrup in recipes.
- It is always best to use fresh lemon juice, but bottled lemon just can be used in a pinch.
- Choose any plant milk but make sure it's unsweetened plain plant milk.
- Frozen blueberries work well if fresh blueberries aren't available.
One of my favorite parts about this blueberry lemon bread recipe is it all happens in one bowl. Once the dry ingredients are stirred together, the ingredients go into the same bowl.
The blueberries, however, aren't folded in until the very end, so they maintain firmness and don't break apart.
Generally, any bread that does not contain eggs or dairy (most bagels, sandwich bread, loaves, rolls, buns, pitas, lavish, flatbreads, and crackers fits this definition
Blueberries are lovely, but not on their own unless you add some lemon. The acid complements the rather blandness of the blueberry." So that's it? This is what makes the lemon-blueberry combination so outstanding, refreshing, and addictive
Blueberries have a tartness that can sometimes be overwhelming by itself. Basil, Cinnamon. Ginger, Lavender, Thyme, Mint, and Rosemary are all fantastic giving the blueberry lemon combination depth and sweetness.
- Reserve some blueberries to add to the top of the batter once it's poured into the pan.
- Another tip is to use a silicone loaf pan or line the pan with parchment paper to avoid using any sprays or oils.
- When the bread is thoroughly cooked, check to make sure it's done by placing a knife into eh middle of the loaf pan.
- If it's done, the knife comes out clean. Pop it back into the oven if some batter appears on the blade.
- Additionally, allow the blueberry lemon bread to cool completely before removing the bread from the pan. As a result, the flavors in the bread enhance even more if you can wait until the next day to eat the bread.
If you can wait, cover the bread tightly and patiently wait for a delicious piece of blueberry lemon bread with a cup of your favorite tea or coffee.
So, the next time you're craving a sweet treat, give blueberry lemon bread a try. If you love this recipe, please give it a 5-star rating below.
More vegan dessert recipes
Lemon Blueberry Bread
Blueberry Lemon Bread
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ salt
- ½ cup fresh lemon juice
- 2 Tablespoons lemon zest
- ½ cup unsweetened apple sauce or 1 flax egg
- ½ cup oat unsweetened oat milk or any unsweetened plant-milk of choice
- ½ cup maple syrup or ¾ cups coconut sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups blueberries divided (reserve ½ cup for the top of the bread)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
- Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl.
- Stir dry ingredients together to ensure the baking powder and baking soda are mixed in.
- If using coconut sugar, stir into the dry ingredients.
- Add the apple sauce, lemon juice, lemon zest, vanilla extract, and oat milk. Also, add maple syrup if used instead of coconut sugar.
- Stir by hand; do not use an electric mixer.
- Do not over-stir; make sure all the ingredients and wet ingredients create a thick and slightly lumpy batter.
- Next, gently fold the blueberries into the batter.
- Using a silicone bread pan or a pan lined with parchment paper, pour bread batter into the pan, scraping down the bowl's sides to get all the batter.
- Then, place ½ cup blueberries into the top of the bread, randomly placing them. This is just for added flavor and for aesthetics.
- Cook for 50-55 minutes. If using a silicone pan, check the bread at 45 minutes since it cooks quickly.
- To check to make sure the bread is cooked through, place a knife through the middle. It should come out clean. If there is batter on the blade, cook for an additional 5 minutes.
- Choose fresh blueberries in season or frozen blueberries if fresh are not available.
- If using frozen berries, do not thaw the berries; use them in their frozen state
- Choose fresh lemon juice and zest over the bottled lemon juice.
- Apple sauce is a great egg replacer, but you can also use a flaxseed egg or any egg replacer.
- Use unsweetened plain plant milk.
- Make sure to fold the blueberries in and reserve some blueberries to place on top of the bread before baking.
- Using parchment paper lined in a bread pan or choosing a silicone bread pan allows for oil-free baking.
Hi! My name is Kathy, I am a retired high school English teacher & vegan enthusiast and blogger. My entire blog is fully plant-based vegan. I truly believe what we eat & how we live determines our health & the preservation of our planet! 🙂
This looks absolutely beautiful! I would also like to make these in a 12 count cupcake pan. How many minutes would I bake them for?
Hi Angela, you can bake them at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Check them with a toothpick in the center to make sure they are cooked through. If not add 5 more minutes.
Has anyone made this recipe as muffins?
Hi Diane, I have, and it works well. However, make sure you use muffin wrappers or a silicone pan, so they don't stick.
I will probably try this with a mix of AP and white whole wheat flour. It works well in a lot of bread recipes I have tried. I have a lot of blueberries (we have bushes) to use. Thanks for posting it.
I'm a little confused. I thought all-purpose flour is the same as wheat flour. What's the difference?
Hi June, all-purpose flour, also known as white flour, is usually made from a mix of hard and soft wheat to achieve the ideal protein content. The bran and germ are removed. I buy unbleached all-purpose flour.
On the other hand, whole-wheat flour is made up of the whole wheat kernel—endosperm, bran, and germ. Because of this, it has a higher protein content than all-purpose, as well as more fiber, nutrients, and flavor. Because the bran and germ get in the way of gluten formation, whole-wheat flour has a bad rap for making baked goods dense.
Either flour can be used or a combination of both for the lemon blueberry bread.
What a great explanation! I've never heard that, but so appreciate your detailed info, Thanks!!
Hi Barbara. You are very welcome. I hope you enjoy the recipe 🙂
I am excited about trying this recipe this weekend. Your photos are amazing! I would like to replace the maple syrup with agave. Do you have any thoughts/insights about that? Thanks.
Hi Donna, you can easily replace the maple syrup with gave. I haven't tried it, so let me know how it goes. I hope you enjoy the recipe.
I wish you could see and smell my loaf... it is amazing! This is my first time cooking a loaf, and I believe I may have done something wrong because, while it is perfect on the outside and tastes delicious (and smells even better), it is a little wet/moist on the inside. Maybe that is how it is supposed to be, but it does not look as dry as your photo. I'll try it again. Thanks for the GREAT recipe!
Donna, did you let it rest and set up? Or it may just need to bake a little longer. Did you test it with a knife to make sure it came out clean?
You are so kind to reply! I did both. I'm baking it longer by the slice in my toaster oven--- as I eat it, It's perfect. Thanks!
Donna, I'm so glad it worked out. And I'm glad you liked the lemon blueberry bread. I love toasting slices in the toaster oven too 🙂
Hi Kathy, the bread looks delicious!!! I can't wait to try it.
For the all-purpose white flour, Can I use oat or wheat flour instead?
Does it taste just as good?
Thank you for sharing your love of food.
Hi Donna, someone tried Bob Mill's 2-1 gluten-free four today and it turned out delicious. I would use oat flour before wheat flour. Sometimes wheat flour makes things a bit drier than oat flour. I hope you enjoy the recipe.
You show your bread in a glass pan without parchment paper and not Silicone pan. Is it really the recipe in that pan you have given us in about.
Hi Ruth, of course, it's the same recipe. I sprayed it with water because I ran out of parchment paper at the last minute. Mine actually stuck a little bit, so I wanted to remind you to use the parchment paper or a silicone pan, so yours doesn't stick like mine did.