Kiss fat and calories goodbye with this whole grain quick bread.

By: Jodie Shield, MED, RDN

St.  Patrick’s Day without soda bread – blarney! You don’t have to be Irish to enjoy my easy and tasty recipe. I gave the Chicago Tribune’s Irish Soda Bread a healthy makeover. The key ingredients: white whole-wheat flour to add fiber and fat-free buttermilk to cut calories, add tenderness, and lighten up the batter. No buttermilk in the fridge? No problem. You can make your own in a matter of minutes. Simply add a tablespoon of lemon juice to fat-free milk and let it sit at room temperature for ten minutes.  When it’s ready, the milk will slightly thicken, and you’ll see small, curdled bits. Try your luck and make some of my other whole grain quick breads like Applesauce Bread, Banana Bread, and Blueberry Muffins. You can find all of these recipes and many more on my FREE app Eat Healthy Homemade Meals in Minutes which you can download from iTunes or Google Play.

Go Irish Soda Bread

10 Servings

Prep Time = 20 minutes

Cooking Time = 35 minutes


  • 2 ½ cups white whole-wheat flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into half-inch pieces
  • ½ cup dried currants
  • 1 cup fat-free buttermilk


  1. Heat oven to 400°F. Dust bottom of 8-inch round cake pan with flour.
  2. Sift flour, sugar, baking powder, and baking soda into large bowl. Add butter; stir to coat with flour mixture. Use pastry blender or two knives to cut butter into flour mixture until it is crumbly with some pea-size pieces of butter. Stir in currants.
  3. Add buttermilk to make moist, soft dough. Knead in bowl a few times to be sure all bits are off bottom and dough comes together (dough will not be smooth). Shape into ball; transfer to prepared pan.
  4. Bake until top is deep golden brown and bread sounds hollow when tapped on bottom, about 35 minutes. Remove from pan; cool on wire rack for 5-10 minutes before serving.

Nutritional Information per Slice: 180 calories, 5 grams protein, 30 grams carbohydrate, 4 grams fat, 2 grams saturated fat, 10 milligrams cholesterol, 4 grams fiber, 223 milligrams sodium


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About Author


Jodie Shield, M.Ed., R.D., L.D.N. Jodie Shield has been a consultant and spokesperson in the field of nutrition for over two decades. A former national media spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association (1989-1995), she has worked extensively with the Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Medical Center and taught nutrition and medical dietetics at the University of Illinois. Currently she is a complemental faculty member of the College of Health Sciences in the Department of Clinical Nutrition at Rush University in Chicago.

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