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Date and Sunflower Seed Protein Bread

Date and Sunflower Seed Protein Bread

A protein-packed way to start the day – or a healthy snack. This hearty bread is chocked full of seeds and whole grains – with just a touch of molasses sweetness.

Date and Sunflower Seed Protein Bread | @TspCurry

Protein-packed breakfasts are trendy. They’re also a healthy. But if all you really want when you wake up is a couple slices of (carb-loaded) toast, slathered in butter, this bread is for you.

This hearty, nutty and slightly-sweet Date and Sunflower Seed Protein Bread is super satisfying. It has:

  • 10 grams of protein
  • 5 grams of fiber
  • Only 8 grams total sugar including natural sugar from dates
  • Whole grain rye flour which lends a nutty sweetness (without adding more sugar)
  • Heart-healthy sunflower seeds, which are a source of vitamin E
  • Flax seeds for crunch and nutrition

I began perfecting this Date and Sunflower Seed Protein Bread recipe as soon as I got back to my kitchen after a summer trip to Copenhagen. Down a rather hidden street near our hotel, my family and I discovered a tiny Danish bakery called Bagereni Nansensgade. The bakery was down a few steps, below street level and both counter attendants and customers spoke only Danish. (I did a lot of pointing and smiling!)

Date and Sunflower Seed Protein Bread | @TspCurry

It was heaven. There were only a few sweets. Mostly, the bakery displayed beautiful breads in simple woven baskets; there were deep honey-golden breads and dark, dark brown Danish rye breads. And nearly all of them were bursting with all kinds of nuts, seeds, fruits and even shreds of veggies. We saw sampled whole grain breads with:

  • Carrot shreds + sunflower seeds + pumpkin seeds + flax seeds
  • Dates + sunflower seeds + white and black sesame seed + caraway seeds
  • Walnuts + sunflower seeds + Pumpkin seeds + golden raisins
  • Raisins + crushed cardamom spice pods + flax seeds

You’ll likely see the reoccurring theme of nuts and seeds.

Date and Sunflower Seed Protein Bread | @TspCurry

We visited the bakery right before we hopped into the taxi cab to the airport. I bought our two favorite loaves: a dark, heavy loaf of Danish rye with dates, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and flax seeds, and a honey-colored loaf of whole wheat with sesame seeds and crunchy cracked wheat throughout.  Slightly sweet, this Date and Sunflower Seed Protein Bread is healthy way to start the day via @TspCurry Click To Tweet

Once home, I actually weighed the dark rye which was about the length of a loaf of grocery-store-bread, about 17-inches long. It weighed five pounds!

Date and Sunflower Seed Protein Bread | @TspCurry

To recreate the bread, I scoured my cookbooks for a recipe to produce such a heavy dense rye bread. I came up totally empty. I decided to try to do a quick non-yeast bread – so I’d make this recipe more often. So, starting with a recipe for Raspberry Walnut Irish Soda Bread, I added dark rye whole grain flour and tinkered with the amount of leavening. I also added cottage cheese for moisture and protein. To be honest, my family and I thought the version of the bread with zero leavening tasted most deliciously like the original bread: super dense, and almost molasses brownie-like with the sweet dates. But some of you may find it a bit hockey-puck-like. (See photo below with the little Danish gnome.) So the recipe below contains some baking soda and baking powder. It’s also shaped round to let it rise higher than it would in a loaf pans with high sides and low surface area. The round shape makes it a bit like eating cake for breakfast, too.

Date and Sunflower Seed Protein Bread | @TspCurry

Enjoy a slice of this protein-packed breakfast bread as the Danes would with dark coffee and creamy European-style butter.

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Date and Sunflower Seed Protein Bread | @TspCurry

Date and Sunflower Seed Protein Bread

  • Author: Serena Ball
  • Yield: 10 servings 1x


Packed with seeds and whole grains, this protein-rich bread is also made with cottage cheese, eggs and dates for a touch of sweetness.


  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 3 tablespoons + 1/2 teaspoon molasses
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup cottage cheese
  • 1/2 cup chopped dates
  • 1 cup dark rye flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup 2% milk
  • 1/3 cup roasted sunflower seeds
  • 1 tablespoon flax seeds


Spray a 8-inch round cake pan with cooking spray and place a round sheet of parchment paper in the bottom.

In a large mixing bowl, beat together butter and 3 tablespoons molasses. Add eggs, cottage cheese, and dates and beat to blend.

In a small bowl, whisk flour with dry ingredients. Add half of dry ingredients to butter mixture, stir with a wooden spoon, add half of milk and stir with the wooden spoon. Repeat with remaining dry ingredients and then milk.

Spoon batter into prepared pan. Bake at 350-degrees-F for 55 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out nearly clean. Don’t overbake. In a small bowl, mix together 1/2 teaspoon molasses with 1 teaspoon water; paint top of warm bread with molasses mixture for a shiny sheen on top of bread.


  • Serving Size: 1/10 of loaf
  • Calories: 263
  • Sugar: 8 g
  • Sodium: 646 mg
  • Fat: 13 g
  • Saturated Fat: 4 g
  • Carbohydrates: 27 g
  • Fiber: 5 g
  • Protein: 10 g

Do you ever make homemade bread? What ingredients do you like?

With 10 grams of protein per slice, this DATE AND SUNFLOWER SEED PROTEIN BREAD is a delicious way to start the day | @TspCurry - More HEALTHY recipes at

Deborah @ Confessions of a mother runner

Monday 11th of September 2017

I love cooking with dates! That looks amazing. Would love to have join my meatless Monday linkup sometime

Serena Ball

Tuesday 12th of September 2017

Thanks Deborah. And thanks so much for the invitation! I will. (:


Monday 11th of September 2017

What a unique and delicious looking bread. And anything sweetened with dates has my vote!

Serena Ball

Tuesday 12th of September 2017

Thanks Mona. I love that's it's 100% whole grain - it's unique to find a yummy-tasting bread that's completely whole grain. I think you'll love the flavor of rye....sweet and nutty!

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