Jul 132010
 
I absolutely love all breakfast bread products: banana bread, bagels, biscuits…can’t get enough.  Let’s be honest though, who doesn’t love those things?  Too bad they’re usually packed with refined flours and sugars and are just waiting to give you a terrible start to your day.  The kind of start that will make you crave sugar all day long.  This version is quite a bit healthier and didn’t taste “healthy” at all.  It’s not too sweet but just sweet enough.  Perfect for the summer when zucchini is out in full force. 


The beauty of “quick” breads like this is that they’re, as the name suggests, really quick to put together.  No mixer required.  You basically just mix all the wet ingredients with the shredded zucchini, and then add and mix in the dry ingredients.


The one problem with this recipe was that it left kind of an odd quantity.  For me it filled 3 mini loaf pans.  You could also make 2 full loaves but they’ll be pretty shallow so cut cooking time down.  You can also do muffins or mini muffins and change cooking time accordingly.  


Oven shot.  Looking good, zucchini.


I decided to make 2 loaves with nuts and raisins and one without, incase there’s some purist who doesn’t like extra texture and flavor added to their zucchini bread.  My personal opinion, and that of most of the taste testers, is pro nuts/raisins.  Adds nutritional value, flavor, and texture to the bread.  So put them in.  Unless you have a nut allergy.  Safety before flavor.

Nutritional value:  Using applesauce in place of some of the oil, and whole wheat flour instead of some of the flour, lowers the fat and bumps up nutritional value of this bread.  Then you add hidden vegetables, wheat germ, and healthy nuts and dried fruits and you’re set.  I cut the sugar down from the original recipe as well because I don’t think anyone should start their day with that much sugar.  Plus, it’s so tasty and flavorful that it doesn’t need it.  I wouldn’t say you should eat this every day, but it’s great for company and weekend brunch.  


Zucchini Bread
adapted from Allrecipes.com


Ingredients:

  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 cup brown sugar (orig recipe called for 1 1/2 so you can add a little more if you like a sweeter bread)
  • 2 cups grated zucchini
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat (pastry if you have it) flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 cup wheat germ (some reviewers substituted oats but I used the germ)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup raisins (optional)
  • 1 cup walnuts (optional)
Instructions:
1.  In a large bowl, mix wet(ish) ingredients: eggs, vegetable oil, applesauce, vanilla, brown sugar and zucchini.  In separate bowl, mix dry ingredients: flours, baking powder and soda, wheat germ, salt, and cinnamon.  Use a fork to “sift” the ingredients…basically just adds a little air into the mixture to keep it from becoming too dense.
2.  Stir the dry mixture into the wet mixture.  Add nuts and raisins as desired.
3.  Cook at 350 for: (and these are just estimates so please watch at check with a toothpick for doneness)
  • 30-40 minutes for mini loaves
  • 45-55 minutes for full loaves
  • 15 minutes for mini muffins
  • 20-25 minutes for minutes
4. Let cool and eat.  Feel good about yourself cuz there’s some vegetables in there.  But not good enough no to go to the gym today…

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