Saturday, September 17, 2016

Whole-Grain Zucchini Bread

I find that having all the ingredients 
measured and prepped is best, especially when baking.  
Here you see all the ingredients for Whole-Grain Zucchini Bread ready to go. 
Serves: 1 loaf or 12 muffins*
Recipe from Cookie and Kate
Husband-Tested in Alice’s Kitchen

This tasty zucchini bread is made healthier than other zucchini breads I’ve made by using whole grains, honey (or maple syrup) and coconut oil instead of butter. You can even make it vegan and/or gluten free.**  Besides testing it on my husband, I served it to my ZUMBA class and they loved it.  Have it with your breakfast tea or pack a slice in your lunchbox or freeze a loaf for the holidays.

¾ cup roughly chopped raw walnuts or pecans (optional)
⅓ cup melted coconut oil or extra-virgin olive oil
½ cup honey or maple syrup
2 large eggs
½ cup milk of choice
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon + more to swirl on top
½ teaspoon kosher or sea salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1½ cups grated zucchini (1 small zucchini, about 7 ounces)
1¾ cups white whole-wheat flour or regular whole-wheat flour

Preheat oven to 325°F. Line a small, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper (for easy cleanup) and grease a 9” x 5” loaf pan to prevent the bread from sticking.
Once the oven has finished preheating, pour the chopped nuts onto your prepared baking sheet. Bake until the nuts are fragrant and toasted, about 5 minutes, stirring halfway.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the coconut oil and honey. Beat them with a whisk until they are combined. Add the eggs and beat well. (If your coconut oil solidifies on contact with cold ingredients, simply let the bowl rest in a warm place for a few minutes, like on top of your stove, or warm it for about 20 seconds in the microwave.)
Add the milk, vanilla, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg, and whisk to blend. Switch to a big spoon and stir in the zucchini, then add the flour and stir just until combined. Gently fold in the toasted nuts.
Pour the batter into your greased loaf pan and sprinkle lightly with additional cinnamon. If you'd like a pretty swirled effect, run the tip of a knife across the batter in a zig-zag pattern.
Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the bread cool in the loaf pan for 10 minutes, and then transfer it to a wire rack to cool for 20 minutes before slicing it with a sharp, serrated knife.
This bread is moist, so it will keep for just 2 to 3 days at room temperature. Store it in the refrigerator for 5 to 7 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months or so. Slice the bread before freezing and defrost individual slices, either by lightly toasting them or defrosting them in the microwave.

A Note On Oils: I love coconut oil here. Olive oil will lend an herbal note to the bread, if you're into that. Vegetable oil has a neutral flavor, but the average vegetable/canola oil is highly processed, use cold-pressed sunflower oil or grapeseed oil.
Make Muffins: Divide the batter into 11 muffin cups (greased or lined with muffin liners) and bake at 325 degrees around 23 minutes.
**Make It Vegan: Use maple syrup instead of honey, replace the eggs with flax eggs and choose non-dairy milk (I used almond milk) or water.
**Make It Gluten Free: I haven't tried myself, but I have heard from a reader that Bob's Red Mill's all-purpose gluten-free mix worked well here.

Make It Dairy Free: Choose non-dairy milk (almond or soy milk.)
Make It Egg Free: Replace the eggs with flax eggs.
Make It Lower In Fat: Replace the oil with applesauce if you're following a low-fat diet.

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