Friday, September 11, 2009

Whole Wheat Zucchini-Banana-Carob Loaf

I was recently the lucky inheritor of an extremely massive zucchini from my grandma's garden:

I love zucchini as much as the next guy, but there's only so many dinners you can revolve around it before you never want to see it again. Let me tell you, several dinners throughout the last week didn't even make a dent in this sucker and so it was time to call on the oven to do away with what was left.

I rarely bake, because neither Paul nor I are capable of restraining ourselves when it comes to sweets. This bread did nothing short of proving that point tenfold. I made two loaves with the intention of either giving one to my in-laws or freezing it for later deliciousness...and out of those two there is but one lonely half-slice of bread sitting quietly in our refrigerator. The rest has all succumbed to the unyielding power of the butter knife and glorious amounts of softened Earth Balance buttery spread...shameful.

I'd never made zucchini bread before, but I do make muffins every now and again so I kind of just made up this recipe as I went along. It turned out to be pretty awesome and so I will share it:

Whole Wheat Zucchini-Banana-Carob Loaf

2 1/2 cups grated zucchini

2 ripe bananas, mashed (I'm talking almost black...not only did I have zucchini on its last legs, I also had banana)

1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil*

1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce*

3 cups whole wheat flour

1 1/2 cups raw cane sugar

1 tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp vanilla

1 cup ground walnuts

3/4 cup carob chips

*I like using as little oil as possible and even though googling 'zucchini bread' made subbing in unsweetened applesauce for part or all of the oil sound nothing short of blasphemous, it turned out great with the applesauce (and I will do it again...and I'll probably double the applesauce and skip the oil altogether, like I do when I bake muffins).

1) Combine all dry ingredients and mix well.

2) Beat together zucchini, banana and vanilla (it's okay if it has lumps, just make sure all the ingredients are evenly distributed).

3) Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture, mix and then add the carob chips. Mix well.

4) Pour into a lightly greased loaf pan (I actually used two). Fill about half way to the top of the pan, as the bread will rise as it bakes.

5) Bake at 350 F for 45-60 minutes (using my oven and two loaf pans it took 45 minutes dead on, but stick a toothpick and make sure it comes out clean before pulling the pan(s) out of the oven). Allow 5 minutes to cool, and then remove the loaves from the pan, allowing them to cool on a cooling rack for an additional 30 minutes. Enjoy!

[Also, just like when I make muffins, I filled an additional loaf pan with water and placed it on the lowest rack of the oven, to keep the moisture locked into the oven and therefore the bread].

Give it a'll thank me for the way your house smells while it bakes (it's really starting to feel like fall!).

I will be making this again. Sooner than later probably, because believe it or not I have inherited a second massive zucchini from my grandma's garden. This time, it is going in the freezer....maybe.


Atwood-Family of 4 said...

I will for sure be trying this! Zucchini, banana and chocolate? Sounds great! I have not baked much the vegan way and am nervous about not having eggs...does it still turn out well?

Mary said...

You know, I far prefer vegan baking to standard baking. Fear of baking without eggs is very common, but you'll be surprised to realize how much eggs and dairy butter actually weigh down baked goods. I find vegan baking to be much lighter and MUCH more difficult to mess up (I can't state that last one as fact, but I was a terrible, terrible baker until I ditched eggs lol).

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