You know how they say it’s okay to experiment when cooking but baking is an exact science? Yeah, they’re totally wrong. Baking is as loose an art as anything if you (sort of) know what you’re doing. And I (sort of) know what I’m doing.
I was going to make cookies tonight. Pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. I am SO EXCITED to start cooking with pumpkin. Instead, though, I came into quite a large amount of zucchini. Zucchini and crook-necked squash and a flying saucer squash (which Google just told me is a pattypan variety) and a whole mess ‘o cherry tomatoes. But mostly zucchini. So what choice did I have but to make zucchini bread? It was a forced hand, really.
The thing is, instead of plain old zucchini bread I decided to toy around with one of Joy the Baker‘s recipes and try to make a healthy all-around breakfast bread. And you know what? I totally did. This bread not only has zucchini, but carrots, applesauce, cranberries, walnuts, oatmeal and spinach too (yeah, spinach – just stick with me here). There’s a ton of protein, no oil and very little sugar. It’s a sweet-savory loaf of goodness…well, two loaves of goodness. I had a seriously huge zucchini to use up. So how do you create your own superbread? Follow along:
Zucchini-Carrot Superbread (adapted very loosely from Joy the Baker)*
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 4 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon allspice
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons flax meal
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 4 eggs
- 3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 3 cups grated zucchini
- 3 cups grated carrots
- 1 cup baby spinach, sliced into ribbons
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- 1 cup dried cranberries
*Makes two loaves
Set your oven to 350 degrees and butter and flour two loaf pans. Mix your dry ingredients – the flours, oats, soda, powder, spices, salt and flax. In a separate bowl, beat together your eggs, sugars, applesauce and vanilla.
Add your zucchini, carrots and spinach to your wet ingredients. Mix thoroughly, then add the dry ingredients.
At this point you will think you’re making dinner. Just look at all those veggies! You’re not, though, because when this is all stirred up you’re going to fold in your walnuts and cranberries. Breakfast again! Divide the batter between the two loaf pans and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about an hour.
Let cool in the pan, then remove and let cool completely on a rack. Eat one for breakfast (or, if you’re like me, immediately) and wrap the other one up tight for freezing. It’s dense, nutty, savory and sweet all at once. Plus each loaf contains like four servings of fruits and veggies (not to mention fiber, protein, healthy fat – and only about 200 calories per slice based on 10 slices per loaf). Feel good about yourself for making it and even better for eating it…and go forth and experiment!