Friday, July 28, 2017

Supreme Zucchini Spice Bread

Unassuming to the eye, this moist and tender spice loaf is packed with three - count them - THREE cups of shredded homegrown zucchini.

Supreme Zucchini Spice Bread

There is no way this zucchini bread should work. According to the science of me, that 3 cups of zucchini just simply shouldn't fit into a quickbread with only 1 1/2 cups of flour. Yet, the recipe I adapted from somewhere (sorry, lost the source) does - and not only does it work, it tastes fantabulous and stays moist for ages. 

Like many gardeners (and their families, friends and neighbours), we have come into the "zucchini glut" season opener strong.Every afternoon my stepdad comes in from the garden bearing armloads of the squash, and with our fridge already full of the stuff they're being left on what seems like every available surface in the house! Unlike some of our past years, the tomatoes and peppers haven't quite kept up their end of the bargain, so something as obvious as ratatouille just isn't practical right now.

Supreme Zucchini Spice Bread

While zucchini is finding its way into almost everything savoury we eat, I had to break down and power through at least a few of the behemoths in the form of sweet treats. The problem with most zucchini bread recipes is that they either call for gluts of oil or tons of eggs in exchange for maybe a cup of grated zuke. That wasn't going to cut it here, so when I found this recipe I figured that, if it didn't bake all the way through (and how could it, with only 1 1/2 cups of flour and 3 cups of zucchini?) I could slice it up and give it the biscotti treatment. I modified it, of course, swapping some of the oil for a vanilla coffee creamer we had in the fridge, reducing the sugar and adding in a bunch of spices for flavour, but until it came out of the oven perfectly baked I refused to hold out hope. 

The first slice was delicious - and surprisingly soft and fine textured. Given the whole wheat flour in the batter I was prepared for that slight "rustic" mouthfeel, which isn't bad at all - just a given - but this didn't have any of that. Instead, it was a bouquet of aromas and flavours with an unending moisture that didn't become gummy. I took it to work and it disappeared - and that's in a staff room full of vegetable-haters!

That said, this recipe definitely has the potential to turn to spicy zucchini soup - if you don't squeeze the zucchini dry. In fact, I made the second loaf with frozen, shredded zucchini that I thawed, drained and then squeezed dry, and had to add a little extra liquid (in that case, half-and-half, I didn't have any more creamer) to compensate and get the batter looking "normal" again. I also opted for "fine" shreds (thank you, food processor), which helps exude a bit more moisture.

Supreme Zucchini Spice Bread
Makes 1 loaf, 12 slices
1 egg
⅓ cup vanilla coffee creamer or half and half
3 tbsp oil
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
2 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp allspice
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 cups grated zucchini, squeezed dry
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F and grease a loaf pan.
  2. Beat together the egg, creamer, oil, spices, salt, sugar, and vanilla until well combined.
  3. Add the flours, baking soda and baking powder, stirring just to combine.
  4. Fold in grated zucchini until just incorporated.
  5. Bake 50-60 minutes, until it tests done.

Amount Per Serving
Calories: 163.4
Total Fat: 4.7 g
Cholesterol: 15.5 mg
Sodium: 10.4 mg
Total Carbs: 28.7 g
Dietary Fiber: 1.7 g
Protein: 2.7 g