Saturday, September 10, 2011

Recipe - Zucchini Bread

Time for another recipe. This time sweet meets savoury in this wonderfully high protein, nutrient rich and omega 3 fatty acid filled recipe for zuchinni bread. Zuchinni by itself contains so many nutritional values alone including but not limited to vitamins A, C & K, Manganese, Potassium and Folate. In my version of this recipe, I make the wonderful goodness of this veggie even better for you with the addition of an omega fatty acids filled blend of pine nuts, sunflower seeds, walnuts (or pecans) and even pumpkin seeds. Then add to that some yummy fruit additions like apple sauce and raisins for another healthy boost of vitamins & other good for you stuffs. Top it off by the fact that I've also lowered the fat content from a normal recipe which can call for an entire cup of oil to only a 1/3rd cup and you've got a power packed and good for you dessert, quick breakfast or lunch grab or even a healthy snack

This recipes calls for you to leave the skin on, without it you lose a lot of the nutritional value not to mention a lot of the colour and taste! So for heaven's sake, leave it on... you'll be thankful in the end that you did. Make this recipe with the darkest deepest green zucchinis you can find for the best vitamin boost you can get.

 ♥ 2 cups GF flour
 ♥ 1 cup granulated sugar
 ♥ 2 tsp GF baking powder
 ♥ 2 tsp ground cinnamon
 ♥ 2 cups shredded/grated fresh green zuchinni
 ♥ 1/3 cup vegetable oil
 ♥ 2 large eggs
 ♥ 1/2 to 3/4 cup unsweetened smooth style apple sauce
 ♥ 2 tsp vanilla extract
 ♥ 1/4th cup unsalted, shelled pumpkin seeds
 ♥ 1/4th cup unsalted, shelled sunflower seeds
 ♥ 1/4th cup pine nuts

 ♥ 1/4th cup crushed/chopped walnuts or pecans
 ♥ 1/2 cup dark or golden raisins
** Note - You might need a splash of milk to thin out the batter if your flour soaks up liquid like mine.

If you have already shredded your zuchinni, put it in a find mesh strainer or wrap in cheese cloth and squeeze as much liquid out of it as you can. You want it as dry as possible or the liquid will make your bread/cake soggy and runny.

Pre-heat oven to 350F (180C). Lightly butter or spray a 13x9 inch cake pan. This recipe works well in a 13x9inch cake pan but also works well in 2 loaf/bread pans, you just need to adjust how long you bake it for... same temp but bake it longer if you use loaf pans as there will be more depth the width like there is in a cake pan. If you are unsure of long, simply add 10 minutes to the time mentioned at the end, remove a pan and pierce the middle with a knife of wooden toothpick. If it comes out clean, it's done. If it comes out with batter on it then keep adding another 10 minutes at a time. This part is not rocket science, if it's getting too dark on the top, cover with foil for remainder of baking time. I like to keep it simple though and do it in a cake pan myself.

In medium to large bowl, combine dry ingredients of GF flour, GF baking powder, sugar and cinnamon, set aside for a moment. In another medium bowl combine wet ingredients of oil, apple sauce, eggs and vanilla extract.

In a semi small bowl combine the pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, pine nuts, pecans or walnuts and raisins. You can skip this step all together if you are lucky enough to have a mixture such as I do but if you don't have this as an option, it's best to follow this step or you won't be able to get a good coverage of all nuts and seeds through out your batter in the end.

Combine wet mixture to dry mixture and whisk until just about smooth. Add the shredded zucchini and mix with a spoon. At this point decide if you need that splash of milk or not. You should have a pourable mixture after adding the nuts and seeds but can't mix in milk well after this addition so judge now if you'll need or want that bit of extra moister.

If you're ready, pour in the seed and nut mixture, combine well with your spoon and pour into your greased cake pan. Make sure to have a jar scraper style spatula at hand to get all of the wonderful batter from your bowl.

Bake in pre-heated oven for roughly 50 minutes but check after 40 minutes to ensure that the top doesn't over cook. If it's getting too dark and you've tested the centre with the toothpick/knife method, simply cover with foil for remaining time.

In the photos for my recipe this time, I was looking to simply use up the other half of my huge zuchinni, didn't have my nut & seed mixture and was looking for a dessert for dinner. So the photos also show a 1/2 cup of nib sugar (also called pearl sugar) sprinkled across the top before baking it.

Serve this fresh from the oven, keep it in the fridge for even up to a week. Serve it warm with a bit of butter melted on it or add some extra protein with a yummy layer of reduced fat cream cheese or see how your taste buds like a bit of apple butter or even a berry based jam. Dessert, snack, quick lunch... you can't beat it!

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