Ok, I know for a fact that at this time of year, most of you have zucchini coming out of your ears from your garden, your friends’ garden, or they are laid out on the staff lunch table for everyone to “please take and enjoy”…. So, it’s always nice to have a new and delicious healthy way to use up zucchini. You can stir fry it, chop it up into salads, use a spiral slicer and make “zoodles” (a favorite for me), and I love a good muffin or a bread on the weekend or for potlucks!
Now, as it turns out zucchini is pretty magical. It adds moisture and nutrients, taking your baked goods from dry and bland to moist and delicious without adding extra calories or a funny flavor. Zucchini is a very low-calorie vegetable; only about 20 calories per 1 cup serving. It contains no saturated fats, no cholesterol. Its peel is a good source of dietary fiber that helps reduce constipation and offers some protection against colon cancers. Zucchinis have anti-oxidant value, are rich in flavonoid poly-phenolic antioxidants such as carotenes, lutein and zea-xanthin and is a very good source of potassium, which is heart-friendly. They contain moderate levels of the B-complex group of vitamins like thiamin, pyridoxine, riboflavin and minerals like iron, manganese, phosphorus, and zinc.
How about that!
So remember, since it’s bland and won’t change the flavor of your recipe, try adding ½ a cup or so to some of your muffin or bread recipes. With pumpkin season upon us, I’m going to add some to my first pumpkin bread coming up soon!
Now, because my recipes avoid using any animal products, I love finding the right combination of ingredients that allows me to achieve a moist and delicious muffin or bread recipe that also only uses a few ingredients. This takes the right combination of leavening agents and figuring out what role the “egg” plays into the recipe. Most of the time, I find that it really doesn’t change a cookie recipe to simply leave out an egg but when baking muffins and breads, it’s good to figure out its role:
Here are the roles eggs play in baking: For moisture and/or richness: If your recipe calls for little other liquid, then it’s being used for additional moisture. For leavening: If there are no other leavening agents in the recipe; i.e., baking powder or baking soda but your recipe has acidic ingredients – vinegar, buttermilk, lemon or orange, the egg’s being used as the leavening agent. As a Binder: If there appears to be enough liquid and also leavening agent but not so much “glue” (flour, nuts etc.) then it’s being used as a binder. Eggs haven’t always been available and human ingenuity has created numerous ways to avoid their use. Mashed fruit like a banana or apple sauce will replace egg. Silken tofu can replace an egg. Ground flaxseed (1 tablespoon mixed with 3 tablespoons of water) will replace an egg, and there are several brands of egg replacers on the market. I don’t have any first-hand experience with any of these and tend to use ground flaxseed or applesauce in my recipes. In baked goods; such as, breads and muffins, eggs add moisture and act as a binder. In the recipe below, I’m using ground flaxseed to help with the binding as well as the moisture along with the liquids and of course the lovely zucchini.
Now, because I love simple I started playing around with some different recipe ideas, and I really like this one because, although it’s in bread form, it’s like a muffin. It calls for no refined sugar, which I avoid, cinnamon — I love cinnamon — fresh lemon juice and zest — yummers — fresh or frozen blueberries, and of course the star of this blog post, zucchini!
I went with a very thin, lemony-glaze by using low-fat coconut milk. If you want a thicker glaze, you will need to use full-fat coconut milk. And of course, the glaze is optional.
Prep Time: 15 min Cook Time: 40 to 45 min Makes about 12 slices
For the Bread
- 1¾ cups whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
- 2½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- ¼ cup pure maple syrup
- ½ cup canned low-fat coconut milk
- 3 tablespoons melted coconut oil
- ¾ cup shredded zucchini
- 1 teaspoon vanilla (non-alcoholic)
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 cup blueberries fresh or frozen (if you use frozen, thaw and drain any liquid)
- ¼ cup chilled, low-fat canned coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
For the bread: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 8½ x 4½ x 2⅝ loaf pan. In a large mixing bowl, combine all dry ingredients together. In a small mixing bowl, combine wet ingredients. Add to dry ingredients and mix well. Gently stir in blueberries and pour into greased loaf pan. Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Cool before cutting into slices.
For the Glaze: Combine chilled coconut milk, maple sugar and lemon juice. Drizzle over cooled bread. If you can wait that long!
As you can see in my photos, I made a double batch. One to enjoy, one to share!
Truly, enjoy! Cheers, Karen