If you've ever had a zucchini plant, chances are you are an expert at making zucchini bread.
I planted four varieties this year and am grateful that only one of them is really *doing its thing*, the other three are producing at a vastly slower rate.
And yet, I'm still needing to get crafty with zucchinis on an almost daily basis. I've grilled them, done lots of bread, fritters, and then took four days off to watch this giant zucchini take over the yard.
In an effort to keep trying new things, to challenge myself with healthier choices, I decided to take a tried and true recipe for zucchini bread, and to replace every possible ingredient with something a bit *better*.
I felt like the changes I made were pretty significant overall, and was worried that the differences between the two recipes would be striking. I mean, if they weren't, then why wouldn't everyone substitute whole grain flour for white, olive oil for for vegetable, and eliminate over half the sugar?!?
But I was pleasantly surprised. While the tried and true recipe was incredibly good, the healtier option was great as well, just *different*. And while you'd want to serve the original recipe to your guests, you will absolutely want to make the modified version for your kids! I also made the recipe into muffins and froze them for a later date, something I love to do (with my 15 sq-ft-didn't-know-you-needed-one, deep-freezer).
Here's what I did:
A Healthier Zucchini Bread
- 3 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup of squash puree (optional. I used persimmon, but pumpkin would work too).
- 1 cup sugar (NOT 2-1/4!!! :)
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups grated zucchini
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- Grease and flour two 8 x 4 inch pans. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F
- Sift whole wheat flour, salt, baking powder, soda, and cinnamon together in a bowl.
- Beat eggs, extra virgin olive oil, puree, vanilla, and sugar together in a large bowl. Add sifted ingredients to the creamed mixture, and beat well. Stir in zucchini and nuts until well combined. Pour batter into prepared pans.
- Bake for 40 to 60 minutes, or until tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on rack for 20 minutes. Remove bread from pan, and completely cool.