Saturday, August 7, 2010

Heart Healthy Zucchini Bread

I went to the local Farmer's Market this morning to pick up my tomatoes and peaches for canning. (25 lbs. of each, so canning pictures tomorrow;) I shopped around a little bit and came home with quite a few treasures. The result is this wonderful heart healthy zucchini bread. Sorry for the pictures - I was so excited to get started on this that I left my good camera at work and had to use my iPhone. Dontcha just love technology?



One of my treasures was this bag of locally grown and ground whole wheat flour. One of the ladies at the Farmer's Market makes about 50 lbs each week. Whoa! That's a lot of work. $5.00 for a 5 lb bag was well worth it. Whole wheat flour is sooooo much better for you. But, (there's always a "but") it does not bake quite like all purpose flour. It tends to be a little heartier and courser making your baked goods drier and it may change the taste slightly. A lot of people mix it with all purpose flour (a recipe that calls for 2 cups flour would alternate to 1 1/3 cup all purpose flour and 2/3 cups whole wheat flour). For this recipe I used 2 cups of the whole wheat flour and a cup of regular old Quaker oats and no all purpose flour. 








I started by peeling and grating a large zucchini. The recipe calls for 2 cups. As you can see, I don't always follow directions well. But, it's my zucchini bread, so if I want a very well rounded 2 cups, I can have it. I did not squeeze out any of the moisture/water from the grated zucchinis because with the whole wheat flour, I want a lot of moisture.





Anyway, dump 3 eggs in a deep bowl. Preferably farm fresh, but all I had was Eggland's Best. Which is probably the best egg available at the grocery store. I didn't buy farm fresh eggs today as I need to use up what I already have.




Beat the eggs with a mixer until they are good and foamy. Then beat 'em a little more, just to be sure.





Once your eggs are good and foamy, add the following: 1 cup of sugar; 1 Tbsp of vanilla; 1/4 cup of oil (I use Smart Balance Olive Oil); and 1 tsp of ground cinnamon. Now, beat it some more so it's mixed up good.






In a separate bowl mix the following: 2 cups whole wheat flour; 1 tsp baking soda; 1 Tbsp baking powder - mix. I just took a fork and sifted/mixed.






Add your flour mixture to your egg mixture a little at a time and stir with a fork. Add 1 cup of oats to the egg/flour mixture and stir with a fork. Then, add your zucchini to the egg/flour/oats mixture and stir with a fork just enough to start mixing it up and getting the flour moist. It will look something like the above picture. Then, mix with your mixer for a few minutes to get it all creamy and.....well, mixed.






Coat 2 loaf pans or a smaller rectangle pan with cooking spray and make sure to get the corners good. I used the smaller rectangle pan so that it wouldn't be quite as thick as a loaf pan would have been.

Bake at 350 degrees for 60-75 minutes. With the pan I used, it took 60 minutes, but again, it wasn't as thick as a loaf pan. Of course, bread is done when touched in the center and it springs back and the sides are all pulled away from the pan.






Wah-lah! Heart healthy zucchini bread. We had to taste immediately (you know, while it's still warm and all) and it was excellent. Not as sweet as a lot of breads. It was also drier, like cake or muffins as opposed to wet like banana bread or something. It holds together very well and is yummy! Think I'll make some more to freeze.























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