Are you dealing with a glut of zucchini? Make a few loaves of this Healthy Zucchini Bread, and stash some in the freezer. Low in sugar, and high on flavour, it is sure to become a favourite.
We have a lot of zucchini in the house at the moment; a situation that often arises at this time of year. On one hand, this is a good thing, as it means the garden is growing well. The downside, if it can be called that, is that we are eating a lot of zucchini. Fritters, pasta and raw salads make a regular appearance at the dinner table, yet don’t seem to make a dent in the supply. So I whipped up this Healthy Zucchini Bread in an attempt to reduce the amount of zucchini in the vegetable crisper.
Vegetables in baked goods might seem odd, yet we eat them all the time. Carrot cake and pumpkin scones are two very good examples of this. So why not zucchini bread? The relatively neutral flavour of zucchini allows the added spices to shine through, and it pairs really well with chocolate.
It is quite important when baking with zucchini to remove some of the moisture before adding it to the cake mix. I do this by squeezing the grated zucchini in a tea towel. If this step is skipped, liquid cooks out of the zucchini during baking, resulting in a dense and unappetising loaf. This healthy zucchini bread is still very moist though, even after squeezing the zucchini. It will keep for up to 3 days on the bench, although if it is very hot I would keep the cake in the fridge. Even better, slice the cake and freeze it, using layers of baking paper between the slices to stop them sticking. The frozen cake can be tucked straight into lunchboxes, and should defrost by lunchtime.
I don’t bother peeling the zucchini, as we don’t mind the small green flecks in the cake. However if making this for fussy eaters, I would highly recommend peeling the zucchini first. This will help you avoid those difficult questions as to what the green bits are. If you forget to peel the zucchini, just say it is apple cake.
Despite my best efforts, the latest zucchini seems to possess magical regeneration powers. I swear it just regrows when placed back in the fridge drawer, and this healthy zucchini bread didn’t use as much of it as I would have liked. Looks like fritters for dinner again.
Healthy Zucchini Bread
Peel the zucchini if you are serving this to fussy eaters that might shy away from the green bits in the cake.
- 1 medium zucchini grated, approx. 450g
- 125 ml olive oil 1/2 cup
- 2 eggs
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 20 ml lemon juice 1 Tablespoon
- 100 g (1/2 cup firmly packed) dark muscovado
- 120 g pecans chopped, 1 cup
- Pre-heat the oven to 175C (155C fan forced).
- Grease and line a Xcm x Xcm loaf tin.
- Place the grated zucchini in a clean tea towel, roll up the towel and squeeze hard to remove some of the moisture. Do this over a sink or outside in the garden.
- Add all of the wet ingredients into a medium sized bowl.
- Stir gently to combine.
- Place all the dry ingredients into another bowl.
- Whisk gently to combine.
- Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.
- Combine the wet and dry ingredients. I use a spatula to do this, and gently cut the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Be careful not to overmix the batter.
- Pour the cake mixture into the prepared loaf pan.
- Bake for 35 - 40 minutes, or until the cake is well risen. A skewer inserted in the centre of the cake should come out clean.
- Remove the cake from the oven, and cool in the tin for 15 minutes.
- Take the cake out of the tin and allow to cool completely on a rack before slicing.