Saturday, July 14, 2012

Chocolate Zucchini Nut Bread

When you grow your own zucchini you have to remember to check for new ones every day.  I found three when we got back from vacation, but one was the size of my forearm and I didn't plan on eating it my usual way.  I mostly just slice them up and saute them with a bit of olive oil and some onions.  That is for the smallish ones.  When I have big ones I usually make some kids of baked zucchini, like the zucchini squares I made the other day.  This time I decided to make something different.

I have a recipe for zucchini bread that is light and lemony, but I was out of lemony things ( like lemons) and the store is 30 minutes away.  So I toddled off to the computer and came upon some chocolate zucchini bread recipes.  Ooo!  Right up my alley.  Vegetables that taste like chocolate.  Cool.

I mixed and matched a few recipes and made what I think is an ideal one.  Lee even said it tasted like brownies.  ( He also said they would be good with ice cream, but I am having a hard time trying to think of something that does NOT go good with ice cream.)  Veggies that taste like brownies is a child's dream.  So feed this to your kids that hate green food.  I even traded out some of the oil for apple sauce so it is reasonably low in fat!


Chocolate Zucchini Nut Bread

4 cups grated zucchini
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup apple sauce
1/2 teaspoon instant coffee
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup of chopped nuts (optional)  I used walnuts. 

Pre-heat the oven to 350.  Spray 2 bread pans with Pam.


Yes, I DID mean FOUR cups of zucchini.  You have plenty ...or your neighbors do.  This took one whole medium sized one and most of my giant one.  After you grate it, place it in a strainer to drip out the excess moisture.

In a medium sized bowl, mix together the flour, cocoa, baking soda and powder, salt and cinnamon until there are no lumps.

I used the KitchenAid mixer for the rest.  Beat the sugar and the eggs together until they are nice and smooth.  Add the oil and apple sauce.  I halved the amount of oil called for in the recipe to lower the fat content and replaced it with the applesauce.  If you don't have applesauce, use a full cup of oil.  I used canola oil.


Then mix in the instant coffee and the almond extract.


Add the grated zucchini to the egg mixture and mix that.  My shreds were kind of long and they kind of gooped up the paddle of the mixer.  Don't worry about it.  They will disappear in the baking.


Using a 1 cup measure, add the flour to the zucchini, one cup at a time.  Mix SLOWLY with each addition or you will be sorry.  I was sorry.


Once you have everything mixed together, including the nuts that you will add now if you want them, divide the batter among the two pans.  Bake for 50 to 55 minutes at 350.  Test for doneness with a toothpick.  Mine took 55 minutes.

Remove the pans from the oven and cool on a rack for 5 or 10 minutes.  I like to use a plastic knife to avoid scratching my non-stick pans.  Run the knife around the edges of the pans and then turn them out on the cooling rack.  Cool completely before slicing.  Or just a wee bit warm.  That's when it is the best.

When you substitute applesauce for oil in baked goods, they can become less wonderful the next day, kind of gluey.   It is for this reason that I was FORCED to try them for breakfast this morning.  I couldn't in all good conscience recommend this recipe without a morning trial.  And because breakfast is the most important meal of the day, I had to have TWO slices.  Otherwise I might become hungry before lunch and eat something chocolate, for instance.


I will tell you that they were a bit better last night.  So I had to put some soft, creamy butter on the second slice.  Thereby negating the whole less fat thing.  But they still tasted a bit like brownies and I can recommend them highly!

1 comment:

  1. Sounds very healthy! So if you forego the applesauce and go all-out with the oil, then they would be okay the next day, too?