Thursday, June 18, 2009
Zucchini is one of summer's delicious gifts. This slender, dark-green squash has tender white flesh and a pleasantly bland taste that can adapt to almost any dish, sweet or savory. It's great even raw, in salads or as crudites.
Like other summer squash, zucchini is rich in vitamin C and beta carotene and, of course, fiber, which makes it super-healthy eats too.
I have planted some zucchini in my vegetable garden this year, but it's still too young to bear any fruit. But it's easy enough right now to find plenty of fresh, bright zucchini in the markets, and the last time I was there I loaded up on some.
I'd been wanting to bake a low-fat bread or cake for Madhuram's Low Fat Baking event, and the idea of making a low-fat zucchini bread was tempting. This vegetable has a lot of moisture in it, which pretty much makes up for the lack of too much added fat. Also, having made FatFree Vegan's Zucchini Muffins last month, I was pretty sure that I'd end up with a version of zucchini bread that was at least edible.
It was that, and more. I loved this bread-- it was moist, tender and sweet, and the fact that it contained a vegetable, whole-wheat flour, and only two tablespoons of oil in each loaf made it pretty guilt-free.
Here's the recipe. Enjoy, everyone. And thanks, Madhuram, for making me think this one up!
Low-Fat Zucchini Bread
(Makes 2 loaves)
1 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 tsp powdered cinnamon and cloves. You can also use one or the other.
1 cup lightly toasted and chopped pecans or walnuts
Mix the ingredients together and set aside.
In another bowl, mix together:
3 tbsp flaxmeal and 9 tbsp water
Add and mix:
4 tbsp canola or other vegetable oil
2 cups sugar
Then whisk in:
3/4 cup applesauce
1 tbsp vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups grated zucchini (about two small to medium zucchini)
Now add the wet mixture to the dry, whisking it in 1/3rd of the flour at a time, until well mixed. Do not overmix because you don't want to develop the gluten in the flour.
Grease and flour two standard-size loaf pans. Divide the batter equally between the two and smooth down the top.
Bake in a preheated 325-degree oven 60-70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Cool on a rack about 15 minutes, then slide a knife around the edges to unmold. Place right-side-up on a rack to cool. This bread also tastes great slightly warm.