I know, I know. Autumn is officially here, and every other blog’s talking about pumpkins and apples, and here I am with last season’s produce. But honestly, can you blame me? I’ve baked this bread more than a month ago, but have not stopped thinking about it since. That is, until I baked a spelt carrot-apple cake a couple of days ago, which, by the bye, totally won me over with its sweet nutty flavour and super moist texture;- ah, but that’s another post for another day.
Now, back to this quickbread.
It was my first zucchini bake; a trial batch if you may call it that, for I had read about the moistness this unassuming green vegetable lends to its bakes. I had my eyes on baking a zucchini-infused chocolate cake or brownies initially, following my prior success of adding green stuff into chocolatey treats, but decided to test the waters with something safer and healthier I could enjoy with lil A. (Not to worry though, chocolate zucchini muffins did happen later.)
So, how did this fare?
With flying colours, I must accede. Now, in no way did I doubt all the grannies out there who had been baking family tradition breads generations ago with hand-picked zucchinis from their backyard, no sir. But a part of me wondered if it was something really recipe book-worthy; if a vegetable bread, unadorned with the usual pick-me-ups like nuts, dried fruits or even chocolate chips, could stand tall and proud on its own.
And boy, was I surprised. The bread was refreshingly light; its flavour deepened with the distinct cross-between-honey-and-molasses taste of the homemade date syrup I used here, complemented by the natural light sweetness of the grated carrots. The zucchini adds another dimension to your usual carrot cake / bread, with its beautiful soft green specks strewn over each slice;- the only way you can say “Waiter, there’s green in my cake!”;- and the result is a comfortingly humble loaf with a deep flavour, a light crumb, and a moist texture.
Carrot Zucchini Bread
(adapted from here)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup date syrup (or honey / brown sugar)
1 3/4 cup grated zucchini (squeeze out some excess moisture)
1/2 cup grated carrot
Preheat oven to 170°C. Grease a 8×4 loaf pan (or spray with baking spray) and set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon.
In a large bowl, whisk eggs and applesauce until well blended.
Add date syrup (or honey / brown sugar), and whisk until combined. Stir in zucchini and carrot.
Add flour mixture to zucchini mixture, gently folding until just combined.
Pour mixture into prepared loaf pan and bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 5 to 10 minutes and then move to wire rack to cool completely.