This week Alfred requested I bake him some zucchini bread. I’m all for baking him things that include fruits and veggies, but zucchini bread often includes a massive amount of oil and way too much sugar. So, of course, I baked him a healthier version with less oil and sugar, and more whole grains. He said it was the best thing I’ve ever baked – he literally inhaled it, making sure to get every crumb off his plate – and he requested a loaf a week for the rest of zucchini season. That’s a pretty strong endorsement! (In case you're not familiar with zucchini bread, this sweet quick bread doesn't taste like zucchini. The zucchini makes the bread moist and tender.)
By the way – we ran out of zucchini the day before his request, but being the loving wife that I am, I rode my bike in the rain to the farmer’s market on my way home yesterday. It was the most fun I’ve had in a long time! Once I accepted that I was going to get wet, I embraced it fully, plowing through every puddle wearing a great big smile!
I purchased a really big zucchini – far more than I needed to make 1 loaf of zucchini bread - it was a whopper! So I decided to incorporate some of the zucchini into my breakfast this morning. A while back I came across a recipe for Zucchini Bread Oatmeal – the idea sounded intriguing because back in my gluten-ful days I loved zucchini bread, I still love oatmeal, and I’m always looking for ways to get more veggies into my breakfasts. I departed a fair amount from the original recipe, using a method for cooking oatmeal that is purely fruit sweetened, but oh so satisfying!
Healthier Zucchini Bread
¾ Cup All Purpose Flour
¾ Cup Whole Wheat Flour
2 Tablespoons Ground Flax Seeds
½ teaspoon Baking Soda
½ teaspoon Baking Powder
1 1/2 teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
¼ teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
¼ teaspoon Salt
2/3 Cup Brown Sugar
¼ Cup Oil (I always bake with olive oil)
¼ Cup Unsweetened Applesauce
½ Tablespoon Vanilla Extract
1 Cup grated Zucchini
½ Cup Chopped Nuts (I used pecans)
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees, lightly oil or spray a loaf pan
2) Sift together the dry ingredients
3) Combine all the wet ingredients except the zucchini, and then stir in the zucchini
4) Use a rubber spatula or wooden spoon to thoroughly, but gently, combine the wet and dry ingredients
5) Fold in the chopped nuts
6) Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake 45-55 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
7) Let cool in pan 5-10 minutes, then remove from pan
8) Eat Up!
Zucchini Bread Oatmeal (makes 1 serving)
½ Cup old fashioned oats
½ Cup shredded zucchini (approximately)
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
Dash of nutmeg
Milk of choice (I used almond milk)
3-4 large dates, finely minced
Handful of chopped nuts (I used pecans)
In a microwave safe bowl, combine all of the ingredients except the nuts. Use enough milk to just cover the other ingredients. Cover the bowl, refrigerate the mixture and allow it to sit overnight (optional – but it helps the dates release their sweetness into the milk and the oats get really nice and soft). When ready to eat, microwave the mixture for 3 minutes, stir, add more milk and cook longer if necessary. Top with chopped nuts. Get ready for a real treat!
*Of course, you could cook this on the stove top if you prefer. Plan for it to take about 10 extra minutes.
Not only was this yummy, it kept me full until lunch!
Other purely fruit sweetened oatmeal employing the same general method:
Banana Nut Bread oatmeal – combine 1 small ripe banana diced, oats, milk of choice, dash of vanilla extract, walnuts
Apple Pie oatmeal – ½ large or 1 small sweet apple (such as fuij) diced, oats, milk of choice, ground cinnamon and cloves to taste, pecans
**These aren't the most photogenic treats, but I guarantee you they are yummy!
As usual, I've also included this recipe as part of several weekly recipe sharing events: Slightly Induglent Tuesday, Tempt my Tummy Tuesday, Tasty Tuesdays , Tuesdays at the Table Friday Foodie, and Friday Favorites. Check out all the great recipes other bloggers have contributed!