Monday, July 29, 2013

Zucchini Banana Bread

For all my talk on this blog about being creative and trying new ingredients, I am a creature of habit when it comes to breakfast. Most of the time, my breakfast will be either Greek yogurt or oatmeal. The Greek yogurt will be plain, topped with fresh fruit (typically berries) a bit of honey and some granola. The oatmeal will be steel cut, cooked in milk and then flavored with brown sugar or maple syrup and topped with fresh and/or dried fruit and nuts. Every so often there will be a deviation with pancakes, eggs and toast, a bagel, or maybe (when I can get it) something a bit sweeter, but overall I am fully committed to my yogurt and oatmeal routine.

Banana bread, however can very easily tempt me off the beaten path. The aroma of it fresh from the oven brings back childhood memories of the loaves my mom would bake, and there was nothing better than cutting a thick piece as soon as it was cooled just enough to touch and immediately covering it with butter that would melt into the steaming slice. So good, so perfect...

Lucky for me, over ripe bananas are fairly common in out house, and my wife will quickly turn them into loaves of banana bread that we can easily freeze to be ready to reheat when the craving calls. After my daughter was born, the quest to get more vegetables into her lead my wife to combine a banana bread and zucchini bread recipe into one. This does very little to change the taste, so the little one will gobble them down happily and be none the wiser to the hidden veggies. That is, if I leave her any!

Share Contents Used:

2 2/3 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 large eggs
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup apple sauce
1 very ripe banana, mashed
1 large zucchini, washed and shredded
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup plain yogurt

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. This recipe will yield one 9x5 loaf or 4 mini loafs (shown). Coat the inside of the loaf pan(s) with butter and then sprinkle with flour, set aside.

Place the flour, baking soda and powder, salt and all the spices in a mesh strainer and shake into a large bowl to sift out any clumps. Using the fine side of a box grater, shred the zucchini then place onto a clean tea towel, roll up and wring to squeeze out as much water as you can. Place the zucchini in a clean bowl and mix together with the mashed banana and apple sauce. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the eggs, oil and sugar until combined, then add the banana/zucchini mixture and continue to mix on low while you add the dry ingredients, turning off the mixer when everything is just combined. Remove from the mixer and stir in the yogurt.

Pour the batter into your prepared loaf pan(s) and bake for 1 hour for the 9x5 pan or 25-30 min for mini loaf. Test by sticking a toothpick into the center of the loaf, it's done when the toothpick comes out clean. Let the pan cool for a few minutes and then while wearing oven mitts, carefully remove the loaf from the pan (turning the pan upside down and giving it a light shake will usually do the trick) and place on a cooling rack to finish cooling.  

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