banana bread

Zucchini Bread

It’s that time of year when we all have extra zucchini lying around, taking up space. I know there are a million and a half zucchini bread recipes out there, but I wanted to add my version to the list. Zucchini bread is the perfect segway into fall. The sun is still shining bright here and the temperature is warm, but I can smell it in the air that fall is just around the corner. Mornings are cooler, and I crave warm, toasty bread rather than a smoothie for breakfast. Sweet, spicy, moist, and nutrient-dense, this loaf is pretty tasty, and dare I say, healthy. I invite you to set your stand-by zucchini bread recipe aside and give this one a try.

To make this recipe vegan, I substituted ground flax seed for the eggs that are usually present in quick breads. In general, 1 Tbsp. of ground flax seed mixed with 2-3 Tbsp. of water will replace one egg. You can get whole flax seeds and grind them in a clean coffee grinder when ready to use rather than buying pre-ground flax, which goes rancid and loses nutritional value really quick. Flax is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, an important anti-inflammatory that our bodies don’t produce on their own.  Flax is also very high in lignans, which have powerful antioxidant properties and have been shown to protect against cancer.

Walnuts also give this bread a healthy boost by adding protein, fiber, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and zinc. They are low in saturated fats and are another excellent source of omega-3 essential fatty acids.

I use coconut oil here instead of butter or vegetable oil because it has many qualities. Coconut oil is a heart-healthy fat that can help fight viruses and bacterial infections, boost energy and metabolism, imporove digestion, and create radiant skin and hair.

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Zucchini Bread
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Ingredients
  1. 1 1/2 cups grated zucchini
  2. 2 Tbsp. ground flax seed
  3. 1/4 cup warm water
  4. 1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  5. 1/2 tsp. salt
  6. 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  7. 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  8. 1 tsp. cinnamon
  9. 1 tsp. nutmeg
  10. 1/2 cup natural sugar
  11. 1/4 cup maple syrup
  12. 1 tsp. vanilla
  13. 1/4 cup applesauce
  14. 1/3 cup melted coconut oil
  15. 1 cup chopped walnuts
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Oil a loaf pan with natural cooking spray or coconut oil.
  2. Grate the zucchini and squeeze out all the excess water with your hands, then set it in a strainer over the sink to allow more water to escape. This is an important step, otherwise the bread will be too moist.
  3. In a large bowl mix the ground flax and water and let it thicken up for a few minutes. In a seperate bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking soda and powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg. To the bowl with the flax, mix in the sugar, maple syrup, vanilla, applesauce, and coconut oil. Add the flour mixture and stir until combined. Fold in the zucchini and walnuts, then transfer batter to prepared loaf pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, 55-65 minutes. Cool in the pan for 30 minutes, then remove bread from pan and continue cooling on a rack.
Sweet Serenity http://sweetserenity.org/
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