I don’t know whose idea it was to put zucchini in bread, or carrots in cake, but whoever it was, I’d like to thank them. From the bottom of my
heart stomach, thank you.
Honestly, it’s pure genius. Besides making super moist and delicious baked goods, the veggies make it easy to convince yourself that eating half a loaf all on your own is a totally appropriate breakfast option. I mean, come on… it has vegetables in it, so… it’s basically a salad, right?
Okay, so maybe it isn’t that good for you. But it is good for the soul, and I say, that counts. A few extra veggies don’t hurt, either.
I am a huge fan of zucchini bread, but I rarely get to make it, because in our house, turning on the oven during the summer is a big no-no. Lucky for me, these past few weeks have been mercifully cool, so when the sun goes down and the windows open up, the oven goes on and I get to baking.
This recipe actually went through a few iterations before becoming what it is. You see, I have two issues with most zucchini breads: They are either A. super greasy and heavy, or B. barely have enough zucchini in them to justify their name. This loaf has neither of those problems — it is moist and dense (without being heavy or oily in the least) and it is packed to the brim with vegetables (and fruit, because, apples).
Also, the batter looks like nature’s version of funfetti, which makes me all kinds of happy. (Now that I think of it, if you can get your hands on some rainbow carrots, that would be even better — all of the colors!)
If you’re wondering how the taste is with all those vegetables, let me just say this: I’ve made this recipe five times in the past week and a half. (Yes, really. And no, I didn’t eat it all myself… I wish.)
It turns out, I’m not the only one who loves a good zucchini bread, and every time I make a loaf it disappears within a day. That kind of enthusiasm is why I fell in love with cooking in the first place — because it makes people happy. If this recipe can do that, than it’s a keeper in my book!
- 1¾ cups (210 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. Baking soda
- 1 tsp. Baking powder
- ¾ tsp. Kosher salt
- ¾ tsp. Cinnamon
- ½ tsp. powdered ginger (or 1 tsp. Freshly grated ginger)
- 2 large eggs
- ¼ cup coconut oil, melted, plus more for greasing the pan
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
- 1 cup shredded zucchini
- 1 cup shredded carrot
- 1 cup grated apple (I used red, but you can use whatever variety you like)
- optional: 1 cup chopped nuts, minced candied ginger, dried fruit, or other add-ins
- Preheat oven to 325degrees F.. Grease a 8x4 inch baking dish (I used coconut oil, but you can use butter or a spray if you prefer), then line the bottom with parchment paper. Stash the pan in the fridge or freezer to chill while you make the batter.
- In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and ginger. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs until light and frothy. Add the coconut oil, sugar, vanilla, and lemon juice, and beat well for one minute. Grate the zucchini, carrots, and apple on the large side of a box grater, and add them to the wet ingredients. Stir to combine.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet, and fold them in gently until just combined, with no dry patches. The batter will be quite thick, but that's how it should be -- a lot of the moisture is contained in the veggies and apple, and will come out during baking to keep the loaf moist. Do not over-mix.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and bake for 55-65 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and a toothpic inserted in the center comes out mostly clean.
- Let cool for at least 15-20 minutes before removing from the pan, then let cool completely. Serve immediately, or wrap in plastic and store at room temperature. Keeps beautifully for 3-4 days.