If there's anything we've learned from a year (and counting) of the pandemic, it's that bread baking is an excellent coping mechanism/form of stress release. And just because we're (hopefully) soon to enjoy a summer sprung from our cages doesn't mean every challenge we face will dissipate forever. So there will be plenty of opportunities to bake our worries away or just, you know, whip up some easy snacks to grab and go. In the latest episode of Alt-Baking Bootcamp, chef and nutrition coach Mia Rigden offers a zucchini bread recipe ideal for both purposes.
"If you're sick of banana bread, then zucchini bread is the next big thing," she says. "I always recommend eating the rainbow, or trying to find a lot of ways to have a diversity of vegetables in your diet, so any way that you can sneak a vegetable into a more sweet application, I feel like it's just like an extra boost of vitamins and minerals and phytonutrients." To that end, she says, zucchini is high in fiber and a great source of vitamin A, vitamin C, and manganese.
To make the recipe suitable for Alt-Baking Bootcamp, Rigden also uses gluten-free flour and honey and coconut sugar instead of refined cane sugar—resulting in a gluten-free, low-glycemic loaf. "We're using a lot less sugar than what you would normally find in a classic zucchini bread," she says.
To compensate a smidge, Rigden tosses in some raisins for a touch more sweetness, but she notes that you can go off script with your mix-ins; anything from chocolate chips to walnuts work. The result, in her opinion, is perfect for a weekend breakfast or an afternoon snack. "I would definitely toast this and put some almond butter on it," she says.
If you're not a fan of zucchini, she insists you try this recipe anyway. "The zucchini does add some texture to [the bread], but it doesn't taste anything like zucchini," she says. Press play to get the full recipe... and hungry, too.
Gluten-free zucchini bread
2 cups shredded zucchini (roughly 2-3 medium-sized zucchini)
1/4 cup honey
2/3 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups gluten free all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp salt
3/4 cup raisins (optional)
1 tsp coconut sugar
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line an 8-inch loaf pan with parchment paper.
2. In a medium bowl, add the zucchini, eggs, honey, olive oil, and vanilla extract, and whisk to combine.
3. In a separate bowl, combine the gluten-free all-purpose flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.
4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir to thoroughly combine. If using, add the raisins.
5. Pour the batter into the parchment-lined loaf pan, and sprinkle the coconut sugar on top.
6. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until golden and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
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