My three year old loves the color green. Everything has to be green. Her hair bows, her halloween treat bucket (yes, I found a green pumpkin bucket-thank you Target), her favorite sweatshirt, the magnet she recently swiped from preschool and then proudly showed me in the car (we're returning it on Monday). So when she saw me making bread with little green bits in it, she was super excited. The conversation went like this:
"Oh mama, can I please have some of that green bread?"
"Of course you can baby. This bread is called zucchini bread."
"Oh mama, can I please have some of that bikini bread?"
And the name stuck. It was too darn cute not to. Plus, you can eat this bread and still fit into your bikini this summer! Look at me. I'm so clever.
I made this bread because my mother-in-law has been undergoing chemotherapy treatment, and I wanted to bring her something satisfying that she could just eat, without having to fuss with it. The recipe I used makes two loaves, so I sliced one up and wrapped individual portions for her, and kept the other loaf for our family. She liked it so much, I'm going to make another batch and give her both loaves, but slice and freeze the second one.
The recipe I adapted for this bread comes from the cookbook "The Everything Cookbook". It was published in 2000 and is a part of the "Everything" series of books that simplifies things for people (similar to the "XYZ for Dummies" books). I like the book because the recipes are just that, simple. And it feels like the authors who put the book together tried to do so with some healthy considerations. You can find the book available for sale super cheap here. I wish I could tell you that while making this recipe I took a bunch of photojournalistic style pictures of the process, but I didn't. My kitchen was a disaster and I don't need pictures of that floating all over the interweb. Hey, I'm busy, remember?
Here is the recipe I used:
1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup 100% apple sauce (the original recipe calls for 1 cup oil, but I replaced half the oil with the apple sauce)
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups grated, unpeeled zucchini, loosely packed (works out to about 2 1/2 zucchini)
2 cups unbleached all purpose flour (you can also use whole wheat flour)
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
*The original recipe also calls for 1 cup chopped walnuts. Although I love walnuts, and they are a source of "good fat", I ommitted them in order to cut down on the total fat and calories of the recipe.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray two loaf pans with nonstick spray.
In a large bowl, beat the eggs until frothy (that's the everything cookbook's word, not mine). Beat in sugar, oil, apple sauce, and vanilla. Stir in zucchini. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Stir the dry ingredients into the zucchini batter. Pour mixture into loaf pans (as evenly divided as possible) and bake 40 minutes (or until the center of the bread springs back when lightly touched).
Let cool about 10 minutes before cutting. I cut each loaf into eight pieces.
|I did manage to get this picture and the one above. Look at those tasty green bits! And my grandmother's beautiful antique plate! |
The apple sauce makes this recipe so moist and sweet. In the past I would have slathered a piece of bread like this with butter but you don't need to! It's fantastic on it's own. And you'll have a loaf to give to a family member or friend too - if you want to. If not, you can always slice and freeze the other loaf, then pull individual slices out and microwave them about 30 seconds. Enjoy!