Here's the problem: I love baking
Why is that a problem, you say?
Baking, despite what people think, is not easy. I gawp at those who claim to be incapable of cooking yet can create never-fail cakes, cookies with perfectly moist centres and crisp edges, breads which were exquisitely crafted. I try to craft my own baking recipes but success is intermittant. Yes, baking is a science I'm afraid, and I'm still learning. Alas here is a recipe that worked, and worked well to boot.
Let's not mention the excessive sugar content in most baked goods, an ingredient for which my brain and heart cry out. The chompers and my dentist, however, are in cahoots and believe it's better to stick to other munchables.
A garden overflow
I'm late on this post, I know. The summer months leave gardeners awash with heaps of this delicious vegetable, and by the end of these days everyone's desperate to finish the crop and move on. Courgette bread (that's zucchini bread to Americans) is a perfect way to use some of the overflow, and it's an easy bread which most everyone enjoys. Using about 1 courgette (zucchini) per loaf, you could easily bake a dozen on a lazy Sunday and hand them out at the office on Monday morning! These zucchini bread loaves are also ideal for those summer bake sales.
Something I've noticed since moving to the UK eight and a half years ago is the difference in cake consistency, and it became clear the reason American cakes just taste so much better is because of their use of ridiculous amounts of oil in recipes. Great for taste, but not so great for the gut, I opted to replace some of the oil content here with apple sauce. This makes a good substitution for oil, but I'm afraid some is still necessary to keep that moist texture (don't worry, this zucchini bread recipe still yields a loaf which has the soft, almost gooey, texture you'd associate with zucchini bread).
The banana and arrowroot work as a non-egg binder, and work really well flavour-wise in here. The use of banana also, coupled with the apple sauce, merits using a little less sugar overall. If you browse a lot of other recipes you'll see this one uses, on average, 25% less processed sugar.
Vegan Zucchini Bread
- Preheat the oven to 180 C (350 F) and grease a 9 inch loaf tin.
- First grate the courgette and zest the lemon. Set aside.
- Sift the flour, arrowroot, baking powder and soda, salt, and spices together in a large bowl.
- Mash the banana to a smooth pulp in a large bowl. Add the oil and sugar and mix for 1-2 minutes with an electric whisk (or by hand if you're a masochist). Add apple sauce, soy milk, and vanilla, and mix again to incorporate. Add the courgette and lemon zest and lightly mix once more.
- In two batches, mix (mix, mix, mix! Great word. Hard to find substitutions) the zucchini batter in with the flour. You can use an electric mixer for this, but a big ole' wooden spoon is my preference. If you do use a mixer, be sure not to over-mix (as in only for 10-20 seconds). A few lumps are ok.
- Pour into your prepared loaf tin and bake for about 50 minutes. When finished, remove and leave on a wire rack to cool.