Friday, March 23, 2012

Carrot-Zucchini Bread

I've got a lot of really dingy looking produce. Not just bashed around and beat up, but really questionable "this might be growing hair" veggies. How did this happen?

I forgot about them. Well, actually, I conveniently forgot about the juice cleanse I was going to use them all up on.

Normally, I'd toss the vegetation, lament my failures as a wife and secretly hope that none of those starving children in China hear about this little oopsie. But then two weeks worth of freelance work up and walked away and I had a little more in common with those starving children in China than I wanted to.

So, in the words of the oft-misquoted Marie-Antoinette, "Let them eat cake made with vegetables (that very closely resembles bread)!"

That's not what you learned in high school? Well....I did go to private school. It's not your fault.

This is a regular old quickbread, that takes a couple of cues from carrot cake - namely the raisins and chopped walnuts - and combines them with the ever-popular applesauce/oil swap out. You could easily use applesauce instead of the carrot applesauce that I used, but it'll taste more like apples and less like carrots. And that's OK.

1 cup carrot-applesauce (I used 3 packs of Trader Joe's Crushers)
2 eggs, room temperature
1 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
4 small carrots, shredded (about 1 cup)
3 small zucchini and/or crookneck squash, shredded (about 1 1/2 cups)
2/3 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a loaf pan, and line it with parchment paper. Whisk together applesauce, eggs, brown sugar and vanilla in a large bowl until smooth and well-combined. In a separate bowl, whisk together dry ingredients: flour, baking soda and powder, salt and cinnamon.

Now, what I did next is not "proper." You're supposed to add the dry to the wet and mix until just combined - which means no white streaks of flour/don't beat the hell out of it. But I did it backwards because I had two different sized bowls and the dry stuff was in the bigger one.

It happens. My bread still tasted good.

So drop your carrots and squash, raisins and walnuts in the flour and toss it around with your hands. This will keep them from sinking to the bottom of the bread. Think of the flour as little Velcro fingers keeping the zucchini elevated. It works.

Then pour in the wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Just get rid of the white streaks of flour. Pour it into the loaf pan - it will be very, very full. Bake for 60-75 minutes, until it starts to pull away from the sides of the pan and a skewer inserted comes out mostly-clean. (It's OK if there are bits of bread sticking to it - you just don't want it to be raw or gluey.)

Let cool, slice and serve. I like it slathered in butter.

1 comment:

Nancie McDermott said...

I like your writing: funny and fresh, and you are on the no-nonsense food train, which I also enjoy. Looking forward to reading more, and to meeting you at Camp Blogaway!