We grow zucchini in our garden and, inevitably, we end up with more than we can use. One day, there may be two zucchini which are a bit too small to pick. The next thing you know, there are five the size of rolling pins!
I often use the extra large zucchini for baking. While their extra moisture content may not be the best for general cooking, it is perfect for baking. This recipe is one of two zucchini bread recipes I have been making for years. Over the years, however, I have adapted this recipe to make it healthier without sacrificing taste. This time around, I figured it was healthy enough to slide backwards just a bit. Although zucchini breads often have dark or milk chocolate mixed in, I thought the flavor of white chocolate would be pleasing. An added note: Though I added chocolate, I decreased the amount of sugar proportionately. So, I think we can call it an even trade!
- 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 cup old fashioned oats
- 1/4 cup ground flax seeds
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar (see note)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- 1/2 cup pecans, chopped
- 1/2 cup golden raisins
- 1/2 cup (3 ounces) white chocolate, chopped, plus a couple extra tablespoons to sprinkle on top, if desired (see notes)
- 2 large eggs
- 1/4 cup oil (canola, grapeseed, melted coconut oil or butter all work well)
- 1/2 cup applesauce
- 1/2 cup buttermilk (see notes)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup fresh zucchini, grated
- 1 very ripe banana, mashed
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 10″ cast iron skillet or a 9″x4″ loaf pan.
Stir together all dry ingredients in large mixing bowl.
In a separate bowl, mix all wet ingredients.
Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Pour in the wet ingredients and mix until just incorporated.
Transfer batter to the prepared pan and sprinkle with additional white chocolate, if desired.
Bake for approximately 40-45 minutes for a cast iron skillet, 50-60 minutes for a loaf pan, or until a toothpick tests clean. (Check a bit early as all ovens vary. This will prevent a dry baked good due to overcooking. If the top is sufficiently brown but the center is still not cooked through, lightly drape a piece of foil over the pan and continue cooking.)
- Until now, I have always made this quick bread without the white chocolate and have used 3/4 cups of sugar. Because I incorporated the chocolate, some of it finely chopped, it occurred to me that I could reduce the amount of granulated sugar. I was very happy with the 1/4 cup of sugar. If you forgo the chocolate, you may wish to increase the sugar to 3/4 of a cup.
- The batter will be thick. If the mixture seems too dry when incorporating the dry and the wet ingredients, simply add an additional quarter cup of buttermilk. Some zucchinis will produce more moisture than others and banana sizes vary. Sometimes, I need the extra amount of buttermilk at the end, sometimes I don’t.