Recipe: Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free Zucchini Bread
One of my favorite summer foods is Zucchini bread. Besides zucchini being my favorite veggie, zucchini bread brings back memories of my grandma's awesome recipe and enjoying a slice of warm bread, fresh from the oven, slathered in a thick layer of butter.
The old recipes did use conventional sugar and flour, something that I try to avoid now days (I'll save the why for another post, but it has to do with how sugar are wheat are grown now.), so I worked out a delicious recipe that is naturally sweetened with fruit, and uses gluten-free flour. This guilt-free zucchini bread can be enjoyed as it, or with your favorite organic, pastured butter.
GLUTEN-FREE, SUGAR-FREE, ZUCCHINI BREAD RECIPE
2 large zucchini, or equivalent smaller zucchinis
2 large carrots
1 medium sweet potato
4 medium brown bananas
2 cups raisins
3 large eggs
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp ground ginger
2 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp ground nutmeg
1/4 c unsalted melted butter
5 cups sifted gluten-free flour (I use Bob's Red Mill All-Purpose GF Baking Flour)
4 tsp ground chia seeds
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp sea salt
Preheated oven to 325F/165C
1. Slice the ends off the zucchini and cut it in half the long way. If you are using large zucchinis, scoop out the seedy insides and pith.
Shred the zucchini into a large colander and sprinkle it liberally with sea salt, mixing to coat thoroughly. This salt will be rinsed off, so don't be concerned about using too much. This step is necessary to remove excess water and cut the bitterness of the large zucchinis. You can also remove the skin to further cut the bitterness, which is also decreased by cutting the ends off.
Once the shreds have sat in salt for about an hour, rinse the shreds well to remove the salt.
2. Shred your carrots and sweet potato. They can go in the same colander as your rinsed zucchini.
3. Take a large handful of the shredded veggies and put it in the center of a cheesecloth that has been folded in quarters. Squeeze out as much liquid as possible (compostable!), and put the ball of veggies in a large bowl.
Repeat until all the shredded veggies have been squeezed. You should get about 8 cups in total.
4. To the shredded veggies, add the remaining wet ingredients and mix well. Set aside.
5. If you have a mortar and pestle or coffee grinder, coarsely grind your chia seeds. This is not a necessary step, but does help to further bind your ingredients. Chia seeds are a great substitute for xanthan or guar gum, often used as a binder in place of gluten in gluten-free recipes.
6. In a separate bowl combine all the dry ingredients and mix well.
7. Slowly fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, until dough is thoroughly combined.
8. Pour dough into greased pan of your choice. The quantities above make 8 mini muffins, one 9 x 13, and one 7 x 11 baking pan.
9. Bake in a preheated oven at 325F/165C until a toothpick or knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Because this is a very wet dough, cooking times are significantly longer than traditional breads, but the final product is a moist, dense sweet bread, and so worth the wait.
Approximate cooking times:
50 minutes for mini muffins
1 hr 35 minutes for shallow baking pans
Alternative Options and Tips:
Swap ghee or coconut oil for the butter.
Swap psyllium husks for the chia seeds.
Add coarsely chopped nuts of your choice.
The browner the bananas, the sweeter they are!
Delicious recipes like this one are included with my wellness services: https://www.saltandlightnaturalwellness.com/services