Monday, August 22, 2011
Vegan Cherry Zucchini Bread
If anyone has been wondering why the posts have been so sparse lately, here's the scoop: I've run into an unusual string of utterly average recipes that, whilst I managed to make them edible, I've not found to be post-worthy. [insert long string of crude expletives here]
Admittedly, many have been based on recipes that attempt to "veganize" something familiar and I'm sorry to say, some things just don't work in vegan form. And before anyone gets all up in my grill about my lack of kitchen skills, let me assure you that I always follow recipes with unfamiliar ingredients with obsessive precision to make sure I don't do them any undue injustice...and because there are few things I find more mortifying than watching someone politely choke down a bad meal that I prepared.
Having said that, this little string of failures has only increased my resolve to find some seriously kick-ass vegan recipes that will knock the smug socks off my family, who is always quick to say, "We told you so!" whenever a vegan recipe fails to transport them to culinary nirvana.
So trust me when I tell you that this next one is a real winner.
In fact, I was feeling so competitive that I also made Anna Getty's non-vegan version from Easy Green Organic and did a side-by-side taste test. Can you guess which one is vegan?
Heavenly Cherry Zucchini Bread
Adapted from this recipe at Hell yeah It's Vegan
Makes 1 loaf
3 tbsp ground flax seeds whisked into 1/4 c + 1 tbsp warm water
1/4 cup vegetable or canola oil
1/4 cup applesauce
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup grated zucchini, packed
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 tablespoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup dried cherries (or raisins, or apricots or whatever you may fancy)
Preheat the oven to 350. (No, I still don't have an oven of my own. I've been visiting Mom this month!)
Grate your zucchini. Make sure to pack it before measuring.
Mix together flax seed mixture, oil, applesauce, sugar, and vanilla.
Add zucchini and stir till just combined.
In a separate bowl, sift together remaining dry ingredients. Add them to the wet ingredients and stir just until moistened and everything is incorporated evenly; some lumps are fine. Add the dried cherries (or any other fun extras) now.
Bake at 350 for 45-50 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center of loaf comes out clean. I recommend checking it after 40 minutes.
Let it cool a few minutes before removing and slicing.
Crumble Topping (optional)
If you want to make this a really decadent treat, top it off with this sweet crumble. I don't have a snap of this as I'm really trying to cut out blatantly unnecessary calories these days but I just know it would be heavenly. If you make it, send me a pic and make me insanely jealous!
1/4 cup all purpose flour
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds
2 tablespoons unsalted [vegan] butter
Combine the dry ingredients and cut in the cold butter until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Set aside and sprinkle evenly over the batter just before baking.
Note: I was totally out of sorts yesterday and my process was totally out of order. I actually forgot the zucchini so that didn't get added until I was about to pour it into the pan. Oh, and the egg substitute - the flax seed mixture - yeah, totally didn't see it sitting in the corner until I had already poured the batter in the pan. Despite having made a huge mess remixing and re-pouring, it still turned out great. Curious to see what following the directions yields next time...